The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints - January, February, March
by Alban Butler
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WHO being chosen bishop of Geres, and finding the patriarch Theophilus deaf to his tears and excuses, prayed that God would rather take him out of the world than permit him to be consecrated bishop of the place, for which he was intended. His prayer was heard, for he died before he had finished it.[1] His name occurs in the modern Roman Martyrology on this day. See Sozomen, Hist. l. 8, c. 19.

Footnotes: 1. A like example is recorded in the life of brother Columban, published in Italian and French, in 1755, and abridged in the Relation de la Mort do quelques religieux de la Trappe, T. 4. p. 334, 342. The life of this holy man from his childhood at Abbeville, the place of his birth, and afterwards at Marseilles, was a model of innocence, alms-deeds, and devotion. In 1710 he took the Cistercian habit, according to the reformation of la Trappe, at Buon Solazzo in Tuscany, the only filiation of that Institute. In this most rigorous penitential institute his whole comportment inspired with humility and devotion all who beheld him. He bore a holy envy to those whom he ever saw rebuked by the Abbot, and his compunction, charity, wonderful humility, and spirit of prayer, had long been the admiration of that fervent house, when he was ordered to prepare himself to receive holy orders, a thing not usually done in that penitential institute. The abbot had herein a private view of advancing him to the coadjutorship in the abbacy for the easing of his own shoulders in bearing the burden of the government of the house. Columban, who, to all the orders of his superior, had never before made any reply, on this occasion made use of the strongest remonstrances and entreaties, and would have had recourse to flight, had not his vow of stability cut off all possibility. Being by compulsion promoted gradually to the orders of deacon, he most earnestly prayed that God would by some means prevent his being advanced to the priesthood; soon after he was seized with a lameness in his hands, 1714, and some time after taken happily out of this world. These simples are most edifying in such persons who were called to a retired penitential life. In the clergy all promotion to ecclesiastical honors ought to be dreaded, and generally only submitted to by compulsion; which Stephen, the learned bishop of Tourney, in 1179, observes to be the spirit and rule of the primitive church of Christ, (ser. 2.) Yet too obstinate a resistance may become a disobedience, an infraction of order and peace, a criminal pusillanimity, according to the just remark of St. Basil, Reg. disput. c. 21 Innocent III. ep. ad Episc. Calarit. Decret. l. 2, tit. 9, de Renunciatione.


DISCIPLE of St. Gregory the Great, and first abbot of St. Austin's, in Canterbury, then called St. Peter's. Going to France in 608, he was drowned near the harbor of Ambleteuse, between Calais and Bologne, and is named in the English and Gallican Martyrologies. See Bede, Hist. l. 1, c. 33.




From his panegyric by St. Chrysostom, at Antioch, in 387, and pronounced on his festival, T. 2, p. 524. And also from St. Jerom de script c. 77. Eusebius, l. 8, c. 12, l. 9, c. 6, and Rufinus. See Tillemont T. 5, p. 474. Pagi, an. 311.

A.D. 312.

ST. LUCIAN, surnamed of Antioch, was born at Samosata, in Syria. He lost his parents while very young; and being come to the possession of his estate, which was very considerable, he distributed all among the poor. He became a great proficient in rhetoric and philosophy, and applied himself to the study of the holy scriptures under one Macarius at Edessa. Convinced of the obligation annexed to the character of priesthood, which was that of devoting himself entirely to the service of God and the good of his neighbor, he did not content himself with inculcating the practice of virtue both by word and example; he also undertook to purge the scriptures, that is, both the Old and New Testament, from the several faults that had crept into them, either by reason of the inaccuracy of transcribers, or the malice of heretics. Some are of opinion, that as to the Old Testament, he only revised it, by comparing different editions of the Septuagint: others contend, that he corrected it upon the Hebrew text, being well versed in that language. Certain, however, it is that St. Lucian's edition of the scriptures was much esteemed, and was of great use to St. Jerom.[1][2]


S. Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, says that Lucian remained some years separated from the catholic communion,[3] at Antioch, under three successive bishops, namely, Domnus, Timaeus, and Cyril. If it was for too much favoring Paul of Samosata, condemned at Antioch in the year 269, he must have been deceived, for want of a sufficient penetration into the impiety of that dissembling heretic. It is certain, at least, that he died in the catholic communion; which also appears from a fragment of a letter written by him to the church of Antioch, and still extant in the Alexandrian Chronicle. Though a priest of Antioch, we find him at Nicomedia, in the year 303, when Dioclesian first published his edicts against the Christians. He there suffered a long imprisonment for the faith; for the Paschal Chronicle quotes these words from a letter which he wrote out of his dungeon to Antioch, "All the martyrs salute you. I inform you that the pope Anthimus (bishop of Nicomedia) has finished his course by martyrdom." This happened in 303. Yet Eusebius informs us, that St. Lucian did not arrive himself at the crown of martyrdom till after the death of St. Peter of Alexandria, in 311, so that he seems to have continued nine years in prison. At length he was brought before the governor, or, as the acts intimate, the emperor himself, for the word[4] which Eusebius uses may imply either. On his trial, he presented to the judge an excellent apology for the Christian faith. Being remanded to prison, an order was given that no food should be allowed him; but, when almost dead with hunger, dainty meats that had been offered to idols were set before him, which he would not touch. It was not in itself unlawful to eat of such meats, as St. Paul teaches, except where it would give scandal to the weak, or when it was exacted as an action of idolatrous superstition, as was the case here. Being brought a second time before the tribunal, he would give no other answer to all the questions put to him, but this: "I am a Christian." He repeated the same while on the rack, and he finished his glorious course in prison, either by famine, or, according to St. Chrysostom, by the sword. His acts relate many of his miracles, with other particulars; as that, when bound and chained down on his back in prison, he consecrated the divine mysteries upon his own breast, and communicated the faithful that were present: this we also read in Philostorgius,[5] the Arian historian. St. Lucian suffered at Nicomedia, where Maximinus II. resided.

His body was interred at Drepanum, in Bithynia, which, in honor of him, Constantine the Great soon after made a large city, which he exempted from all taxes, and honored with the name of Helenopolis, from his mother. St. Lucian was crowned in 312, on the 7th of January, on which day his festival was kept at Antioch immediately after his death, as appears from St. Chrysostom.[6] It is the tradition of the church of Arles, that the body of St. {103} Lucian was sent out of the East to Charlemagne, who built a church under his invocation at Arles, in which his relics are preserved.[7]

* * * * *

The first thing that is necessary in the service of God, is earnestly to search his holy will, by devoutly reading, listening to, and meditating on his eternal truths. This will set the divine law in a clear and full light, and conduct us, by unerring rules, to discover and accomplish every duty. It will awake and continually increase a necessary tenderness of conscience, which will add light and life to its convictions, oblige us to a more careful trial and examination of all our actions, keep us not only from evil, but from every appearance of it, render us steadfast and immoveable in every virtuous practice, and always preserve a quick and nice sense of good and evil. For this reason, the word of God is called in holy scripture, Light, because it distinguisheth between good and evil, and, like a lamp, manifesteth the path which we are to choose, and disperseth that mist with which the subtilty of our enemy and the lusts of our heart have covered it. At the same time, a daily repetition of contrition and compunction washes off the stains which we discover in our souls, and strongly incites us, by the fervor and fruitfulness of our following life, to repair the sloth and barrenness of the past. Prayer must be made our main assistant in every step of this spiritual progress. We must pray that God would enable us to search out and discover our own hearts, and reform whatever is amiss in them. If we do this sincerely, God will undoubtedly grant our requests; will lay open to us all our defects and infirmities, and, showing us how far short we come of the perfection of true holiness of life, will not suffer any latent corruptions in our affections to continue undiscovered, nor permit us to forget the stains and ruins which the sins of our life past have left behind them.

Footnotes: 1. St. Hier. Catal. Vir. illustr. c. 77, Ep. 107, et Praef. in Paralip. Item Synopsis ap. St. Athan. ad fin. 2. The Greek translation of the Old Testament, commonly called of the seventy, was made by the Jews living at Alexandria, and used by all the Hellenist Jews. This version of the Pentateuch appeared about two hundred and eighty-five years before Christ, according to Dr. Hody, (de Bibliorum Textibus, Original. et Versionibus, p. 570, &c.) that of the other parts somewhat later, and at different times, as the style seems to prove. The Jews even of Palestine at first gloried in this translation, as Philo testifies; but it being employed by the Christians against them, they began, soon after the beginning of the second century, to condemn it, alleging that it was not always conformable to the Hebrew original. This text had then suffered several alterations by the blunders, and, according to Kennicott, some few by the wilful malice of transcribers; though these differences are chiefly ascribed by Origen to alterations of the Hebrew text, introduced after the version was made. The seventy being exploded by the Jews, three new versions were set on foot among them. The first was formed in 129, by Aquila, of Sinope, in Pontus, whom the emperor Adrian, when he built Jerusalem, under the name of AElia, appointed overseer of that undertaking. He had been baptized, but for his conduct being expelled from among the Christians, became a Jew, and gave his new translation out of hatred to the Christians. A second was published about the year 175, by Theodotion, a native of Ephesus, some time a Christian, but a disciple first of the heretic Tatian, then of Marcion. At length he fell into Judaism, or at least connected obedience to the Ritual Law of Moses with a certain belief in Christ. His translation, which made its appearance in the reign of Commodus, was bolder than that of Aquila. The third version was formed about the year 200, by Symmachus, who having been first a Samaritan, afterwards, upon some disgust turned Jew. In this translation he had a double view of thwarting both the Jews and Christians. St. Jerom extols the elegance of his style, but says he walked in the steps of Theodotion; with the two former translators he substituted [Greek: neanis] for [Greek: parthenos] in the famous prophecy of Isaiah, (c. vii. v. 14,) and in that of Jacob, (Gen. xlix. 10,) [Greek: ta apokeimena autoi] for [Greek: oi apokeitai] Both which falsifications St. Justin Martyr charges upon Aquila, (Dial. cum Tryphon. p. 224, 395, 284, ed. Thirlbii.) and St. Irenaeus reproaches Aquila and Theodotion with the former, (p. 253, ed. Grebe.) Many additions from these versions, and several various readings daily creeping into the copies of the seventy, which were transcribed, to apply a remedy to this danger, Origen compiled his Hexapla, &c., of which see some account in the appendix to April 21. Before the year 300 three other corrected editions of the old Greek version were published, the first by Lucian, the second by Hesychius, and the third by Pamphilus the martyr. The first was made use of in the churches, from Constantinople to Antioch; that of Hesychius was received at Alexandria, and in the rest of Egypt; and the third in the intermediate country of Palestine, as we are informed by St Jerom, (Praef. in Paralip. et Praef. in Explic. Daniel.) The edition of Lucian came nearest to the [Greek: koine] or common edition of the seventy, and was the purest as St. Jerom (ep. ad Suniam et Fretel. T. 2, col. 627,) and Euthymius affirm, and is generally allowed by modern critics, says Mr. Kennicott, (diss. 2, p. 397.) The excellent Vatican MS. of the seventy, published (though with some amendments from other MSS.) by Cardinal Carafa, at the command of Sixtus V., in 1587, is said in the preface to have been written before the year 390; but Blanchini (Vindiciae vet. Cod. p. 34) supposes it somewhat later. It is proved from St. Jerom's letter to Sunia and Fretela, and several instances, that this Vatican MS. comes nearest to the [Greek: koine], and to Lucian's edition, as Grabe, (See Annot. in ep. ad Sun. et Fretel. T. 2, col. 671,) Blanchini, (Vindiciae, p. 256) and Kennicott (diss. 2, p. 416) take notice: the old Alexandrian MS. kept in the British Museum at London, is thought by Grabe to have been written about the year 396; by Mills and Wetstein, (in their Prolegom. in Nov. Test. Gr.) about one hundred years later. It was published by Grabe, though not pure; for in some places he gives the reading of this MS. in the margin, and prefers some other in the text. Though none of Origen's Asterics are retained, it comes nearest to his edition in the Hexapla, as Grabe, Montfaucon, and Kennicott agree: in some places it is conformable to Theodotion, or Symmachus, and seems mostly the Hesychian edition. See Montfaucon, Praelim. in Hexapla; Kennicott, diss. 2. 3. [Greek: Aposunagwgos emo ne.] 4. [Greek: Arxontos] 5. 2 B. 2, c. 12, 13. 6. The Arians boasted that Arius had received his impious doctrine from St. Lucian: but he is justified with regard to that calumny by the silence of Saint Athanasius; the panegyrics of St. Chrysostom and St. Jerom; the express testimony of the ancient book, On the Trinity, among the works of St. Athanasius, Dial. 3, tom. 2, p. 179; his orthodox confession of faith in Sozomen, l. 3, c. 5, p. 502; and the authority of the church, which from his death has always ranked him among her illustrious martyrs. 7. Saussaye Mart. Gallic. t. 1, p. 17. Chatelain, p. 114.


HE was brother to St. Chad, bishop of Litchfield, and to St. Celin, and Cimbert, apostolic priests, who all labored zealously in the conversion of the English Saxons, their countrymen. St. Cedd long served God in the monastery of Lindisfarne, founded by St. Aidan, and for his great sanctity was promoted to the priesthood. Peada, the son of Penda, king of Mercia, was appointed by his father king of the midland English; by which name Bede distinguishes the inhabitants of Leicestershire, and part of Lincolnshire and Derbyshire, from the rest of the Mercians. The young king, with a great number of noblemen, servants, and soldiers, went to Atwall, or Walton, the seat of Oswy, king of the Northumbers, and was there baptized with all his attendants, by Finan, bishop of Lindisfarne. Four priests, Saint Cedd, Adda, Betta, and Diuma, the last a Scot, the rest English, were sent to preach the gospel to his people, the midland English; among whom great multitudes received the word of life with joy. King Penda himself obstructed not these missionaries in preaching the faith in other parts of Mercia, but hated and despised such as embraced the gospel, yet lived not up to it, saying, "Such wretches deserved the utmost contempt, who would not obey the God in whom they believed." St. Cedd, after laboring there some time with great success, was called from this mission to a new harvest. Sigbercht, or Sigebert, king of the East-Saxons, paying a visit to Oswy, in {104} Northumberland, was persuaded by that prince to forsake his idols, and was baptized by bishop Finan. When he was returned to his own kingdom, he entreated king Oswy to send him some teachers, who might instruct his people in the faith of Christ. Oswy called St. Cedd out of the province of the midland English, and sent him with another priest to the nation of the East-Saxons. When they had travelled over that whole province, and gathered numerous churches to our Lord, St. Cedd returned to Lindisfarne, to confer with bishop Finan about certain matters of importance. That prelate ordained him bishop of the East-Saxons, having called two other bishops to assist at his consecration. St. Cedd going back to his province, pursued the work he had begun, built churches, and ordained priests and deacons. Two monasteries were erected by him in those parts, which seem afterwards to have been destroyed by the Danes, and never restored. The first, he founded near a city, called by the English Saxons, Ythancester, formerly Othona, seated upon the bank of the river Pante, (now Froshwell,) which town was afterwards swallowed up by the gradual encroaching of the sea. St. Cedd's other monastery was built at another city called Tillaburg, now Tilbury, near the river Thames, and here Camden supposes the saint chiefly to have resided, as the first English bishops often chose to live in monasteries. But others generally imagine, that London, then the seat of the king, was the ordinary place of his residence, as it was of the ancient bishops of that province, and of all his successors. In a journey which St. Cedd made to his own country, Edilwald, the son of Oswald, who reigned among the Deiri, in Yorkshire, finding him to be a wise and holy man, desired him to accept of some possessions of land to build a monastery, to which the king might resort to offer his prayers with those who should attend the divine service without intermission, and where he might be buried when he died. The king had before with him a brother of our saint, called Celin, a priest of great piety, who administered the divine word, and the sacraments, to him and his family. St. Cedd pitched upon a place amidst craggy and remote mountains, which seemed fitter to be a retreat for robbers, or a lurking place for wild beasts, than a habitation for men. Here he resolved first to spend forty days in fasting and prayer, to consecrate the place to God. For this purpose he retired thither in the beginning of Lent. He ate only in the evening, except on Sundays, and his meal consisted of an egg, and a little milk mingled with water, with a small portion of bread, according to the custom of Lindisfarne, derived from that of St. Columba, by which it appears that, for want of legumes so early in the year, milk and eggs were allowed in that northern climate, which the canons forbade in Lent. Ten days before the end of Lent, the bishop was called to the king for certain pressing affairs, so that he was obliged to commission his priest, Cynibil, who was his brother, to complete it. This monastery being founded in 658, was called Lestingay. St. Cedd placed in it monks, with a superior from Lindisfarne; but continued to superintend the same, and afterwards made several visits thither from London. Our saint excommunicated a certain nobleman among the East-Saxons, for an incestuous marriage; forbidding any Christian to enter his house, or eat with him. Notwithstanding this prohibition, the king went to a banquet at his house. Upon his return, the holy bishop met him, whom, as soon as the king saw, he began to tremble, and lighting from his horse, prostrated himself at his feet, begging pardon for his offence. The bishop touched him with the rod which he held in his hand, and said, "O king, because thou wouldst not refrain from the house of that wicked excommunicated person, thou thyself shalt die in that very house." Accordingly, some time after, the king was basely murdered, in 661. by this nobleman and another, {105} both his own kinsmen, who alleged no other reason for their crime, than that he was too easy in forgiving his enemies. This king was succeeded by Suidhelm, the son of Sexbald, whom St. Cedd regenerated to Christ by baptism. In 664, St. Cedd was present at the conference, or synod, of Streneshalch, in which he forsook the Scottish custom, and agreed to receive the canonical observance of the time of Easter. Soon after, a great pestilence breaking out in England, St. Cedd died of it, in his beloved monastery of Lestingay, in the mountainous part of Yorkshire, since destroyed by the Danes, so that its exact situation is not known. He was first buried in the open cemetery, but, not long after, a church of stone being built in the same monastery, under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin, the mother of our Lord, his body was removed, and laid at the right hand of the altar. Thirty of the saint's religious brethren in Essex, upon the news of his death, came to Lestingay, in the resolution to live and die where their holy father had ended his life. They were willingly received by their brethren, but were all carried off by the same pestilence, except a little boy, who was afterwards found not to have been then baptized, and being in process of time advanced to the priesthood, lived to gain many souls to God. St. Cedd died on the 26th of October, but is commemorated in the English Martyrology on the 7th of January. See Bede, Hist. l. 3, c. 21, 22, 23. Wharton Hist. Episc. Lond. &c.


SHE is commemorated on the 7th of January, in the Aberdeen Breviary, from which we learn, that she was of royal blood, daughter of Kelly, prince of Leinster in Ireland, as Colgan proves from ancient monuments. She was mother of the holy abbot St. Foelan, or Felan. After the death of her husband, she left Ireland, and consecrated her to God in a religious state, and lived in great austerity and humility, and died on the 7th of January, in the year 728. Adam King informs us that a famous parish church bears her name at Locloumont, in Inchelroch, a small island into which she retired some time before her death, that she might with greater liberty give herself up to heavenly meditation. See Brev. Aberden. et Colgan ad 7 Jan. p. 23.


THIS saint was born of a noble family, of partly Saxon and partly Bavarian extraction, about the year 800. At twelve years of age he was placed by his father in the court of Charlemagne, in the family of Lewis le Debonnaire, where, by his application to the exercises of devotion, and to serious studies, and by his eminent virtue, he gained the esteem of the whole court. But the false lustre of worldly honors had no charms to one who, from his infancy, had entertained no other desire than that of consecrating himself to the divine service. About the year 821, bidding adieu to the court, he retired from Aix-la-chapelle to Metz, where he entered himself amongst the clergy, in the bishop's seminary, and received the clerical tonsure. Two years after, he was promoted to the holy orders of deacon, and, after three years more, to the priesthood. The emperor Lewis le Debonnaire called him again to court, and made him his first chaplain and his confessor. In 832, St. Aldric was chosen bishop of Mans, and consecrated on the 22d of December. The emperor arrived at Mans three days after, and kept the {106} Christmas holydays with him. The holy pastor was humble, patient, severe towards himself, and mild and charitable to all others. He employed both his patrimony and his whole interest and credit in relieving the poor, redeeming captives, establishing churches and monasteries, and promoting piety and religion. In the civil wars which divided the French monarchy, his fidelity to his prince, and to his successor Charles the Bald, was inviolable, for which he was for almost a year expelled, by the factious, from his see; though it is a subject of dispute whether this happened in the former or in the latter reign. It was a principal part of his care, to maintain an exact discipline in his clergy; for whose use he drew up a collection of canons, of councils, and decretals of popes, called his Capitulars, which seems to have been the most learned and judicious work of that kind which that age produced, so that the loss of it is much regretted.[1] Some fragments have reached us of the excellent regulations which he made for the celebration of the divine service, in which he orders ten wax candles, and ninety lamps with oil, to be lighted up in his cathedral on all great festivals.[2] We have three testaments of this holy prelate extant.[3] The last is an edifying monument of his sincere piety: in the two first, he bequeaths several lands and possessions to many churches of his diocese, adding prudent advice and regulations for maintaining good order, and a spirit of charity, between the clergy and monks. In 836, he was deputed by the council of Aix-la-chapelle, with Erchenrad, bishop of Paris, to Pepin, king of Aquitain, who was then reconciled with the emperor his father; and that prince was prevailed on by them to cause all the possessions of churches, which had been seized by those of his party, to be restored. Our saint assisted at the eighth council of Paris, in 846, and at the council of Tours, in 849. The two last years of his life he was confined to his bed by a palsy, during which time he redoubled his fervor and assiduity in holy prayer, for which he had from his infancy an extraordinary ardor. He died the 7th of January, 856, having been bishop almost twenty-four years. He was buried in the church of St. Vincent, to which, and the monastery to which it belongs, he had been a great benefactor. His relics are honorably preserved there at this day, and his festival has been kept at Mans from time immemorial. See his life published by Baluze, T. 3, Miscell. from an ancient MS. belonging to his church. The author produces many original public instruments, and seems to have been contemporary. (See Hist Lit. de la France, T. 5, p. 145.) Another life, probably compiled by a canon of the cathedral of Mans, in the time of Robert, successor to Saint Aldric, is given us by Mabillon, Annal. T. 3, p. 46, 246, 397, &c., but inserts some false pieces. (See Hist. Lit. ib. p. 148.) The life of St. Aldric, which we find in Bollandus, is a modern piece composed by John Moreau, canon of Mans.

Footnotes: 1. See Baluze, Capitul. Regnum Fr. T. 2, p. 44. 2. Ibid. p. 143. 3. Ib. p. 63, 70, 72, 80.



HE was by birth a Saxon, and being made captive, was carried into the Low Countries, where he was ransomed and baptized by St. Eligius. That apostolical man sent him to his abbey of Solignac, in Limousin. St. Thillo was called thence by St. Eligius, ordained priest, and employed by him some time at Tournay, and in other parts of the Low Countries. The inhabitants of the country of Isengihen, near Courtray, regard him as their apostle. Some years after the death of St. Eligius, St. Thillo returned to Solignac, {107} and lived a recluse near that abbey, in simplicity, devotion, and austerities, imitating the Antonies and Macariuses. He died in his solitude, about the year 702, of his age ninety-four, and was honored with miracles. His name is famous in the French and Belgic calendars, though it occurs not in the Roman. St. Owen, in his life of St. Eligius, names Thillo first among the seven disciples of that saint, who worked with him at his trade of goldsmith, and imitated him in all his religious exercises, before that holy man was engaged in the ministry of the church. Many churches in Flanders, Auvergne, Limousin, and other places, are dedicated to God, under his invocation. The anonymous life of St. Thillo, in Bollandus, is not altogether authentic; the history which Mabillon gives of him from the Breviary of Solignac, is of more authority, (Mab. Saec. 2, Ben. p. 996.) See also Bulteau, Hist. Ben. T. i. l. 3, c. 16. Molanus in Natal. Sanct. Belgii, &c.


SECOND son of Eric the Good, king of Denmark, was made duke of Sleswig, his elder brother Nicholas being king of Denmark. Their father, who lived with his people as a father with his children, and no one ever left him without comfort, says the ancient chronicle Knytling-Saga, p. 71, died in Cyprus, going on a pilgrimage to the holy land, in which he had been received by Alexius Comnenus, emperor, at Constantinople, with the greatest honor, and had founded an hospital at Lucca for Danish pilgrims. He died in 1103, on the 11th of July. Mallet, 1. 2, p. 112.

Canut set himself to make justice and peace reign in his principality: those warriors could not easily be restrained from plundering. One day, when he had condemned several together to be hanged for piracies, one cried out, that he was of blood royal, and related to Canut. The prince answered, that to honor his extraction, he should be hanged on the top of the highest mast of his ship, which was executed. (Helmold, l. 6, c. 49) Henry, king of the Sclavi, being dead, and his two sons, St. Canut his nephew succeeded, paid homage to the emperor Lothaire II. and was crowned by him king of the Obotrites, or western Sclavi. St. Canut was much honored by that emperor, in whose court he had spent part of his youth. Valor, prudence, zeal, and goodness, endeared him to all. He was slain by conspiracy of the jealous Danes, the 7th of January, 1130, and canonized in 1171. His son became duke of Sleswig, and in 1158 king of Denmark, called Valdemar I. and the Great, from his virtuous and glorious actions.





From Eusebius, Theodoret, St. Jerom, &c. See Tillemont, Mem. t. 2, p. 492, and Hist des Emp. t. 2, p. 309.

A.D. 175.

CLAUDIUS APOLLINARIS, bishop of Hierapolis, in Phrygia, was one of the most illustrious prelates of the second age. Notwithstanding the great encomiums bestowed on him by Eusebius, St. Jerom, Theodoret, and others, we know but very little of his actions; and his writings, which then were held in great esteem, seem now to be all lost. Photius,[1] who had read them, and who was a very good judge, commends them both for their style and matter. He wrote against the Encratites, and other heretics, and pointed out, as St. Jerom testifies,[2] from what philosophical sect each heresy derived its errors. The last of these works was against the Montanists and their pretended prophets, who began to appear in Phrygia about the year 171. But nothing rendered his name so illustrious, as his noble apology for the Christian religion, which he addressed to the emperor Marcus Aurelius, about the year 175, soon after the miraculous victory that prince had obtained over the Quadi by the prayers of the Christians, of which the saint made mention.

Marcus Aurelius having long attempted, without success, to subdue the Germans by his generals, resolved in the thirteenth year of his reign, and of Christ 171, to lead a powerful army against them. He was beyond the Danube, (for Germany was extended much further eastward than it is at present,) when the Quadi, a people inhabiting that tract now called Moravia, surrounded him in a very disadvantageous situation, so that there was no possibility that either he or his army could escape out of their hands, or subsist long where they were, for want of water. The twelfth legion, called the Melitine, from a town of that name in Armenia, where it had been quartered a long time, was chiefly composed of Christians. These, when the army was drawn up, but languid and perishing with thirst, fell upon their knees, "as we are accustomed to do at prayer," says Eusebius, and poured forth earnest supplications to God in this public extremity of their state and emperor, though hitherto he had been a persecutor of their religion. The strangeness of the sight surprised the enemies, who had more reason to be astonished at the event; for all on a sudden the sky was darkened with clouds, and a thick rain showered down with impetuosity just as the Barbarians had assailed the Roman camp. The Romans fought and drank at the same time, catching the rain, as it fell, in their helmets, and often swallowing it mingled with blood. Though by this means exceedingly refreshed, the Germans were much too strong for them; but the storm being driven by a violent wind upon their faces, and accompanied with dreadful flashes of lightning, and loud thunder, the Germans were deprived of their sight, beaten down to the ground, and terrified to such a degree, that they were entirely routed and put to flight. Both heathen and Christian writers give this account of the victory. The heathens ascribe it, some to the power of {109} magic, others to their gods, as Dio Cassius;[3] but the Christians unanimously recount it as a miracle obtained by the prayers of this legion, as St. Apollinaris in his apology to this very emperor, who adds, that as an acknowledgment, the emperor immediately gave it the name of the Thundering Legion, and from him it is so called by Eusebius,[4] Tertullian,[5] St. Jerom,[6] and St. Gregory of Nyssa.[7]

The Quadi and Sarmatians brought back thirteen thousand prisoners, whom they had taken, and begged for peace on whatever conditions it should please the emperor to grant it them. Marcus Aurelius hereupon took the title of the seventh time emperor, contrary to custom, and without the consent of the senate, regarding it as given him by heaven. Out of gratitude to his Christian soldiers, he published an edict, in which he confessed himself indebted for his delivery to the shower obtained, PERHAPS, by the prayers of the Christians;[8] and more he could not say without danger of exasperating the pagans. In it he forbade, under pain of death, any one to accuse a Christian on account of his religion; yet, by a strange inconsistency, especially in so wise a prince, being overawed by the opposition of the senate, he had not the courage to abolish the laws already made and in force against Christians. Hence, even after this, in the same reign, many suffered martyrdom, though their accusers were also put to death; as in the case of St. Apollonius and of the martyrs of Lyons. Trajan had in like manner forbid Christians to be accused, yet commanded them to be punished with death if accused, as may be seen declared by him in his famous letter to Pliny the Younger. The glaring injustice of which law Tertullian demonstrates by an unanswerable dilemma.

St. Apollinaris, who could not see his flock torn in pieces and be silent, penned his apology to the emperor, about the year 172, to remind him of the benefit he had received from God by the prayers of the Christians, and to implore his protection. We have no account of the time of this holy man's death, which probably happened before that of Marcus Aurelius. The Roman Martyrology mentions him on the 8th of January.

* * * * *

We believe the same great truths, and divine mysteries,—we profess the same faith which produced such wonderful fruits in the souls of the saints. Whence comes it that it has not the like effects in us?—that though we acknowledge virtue to be the richest treasure of the soul of man, we take little pains about it, passionately seek the things of this world, are cast down and broken under every adversity, and curb and restrain our passions only by halves?—that the most glorious objects, God and heaven, and the amazing and dreadful truths, a judgment to come, hell, and eternity, strike us so feebly, and operate so little in us? The reason is plain: because we meditate not sufficiently on these great truths. Our notions of them are dim and imperfect; our thoughts pass so slightly over them, that they scarce retain any print or traces of them. Otherwise it is impossible that things {110} so great and terrible should excite in us no fear, or that things in their own nature infinitely amiable, should enkindle in us no desire. Slight and faint images of things move our minds very weakly, and affect them very coldly, especially in such matters as are not subject to our senses. We therefore grossly deceive ourselves in not allotting more time to the study of divine truths. It is not enough barely to believe them, and let our thoughts now and then glance upon them: that knowledge which shows us heaven, will not bring us to the possession of it, and will deserve punishments, not rewards, if it remain slight, weak, and superficial. By serious and frequent meditation it must be concocted, digested, and turned into the nourishment of our affections, before it can be powerful and operative enough to change them, and produce the necessary fruit in our lives. For this all the saints affected solitude and retreats from the noise and hurry of the world, as much as their circumstances allowed them.

Footnotes: 1. {} 2. Ep. 83, ad Magn. 3. B. 71. 4. Hist. B. 5, c. 5. 5. Apol. c. 5. L. ad Scap. c. 4. 6. Chron. 7. Or. 2, de 40 mart. 8. Christianorum FORTE militum precationibus impetrato imbri. Tertull. Apolog. c. 5. Euseb. l. 5, c. 5. Some take the word forte here to signify, casually, accidentally, as hap was. Several learned Protestants have written in defence of this miracle: see Mr. Weston's dissertation in 1748. The exceptions of Le Clerc, Hist. Eccl. p. 744, and of Moyle, in his essay on the Thundering Legion, deserve no notice. The deliverance of the emperor is represented on the Columna Antoniniana, in Rome, by the figure of a Jupiter Pluvius, being that of an old man flying in the air, with his arms expanded, and a long beard which seems to waste away in rain. The soldiers are there represented as relieved by this sudden tempest, and in a posture, partly drinking of the rain-water, and partly fighting against the enemy; who, on the contrary are represented as stretched out on the ground with their horses, and upon them only the dreadful part of the storm descending. The original letter of Marcus Aurelius concerning this matter, was extant when Tertullian and St. Jerom wrote. See Hier. in Chron. Euseb. ad annum 176. Tert. Apol. c. 5, et lib. ad Scapul. The letter of Marcus Aurelius to the senate now extant, is rejected as supposititious by Scaliger, (Animadv. In Eus. ad an. 189.).It is published in the new edition of the works of Marcus Aurelius, printed by Robert Fowlis in 1748, t. 1, p. 127, in Greek, t. 2, p. 126, in Latin, with notes, ib. p. 212. Mamachi, t. 1, p 366.



From his life, by Eugippius his disciple, who was present at his death. See Tillemont, t. 16, p. 168. Lambecius Bibl. Vend. t. 1, p. 28, and Bollandus, p. 497.

A.D. 482.

WE know nothing of the birth or country of this saint. From the purity of his Latin, he was generally supposed to be a Roman; and his care to conceal what he was according to the world, was taken for a proof of his humility, and a presumption that he was a person of birth. He spent the first part of his life in the deserts of the East; but, inflamed with an ardent zeal for the glory of God, he left his retreat to preach the gospel in the North. At first he came to Astures, now Stokeraw, situate above Vienna; but finding the people hardened in vice, he foretold the punishment God had prepared for them, and repaired to Comagenes, now Haynburg on the Danube, eight leagues westward of Vienna. It was not long ere his prophecy was verified; for Astures was laid waste, and the inhabitants destroyed by the sword of the Huns, soon after the death of Attila. St. Severinus's ancient host with great danger made his escape to him at Comagenes. By the accomplishment of this prophecy, and by several miracles he wrought, the name of the saint became famous. Favianes, a city on the Danube, twenty leagues from Vienna, distressed by a terrible famine, implored his assistance. St. Severinus preached penance among them with great fruit; and he so effectually threatened with the divine vengeance a certain rich woman, who had hoarded up a great quantity of provisions, that she distributed all her stores among the poor. Soon after his arrival, the ice of the Danube and the Ins breaking, the country was abundantly supplied by barges up the rivers. Another time by his prayers he chased away the locusts, which by their swarms had threatened with devastation the whole produce of the year. He wrought many miracles; yet never healed the sore eyes of Bonosus, the dearest to him of his disciples, who spent forty years in almost continual prayer, without any abatement of his fervor. The holy man never ceased to exhort all to repentance and piety: he redeemed captives, relieved the oppressed, was a father to the poor, cured the sick, mitigated or averted public calamities, and brought a blessing wherever he came. Many cities desired him for their bishop; but he withstood their importunities by urging, that it was sufficient he had relinquished his dear solitude for their instruction and comfort.


He established many monasteries, of which the most considerable was one on the banks of the Danube, near Vienna; but he made none of them the place of his constant abode, often shutting himself up in a hermitage four leagues from his community, where be wholly devoted himself to contemplation. He never ate till after sunset, unless on great festivals. In Lent he ate only once a week. His bed was sackcloth spread on the floor in his oratory. He always walked barefoot, even when the Danube was frozen. Many kings and princes of the Barbarians came to visit him, and among them Odoacer, king of the Heruli, then on his march for Italy. The saint's cell was so low that Odoacer could not stand upright in it. St. Severinus told him that the kingdom he was going to conquer would shortly be his; and Odoacer seeing himself, soon after, master of Italy, sent honorable letters to the saint, promising him all he was pleased to ask; but Severinus only desired of him the restoration of a certain banished man. Having foretold his death long before it happened, he fell ill of a pleurisy on the 5th of January, and on the fourth day of his illness, having received the viaticum, and arming his whole body with the sign of the cross, and repeating that verse of the psalmist, Let every spirit praise the Lord,[1] he closed his eyes, and expired in the year 482. Six years after, his disciples, obliged by the incursions of Barbarians, retired with his relics into Italy, and deposited them at Luculano, near Naples, where a great monastery was built, of which Eugippius, his disciple, and author of his life, was soon after made the second abbot. In the year 910 they were translated to Naples, where to this day they are honored in a Benedictin abbey, which bears his name. The Roman and other Martyrologies place his festival on this day, as being that of his death.

* * * * *

A perfect spirit of sincere humility is the spirit of the most sublime and heroic degree of Christian virtue and perfection. As the great work of the sanctification of our souls is to be begun by humility, so must it be completed by the same. Humility invites the Holy Ghost into the soul, and prepares her to receive his graces; and from the most perfect charity, which he infuses, she derives a new interior light, and an experimental knowledge of God and herself, with an infused humility far clearer in the light of the understanding, in which she sees God's infinite greatness, and her own total insufficiency, baseness, and nothingness, after a quite new manner; and in which she conceives a relish of contempt and humiliations as her due, feels a secret sentiment of joy in suffering them, sincerely loves her own abjection, dependence, and correction, dreads the esteem and praises of others, as snares by which a mortal poison may imperceptibly insinuate itself into her affections, and deprive her of the divine grace; is so far from preferring herself to any one, that she always places herself below all creatures, is almost sunk in the deep abyss of her own nothingness, never speaks of herself to her own advantage, or affects a show of modesty in order to appear humble before men, in all good, gives the entire glory to God alone, and as to herself, glories only in her infirmities, pleasing herself in her own weakness and nothingness, rejoicing that God is the great all in her and in all creatures.

Footnotes: 1. Ps. 150.




HE preached the gospel in Gaul, in the third century; came from Rome, and was probably one of the companions of St. Dionysius, of Paris, or at least of St. Quintin. He sealed his mission with his blood at Beauvais, under Julian, vicar or successor to the bloody persecutor Rictius Varus, in the government of Gaul, about the year 290. Maximian, called by the common people Messien, and Julian, the companions of his labors, were crowned with martyrdom at the same place a little before him. His relics, with those of his two colleagues, were discovered in the seventh age, as St. Owen informs us in his life of St. Eligius. They are shown in three gilt shrines, in the abbey which bears his name, and was founded in the eighth century. Rabanus Maurus says, that these relics were famous for miracles in the ninth century.

St. Lucian is styled only martyr, in most calendars down to the sixteenth century, and in the Roman Martyrology, and the calendar of the English Protestants, in all which it is presumed that he was only priest; but a calendar compiled in the reign of Lewis le Debonnaire,[1] gives him the title of bishop, and he is honored in that quality at Beauvias. See Bollandus, p. 540; though the two lives of this saint, published by him, and thought to be one of the ninth, the other of the tenth age, are of little or no authority. Tillemont, T. 4, p. 537. Loisel and Louvet, Hist. de Beauvais, p. 76.

Footnotes: 1. Spicileg. T. 10, p. 130.


SHE was sister to St. Guthlack, the famous hermit of Croyland, and though of the royal blood of the Mercian kings, forsook the world, and led an austere retired life in the country which afterwards bore her name, in Northamptonshire, at a distance from her holy brother. Some time after his death she went to Rome, and there slept in the Lord, about the year 719. Ordericus Vitalis says, her relics were honored with miracles, and kept in a church which bore her name at Rome, but this church is not now known. From one in Northamptonshire, a village still retains the name of Peagkirk, vulgarly Pequirk; she was also titular saint of a church and monastery in Pegeland, which St. Edward the Confessor united to Croyland. She is called St. Pee in Northamptonshire, and St. Pege at Croyland. See Ingulph. et Ord. Vitalis, l. 4. Florence of Worcester, ad ann. 714. Harpsfield, sec. 8, c. 19.


WILLIAM of Malmesbury informs us, that St. Dunstan, when bishop of London, appointed him abbot of twelve monks at Thorney, since called Westminster, where Saint Mellitus had built a church in honor of St. Peter. Vulsin was afterwards chosen bishop of Shireburn; his holy life was crowned with a happy death in 973. He is called Ultius by Matthew of Westminster, {113} but his true ancient name, given by Capgrave, is Vulsin. See Malmesbury de Pontif. Angl. l. 2. Capgrave and Harpsfield, saec. 10, c. 9, saec. 11, c. 16.




ST. AMALBERGE, mother of this saint, was niece to Pepin, mayor of the palace. Gudula was educated at Nivelle, under the care of St. Gertrude, her cousin and god-mother; after whose death, in 664, she returned to the house of count Witger, her father, and having by vow consecrated her virginity to God, led there a most austere and holy life, in watching, fasting, and prayer. By her profuse alms, in which she bestowed her whole revenue on the poor, she was truly the mother of all the distressed; though her father's castle was two miles from the church of our Saviour at Morzelle, she went thither early every morning, with a maid to carry a lantern before her; and the wax taper being once put out, is said to have miraculously lighted again at her prayers, whence she is usually represented in pictures with a lantern. She died on the 8th of January, not in 670, as Miraeus says, but in 712, and was buried at Ham, near Villevord. In the reign of Charlemagne, her body was removed to the church of our Saviour at Morzelle, and placed behind the high altar; this emperor, out of veneration of her memory, often resorted thither to pray, and founded there a nunnery, which soon after changed its name of St. Saviour for that of St. Goule: this house was destroyed in the irruptions of the Normans. The relics of St. Gudula, by the care of Charles, duke of Lorrain, (in which Brabant was then comprised,) were translated to Brussels, in 978, where they were first deposited to the church of St. Gery, but in 1047, removed into the great collegiate church of St. Michael, since called from her St. Gudula's. See her life wrote by Hubert of Brabant, in the eleventh century, soon after this translation of her relics to St. Michael's, who assures us that he took the whole relation from an ancient life of this saint, having only changed the order and style.


HE possessed a large estate, which he distributed among the poor; and seeing that agriculture is an employment best suiting a life of contemplation, he made this an exercise of penance, joining with the same assiduous prayer. He was a proficient in profane and sacred learning, and being made bishop, (to which dignity he was raised by the pope, in a journey of devotion which he made to Rome,) he continued to employ his revenues in charities as before, living himself in great austerity by the labor of his hands, and at the same time preaching the gospel to the people. By his means Scotland was preserved from the Pelagian heresy. He was one of the apostles of that country, and died in 452. He resided at Tullicht, now in the diocese of Aberdeen, and built the churches of Tullicht Bothelim, and of the Hill; in the former of these he was buried, and it long continued famous for miracles wrought by his relics, which were preserved there till the change of religion. See King, the Chronicles of Dumferling, and the lessons of the Aberdeen Breviary on this day. The see of Aberdeen was {114} not then regularly established; it was first erected at Murthlac by St. Bean, in the beginning of the eleventh century, and translated thence to Aberdeen by Nectan, the fourth bishop, in the reign of king David.[2] See Hector Boetius in the lives of the bishops of Aberdeen,[3] and Spotswood, b. 2, p. 101.

Footnotes: 1. The Aberdeen Breviary resembles that called of Sarum, and contains the feasts of many French saints. It was printed at Edinburg, by Walter Chapman, in 1509. 2. Few authentic memoirs of the ancient Scotch church, or history, have been handed down to us, except those of certain noble families. A catalogue of the bishops of Galloway, from St. Ninianus, in 450; of the archbishops of Glascow, from St. Kentigern; of St. Andrew's, from the year 840; and of the bishops of the other sees, from the twelfth century, is printed at the end of an old edition of Spotsword in 166{} and reprinted by bishop Burnet, in an appendix to his memoirs of the house of Hamilton. 3. De vitis episcopor. Aberd. Praelo. Afrensiano, anno 1522.



From the life of his sister St. Macrina, composed by their brother St. Gregory of Nyssa; and from St. Gregory Naz. Or. 20. See also Theodoret, Hist. Eccl. l. 4, c. 30. Rufin, l. 2., c. 9, and the judicious compilation of Tillemont, in his life of St. Gregory of Nyssa, art. 6, t. 9, p. 572.

About the year 387.

THE family of which St. Peter descended, was very ancient and illustrious; St. Gregory Nazianzen tells us, that his pedigree was made up of a list of celebrated heroes; but their names are long since buried in oblivion, while those of the saints which it gave to the church, and who despised the world and its honors, are immortal in the records of the church, and are written in the book of life; for the light of faith, and the grace of the Almighty, extinguishing in their breasts the sparks of worldly ambition, inspired them with a most vehement ardor to attain the perfection of Christian virtue, and changed their family into a house of saints; three brothers were at the same time eminently holy bishops, St. Basil, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Peter of Sebaste; and their eldest sister, St. Macrina, was the spiritual mother of many saints and excellent doctors; their father and mother, St. Basil the Elder, and St. Emolia, were banished for their faith in the reign of the emperor Galerius Maximian, and fled into the deserts of Pontus; they are recorded together in the Roman Martyrology, on the 30th of May: the grandmother of our pious and fruitful family of saints, was the celebrated St. Macrina the Elder, who was instructed in the science of salvation, by St. Gregory Thaumaturgus. St. Peter of Sebaste was the youngest of ten children, and lost his father in his cradle, some think before he was born; and his eldest sister, Macrina, took care of his education, in which it was her only aim to instruct him in the maxims of religion, and form him to perfect piety; profane studies she thought of little use, to one who designed to make salvation the sole end of all his inquiries and pursuits, nor did he ever make them any part of his employment, confining his views to a monastic state. His mother had founded two monasteries, one for men, the other for women; the former she put under the direction of her son Basil, the latter under that of her daughter Macrina. Peter, whose thoughts were wholly bent on cultivating the seeds of piety that had been sown in him, retired into the house governed by his brother, situated on the bank of the river Iris; when St. Basil was obliged to quit that post, in 362, he left the abbacy in the hands of St. Peter, who discharged this office for {115} several years with great prudence and virtue. When the provinces of Pontus and Cappadocia were visited by a severe famine, he gave a remarkable proof of his charity; human prudence would have advised him to be frugal in the relief of others, till his own family should be secured against that calamity; but Peter had studied the principles of Christian charity in another school, and liberally disposed of all that belonged to his monastery, and whatever he could raise, to supply with necessaries the numerous crowds that daily resorted to him, in that time of distress. Soon after St. Basil was made bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, in 370, he promoted his brother Peter to the priesthood; the holy abbot looked on the holy orders he had received as a fresh engagement to perfection. His brother St. Basil died on the 1st of January, in 379, and his sister Macrina in November, the same year. Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste, in Armenia, a violent Arian, and a furious persecutor of St. Basil, seems to have died soon after them, for St. Peter was consecrated bishop of Sebaste in 380, to root out the Arian heresy in that diocese, where it had taken deep root; the zeal of a saint was necessary, nor can we doubt but God placed our saint in that dignity for this purpose. A letter which St. Peter wrote, and which is prefixed to St. Gregory of Nyssa's books against Eunomius, has entitled him to a rank among the ecclesiastical writers, and is a standing proof, that though he had confined himself to sacred studies, yet by good conversation and reading, and by the dint of genius, and an excellent understanding, he was inferior to none but his incomparable brother Basil, and his colleague Nazianzen, in solid eloquence. In 381, he attended the general council held at Constantinople, and joined the other bishops in condemning the Macedonian heretics. Not only his brother St. Gregory, but also Theodoret, and all antiquity, bear testimony to his extraordinary sanctity, prudence, and zeal. His death happened in summer, about the year 387, and his brother of Nyssa mentions, that his memory was honored at Sebaste (probably the very year after his death) by an anniversary solemnity, with several martyrs of that city.[1] His name occurs in the Roman Martyrology, on the 9th of January.

* * * * *

We admire to see a whole family of saints! This prodigy of grace, under God, was owing to the example, prayers, and exhortations of the elder St. Macrina, which had this wonderful influence and effect; from her they learned most heartily and deeply to imbibe the true spirit of self-denial and humility, which all Christians confess to be the fundamental maxim of the gospel; but this they generally acknowledge in speculation only, whereas it is in the heart that this foundation is to be laid: we must entertain no attachment, says St. Gregory of Nyssa,[2] to any thing, especially where there is most danger of passion, by some sensual pleasure annexed; and we must begin by being upon our guard against sensuality in eating, which is the most ancient enemy, and the father of vice: we must observe in our whole life the most exact rule of temperance, never making the pleasure of sense our end, but only the necessity of the use we make of things, even those in which a pleasure is taken. In another treatise he says,[3] he who despises the world, must also renounce himself, so as never to follow his own will, but purely to seek in all things the will of God; we are his in justice, his will must be the law and rule of our whole life. This precept of dying to ourselves, that Christ may live in us, and all our affections and actions governed by his spirit, is excellently inculcated by St. Basil the Great.[4]

Footnotes: 1. St. Gr. Nyss. ep. ad Flav. t. 3, p. 645. 2. St. Gr. Nyss. de Virg. c. 9. 3. St. Basil, in Ps. 34, de Bapt. l. 1, et interr. 237. 4. Id. de perfecta Christi forma.



ACCORDING to their acts, and the ancient Martyrologies, though engaged in a married state, they by mutual consent lived in perpetual chastity, sanctified themselves by the most perfect exercises of an ascetic life, and employed their revenues in relieving the poor and the sick; for this purpose they converted their house into a kind of hospital, in which, if we may credit their acts, they sometimes entertained a thousand indigent persons. Basilissa attended those of her sex, in separate lodgings from the men, of whom Julian took care, who from his charity is surnamed the Hospitalarian. Egypt, where they lived, had then begun to abound with examples of persons, who, either in cities or in deserts, devoted themselves to the most perfect exercises of charity, penance, and contemplation. Basilissa, after having stood severe persecutions, died in peace; Julian survived her many years, and received the crown of a glorious martyrdom, together with Celsus a youth, Antony a priest, Anastatius, and Marcianilla the mother of Celsus. They seem to have suffered in the reign of Maximin II., in 313, on the 6th of January; for, in the most ancient lectionary used in the church of Paris, under the first race of the French kings, quoted by Chatelain,[1] and several ancient calendars, their festival is marked on that day, or on the eve. On account of the concurrence of the Epiphany, it was deferred in different churches to the 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 27, 28, or 29th, of January; 12, 13, 14, 17, 19, 24, or 27th, of February; 20, 21, or 22d of June; or 31st of August. The menology, published by Canisius, places the martyrdom of St. Julian and his companions, at Antinopolis in Egypt; certain ancient MS. copies of the Martyrology, which bear the name of St. Jerom, say more correctly Antinous: by mistaking the abbreviation of this name in some MS. copies, several Latins have read it Antioch;[2] and the Latin acts say these martyrs suffered at Antioch in Egypt: but no town of that name is ever mentioned in that country; though Seleucus, the son of Antiochus, gave it to sixteen cities which he built in Asia, as Appian takes notice. Many churches and hospitals in the east, and especially in the west, bear the name of one or other of these martyrs: at Antioch, in Syria, our St. Julian was titular saint of a famous church and St. Julian of Anazarbus, of two others. Chatelain[3] proves from ancient images and other monuments, that four churches at home, and three out of five at Paris, which bear the name of St. Julian, were originally dedicated under the name of St. Julian the hospitalarian and martyr; though some of these latter afterward took either St. Julian bishop of Mans, confessor, or St. Julian of Brioude, martyr, for patron. The same has happened to some, out of the great number of churches and hospitals in the Low Countries, erected under his invocation; but the hospitalarian and martyr is still retained in the office of the greatest part, especially at Brussels, Antwerp, Tournay, Douay, &c. In the time of St. Gregory the Great, the skull of St. Julian, husband of St. Basilissa, was brought out of the east into France, and given to queen Brunehault; she gave it to the nunnery which she founded at Etampes; part of it is at present in the {117} monastery of Morigny, near Etampes, and part in the church of the regular canonesses of St. Basilissa, at Paris.[4]

Footnotes: 1. Notes sur le Martyrol. 6 Jan., p. 106. Mabill. Lit. Gallic. l. 2, pp. 115, 116. 2. The abbreviation Antio for Antinous, found in a MS. copy mentioned by Chatelain, p. 106, was probably mistaken for Antioch, a name better known. Certain circumstances related from the false acts of these martyrs, by St. Antoninus, gave occasion to the painters in Italy to represent St. Julian as a sportsman with a hawk on his hand; and in France, as a boatsman, in a barge; and the postilions and bargemen keep his feast, as of their principal patron. 3. Notes on Jan. 6, p. 109. 4. See Chatelain, notes on Jan. 6, p. 110, from a MS. at Morigny.


SHE was a native of Rusuccur in Mauritania, and courageously despising all worldly advantages, to secure to herself the possession of the precious jewel of heavenly grace, she was called to the trial in the persecution of Dioclesian, which was continued in Africa under his successors, till the death of Severus, who was declared Caesar in 305, and slain in 309. St. Marciana was beaten with clubs, and her chastity exposed to the rude attempts of pagan gladiators, in which danger God miraculously preserved her, and she became the happy instrument of the conversion of one of them to the faith: at length she was torn in pieces by a wild bull and a leopard, in the amphitheatre at Caesarea in Mauritania. She is the same who is commemorated on the 12th of July, in the ancient breviary of Toledo; and in the Roman, and some other Martyrologies, both on the 9th of July, and on the 9th of January. See a beautiful ancient hymn in her praise, in the Mozarabic breviary, and her acts in Bollandus, though their authority is not altogether certain. Consult Tillemont, t. 5, p. 263. Chatelain, notes on the 9th of January p. 146.


HE was abbot of Glastenbury, but resigning that dignity, came to the little monastery of Riculf, or Riculver, near the isle of Thanet, in Kent, that he might improve himself in the study of the Holy Scriptures, in the neighborhood of St. Theodorus; after whose death he was promoted to the see of Canterbury, in 692, in which he sat thirty-seven years and six months, a living {icon} of perfection to this church. He died in 731. See John of Glastenbury, published by Hearne; William of Malmesbury, in the antiquities of Glastenbury, published by Thomas Gale; and Bede, l. 5, c. 9, and 24.


HIS name is famous in the ancient Scottish and Irish Calendars. The example and instructions of his pious parents, Feriach and St. Kentigerna, inspired him from the cradle with the most ardent love of virtue. In his youth, despising the flattering worldly advantages to which high birth and a great fortune entitled him, he received the monastic habit from a holy abbot named Mundus, and passed many years in a cell at some distance from the monastery, not far from St. Andrew's. He was by compulsion drawn from this close solitude, being chosen abbot. His sanctity in this public station shone forth with a bright light. After some years he resigned this charge, and retired to his uncle Congan, brother to his mother, in a place called Siracht, a mountainous part of Glendarchy, now in Fifeshire, where, with the assistance of seven others, he built a church, near which he served for several years. God glorified him by a wonderful gift of miracles; and called him to the reward of his labors on the 9th of January, in the seventh century. {118} He was buried in Straphilline, and his relics were long preserved there with honor. This account is given us of him in the lessons of the Aberdeen Breviary.[1] The Scottish historians[2] attribute to the intercession of St. Felan a memorable victory obtained by king Robert Bruce, in 1314, over a numerous army of English, at Bannocburn, not far from Sterling, in the reign of Edward II. of England, who narrowly escaped, being obliged to pass the Tweed in a boat, with only one companion. See Lesley, l. 17; Boetius, l. 14. Chatelain certainly mistakes in confounding this saint with St. Finan, bishop of Lindisfarne.[3]

Footnotes: 1. T. 1, part 2, fol. 28. 2. Hector Boetius, l. 14, &c. 3. St. Felan flourished in the county of Fife, and probably in the monastery of Pettinuime, where his memory was famous, as is testified by the author of MS. memoirs on the Scottish saints, preserved in the college of the Scots at Paris, who declares himself to have been a missionary priest in Scotland to 1609. The county of Fife was famous for the rich and most ancient monasteries of Dumferling, Lindore, St. Andrew's, or Colrosse, or Courose, Pettinuime, Balmure, and Petmoace; and two stately nunneries: Aberdaure and Elcho. All these noble buildings they levelled to the ground with incredible fury, crying, "Pull down, pull down: the crows' nest must be utterly exterminated, lest they should return and attempt again to renew their settlement." Ib. MS. fol. 7.


DIVINE Providence conducted this holy man to Britain, in order to make him an instructor of innumerable saints. Adrian was an African by birth, and was abbot of Nerida, not far from Naples, when pope Vitalian, upon the death of St. Deusdedit the archbishop of Canterbury, judged him, for his skill in sacred learning, and experience in the paths of true interior virtue, to be of all others the most proper person to be the doctor of a nation, zealous in the pursuit of virtue, but as yet ignorant in the sciences, and in the canons of the church. The humble servant of God found means to decline that dignity, by recommending St. Theodorus as most capable, but refused not to share in the laborious part of the ministry. The pope therefore enjoined him to be the companion, assistant, and adviser of the apostolic archbishop, which charge Adrian willingly took upon himself. In travelling through France with St. Theodorus, he was stopped by Ebroin, the jealous mayor of the palace, who feared lest the emperor of the East had given these two persons, who were his born subjects, some commission in favor of his pretensions to the western kingdoms. Adrian stayed a long time in France, at Meaux, and in other places, before he was allowed to pursue his journey. St. Theodorus established him abbot of the monastery of SS. Peter and Paul, afterward called St. Austin, near Canterbury, where he taught the learned languages and the sciences, and principally the precepts and maxims of our divine religion. He had illustrated this island by his heavenly doctrine, and the bright example of his virtues, for the space of thirty-nine years, when he departed to our Lord on the 9th of January, in the year 710. His tomb was famed for miracles, as we are assured by Joscelin the Monk, quoted by William of Malmesbury and Capgrave; and his name is inserted in the English calendars. See Bede, l. 4, c. 1, l. 5, c. 21. Malmesb. de Pontif. Angl. and Capgrave.


FROM various fragments of ancient histories of his life, the most modern of which was compiled in the twelfth century, it appears that Vaneng was made by Clotaire III. governor of that part of Neustria, or Normandy, which was anciently inhabited by the Caletes, and is called Pais de Caux, {119} at which time he took great pleasure in hunting. Nevertheless, he was very pious, and particularly devout to St. Eulalia of Barcelona, called in Guienne, St. Aulaire. One night be seemed, in a dream, to hear that holy Virgin and Martyr repeat to him those words of our blessed Redeemer in the gospel, that "it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to be saved." Soon after this he quitted the world, assisted St. Vandrille in building the churches of SS. Peter and Paul at Fontenelles, and founded in the valley of Fecam[1] a church in honor of the holy Trinity, with a great nunnery adjoining, under the direction of St. Owes and St. Vandrille. Hildemarca, a very virtuous nun, was called from Bourdeaux, and appointed the first abbess. Under her, three hundred and sixty nuns served God in this house, and were divided into as many choirs as were sufficient, by succeeding one another, to continue the divine office night and day without interruption. St. Vaneng died about the year 688, and is honored, in the Gallican and Benedictin Martyrologies, on the 9th of January; but at St. Vandrille's, and in other monasteries in Normandy, on the 31st of January. This saint is titular patron of several churches in Aquitain and Normandy; one near Touars in Poictou has given its name to the village of St. Vaneng. His body is possessed in a rich shrine, in the abbatial church of Our Lady at Ham, in Picardy, belonging to the regular canons of St. Genevieve. See Mabillon, t. 2, p. 972; Bollandus, and chiefly the life of St. Vaneng, judiciously collected and printed at Paris in 1700;[2] also, the breviary of the abbey of Fontenelle, now St. Vandrille's. The abbeys of Fecam, St. Vandrille, Jumiege, Bec, St. Stephen's at Caen, Cerisy, &c., are now of the reformed congregation of St. Maur, abbot of St. Benignus, at Dijon, whose life Bollandus has given us among the saints, January 1. Fecam, honored by the dukes of Normandy above all their other monasteries, is the richest and most magnificent abbey in Normandy.

Footnotes: 1. The monastery of Fecam was ruined in the invasion of the Normans. Rollo, who came into France in 876, was baptized, and, after having founded the duchy of Normandy, died in 917. His sepulchral monument is shown in one of the chapels near the door in the cathedral at Rouen. His son William built a palace at Fecam, where his son Richard was born. The church of the Holy Trinity being re-established, this Richard placed in it secular canons; but, on his death-bed, ordered it to be put into the hands of the monks. This was executed by his successor, the monks being sent by William the most holy abbot. 2. Ferrarius, an Italian servite, Du-Saussaye, Bollandus, and F. Giry, place among the saints of this day, Sithride, or Sedredo, an English virgin, and second abbess of Farmoutiers. Bede tells us (l. 3, c. 8) that she was daughter of St. Hereswide, by a former husband, before she married Annas, king of the East Angles, and that going to the monastery of Brie, (now Farmoutiers,) she was second abbess between St. Fara and St. Aubierge, King Annas's own daughter. But though St. Aubierge be honored at Farmoutiers in July, with great solemnity, and St. Arthongate in February, the name of Sedredo is not found in the calendar of any church, nor are any of her relics enshrined like the others, unless she be the same with St. Sissetrudis, who in some calendars is named on the 6th, in others on the 7th of May. But St. Sissetrude is called by Jonas of Bobio, cellerer, not abbess. See Chatelain, &c. 3.





From his life written by a faithful acquaintance at Bourges, (abridged by Surius,) and again by Peter, a monk of Chaalis, both soon after his death: collected by Dom le Nain, in his history of the Cistercians, t. 7. See also the notes of Bollandus, with a fragment of a third life, and Gallia Christ. Nov. t. 2. p. 63.

A.D. 1209.

WILLIAM BERRUYER, of the illustrious family of the ancient counts of Nevers, was educated by Peter the Hermit, archdeacon of Soissons, his uncle by the mother's side. He learned from his infancy to despise the folly and emptiness of the riches and grandeur of the world, to abhor its pleasures, and to tremble at its dangers. His only delight was in exercises of piety and in his studies, in which he employed his whole time with indefatigable application. He was made canon, first of Soissons, and afterwards of Paris; but he soon took the resolution of abandoning all commerce with the world, and retired into the solitude of Grandmont, where he lived with great regularity in that austere order, till seeing its peace disturbed by a contest which arose between the fathers and lay-brothers, he passed into the Cistercian, then in wonderful odor of sanctity. He took the habit in the abbey of Pontigny, and shining as a perfect model of monastic perfection, was after some time chosen prior of that house, and afterwards abbot, first of Fountaine-Jean, in the diocese of Sens, (a filiation of Pontigny, founded in 1124, by Peter de Courtenay, son of king Louis the Fat,) and some time after, of Chaalis, near Senlis, a much more numerous monastery, also a filiation of Pontigny, built by Louis the Fat in 1136, a little before his death. St. William always reputed himself the last among his brethren. The universal mortification of his senses and passions, laid in him the foundation of an admirable purity of heart, and an extraordinary gift of prayer; in which he received great heavenly lights, and tasted of the sweets which God has reserved for those to whom he is pleased to communicate himself. The sweetness and cheerfulness of his countenance testified the uninterrupted joy and peace that overflowed his soul, and made virtue appear with the most engaging charms in the midst of austerities.

On the death of Henry de Sully, archbishop of Bourges, the clergy of that church requested his brother Endo, bishop of Paris, to come and assist them in the election of a pastor. Desirous to choose some abbot of the Cistercian Order, then renowned for holy men, they put on the altar the names of three, written on as many billets. This manner of election by lots would have been superstitious, and a tempting of God, had it been done relying on a miracle without the warrant of divine inspiration. But it deserved not this censure when all the persons proposed seemed equally worthy and fit, as the choice was only recommended to God, and left to this issue by following the rules of his ordinary providence, and imploring his light, without rashness, or a neglect of the usual means of scrutiny: prudence might sometimes even recommend such a method, in order to terminate a debate when the candidates seemed equally qualified. God, in such cases is said sometimes to have miraculously interposed.


Eudo, accordingly, having written three billets, laid them on the altar, and having made his prayer drew first the name of the abbot William, on whom, at the same time, the majority of the votes of the clergy had made the election fall, the 23d of November, 1200. This news overwhelmed William, with grief. He never would have acquiesced, had he not received a double command in virtue of obedience, from the pope, and from his general the abbot of Citeaux. He left his clear solitude with many tears, and was received at Bourges as one sent by heaven, and soon after was consecrated. In this new dignity his first care was to conform both his exterior and interior to the most perfect rules of sanctity; being very sensible that a man's first task is to honor God perfectly in his own soul. He redoubled all his austerities, saying, it was now incumbent on him to do penance for others, as well as for himself. He always wore a hair-shirt under his religious habit, and never added, nor diminished, any thing in his clothes, either winter or summer. He never ate any flesh-meat, though he had it at his table for strangers. His attention to feed his flock was no less remarkable, especially in assisting the poor both spiritually and corporally, saying, that he was chiefly sent for them. He was most mild to penitent sinners; but inflexible towards the impenitent, though he refused to have recourse to the civil power against them, the usual remedy of that age. Many such he at last reclaimed by his sweetness and charity. Certain great men, abusing his lenity, usurped the rights of his church; but the saint strenuously defended them even against the king himself, notwithstanding his threats to confiscate his lands. By humility and resolution he overcame several contradictions of his chapter and other clergy. By his zeal he converted many of the Albigenses, contemporary heretics, and was preparing himself for a mission among them, at the time he was seized with his last illness. He would, notwithstanding, preach a farewell sermon to his people, which increased his fever to such a degree that he was obliged to set aside his journey, and take to his bed. Drawing near his end, he received first extreme unction, according to the discipline of that age;[1] then, in order to receive the viaticum, he rose out of bed, fell on his knees melting in tears, and prayed long prostrate with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross. The night following, perceiving his last hour approach, he desired to anticipate the nocturns, which are said at midnight; but having made the sign of the cross on his lips and breast, was able to pronounce no more than the two first words. Then, according to a sign made by him, he was laid on ashes in the hair-cloth which he always privately wore. In this posture he soon after expired, a little past midnight, on the morning of the 10th of January, in 1209. His body was interred in his cathedral; and being honored by many miracles, was taken up in 1217; and in the year following he was canonized by pope Honorius III. His relics were kept with great veneration till 1562, when they were burnt, and scattered in the winds by the Huguenots, on occasion of their plundering the cathedral of Bourges, as Baillet and Bollandus mention. A bone of his arm is shown with veneration at Chaalis, whither it had been sent soon after the saint's body was taken up; and a rib is preserved in the church of the college of Navarre, at Paris, on which the canons of St. Bourges bestowed it in 1399.[2] His festival is kept in that church with great, solemnity, and a great concourse of devout persons; St. William being regarded in several parts of France as one of the patrons of the nation, though his name is not mentioned in the Roman Martyrology. The celebrated countess Maud, his niece, out of veneration for his memory, bestowed certain lands in the {122} Nivernois, on the church of Bourges.[3] B. Philip Berruyer, a nephew of St. William, was archbishop of Bourges from the year 1236 to 1260, in which he died in the odor of sanctity. Nangi ascribes to him many miracles, and other historians bear testimony to his eminent virtue.[4] Dom Martenne has published his edifying original life.[5]

* * * * *

If we look into the lives of all the saints, we shall find that it was by a spirit and gift of prayer that the Holy Ghost formed in their hearts the most perfect sentiments of all virtues. It is this which enlightens the understanding, and infuses a spiritual knowledge, and a heavenly wisdom, which is incomparably more excellent than that in which philosophers pride themselves. The same purifies the affections, sanctifies the soul, adorns it with virtues, and enriches it with every gift of heaven. Christ, who is the eternal wisdom, came down among us on earth to teach us more perfectly this heavenly language, and he alone is our master in it. He vouchsafed also to be our model. In the first moment in which his holy soul began to exist, it exerted all its powers in contemplating and adorning the divine Trinity, and employed his affections in the most ardent acts of praise, love, thanksgiving, oblation, and the like. His whole moral life was an uninterrupted prayer; more freely to apply himself to this exercise, and to set us an example, he often retired into mountains and deserts, and spent whole nights in prayer; and to this employment he consecrated his last breath upon the cross. By him the saints were inspired to conceive an infinite esteem for holy prayer, and such a wonderful assiduity and ardor in this exercise, that many renounced altogether the commerce of men to only that of God, and his angels; and the rest learned the art of conversing secretly with heaven even amidst their exterior employments, which they only undertook for God. Holy pastors have always made retirement and a life of prayer their apprenticeship or preparation for the ministry, and afterward, amidst its functions were still men of prayer in them, having God always present to their mind, and setting apart intervals in the day, and a considerable part of the nights, to apply themselves with their whole attention to this exercise, in the silence of all creatures.

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