Posted in PATRONAGE - FAMINE, PATRONAGE - PRISONERS, PATRONAGE - VINTNERS, WINE-FARMERS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 8 January – Saint Severinus of Noricum (c 410-482) “The Apostle to Noricum”

Saint of the Day – 8 January – Saint Severinus of Noricum (c 410-482) Abbot, Hermit, Missionary, established Monasteries and refuge centres for those stricken by war. Severinus was graced with the gifts of prophecy. and miracles. He is known as “The Apostle to Noricum” – Noricum is the Latin name for the Celtic kingdom or federation of tribes that included most of modern Austria and part of Slovenia. Born in c 410 and died on 8 January 482 at Favianae, Noricum of natural causes. Patronages – against famine, of linen weavers, prisoners, vineyards/vintners/wine farms, Austria, Bavaria, Germany, the Diocese of Linz, Austria. Also known as – Severrin, Severino.

Saint Severin blesses Austria – Hans Gustav Dittenberger von Dittenberg, 1849

The Roman Martyrology reads today: “This same day, among the inhabitants of Noricum (now Austria), the Abbot, St Severin, who preached the Gospel in that country and is called it’s apostle. By Divine Power, his body was carried to Lucullanum, near Naples and thence transferred to the Monastery of St Severin.”

It has been speculated that Severinus was born in either Southern Italy or in the Roman province of Africa. Severinus himself refused to discuss his personal history prior to arriving along the Danube in Noricum. However, he did mention experiences with eastern desert monasticism and his Vita draws connections between Severinus and Saint Anthony of Lérins (c 428-c 520) https://anastpaul.com/2021/12/28/saint-of-the-day-28-december-saint-anthony-of-lerins-c-428-c-520/

Little is known of his origins. The source for information about him is the Commemoratorium Vitae St Severini (511) by Eugippius (c 460-c 535), who was a disciple of Severinus. In 511 Eugippius wrote to Paschasius and asked his venerated and dear friend, who had great literary skill, to write a biography of St Severinus from the accounts of the Saint which he (Eugippius) had put together in crude and unartistic form. Paschasius, however, replied that the acts and miracles of the Saint could not be described better than had done by Eugippius. This Vita is available online at: https://www.tertullian.org/fathers/severinus_02_text.htm

St Severinus – St.Severin Parish Church Lower Austria

Severinus was a high-born Roman living as an Hermit in the East. He was an ascetic in practice. He is first recorded as travelling along the Danube in Noricum and Bavaria, preaching Christianity, procuring supplies for the starving, redeeming captives and establishing Monasteries at Passau and Favianae,

While the Western Empire was falling apart, Severinus, thanks to his virtues and organisational skills, committed himself to the religious and material care of the frontier peoples, also taking care of their military defence. He organised refugee camps, migrations to safer areas and food distribution.

Madonna and Child Enthroned between San Severino and San Sossio – Protasio Crivelli, 1506

Serverinus offered practical leadership, as well as spiritual leadership. He was a tireless preacher and a marvellous Miracle-worker – he miraculously multiplied food reserves, cured the sick, cast out devils, commanded the elements of nature and once even resurrected the dead.

The main theme of his teaching was the value of penance. It was a propitious choice. The sufferings of his people under the Germanic invasions were acute and, uniting them with Christ’s sufferings for the reparation of sin and the conversion of sinners, enabled them to find meaning and strength amid calamity. He also practiced what he preached. In his constant barefoot journeying throughout Austria and Bavaria, he ate only one meal a day and slept on a sack which he carried around with him, wherever he happened to find himself at bedtime.

His efforts seem to have won him wide respect, including that of the Germanic chieftain Odoacer. Eugippius credits him with the prediction that Odoacer would become king of Rome. However, Severinus warned that Odoacer would rule not more than fourteen years.

Severinus also prophesied the destruction of Asturis in Austria, by the Huns. When the people would not heed his warning, he took refuge in Comagena. There he established refugee centres for people displaced by the invasion and founded Monasteries to re-establish spirituality and preserve learning in the stricken region.

He died in his monastic cell at Favianae while singing Psalm 150. Six years after his death, his Monks were driven from their Abbey and his body was taken to Italy, where it was at first kept in the Castel dell’Ovo, Naples, then eventually interred at the Benedictine Monastery rededicated to him, the Abbey of San Severino in the City of Naples.

Austrian postage stamp of their Patron Saint
St Severinus Statue on the Church in Church at Steinhof, Vienna

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "For the Saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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