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)

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:

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

Saint of the Day – 2 June – Saint Guido of Acqui (c 1004-1070) Patron Saint against Famine

Saint of the Day – 2 June – Saint Guido of Acqui (c 1004-1070) Bishop of Acqu in north-west Italy from 1034 until his death, zealous Reformer both in the lives of his clergy and his people. He built the Cathedral of Acqui amongst other religious buildings, including a Convent for Nuns. He donated his personal inheritance to the upkeep of the Diocese, the poor and for his building projects. Born in c 1004 in Acqui, Italy and died on 2 June 1070 of natural causes after 36 years as the Bishop of his home town, of which he is the Patron. Patronages – against famine, Diocese of Acqui, Italy, Acqui Terme, Italy. Also known as – Guy, Guisto, Guy, Vido, Wido.

Guido was born around 1004 to a noble family of the area of Acqui, the Counts of Acquesana, in Melazzo where the family’s wealth was concentrated.

He completed his education, by now an orphan, in Bologna. Guido was elected as the Bishop of Acqui in March 1034, aged just 30 years. His career was marked by reform in the areas of the Liturgy, the teaching of his flock and increasing their devotion and morality.

He was generous in donating his own money and possessions to the Diocese, in part to remove the economic pressures which had led to widespread corruption and, in part, to support new projects . The latter included the promotion of the education of young women and the foundation of the Convent of Santa Maria De Campis.

Under his government, too, Acqui Cathedral was erected, dedicated to the Madonna Assunta and consecrated on 13 November 1067.

Guido died on 2 June 1070. His remains are preserved in the Cathedral which he founded. His feast day is recorded in the Martyrologium Romanum as 2 June, the anniversary of his death . In Acqui, however, it is celebrated on the second Sunday of July. He was Canonised in 1853 by Pope Blessed Pius IX .

The Cathedral at Acqui built by St Guido

Saint of the Day – 6 January – St Felix of Nantes (c 515-584)

Saint of the Day – 6 January – St Felix of Nantes (c 515-584) Bishop of Nantes, Confessor, Evangeliser, Negotiator and peace-maker, Social reformer. Born in c 515 in the Aquitaine region of modern France and died on 6 January 584 of natural causes. Patronages – against famine, against the plague/epidemics. Additional Memorial – 7 July (translation of relics).

The Roman Martyrology states: “In Nantes in Brittany, the memorial of Saint Felix, Bishop, who, in the service of his fellow citizens, gave testimony of his zeal, building the Cathedral Church and evangelising the rural populations relentlessly.

Born in c 513 to a well-known family of Aquilani and was Ordained a Priest in 540. Felix was married but when, at the age of 37, he was made Bishop of Nantes, on the death of Evemer. his wife became a Nun. He then sold his patrimony donating the proceeds to assist he poor.

He immediately began to evangelise the region and trained young Priests as Missionaries to assist in his programme.

He built and Consecrated a Cathedral within the walls of the City, as planned by his predecessor, Evemer. His social and secular improvements at Nantes were praised in the poems of the Bishop of Poitiers, St Venantius Fortunatus.

He often mediated between the people of Brittany and the Frankish kings. Guerech II, Count of Vannes, plundered the Diocese of Rennes and Vannes and repulsed the troops which King Chilperic sent against him but, at the entreaties of Bishop Felix, withdrew his forces and made peace . By intervening in the political affairs of his time, he saved Maclavius ​​from death, who was being persecuted by his brother Conone, Count of Vannes, who wanted to suppress him.

Felix was in attendance at the Council of Paris in 557 and the Council of Tours in 567.

Towards the end of his life Felix wanted to choose his nephew Burgundius as his successor but St Gregory of Tours, his Archbishop, who was against him (Felix had supported his rival Riculfo) refused to consecrate him, on the grounds that he was too young.

Felix died at the age of seventy, on 6 January 584 after 33 years of zealous service as Bishop of Nantes and was buried in the Cathedral which he had built and Consecrated.


Saint of the Day – 25 February – St Walburga (c 710-779)

Saint of the Day – 25 February – St Walburga (c 710-779) Nun and Missionary. Daughter of St Richard the King. Sister of St Willibald and St Winebald, niece of St Boniface.  Also known as:-Auboué, Avangour, Avongourg, Bugga, Falbourg, Gaubourg, Gauburge, Gaudurge, Gualbourg, Valborg, Valburg, Valpurge, Valpuri, Vaubouer, Vaubourg, Walbourg, Walburg, Walburge, Walpurd, Walpurga, Walpurgis, Waltpurde, Warpurg – Religious/Missionary – Patronages – against coughs,,against dog bites, against famine, against hydrophobia (as a symptom of) rabies, against mad dogs, against plague/epidemics, against storms, sailors, farmers, harvests, Eichstätt, Germany, Diocese of, Plymouth, England, Diocese of and  4 Cities. Additional Memorials – 12 October (translation of relics to Eichstätt), 24 September (translation of relics to Zutphen).

Painting by the Master of Meßkirch, c 1535–1540.

St Walburga was English, the sister of two associates of St Boniface in evangelising Germany and the Lowlands.  She was the daughter of St.Richard the Pilgrim, a West Saxon chieftain and Winna, sister of St. Boniface, Apostle to Germany. She had at least three siblings; two of her brothers are known by name, St Willibald and St Winibald.

In 720 her father and two older brothers went on a pilgrimage to Rome. Her father died at Lucca, Italy, but the brothers reached Rome where St. Winibald (c.701-761) became a monk, while St. Willibald (c.700-787) went on to the Holy Land.

Walburga was educated at Wimborne Monastery in Dorset, where she became a nun. In 748, she was sent with St. Lioba to Germany to help St. Boniface in his missionary work. She spent two years at Bishofsheim, after which she became Abbess of the monastery at Heidenheim founded by her brother St. Winebald.    At her brother’s death in 761, St. Walburga was appointed Abbess of both monasteries by her other brother St. Willibald, who was then Bishop of Eichstadt.    She remained superior of both men and women until her death on February 25, 779.

She was buried first at Heidenheim but her body was tranferred next to that of her brother, St. Winebald, at Eichstadt. n the 870s, Walpurga’s remains were transferred to Eichstätt. In Finland, Sweden, and Bavaria, her feast day commemorates the transfer of her relics on May 1.   At present the most famous of the oils of saints is the Oil of Saint Walburga (Walburgis oleum).   It flows from the stone slab and the surrounding metal plate on which rest the relics of Saint Walburga in her church in Eichstädt in Bavaria.   The fluid is caught in a silver cup, placed beneath the slab for that purpose, and is distributed among the faithful in small vials by the Sisters of Saint Benedict, to whom the church belongs.   A chemical analysis has shown that the fluid contains nothing but the ingredients of water. Though the origin of the fluid is probably due to natural causes, the fact that it came in contact with the relics of the saint justifies the practice of using it as a remedy against diseases of the body and the soul.   Mention of the oil of Saint Walburga is made as early as the ninth century by her biographer Wolfhard of Herrieden. – from the Catholic Encyclopedia article Oil of Saints

Second-last – Painting by the Master of Meßkirch, c. 1535–40.   Last image – The St. Walburga Church in Bruges was originally a Jesuit church