Saint of the Day – 26 November – Saint Bellinus of Padua (Died 1151) Bishop of Padua and Martyr, Reformer (he led a reform of the spiritual lives of the Clergy in his Diocese) he rebuilt the Cathedral and opened schools, Miracle-worker. Born in the late 11th Century in Padua, Italy and died by being stabbed by assassins in 1151 on a forest road while on a trip to Rome. Patronages – the City and Diocese of Adria, Italy, against dog bites, against rabies. Also known as – Bellino. He was Canonised by Pope Eugene IV.
Bellinus, according to some sources from Germany, was born in the region on the Baltic Sea but, according to others, he was the son of the noble Bertaldo family in Padua and became the Bishop of Padua in 1128 .
Even as a Priest, he was loyal to the legitimate Popes Callistus II and Honorius II, while his predecessor in office, supported the anti-popes. In 1144 Bellinus made a pilgrimage to Rome to meet Pope Celestine II.
In Padua as the Bishop, he introduced reforms in the clergy, appointed canons, had the Cathedral rebuilt after it was destroyed in 1117 by an earthquake and saw to it that schools were built.
Bellinus worked zealously to rebuild the status and dignity of the Church and defended Church rights against the secular powers. He, therefore, entered into conflicts with the influential Capodivacca family, who organised hired assassins to attack him. They met him during a journey to Rome in a forest in Fratta Polesinelet and murdered him.
Bellinus’ corpse was taken to the Church of San Giacomo di Fratta, After a flood, his bones were taken to the new Church dedicated to him in San Bellino near Rovigo. In 1647, his Relics were moved to a Chapel in the same Church.
Saint of the Day – 3 November – Saint Hubert of Liege (c 656-727) the first Bishop of Maastricht, the “Apostle of the Ardennes,” spiritual student of Saint Lambert of Maastricht (c 635-c 700), excellent Preacher and devoted to the needs of the poor, widower and father to St Floribert of Liege. Born in c 656 at Maastricht, Netherlands and died on 30 May 727 at Fura (modern Tervueren), Brabant, Belgium of natural causes. Patronages – against dog bite, against hydrophobia, against mad dogs, against rabie. of archers, dogs, forest workers, furriers, hunters, huntsmen, hunting, Liege, Belgium, machinists, mathematician, metal workers, opticians, precision instrument makers, the Town of Saint-Hubert, Belgium, smelters, trappers . Also known as – Apostle of the Ardennes, Hubert the Hunter, Hubertus… Additional Memorial – 30 May (translation of relics).
Hubert likely was born in Toulouse about the year 656, the eldest son of Bertrand, Duke of Aquitaine. As a youth, Hubert was sent to the Court of Theuderic III at Paris, where his charm and agreeable manner ,led to his investment with the dignity of “Count of the Palace.” Hubert was a hunting enthusiast and spent a great deal of time in learning the skills of the sport.
About 682, Hubert married Floribanne, daughter of Dagobert, Count of Leuven. Their son, Floribert of Liège later would become Bishop of Liège and a Saint, in the footsteps of his father. Hubert soon followed his noble peers to the Austrasian Court and was warmly welcomed by Pepin of Herstal, Mayor of the Palace, who entitled him, almost immediately, Grand Master of the household.
Hubert’s wife had died giving birth to their son Floribert and his grief prompted him to retreat from the Court. He withdrew into the forests of the Ardennes and gave himself up entirely to hunting.
On a Good Friday morning, while the faithful were in Church, Hubert was hunting in the forest. As he pursued a magnificent stag or hart, the animal turned and Hubert was astounded to see a Crucifix floating between its antlers. He heard a Voice saying: “Hubert unless thou turnest to the Lord and leadest a holy life, thou shalt quickly go down into Hell.” Hubert dismounted and prostrated himself and after asking “Lord, what wouldst Thou have me do?” he wasitold, “Go and seek Lambert and he will instruct you.“
Hubert set out immediately for Maastricht, to meet Lambert, a Bishop who received him kindly and became his spiritual director. Hubert renounced all his very considerable honours and gave up his birthright to the Aquitaine to his younger brother, Odo, whom he made guardian of his infant son, Floribert. Having distributed all his personal wealth among the poor, he studied for the Priesthood, was Ordained and soon after, became one of St Lambert’s assistants in the administration of his Diocese. By the advice of St Lambert, Hubert made a pilgrimage to Rome in 708 but during his absence, Lambert was assassinated by the followers of Pepin. According to the hagiographies of Hubert, this act was simultaneously revealed to the Pope in a vision, together with an injunction to appoint Hubert Bishop of Maastricht.
Hubert distributed his episcopal revenues among the poor, was diligent in fasting and prayer and became well known for his eloquence in the pulpit. In 720, in obedience to a vision, Hubert translated St Lambert’s remains from Maastricht to Liège with great pomp and ceremony, with several neighbouring Bishops assisting. A Basilica to enshrine the elics was built upon the site of Lambert’s Martyrdom and was Consecrated as a Cathedral the following year, the See being removed from Maastricht to Liège, then only a small village. This laid the foundation of the future greatness of Liège, of which Lambert is honoured as Patron and Hubert as Founder and first Bishop.
Hubert actively evangelised among pagans in the extensive Ardennes forests and in Toxandria, a district stretching from near Tongeren to the confluence of the rivers Waal and the Rhine.
Hubert died peacefully in a place called Fura, located 30 miles from Liège on 30 May 727 or 728. Initially he was buried in the collegiate St.Peter’s Church, Liège but his relics were exhumed in 825 and translated to the Benedictine Abbey of Amdain, the present-day Saint-Hubert, Belgium in the Ardennes. The Abbey became a holy destination for pilgrims, until Hubert’s coffin disappeared during the Reformation.
Hubert was widely venerated in the Middle Ages and partly because of his noble birth, several military orders were named after him – the Bavarian, the Bohemian International Order of St. Hubert and that of the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne.
Hubert, along with St Quirinus of Neuss, St Cornelius and St Anthony, was venerated as one of the Four Holy Marshals (Vier Marschälle Gottes) in the Rhineland. The St Hubertus Order, a chivalric order, was founded in 1444 .
Following Lamberts’ assassination, Hubert becomes Bishop of Maastricht, then of Liége but he was known as the Apostle of the Ardennes throughout his life, venturing much into the Forest and gaining the trust and the faith, of its people. Hubert became an important reference and intercessor, whenever matters of the Ardennes Forest and any other forest, are being discussed or considered in need of assistance.
The true meaning of the Jägermeister logo takes after the story of Saint Hubert’s vision. The Rrademark story of the Company is below, along with the logo:
“Only a legendary stag’s head would suffice, one with a Cross between its antlers. The stag that appeared to a wild hunter and converted him to Christianity. The same hunter who would later become the Patron Saint of all hunters – Saint Hubert. This stag remains today, as it always has been, the Jägermeister trademark. A symbol of the preservation of our quality and tradition.”
Saint of the Day – 30 July – St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) “Golden Words” Father & Doctor of the Church – Bishop of Ravenna, Italy. Patronages – against fever, against mad dogs, of Imola, Italy.
Today we celebrate the Memorial of Saint Peter Chrysologus, a fifth-century Italian bishop known for testifying courageously to Christ’s full humanity and divinity during a period of the heresy called Monophysite.
The saint’s title, Chrysologus, signifies “golden speech” in Greek. Named as a Doctor of the Church in 1729, he is distinguished as the “Doctor of Homilies” for the concise but theologically rich reflections he delivered during his time as the Bishop of Ravenna.
His surviving works (176 of sermons), offer eloquent testimony to the Church’s traditional beliefs about Mary’s perpetual virginity, the penitential value of Lent, Christ’s Eucharistic presence, and the primacy of St Peter and his successors in the Church.
Few details of St Peter Chrysologus’ early life are known. He was born in the Italian Town of Imola in either the late fourth or early fifth century but sources differ as to whether this occurred around 380 or as late as 406.
Following his study of theology, Peter was Ordained to the Diaconate by Imola’s local Bishop Cornelius, whom he greatly admired and regarded as his spiritual father. Cornelius not only Ordained Peter but taught him the value of humility and self-denial. The lessons of his mentor inspired Peter to live as a Monk for many years, embracing a lifestyle of asceticism, simplicity and prayer. His simple monastic life came to an end, however, after the death of Archbishop John of Ravenna in 430. After John’s death, the clergy and people of Ravenna chose a successor and asked Cornelius, still the Bishop of Imola, to journey to Rome and obtain Papal approval for the candidate. Cornelius brought Peter, then still a Deacon, along with him on the visit to Pope Sixtus III.
Tradition relates that the Pope had experienced a vision from God on the night before the meeting, commanding him to overrule Ravenna’s choice of a new Archbishop. The Pope declared that Peter, instead, was to be Ordained as John’s successor.
In Ravenna, Peter was received warmly by the Western Roman Emperor Valentinian III and his mother Galla Placidia. She is said to have given him the title of “Chrysologus” because of his preaching skills. Throughout the Archdiocese, however, he encountered the surviving remnants of paganism, along with various abuses and distortions of the Catholic faith. Peter exercised zeal and pastoral care in curbing abuses and evangelising non-Christians, during his leadership of the Church in Ravenna.
One of the major heresies of his age, Monophysitism, held that Christ did not possess a distinct human nature in union with His eternal divine nature. Peter laboured to prevent the westward spread of this error, promoted from Constantinople by the monk Eutyches.
The Archbishop of Ravenna also made improvements to the City’s Cathedral and built several new Churches. Near the end of his life he addressed a significant letter to Eutyches, stressing the Pope’s authority in the Monophysite controversy.
Having returned to Imola in anticipation of his death, St Peter Chrysologus died in 450, one year before the Church’s official condemnation of Monophysitism. 176 of his sermons have survived; it is the strength of these beautiful explanations of the Incarnation, the Creed, the place of Mary and John the Baptist in the great plan of salvation, etc., that led to his being proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1729 by Pope Benedict XIII.
Saint of the Day – 20 December – St Dominic de Silos OSB (c1000-1073) – born in the year 1000 in Cañas (modern Rioja), Navarre, Spain – died on 10 December 1073 in Silos, Spain of natural causes. He was a Spanish Monk, to whom the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, where he served as the Abbot, is dedicated. Patronages – of pregnant women, against rabies, against rabid dogs, against insects, captives, prisoners; shepherds. The mother of the better-known Saint Dominic de Guzmán, the Blessed Joan of Aza, is said to have prayed at his shrine before she was able to conceive the son she named for him. That son would grow up to found the Dominican Order. Dominic’s special patronage thus became connected with pregnancy and until the establishment of the Second Spanish Republic in 1931, his abbatial crozier was used to bless the queens of Spain and was placed by their beds when they were in labour.
Dominic of Silos was born in Navarre, Spain, on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees and was a shepherd boy, looking after his father’s flocks. He acquired a love of solitude and as a young man became a monk at the monastery of San Millan de la Cogolla. He eventually became prior of the monastery and came into conflict with the king of Navarre over possessions of the monastery claimed by the king. The king drove Dominic out of the monastery and Dominic went with other monks to Castille, where the king of Castille appointed Dominic abbot of the monastery of St Sebastian at Silos.
The monastery was in terrible shape, spiritually and materially and Dominic set about to restore the monastery and to reform the lives of the monks. He preserved the Mozarbic Rite (one of the variants of the Latin Rite) at his monastery and his monastery became one of the centres of the Mozarbic liturgy. His monastery also preserved the Visigothic script of ancient Spain and was a centre of learning and liturgy in that part of Spain.
Dominic of Silos died on 20 December 1073, about a century before the birth of his namesake, St Dominic of Calaruega. Before the Spanish Revolution of 1931, it was customary for the abbot of Silos to bring the staff of Dominic of Silos to the Spanish royal palace whenever the queen was in labour and to leave it at her bedside until the birth of her child had taken place.
In recent times, great interest in Dominic of Silos has arisen since the literary treasures of the library of Silos have become known. The abbey had a profound influence on spirituality and learning in Spain. Today the monastery is an abbey of the Benedictine Congregation of Solesmes housing a library of ancient and rare manuscripts.
The images show the Monastery and Abbey of Solesmes as well as a Religuary Casket of St Dominic and an image of him taken from the altar piece.
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Christ and Pilgrims of Emmaus, detail from pillar in monastery of St Dominic of Silos, Spain.
The doubting of St Thomas, detail from pillar of St Dominic’s monastery, Silos, Spain, 11th-12th century
Doubting of St Thomas, detail from pillar of St Dominic’s monastery, Silos. Spain, 11th-12th century.
Saint of the Day – 16 August- St Roch (1295-1327) Confessor, Pilgrim, Hermit, Apostle of the Sick, Miracle Worker. Born in 1295 at Montpelier, France and died in 1327 at Montpelier or Angleria, France of natural causes). His relics are in Venice, Italy in the Church of San Rocco,some reside in Rome and others in Arles, France. Patronages – against cholera, against diseased cattle, against epidemics, against knee problems, against the plague, against skin diseases and rashes, bachelors, of dogs, falsely accused people, invalids, relief from pestilence, surgeons, tile makers, Tagbilaran, Philippines, diocese of, Constantinople, 24 other assorted Cities around the world. Attributes – angel, bread, dog, pilgrim with staff, often displaying a plague wound on his leg, pilgrim with a dog, pilgrim with a dog licking the wound, pilgrim with a dog carrying a loaf of bread in its mouth.
According to his Acta and his vita in the Golden Legend, he was born at Montpellier, at that time “upon the border of France”, as the Golden Legend has it, the son of the noble governor of that city. Even his birth was accounted a miracle, for his noble mother had been barren until she prayed to the Virgin Mary. Miraculously marked from birth with a red cross on his breast that grew as he did, he early began to manifest strict asceticism and great devoutness; on days when his “devout mother fasted twice in the week and the blessed child Rocke abstained him twice also, when his mother fasted in the week, and would suck his mother but once that day”.
On the death of his parents in his twentieth year he distributed all his worldly goods among the poor like Francis of Assisi—though his father on his deathbed had ordained him governor of Montpellier—and set out as a mendicant pilgrim for Rome. Coming into Italy during an epidemic of plague, he was very diligent in tending the sick in the public hospitals at Acquapendente, Cesena, Rimini, Novara and Rome, and is said to have effected many miraculous cures by prayer and the sign of the cross and the touch of his hand. In In Rome, according to the Golden Legend he preserved the “Cardinal of Angleria in Lombardy” by making the Sign of the Cross on his forehead, which miraculously remained! Ministering at Piacenza he himself finally fell ill. He was expelled from the Town and withdrew into the forest, where he fashioned a shelter of boughs and leaves, which was miraculously supplied with water, by a spring wic arose in the place;. He would have perished, had not a dog belonging to a nobleman named Gothard Palastrelli, supplied him with bread and licked his wounds, healing them. Count Gothard, following his hunting dog carrying the bread, discovered Saint Roch and became his acolyte.
On his return incognito to Montpellier he was arrested as a spy (by orders of his own uncle) and thrown into prison, where he languished five years and died on 16 August 1327, without revealing his name, to avoid worldly glory. After his death, according to the Golden Legend;
“anon an angel brought from heaven a table divinely written with letters of gold into the prison, which he laid under the head of St Rocke. And in that table was written that God had granted to him his prayer, that is to wit, that who that calleth meekly to St Rocke he shall not be hurt with any hurt of pestilence.”
The townspeople recognised him as well by his birthmark; he was soon canonised in the popular mind and a great church erected in veneration.
The story that when the Council of Constance was threatened with plague in 1414, public processions and prayers for the intercession of Roch were ordered and the outbreak ceased, is provided by Francesco Diedo, the Venetian governor of Brescia, in his Vita Sancti Rochi, 1478. The cult of Roch gained momentum during the bubonic plague that passed through northern Italy in 1477–79.
His popularity, originally in central and northern Italy and at Montpellier, spread through Spain, France, Lebanon the Low Countries, Brazil and Germany, where he was often interpolated into the roster of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, whose veneration spread in the wake of the Black Death. The magnificent 16th-century Scuola Grande di San Rocco and the adjacent church of San Rocco were dedicated to him by a confraternity at Venice, where his body was said to have been surreptitiously translated and was triumphantly inaugurated in 1485; the Scuola Grande is famous for its sequence of paintings by Tintoretto, who painted St Roch visited by an angel, in a ceiling canvas (1564).
Tomb of St Roch in San Rocco in Venice
We know for certain that the body of St Roch was carried from Voghera, instead of Montpellier as previously thought, to Venice in 1485. Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503) built a Church and a hospital in his honour. Pope Paul III (1534–1549) instituted a confraternity of St Roch. This was raised to an Arch-confraternity in 1556 by Pope Paul IV; it still thrives today.
Saint Roch had not been officially recognised as a Saint as yet, however. In 1590 the Venetian Ambassador to Rome reported to the Serenissima that he had been repeatedly urged to present the witnesses and documentation of the life and miracles of St Rocco, already deeply entrenched in the Venetian life because Pope Sixtus V “is strong in his opinion either to Canonise him or else to remove him from the ranks of the Saints.” The Ambassador had warned a Cardinal of the general scandal that would result, if the widely venerated St Rocco, were impugned as an impostor. Sixtus did not pursue the matter but left it to later Popes to proceed with the Canonisation process. His successor, Pope Gregory XIV (1590–1591), added Roch of Montpellier, who had already been memorialised in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for two centuries, to the Roman Martyrology, thereby fixing 16 August as his universal Feast Day.
Numerous brotherhoods have been instituted in his honour. He is usually represented in the garb of a pilgrim, often lifting his tunic to demonstrate the plague sore in his thigh and accompanied by a dog carrying a loaf in its mouth. The Third Order of Saint Francis, by tradition, claims him as a member and includes his Feast on its own calendar, observing his Feast on 17 August.