Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 30 March – Blessed Amadeus of Savoy (1435-1472)

Saint of the Day – 30 March – Blessed Amadeus of Savoy (1435-1472) IXth Duke of Savoy, nicknamed “the Happy,” was the Duke of Savoy, from 1465 to 1472, apostle of the poor and ill, a pious, humble and gentle ruler. Born on 1 February 1435 in Thonon-les-Bains, France and died on 30 March 1472 at Vercelli, Italy of natural causes, aged 37. Amadeus was a particular protector of Franciscan Friars and endowed other religious houses, as well as homes for the care of the poor and suffering. Patronage – the Royal House of Piedmont.

Amadeus was the son of Duke Louis I of Savoy. He was born in 1435 in Thonon, Savoy and betrothed as an infant to Princess Yolanda, the daughter of Charles VII of France. They were married in 1451 and Amadeus succeeded his father as Duke of Savoy. They had 10 children, one whom, Blessed Louise of Savoy (1461-1503) , the 5th child, became a nun of the Franciscan Second Order, the Poor Clares, after being widowed at a young age, when her husband, the Prince of Chalon, died when she was 27 years of age. As she had no children, the young widow then determined to follow her calling as a nun, refusing many offers of marriage. She used her vast wealth to meet many needs of the poor and entered the Monastery of the Poor Clare nuns in Orbe, now part of modern Switzerland. In the cloister, she showed herself to be a model of humility and obedience, preserving nothing of her royal origins. Louise died at the age of forty-two. She was Beatified by Pope Gregory XVI in 1839. Her Feast is observed on the date of her death, 24 July.

Duke Amadeus proved to be a wise and fair ruler who strived for peace and was known for his compassion and generosity to the poor. On one occasion when a visiting Ambassador proudly honoured himself to Amadeus by speaking of all the fine hunting dogs that his Monarch possessed, the Duke replied by pointing to a terrace filled with tables, at which the hungry were being fed. “These,” he said, “are my packs and my hunting dogs. It is with the help of these poor people that I chase after virtue and hunt for the kingdom of heaven.”

Duke Amadeus was a lifelong victim of epilepsy. Around 1471, his seizures became so incapacitating, that he entrusted the rule of his Duchy to his wife Yolanda. His subjects became discontented and started a revolution, imprisoning the Duke. Only the intervention of King Louis XI of France, his brother-in-law, secured his release.

Amadeus was also an avid collector of manuscripts, adding over sixty items to the Ducal library started by his great-grandfather, Amadeus VIII.

Duke Amadeus IX of Savoy died on 30 March 1472 at the age of 37.

A painting of Amadeus, (see below) created in 1474, was housed in the Dominican Church in Turin and acquired a miraculous reputation. In 1612 a brief text was published in the same City, by Girolamo Cordieri, Canon of the Cathedral chapter of Mondovi, extolling the holy Amadeus. Cordieri was later appointed theologian to Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy. Also that year, a Canon from Vercelli published a compendium of miracles attributed to the intercession of Amadeus IX. The cultus and cause of Amadeus, was actively promoted by Charles Emanuel’s son, Prince Maurice of Savoy, Cardinal of VercelLI.

Portrait of Amadeus IX. Fresco in San Domenico, Turin

In 1613, a Vita of Amadeus was composed by Fr Pietro-Francisco Malletta. Six years later, the Duke of Savoy issued nine-florin coins depicting Amadeus IX on one side. These appear to have been used as religious medals, particularly in the Chablais, where they were distributed by St Francis de Sales.

Amadeus IX was Beatified on 3 March 1677 by Pope Innocent XI.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Our Lady, Boulogne-sur-mer and Memorials of the Saints – 30 March

Re-establishment of Chapel of Our Lady, Boulogne-sur-mer, by Bishop Dormy – Basilica of Notre-Dame de Boulogne: 30 March:

The Basilica of Our Lady of Boulogne, also known as the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, is a minor Basilica in Boulogne-Sur-Mer in northern France. The Basilica is a prominent landmark of the city and was built upon the medieval Cathedral of the same name.

It was in the year 633 that an unmanned boat was seen carrying a luminous Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary into the estuary at Boulogne. Saint Omer, (also known as Audomare) was the Bishop and the Statue was carried to the Church where miracles soon began to occur. This Statue, known as Notre-Dame de la Mer (Our Lady of the Sea) became a popular object of pilgrimage between the 13th and 16th centuries.
In about 1100 a new Church was constructed at the site that underwent many changes over the centuries, including the addition of a choir. It was in this Church that King Edward II was married to Isabella of France.
The Church flourished until the advent of the French Revolution, with its liberal principles that overthrew the Catholic Nonarchy, instigated violence, turmoil and anarchy, destroyed the men who set it in motion and, eventually, culminated not in liberty, fraternity and equality among Frenchmen but instead in a cruel dictatorship under Napoleon.
The Church of Notre-Dame of Boulogne was seized and worship was prohibited. The structure was used as a military warehouse until it was sold to traders from outside the City, who began demolishing the Church in stages. Finally, in 1793, the miraculous Statue of Our Lady of the Sea was burned, leaving only a small portion of the hand. Only the Crypt of the medieval structure survived and this is the longest Crypt in France. (There is a wonderful article regarding the Basilica and especially, the Crypt here: )

A local Priest, Benoit Haffreingue, vowed to rebuild the Cathedral. He was a self-taught architect, with a strong desire to restore the honour of Our Lady of the Sea and return the Bishop to their City. He led a campaign to garner the support he would need for the work and by his enthusiasm, the public rallied to support the project.
Once work was begun, Fr Haffreingue discovered a huge Crypt about 128 meters long. It had been there unknown for centuries, perhaps having been filled in during the time of the siege of Boulogne in 1544 by King Henry VIII of England. The Romanesque style columns were crafted in the 11th century. There were also the foundations of a Roman temple dedicated to Mars and cannonballs used during the 1544 siege. See the Crypt below.
The fact that Fr Haffreingue was self-taught, may be the reason that the nave’s slender arches collapsed in the year 1921. During the time the repairs were being made, the whole structure was reinforced with concrete, which many feel made it possible to survive the bombing the City received, during World War II.

Blessed Amadeus of Savoy (1435-1472) IXth Duke of Savoy
St Clinius of Pontecorvo
St Cronan Mochua
St Damiano
St Domnino of Thessalonica
St Fergus of Downpatrick
St Irene of Rome
Bl Joachim of Fiore
St John Climacus (c 525-606)

St Julio Álvarez Mendoza
St Leonard Murialdo
St Ludovico of Casoria
St Mamertinus of Auxerre
St Marie-Nicolas-Antoine Daveluy MEP (1818-1866) Bishop Martyr
His Life and Death:
Bl Maria Restituta Kafka
St Osburga of Coventry
St Pastor of Orléans
St Patto of Werden
St Quirinus the Jailer
St Regulus of Scotland
St Regulus of Senlis
St Secundus of Asti
St Tola
St Zozimus of Syracuse

Martyrs of Constantinople: ourth-century Christians who were exiled, branded on the forehead, imprisoned, tortured, impoverished and murdered during the multi-year persecutions of the Arian Emperor Constantius. They were martyred between 351 and 359 in Constantinople.

Martyrs of Korea:
Marie-Nicolas-Antoine Daveluy
Iosephus Chang Chu-gi
Lucas Hwang Sok-tu
Martin-Luc Huin
Pierre Aumaître