Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 21 June – Saint Alban of Mainz (Died c 400) Martyr

Saint of the Day – 21 June – Saint Alban of Mainz (Died c 400) Martyr, Priest, Missionary, Confessor Born in Greece or Albania (sources vary) and died in c 400 by pagan Vandals at Hanum, Germany. His body was beheaded post-mortem. Patronages – against epilepsy; of epileptics, against idney stones, against hernia; hernia victims. Also known as – Albano di Magonza, Albinus of Mainz.

The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “St Alban. Martyr, who was made worthy of the crown of life, after long laoursd and severe combats.”

The oldest surviving substantial source about Alban of Mainz is the Martyrologium (c 845) of Blessed Rabanus Maurus (776-856), who had two separate entries for the Mainzer Alban and the English Alban. Concerning Alban of Mainz, he wrote:

21 June: The Martyr Alban from native Moguntia [Mainz], who during the reign of Emperor Theodosius went forward from the island of Namsia with the Saint Theonestus and Ursus and reached Mediolanum [Milan] and from there he went out and, with the help of the Lord, he arrived in the provinces of Gaul, and stayed there in the Saviour’s name, willing to suffer Martyrdom in the service of God.
But after Martyrdom took the blessed Ursus in the City of Augusta, Theonestus arrived with Alban in Moguntiacum [Mainz]; while preaching the word of God there, his pupil Alban fulfilled Martyrdom and was buried there, near the City.

— Rabanus Maurus, Martyrologium. Iunius (c. 845)

The second substantial source is the Passio sancti Albani, an incomplete hagiography written in the 1060s or 1070s by schoolmaster Gozwin, who lamented that very little evidence about Alban had survived to his day. Gozwin’s account is much longer and adds many elements not found in Rabanus’ Martyrologium, including a prologue about the First Council of Nicaea (325) which condemned Arianism, that, nevertheless, persisted until Honorius and Arcadius succeeded Theodosius (395). In that time, Alban is mentioned as one of four disciples of St Theonestus, the others being Sts Ursus, Tabraha and Tabratha. These five Catholic clerics are forced to flee from North Africa to Italy after being persecuted by Huneric, the fiercely Arian King of the Vandals, travelling to St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan. The most wise Ambrose teaches Theonestus and his disciples refined theology and sends them out to convert the ‘Arian beasts’ in Gaul and Germany. They pass a City called Augusta, where Ursus is killed by Arians, and Alban is eventually beheaded in Mainz by local Arians to whom he was preaching the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity. The legend finishes by narrating, that Alban carried his head in his hands to the place where he wanted to be buried.

A Church and Monastery were built in Mainz in 804 to honour Alban. A map of Fulda from 786 seems to have already mentioned a chapel in Mainz dedicated to Alban. It became the centre of Saint Alban’s Abbey, a large Benedictine Monastery, which was renovated by Charlemagne in 806. The Monastery was devastated in 1557 and never restored.

Albert II, Count of Namur founded the collegiate Church of St Alban at Namur in 1047. When the Diocese of Namur was created in 1559, it was expanded as St Aubin’s Cathedral, which claims to possess relics of Alban of Mainz.

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Madonna dei Miracoli / Our Lady of the Miracles, Alcamo, Sicily (1547) and Memorials of the Saints – 21 June

Madonna dei Miracoli / Our Lady of the Miracles, Alcamo, Sicily (1547) – 21 June:

The Processional Statue

The cult of Our Lady of the Miracles in Alcamo dates to 21 June 1547, the day people remember the Madonna’s apparition to some women near a stream running north of Alcamo. According to tradition while washing their clothes in the stream, the women, with a blind and a deaf one among them, saw the apparition of a woman with a child and were hit by a gust of pebbles, during the apparition but without receiving any injury or pain; on the contrary, after being hit by the pebbles, they strangely felt a certain sense of wellbeing and recovered their health. After learning the news, the women’s husbands, thinking that it was a joke, went to investigate, thinking that someone was hidden among the bushes but they didn’t find anybody.
Then the local authorities inquired on the spot, cut down the near grove and found the ruins of a “cuba,” an old arc of a mill that nobody remembered any longer and insidem there was a fresco on a stone made by an anonymous painter of the 13th century representing Our Lady with the Child Jesus, which at first. the believers called “Madonna Fons Misericordiae” (that is Our Lady Source of Mercy).

A representation of the discovery of Our Lady of Miracles’ image (inside its Chapel in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Assumption in Alcamo).

After this discovery, all the people started praying before the rediscovered image and in the following days there were several miracles. Our Lady of Miracles became the Patron of Alcamo, in substitution of the Holy Crucified, who was the Patron Saint of Alcamo and other near small towns (among which Calatafimi and Salemi). The old Patron Saint’s memory however, remains: in fact, they call St Francesco of Paola “santu patri” (whose translation means “Patron Saint”) as the Church named after him was called the Holy Crucified Church.
The Madonna’s discovered image was first called “Our Lady Source of Mercy” but thanks to the high number of subsequent miracles, in 1583 the name was changed into “Our Lady of Miracles”.
Further to these events, Don Fernando Vega, Alcamo’s governor, ordered the construction of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Miracles, which hosts the Madonna’s image. Inside the Church there is a white marble sarcophagus containing the mortal remains of the governor Don Fernando Vega, according to his will.

The Crowned Painting of the Madonna of Miracles in the Sanctuary at Alcamo

Every year in Alcamo there are the celebrations in honour of Our Lady of Miracles from 19 June until 21 of June. This is the most important religious festivity in Alcamo. The real celebrations are often anticipated by other events, so extending the feast to about two weeks, in this way the beginning of the celebrations changes every year, while the last day is always the 21 June.
The celebrations include:
The pealing of church bells” which opens the celebrations together with the burst of fireworks and the passing of the band through the town streets; in the past Alcamo’s band also joined the musical band of Partinico (a neighbouring small town).
The Holy Mass in honour of Our Lady of Miracles in the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta (also called “Mother Church”), in which all confraternities and laity groups in Alcamo take part.
The procession to the Sanctuary of Madonna of Miracles (called “calata”), in which all civil and religious authorities of the town (together with the Mayor) take part; they are preceded by the band of the town. In old times people took also the animals that had recovered from an illness. Inside the Sanctuary they sing Vespers and then there is the Eucharistic Blessing/Benediction.

St Aloysius Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591) (Memorial) Jesuit Seminarian, Mystic, Marian devotee, born of a noble family as Luigi.
About St Aloysius:

St Agofredus of La-Croix
St Alban of Mainz (Died c 400) Martyr, Priest, Missionary

St Ralph of Bourges (Died 866) Archbishop of Bourges, Reformer.
His Life:

St Raymond of Barbastro
St Rufinus of Syracuse
St Suibhne the Sage
St Terence
St Ursicenus of Pavia

Martyrs of Taw – 3+ saints: Three Christians of different backgrounds who were martyred together – Moses, Paphnutius, Thomas. They were beheaded in Taw, Egypt, date unknown.