Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 3 May – Saint Ansfrid of Utrecht (c 940-1010)

Saint of the Day – 3 May – Saint Ansfrid of Utrecht (c 940-1010) Bishop, Count of Huy and the sword-bearer and Knight for Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor. He became Bishop of Utrecht in 995. He appears to have been the son or grandson of Lambert, a nobleman of the Maasgau, the area where he later founded the Abbeys of Thorn and Heiligenberg and to have been related to various important contemporaries including the royal family. Born in c 940 in the Brabant region of the Netherlands and died on 3 May 1010 in Amersfoort, Netherlands of natural causes. Patronage – Amersfoort. He is also known as Ansfridus, Ansfried, Ansfrido.

The young Knight St Ansfrid in the Abbey Church of Heiligenberg

The principal source of information regarding Ansfrid is the De diversitatem temporum by the Benedictine Albert of Metz, written around 1022.

Ansfrid had the same name as a paternal uncle, Ansfrid the elder, a Count who held 15 counties. The young Ansfrid studied secular and clerical subjects under another paternal uncle, Robert, Archbishop of Trier, before attending the Cathedral school at Cologne.

In 961, Otto I took Ansfrid into his personal service and made him his swordbearer. When Otto was in Rome the following year to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor, he directed Ansfrid to keep close at hand ,with the sword as a precaution against any unforeseen eventualities.

Because of his Christian commitment, he was highly respected and an important Knight of the Emperor’s circle, holding rich possessions along the Meuse, in Brabant and Gelderland. Possibly all or some of his counties were inherited from his paternal uncle of the same name. As Count, he had considerable success in suppressing piracy and armed robbery. In 985, Otto III granted Ansfrid the right to mint coins at Medemblik, on the north-south shipping route through the Vlie, as well as, the income from tolls and tax collecting.

He was married to Heresuint or Hilsondis. They had one child, Benedicta. He founded a Romanesque Abbey Church on his wife’s estate at Thorn under the patronage of St Michael. The Abbey itself had a double cloister that housed both man and women religious. Ansfrid planned it as a place of retirement for himself and his family after he left public service. His wife was to be the first Abbess but she died on her way there and Benedicta, their daughter, took her place.

sT Ansfrid and Hilsondis. Stained glass windows in the Abbey of Thorn

After his wife’s death, Ansfrid desired to retire and become a Monk. However, in 995, Emperor Otto III and Bishop Notker of Liège persuaded the reluctant Ansfrid to assume the then vacant Aee of Utrecht. Ansfrid objected that as he had borne weapons as a Knight, he was unworthy of the office but the Emperor prevailed. The elderly Count laid down his sword on the Altar of St Mary in Aachen and was Ordained Priest and Consecratedas the eighteenth Bishop of Utrecht, in the same ceremony. Bishop Ansfrid never took a commission in the royal army, in contrast to Notger and the Bishop of Cologne.

In 1006 Bishop Ansfrid founded the Abbey of Heiligenberg, also under the patronage of St Michael. Toward the end of his life he became increasingly weakened through fasting and retired there as a Monk, caring for the sick, although almost blind himself.

Upon his death, during the funeral, the faithful of Heiligenberg took possession of his body, while the people of Utrecht were extinguishing a not coincidental fire. The Abbess of Thorn mediated and Ansfrid was buried in the Cathedral of Saint Martin in Utrecht.

St Ansfrid, fine bronze of the fountain “Li bassinia” in Huy

The Feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross, Feast St James and St Philip, Apostles of Christ, Virgen de la Carrasca, Bordón, Teruel, Aragón, Spain (1212) and Memorials of the Saints – 3 May


St James the Lesser Apostle (Feast)
St Philip the Apostle (Feast)
Sts James and Philip:

Virgen de la Carrasca, Bordón, Teruel, Aragón, Spain (1212) 3 May:

Commemorated on First Monday of May

In 1212, a herder found an image of the Virgin in a holm oak (carrasca) in the rocky countryside of Aragón in Spaon. There are several stories about what happened then, all of them ending with a Shrine in Bordón. Templars carried the Statue to Castellote, 12 miles north but the next day the image was back in the oak, the Virgin made those carrying her to Castellote keep turning toward Bordón and springs arose at each turn.

Original Statue

In the place where it was found, a hermitage was built to house it, which would later be replaced by the building that today is the Parish Church of Bordón, built in 1306 by the Templar Order (The Order was dissolved by Pope Clement V in 1312 ).

Although its exterior hardly stands out, its interior is magical and fascinating, a place full of mystery. In one of the Chapels inside, the Templar novices who previously made a pilgrimage on foot from Castellote, capital of the Templar Commandery, performed initiation rites to become Knights of the Order.

In the 18th century, the interior of the Church was covered with marvellous frescoes, which have been recently restored. Unfortunately, the venerated carving of the Black Virgin of the Carrasca was lost during the Civil War, along with another very famous Romanesque carving with a reputation for miraculously calming storms, the Virgin of the Spider, only a series of photographs being preserved, which allowed the making a replica.

Replica Statue

On the first Monday in May, the faithful from the three towns to the south—Tronchón, Olocau del Rey and Mirambel—conduct a processional pilgrimage to the Virgin de la Carrasca. They have done this “from time immemorial,” according to a document of 1390 in the Parish archives of Tronchón.

St Adalsindis of Bèze
Bl Adam of Cantalupo in Sabina
St Ahmed the Calligrapher
St Aldwine of Peartney
St Pope Alexander I
St Alexander of Constantinople
Bl Alexander of Foigny
St Alexander of Rome
Bl Alexander Vincioli
St Ansfrid of Utrecht (c 940-1010) Bishop
St Antonina of Constantinople
St Diodorus the Deacon

Blessed Edoardo Giuseppe Rosaz TOSF (1877-1903) Bishop of Susa from 1877 until his death, Founder of Franciscan Mission Sisters of Susa, Third Order Franciscan.
His Life:

St Ethelwin of Lindsey
St Eventius of Rome
St Fumac
St Gabriel Gowdel
St Juvenal of Narni
Bl Maria Leonia Paradis
St Maura of Antinoe
St Peter of Argos
St Philip of Zell
Bl Ramon Oromí Sullà
St Rhodopianus the Deacon
St Scannal of Cell-Coleraine
Bl Sostenaeus

St Stanislas Kazimierczyk CRL (1433–1489)
His Life:

St Theodolus of Rome
St Timothy of Antinoe
Bl Uguccio
Bl Zechariah