Our Lady Della Croce, “Holy Mary of the Cross,”Crema, Italy (1490) – 1 March:
There is a Sanctuary of the Madonna on the Bergamo Road, about a mile away from the city of Crema, Italy. The structure is a circular form, with four additions in the shape of a cross, which gave rise to the name: “Holy Mary of the Cross,” or Our Lady Della Croce. The Sanctuary is located in a place where, in years gone by, there stood a dense little wood called “Il Novelletto.”
In the late 15th century, a young woman named Caterina Uberti lived with her brother in the city of Crema. When she arrived at marriageable age, her brother induced her to wed one Bartolomeo Petrobelli; it was an unfortunate arrangement – Caterina was good and pious; Bartolomeo was quite the opposite, tending toward the wicked and corrupt. The marriage was unhappy for Caterina and uncomfortable for Bartolomeo – his rather crude and brutal ways shamed her, while her refined and holy life was a silent reproach to his somewhat scandalous mode of living. So, after a year of turmoil, Bartolomeo decided to kill Caterina. Having made up his mind, he lost no time in carrying out his evil design. He suggested that they journey to Bergamo and visit his parents; she agreed and in the late afternoon of 3 April 1490, they mounted their horses and set forth from the city. When they arrived at the wood about a mile from Crema, Bartolomeo left the highway and rode into the forest; Caterina was puzzled but not knowing what else to do, followed him. When they reached the middle of the wood, Bartolomeo dismounted and made Caterina get down from her horse. Then, without warning, he drew his sword, raised it and fiercely brought it down, intending to split her head with one clean cut. Instinctively she drew up her arm to ward off the savage blow, saved her head but lost her right hand – the poor severed hand hung from the stump of her arm by a strip of skin and Bartolomeo brutally tore it off and flung it to one side. He then slashed at her like a maniac until she fell to the ground in a pool of blood; thinking her dead, he leaped on his horse and fled. Caterina was not dead, nor was she afraid to die, though she felt her time was short. With all her dying heart she wished for the Last Sacraments; so she prayed to the Mother of God, who heard her prayer. A glow of light pushed back the gathering darkness and a beautiful lady approached her. Reaching down, the Lady, Our Lady Della Croce, took her by the arm and helped her rise – the blood stopped flowing and new life coursed through her mutilated body. The Lady bade Caterina follow her but Caterina asked if she might look for her lost hand. The Lady promised it would be returned to her in due time. Taking Caterina to a hut, she told her these people would help her and then vanished. The kind peasants did all they could for Caterina, and the next morning they placed her on a rude stretcher and tenderly carried her back to Crema. As they passed through the wood, one of the men found the severed hand and returned it to Caterina. They took her to the Church of St Benedetto, where the Priest, after hearing the story, anointed Caterina who died there. The story spread rapidly; some believed, others doubted that the Blessed Virgin worked such wonders. An eleven year old boy, living in Crema plagued with an unhealable abscess on a foot, begged to be taken to the wood to put his foot on the spot where the Lady appeared. His mother and a group of relatives carried him there and he was instantly cured, all abscess traces gone. Many other sick and infirm came also and were cured . The people erected a small Chapel on the spot and placed in it a plaster image of Our Lady. More favours followed; many offerings were made by the faithful and by 1500, in a few years a fitting Sanctuary to the Madonna was completed. Later a fine new statue of Mary was enshrined in the Sanctuary and in 1873, Our Lady Della Croce was crowned with a golden crown by order of the Vatican.
St Abdalong of Marseilles St Adrian of Numidia St Agapios of Vatopedi St Agnes Cao Guiying St Albinus of Angers (469-549) Bishop St Albinus of Vercelli St Amandus of Boixe St Antonina of Bithynia Bl Aurelia of Wirberg Bl Bonavita of Lugo St Bono of Cagliari Bl Christopher of Milan Bl Claudius Gabriel Faber St David of Wales (c 542-c 601) Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2017/03/01/saint-of-the-day-1-march-st-david-of-wales/ St Domnina of Syria St Domnina of Syria St Donatus of Carthage St Eudocia of Heliopolis St Felix III, Pope Bl George Biandrate Bl Giovanna Maria Bonomo Bl Gonzalo de Ubeda St Hermes of Numidia St Jared the Patriarch St Leo of Rouen St Leolucas of Corleone St Lupercus St Marnock St Monan Bl Pietro Ernandez Bl Roger Lefort St Rudesind St Seth the Patriarch St Simplicius of Bourges St Siviard St Swithbert St Venerius of Eichstätt
Martyrs of Africa – A group of 13 Christians executed together for their faith in Africa. The only details about them to survive are ten names – Abundantius, Adrastus, Agapius, Charisius, Donatilla, Donatus, Fortunus, Leo, Nicephorus and Polocronius. c290
Martyrs of Antwerp – A group of Christians martyred together, buried together and whose relics were transferred and enshrined together. We know nothing else but their names – Benignus, Donatus, Felician, Fidelis, Filemon, Herculanus, Julius, Justus, Maximus, Pelagius, Pius, Primus, Procopius and Silvius. Died in the 2nd Century in Rome. They are buried in the St Callistus Catacombs and their relics were enshirned in the Jesuit Church in Antwerp on 28 February 1600.
Martyrs of the Salarian Way – A group of 260 Christians who, for their faith, were condemned to road work on the Salarian Way in Rome, Italy during the persecutions of Claudius II. When they were no longer needed for work, they were publicly murdered in the amphitheatre. Martyrs. c269 in Rome.
Martyrs Under Alexander – A large but unspecified number of Christians martyred in the persecutions of Emperor Alexander Severus and the praefect Ulpian who saw any non-state religion to be a dangerous treason. c 219.
Saint of the day – 1 March – St David of Wales (c 542-c 601) Bishop in Caerfai, Pembrokeshire, Wales, Bishop, Prince, Monk, Confessor, Missionary, founder. Died 1 March 589 at St David’s, Pembrokeshire, Wales). Patron of Wales, Pembrokeshire; Naas; vegetarians; poets, doves.
Born to the Welsh royalty, the son of King Sandde, Prince of Powys and of Saint Non, the daughter of a chieftain of Menevia (western Wales). Grandson of Ceredig, Prince of Cardigan. Uncle of King Arthur. Priest. David studied under Saint Paul Aurelian. Worked with Saint Columbanus, Saint Gildas the Wise and Saint Finnigan. Missionary and founder of monasteries.
Following his contribution to the synod of Brevi in Cardiganshire, he was chosen primate of the Cambrian Church. Archbishop of Caerleon on Usk, he moved the see to Menevia. Presided at the Synod of Brefi which condemned the Pelagian heresy. He encouraged the life of austerity and founded monasteries. David was the first to build a chancel to Saint Joseph of Arimathea’s wattle church at Glastonbury.
After a vision in his monastery in the Rhos Valley, he set out next day with two monks to Jerusalem to aid the Patriarch. While there his preaching converted anti-Christians. Legend says that once while he was preaching, a dove descended to his shoulder to show he had the blessings of the Spirit and that the earth rose to lift him high above the people so that he could be heard by them all. Another time when was preaching to a crowd at Llandewi Brefi, people on the outer edges could not hear, so he spread a handkerchief on the ground, stood on it and the ground beneath rose up in a pillar so all could hear.
Though the exact date of his death is not certain, tradition holds that it was on March 1, which is the date now marked as Saint David’s Day. The two most common years given for his death are 601 and 589. The monastery is said to have been “filled with angels as Christ received his soul.” His last words to his followers were in a sermon on the previous Sunday. The Welsh Life of St David gives these as, “Lords, brothers and sisters, Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed, and do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about. And as for me, I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us.” “Do ye the little things in life” is today a very well known phrase in Welsh. The same passage states that he died on a Tuesday, from which attempts have been made to calculate the year of his death.
David was buried at St David’s Cathedral at St Davids, Pembrokeshire, where his shrine was a popular place of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages. During the 10th and 11th centuries the Cathedral was regularly raided by Vikings, who removed the shrine from the church and stripped off the precious metal adornments. In 1275 a new shrine was constructed, the ruined base of which remains to this day which was originally surmounted by an ornamental wooden canopy with murals of David, Patrick and Denis. The relics of David and Justinian of Ramsey Island were kept in a portable casket on the stone base of the shrine. It was at this shrine that Edward I came to pray in 1284. During the reformation Bishop Barlow (1536–48), a staunch Protestant, stripped the shrine of its jewels and confiscated the relics of David and Justinian.
David was officially recognised at the Holy See by Pope Callixtus II in 1120, thanks to the work of Bernard, Bishop of St David’s. Over 50 churches in South Wales were dedicated to him in pre-Reformation days.
In the 2004 edition of the Roman Martyrology, David is listed under 1 March with the Latin name Dávus. He is recognised as bishop of Menevia in Wales who governed his monastery following the example of the Eastern Fathers. Through his leadership, many monks went forth to evangelise Wales, Ireland, Cornwall and Armorica (Brittany and surrounding provinces).
Welsh tradition says that during a battle against the Anglo-Saxons, David advised the Welsh warriors each to wear a leek in his hat or armour so that the warriors might distinguish themselves from their enemies. Ever since then, the Welsh wear leeks every March 1 in memory of David.