Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 27 October – Saint Elesbaan of Ethiopia (Died c 555)

Saint of the Day – 27 October – Saint Elesbaan of Ethiopia (Died c 555) King of Ethiopia, Confessor, Penitent Hermit and Monk. Also known as – Elesbaan of Axum, Ella Atsbeha, Ella Asbeha, Calam-Negus, Calam, Caleb, Elesbaas, Elesbas, Elesboas, Eleuzoe, Hellestheaeus, Kaleb.

The Roman Martyrology states today: “St Elesbaan, King, who after having defeated the enemies of Christ and sent his Royal Diadem to Jerusalem, in the time of Emperor Justin, led a monastical life, as he had vowed and went to his reward.”

In the 6th century Ethiopia was ruled by King St Elesbaan, who was raised from childhood in the Catholic Faith. King Elesbaan ruled his country with wisdom and was esteemed by his people.

At that time, Ethiopia was part of the Eastern Roman Empire, under Justinian I. Across the Red Sea, Arabia had fallen to Dunaan, a King who apostatised from the Catholic Faith and adhered to Judaism. He was a despotic ruler, persecuting the Bishops and clergy and destroying the Churches or transforming them into synagogues. St Gregentius, Bishop of Tafas, was expelled from his Diocese; St Aretas, governor of Nagran and leader of the Catholic reaction, was beheaded along with his wife, children and 340 of his people. Around 4,000 Catholics were killed without trial after suffering many cruelties.

Emperor Justinian called on King Elesbaan to chastise the usurper. The King gathered his army and crossed the Red Sea to punish the affront to Catholic honour. Elesbaan landed in Arabia, defeated Dunaan and executed him. Then he restored St Gregentius to his episcopal see, rebuilt the Churches and remained in the country until Ebrahamos, who was Catholic, was elected King of the Arabs.

Once his mission of justice and peace was accomplished, he returned to Ethiopia and ruled there for some years more, carefully instructing his son in the Catholic Faith, making him heir of his zeal and piety and the direction of the Kingdom. Then he renounced his title and handed the rule of the Kingdom to his son.

Disguised as a Hermit, he retired to a Monastery in the mountains. There he lived as a simple religious dedicated to prayer, obedience and work. He carried nothing with him out of the Palace but a mat to lie on and a cup to drink from. His food was only bread, with which he sometimes took a few dry herbs; he never drank anything but water. He would not allow himself the least distinction above the least among his brethren and was the first in every duty of his new state. 

No seculars ever had access to him and his whole employment consisted in the exercises of penance, the contemplation of heavenly things and conversing with God, by whom he was at length called, to a happy death, to reign eternally with Christ. 

He died with a reputation of sanctity on 27 October c 555. Often he is pictured as a solitary Hermit holding a Cross and with a Crown at his feet.


Vigil of Saints Simon and Jude, Dedication of the Basilica of Auxilium Christianorum / Our Lady Help of Christians, Turin, Italy, built by St John Bosco (1868) and Memorials of the Saints – 27 October

Vigil of Saints Simon and Jude

Dedication of the Basilica of Auxilium Christianorum / Our Lady Help of Christians, Turin, Italy, built by St John Bosco (1868) – 27 October:

The vast and magnificent Basilica of Our Lady in Turin, Italy, built by Saint John Bosco (1815-1888) between 1863 and 1868, was inspired by a dream-vision which he had in October 1844. The Blessed Virgin showed Don Bosco a vast and lofty Church and said:

This is my house; from it my glory shines forth. You will understand everything when, with your material eyes, you will see in actual fact, what you now see with the eyes of your mind.

Nineteen years later, Don Bosco finally set to work on the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians. Our Lady, in a second vision, chose the location as that of the place of the Martyrdom of Saint Adventer Solutor and Saint Octavious, who were both soldiers under the Emperor Maximianus in the fourth century.
When the foundation of the Church was laid, Don Bosco went to the contractor, Charles Buzzetti and told him:

I want to pay you at once for this fine work. I don’t know if it will be much but this is all I have.

He then took out his little purse and emptied the contents into the hand of the contractor, who was expecting a handful of gold coins. His jaw dropped in dismay when he saw in his hand only eight pennies.

Do not be alarmed,” Don Bosco quickly added with a smile, “the Madonna will see to the payment of her Church. I am just the instrument, the cashier.” And to those standing by he concluded, “You will see!

The whole Church was put up by means of graces granted by Mary,” Don Bosco often said. One sixth of the cost, about one million lire in those days, was borne by the generous contributors, devout persons; the rest came from the small offering of those, who had been aided by Mary.

Every stone, every ornament, represents one of her graces,” insisted Don Bosco. The original contractor, who received the eight cents, later testified that, “The Church was paid for to the last cent.

Our Lady Help of Christians

Among the monuments of the Church, the most splendid is the painting above the main Altar. Our Blessed Lady Help of Christians occupies the central position and is surrounded by symbols – God the Father, the Holy Spirit, the Apostles and Evangelists. It measures more than 28 metres square and is bordered with gold.

There was much opposition to the project of building a Church dedicated to and in honour of Our Lady Help of Christians but Don Bosco insisted. It appears he had a supernatural knowledge, that the future of his own congregation and that of the whole world in the not too distant future, depended on the powerful protection of Mary, Help of Christians, just as it had needed and obtained that protection at Lepanto on 7 October 1571 and at Vienna, on 12 September 1683.
Don Bosco, with the gracious assistance of the Blessed Virgin Moher, succeeded and the vast Church was Consecrated and dedicated on 9 June 1868 with the crowing on 27 October. The dedication festivities lasted nine days and on each day a Bishop preached while another took part in the ceremonies.
By the turn of the nineteenth century, the Church of Our Lady Help of Christians in Turin had become famous and in 1911, Pope Saint Pius X gave it the crowning glory by raising it to the rank of a Basilica – The Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians!

The Feast Day of Our Lady Help of Christians is 24 May and was instituted by Saint Pius V in 1573, in thanksgiving for the decisive victory of Christianity over Islamism at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
All the information here including the dreams of St John Bosco:

The Processional Statue of Our Lady Help of Christians, Turin

St Abban of Magh-Armuidhe
St Abraham the Poor

Blessed Bartholomew of Vicenza OP (c 1200–1271) Bishop, Confessor, Dominican Friar, renowned Preacher, Defender of the Faith, Writer, Theologian, diplomatic peacemaker.
His Life:

St Capitolina
St Colman of Senboth-Fola
St Colman of Templeshambo
St Desiderius of Auxerre
St Elesbaan of Ethiopia (Died c 555) King, Confessor, Penitent Hermit and Monk

St Emeline of Boulancourt (c 1115-c 1178) Virgin, Lay Sister, Hermit.

St Erotheides
St Florentius of Trois-Châteaux

St Frumentius (Died c 383) “Apostle to Ethiopia,“ Bishop, Confessor.
St Frumentius’ Biography:

St Gaudiosus of Naples
Bl Goswin of Clairvaux
St Namatius of Clermont
St Odrian of Waterford
Bl Salvador Mollar Ventura
St Thraseas of Eumenia
St Uni