Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 March – Saint Finian Lobhar, surnamed “the Luminous Leper” (Died c 560)

Saint of the Day – 16 March – Saint Finian Lobhar, surnamed “the Luminous Leper” (Died c 560) Bishop, Confessor, Abbot, Founder of Monasteries, mystic, miracle-worker. Born at Bregia, Leinster, Ireland and died in c 560 at Clonmore, Ireland of natural causes. He is also known as Finian Lobur, Finian the Leper, Finnian…, Fintan…

St Finian was born of an illustrious family. He received the surname of Lobhar, or “the Leper,” from the circumstance of his being afflicted with the leprosy, or with some similar scrofulous disorder, during many years of his life.

When grown to be a boy, Finian was educated by a senior, named Brendan, the Saint, to whom he had been brought. By him, the child was instructed in the Christian doctrine and in a knowledge of Sacred Scripture and holy literature. Having received his course of training, with the master’s permission, Finian set out for the south of Ireland, to which part his mother belonged. There, he found the Bishop, called Fathlad, who honourably received him and finding that Finian was remarkable for his sanctity and gravity of demeanour, it was deemed right to promote our saint to Holy Orders.

We are even told, he attained to the Episcopal rank. He was Consecrated by Bishop Fathlad and soon his virtues and miracles, rendered him very renowned. He had frequent angelic visions and colloquies with the heavenly messenger, so that he was thus consoled and comforted.

One day, a certain woman came to him and brought with her a small boy, who, from the time of his birth, was blind, mute and a leper. For this afflicted creature, Finian prayed to the Almighty but received for answer, that he must bear the leprosy himself, if he willed the child to be healed. Finian cheerfully accepted that condition, when, like holy Job, he was covered with ulcers from the sole of his foot even to the top of his head. At the same time, the boy was healed and the saint bore his infirmity, not only with patience, but even with joy.

Finian sat reading one day by the edge of a lake, into which his book accidently fell and it sank to the bottom. The water was so deep, no-one could recover it, however, after an hour’s immersion, it came to the surface, in the presence of many persons there assembled. What was even more wonderful, on being restored to the saint, it seemed to have undergone no damage. There Finian built a Basilica and he established a cemetery, where miracles were wrought, in favour of some sick persons, during his life and after his death. It is believed that the famous Abbey of Innis-fallen, which stood in an island of that name, in the great and beautiful lake of Lough-Lane in the county of Kerry, was situate in this lake and was founded by our Saint.

He founded a second Monastery, called Ardfinnan, he built in Tipperary and a third at Cluainmore Madoc, in Leinster, where he was buried.

St Finian died on 2 February but, says Colgan, who wrote his Vita, his festival is kept on 16 March at all the above-mentioned places.


Our Lady of the Fountain, Constantinople (460) and Memorials of the Saints – 16 March

Our Lady of the Fountain, Constantinople (460) – 16 March:

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of the Fountain, at Constantinople, built, by the Emperor Leo, in the year 460, in thanksgiving for the Blessed Virgin’s having appeared to him on the margin of a spring, to which he was charitably leading a blind man, when he was no more than a common soldier and foretold to him, that he would become the emperor.”

Emperor Leo I, also known as Leo I the Thracian, Leo the Great, and even to some, Leo the Butcher, was the Emperor of the Byzantine Empir,e from the year 457 until 474. Leo had begun with a career in the military, eventually rising to the rank of tribune in 457. When the Emperor then reigning died, Leo was acclaimed the new Emperor. It is interesting to note, that he is a Saint in the Orthodox Church.
In a certain manner, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Fountain still exists. Instead of the title the Abbot had given it, the Shrine is now known as, the Mother of God of the Life-Giving Spring. the story surrounding it is as follows.
the man who would later become Emperor Leo I of the Byzantine Empire, was a good and pious man long before he became Emperor. One day in his travels, he had come upon a blind man, who, being tormented with thirst, begged Leo to find water to quench his thirst. Feeling compassion for this man, Leo went in search of a source of water but found none. As he was about to cease his search, he heard a voice telling him: “Leo, you do not need to tire yourself for there is water nearby.” Leo looked again but still found no water. Then he heard the voice again, this time telling him:
“Emperor Leo, enter into the deepest part of the woods and you will find a lake; draw some cloudy water from it with your hands and give it to the blind man to quench his thirst, then anoint his darkened eyes with the clay and you will immediately know who I am, for I have dwelt in this place for a long time. Build a Church here that all who come here, will find answers to their petitions.”
Leo found the lake and did as he was instructed. As soon as the blind man’s eyes were anointed, he received his sight. Leo became Emperor a short time later and built a large and beautiful Church in honour of the Blessed Virgin at that place, just outside the Golden Gate near the Seven Towers district. Many miracles began to occur there, including resurrections from the dead, through the intercession of the Mother of God. When this Church was damaged by earthquakes, it was rebuilt by subsequent Emperors who also experienced miraculous cures and the answer to their petitions.

In the year 1453, the Church was razed to the ground when Constantinople fell to the Turks. The material that remained was taken to be used to construct the mosque of the Sultan Beyazid. Even then, people continued to come to the place seeking relief, for the spring remained intact beneath the ruins. The Shrine had twenty-five steps going down to it, and a window in the roof above from which it received a little light.
In 1821 the Shrine was destroyed during the Greek War of Independence. In 1833 the Sultan Mahmud allowed the Orthodox Christians to rebuild the Shrine. Later, on the night of 6 September 1955, the Turks killed the Abbot, who was hung and the Shrine was desecrated and burned to the ground. The Shrine has since been restored yet again but appears nothing like it once had in the distant past. Still, it is said, that the water from the spring continues to have miraculous properties.

Procession of Our Lady of the Fountain, 1959

St Abban of Kill-Abban
St Abraham Kidunaia
St Agapitus of Ravenna
St Aninus of Syria
St Benedicta of Assisi
St Dionysius of Aquileia
St Dentlin of Hainault
Bl Eriberto of Namur
St Eusebia of Hamage
St Felix of Aquileia
St Finian Lobhar, surnamed “the Luminous Leper” (Died c 560) Bishop, Abbot

Bl Ferdinand Valdes
Blessed Giovanni de Surdis Cacciafronte OSB (1125 – 1184) Bishop and Martyr
His Life and Death:
St Gregory Makar
St Heribert of Cologne (c 970–1021)
St Hilary of Aquileia
Bl Joan Torrents Figueras
Bl John Amias
St Julian of Anazarbus
St Largus of Aquileia
St Malcoldia of Asti
St Megingaud of Wurzburg