Saint of the Day – 2 June – Saint Nicholas Peregrinus the Pilgrim (1075-1094) Confessor. Born in 1075 in Greece and died in 1094 in Trani, Italy of natural causes, aged 19 years old, just fifteen days after his arrival, having travelled from Taranto and before that from Otranto. Also known as – Nicholas the Pilgrim, Nicola Pellegrino di Trani. Patronage – Trani, Italy. Th name Nicholas derives from the Greek Nikòlaos and means “winner of the people.”
The Cathedral of Trani is his living memory, a memory of extraordinary harmony. Nicola il Pellegrino is the Patron Saint of the Apulian City – the Church built in 1097 is dedicated to him. Nicholas came from Greece and moved to Puglia, he travelled through it in its entirety. The chronicles report that he uttered a single, insistent invocation: “Kyrie Eleison”. He died in Trani in 1094. Since then, the miracles fro the veneration at his tomb, have been endless.
The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “In Trani in Puglia, Saint Nicholas, who, a pilgrim born in Greece, travelled the whole region carrying a Crucifix and repeating without interruption ‘Kyrie, eléison.'”
Nicholas was born in Steiri in Boeotia, Greece, where his solitary life as a shepherd led him to contemplative spirituality. He developed a desire to warn others of their dire need of th great love and mercy of God. He desired to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Sites and on his way, to try to impress upon all, the need for repentance, prayer and supplication to God for His mercy. He developed the constant repetition of the phrase “Kyrie, eléison” – “Lord, have mercy.”
He attracted and gathered around him the young boys giving them small gifts and making them repeat his invocation. After his death numerous miracles blossomed; four years later in 1098 in the Roman Synod, the Bishop of Trani stood up and asked the Assembly that the venerable Nicholas be entered in the catalogue of saints for the merits he had in life and for the miracles that occurred post-mortem.
Pope Urban II issued a ‘Brief’ which authorised the Bishop of Trani, after appropriate reflection, to act as he considered most appropriate. The Bishop returned to Trani and Canonised Nicholas by the decree of Pope Urban II in 1098 and, after having erected a new Basilica, he deposited the body of the saint there.
His feast day is honoured each year, with great piety and celebration, by Holy Mass and a procession through the City of Trani.
Madonna delle Lacrime / Madonna of the Tears, Ponte Nossa, Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy , 1511 – 2 June:
In the territory of Ponte Nossa known as Campo Lungo there was a small Oratory dedicated to the Seven Martyr Brothers and the Madonna which had a fresco on the facade by Giacomo Borlone de Buschis depicting the Crucifixion with the Madonna and St John.
On 2 June 1511 , some shepherdesses of the town staring at the picture, saw Mary’s face change, open and close her left eye until tears of blood appeared o her cheek. Among them was a girl from the Bonelli de Ferrari family, who wiped away her tears with her apron. The Virgin said:
“To the first who will pass this way, you will make my apparition kown and you will report that the Blessed Virgin told you so, who she orders that a Church be built in her honour where she will give many graces.”
The young women made the miracle public and showed the blood left on the young woman’s apron as a testimony. Tradition tells of other miraculous facts, such as the story of a soldier who mocked the young girls by questioning what they had reported and who whe he remounted his horse, suddenly found himself blind and his horse too, struck by the ‘wrath of God.’ The punishment made him repent and asking forgiveness from God and the Madonna, he regained the gift of sight. The testimony of the miracle and what happened after, were then collected by the notary Guerinoni of Gorno and put in writing. The construction of the new Church had the authorisation to begin construction as early as 10 June of the same year.
The building was finished in 1533, was built in Lombard Romanesque style next to the existing Church. It was Consecrated with the rite of dedication to Santa Maria Annunziata on 19 April 1575 by the co-adjutor of theBbishop Federico Corner and elevated to Parish in 1583. The miraculous fresco was inserted as a side Altarpiece . The previous church was then demolished in 1716 in order to make room for the new sacristy of the complex.
Although the exterior of the Sanctuary appears austere, the interior is full of treasures and frescoes. The frescoe below depicts the blinded soldier begging forgiveness. The Altar of the Madonna delle Lacrime (Our Lady of Tears) was embellished in the seventeenth century with small twisted alabaster columns accompanied by a plague in memory of the graces received and a special prayer to the Virgin.
Hanging from the ceiling of the nave, on the right side, in front of the Altar of the Virgin there is a crocodile. There is no written documentation referring to the true reason for the presence of a crocodile inside the Church. The first citation of it presence is deducible from a document dated 24 January 1594 by Bishop Federico Corner who asked for its immediate removal: “In the Church of the Madonna’s oratory, remove that crocodile skin under the roof, for it is indecent .” This order, however, was eluded by the then Parish Priest, Don Celso Lotteri, who declared – “It would be a huge mistake to remove it because, if on one hand, the skin of a sea monster is indecent in a sacred place, on the other hand, it is a real display of a miracle and a very material votive proving a true miracle and grace obtained through the invocation of Santa Maria dei Campi by some villagers who were miraculously preserved from the jaws of that voracious monster.”
The testimony of this miracle remains only oral, handed down by the faithful. It would seem, that in Rimini a merchant who was travelling to sell his wares, found himself facing a ferocious crocodile. He entrusted his prayers to the Madonna di Campolungo and thus, managed to hit the monster in the throat, killing it (as shown in the third fresco on the right wall in the upper part.) However, it appears, that there are many legends about the crocodile and although they differ slightly in detail, the main focus always remains the same, the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary!
In the 19th century, the figure of Mary was solemnly crowned with a diadem of gold and precious jewels. An annual procssion is held each year in honour of Our Lady of Tears.
St Pope Eugene I, St Evasius Bl Giovanni de Barthulono Bl Guy of Acqui St Honorata St Humatus St John de Ortega St Joseph Tien St Nicholas Peregrinus the Pilgrim (1075-1094) Confessor St Photinus of Lyons St Rogate Bl Sadoc of Sandomierz St Stephen of Sweden — Martyrs of Lyons and Vienne: A group of 48 Christians from the areas of Vienne and Lyon, France, who were attacked by a pagan mob, arrested and tried for their faith, and murdered in the persecutions of Marcus Aurelius. A letter describing their fate, possibly written by Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, was sent to the churches in the Middle East. Only a few names and details of their lives have survived; some of them have separate entries on this date – • Alexander of Vienne • Attalus of Pergamos • Biblis of Lyons • Blandina the Slave • Cominus of Lugdunum • Epagathus of Lugdunum • Maturus the Novice • Photinus of Lyons • Ponticus of Lugdunum • Sanctius of Vienne • Vettius of Lugdunum They were martyred in assorted ways on on various during 177.
Martyrs of Sandomierz: A group of 49 Dominicans, some of whom received the habit from Saint Dominic de Guzman himself. They worked separately and together to bring the faith and establish the Dominican Order in Poland, basing their operations in and around Sandomierz. In 1260 they were all martyred by the Tartars as they were singing the Salve Regina at Compline; the custom of singing the Salve Regina at the deathbed of Dominicans stems from this incident. We know a few details about a few of the martyrs, but most survive only as names – • Zadok• Andrea, chaplain• James, novice master• Malachi, convent preacher • Paul, vicar• Peter, guardian of the garden• Simone, penitentiaryfriars • Abel, Barnabas, Bartholomew, Clemente, Elia, John, Luke, Matthew, Philip deacons• Giuseppe, Joachim, Stefanosub-deacons• Abraham, Basil, Moses, Taddeoclerics• Aaron, Benedict, David, Dominico, Mattia, Mauro, Michele, Onofrio, Timothyprofessed students• Christopher, Donato, Feliciano, Gervasio, Gordian, John, Mark, Medardo, Valentinonovices• Daniele, Isaiah, Macario, Raffaele, Tobialay brothers• Cyril, tailor• Jeremiah, shoemaker • Thomas, organist They were martyred in 1260 at Sandomierz, Poland and Beatified on 18 October 1807 by Pope Pius VII (cultus confirmation).