Posted in ART DEI, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 8 September – Saint Pope Sergius I (c 650–701)

Saint of the Day – 8 September – Saint Pope Sergius I (c 650–701) Papal Ascension 15 December 687. Born in c 650 at Palermo, Sicily and died on 8 September 701 of natural causes in Rome, Italy.

Sergius was born about the year 650 into a Syrian family from Antioch that had moved to Palermo in Sicily. He received his education in Sicily before he moved to Rome during the Pontificate of Pope Adeodatus II in the 670s. Ordained by Pope Leo II, he was a Cardinal-Priest of the Church of St Susanna at the Baths of Diocletian in Rome.

As Pope Conon was dying in 687, two warring factions vied to elect a successor. In simultaneous elections after the death of Pope Conon the Archdeacon Pascal and the Priest Theodore were elected to the Papal throne. However, an assembled group of clergy and people ignored these elections and chose instead, the Priest Sergius, who was then consecrated on 15 December 687. Theodore, recognising the support behind the election of Sergius, quickly acknowledged Sergius I as Pope. Pascal, who had turned for help to the Exarch of Ravenna, John Platyn with offers of gold, was soon abandoned by the Exarch after the Consecration of Sergius and Pascal eventually ended up confined to a Monastery on charges of witchcraft.

During the early years of his Pontificate, Sergius had numerous contacts with England and English notables. He received King Caedwalla of the West Saxons and baptised him on 10 April 689, before his death on 20 April, apparently from battle wounds. Under Pope Sergius’ direction Caedwalla was buried in St Peter’s. He consecrated St Willibrord, an Englishman, as Bishop of the Frisians.

The cruel Emperor Justinian wanted him to sign the decrees of the so-called Quinisext or Trullan Council of 692, in which the Greeks allowed Priests and Deacons to keep the wives they had married before their Ordination and which aimed at placing the Patriarch of Constantinople on a level with the Pope of Rome. When Sergius refused to acknowledge this Synod, the Emperor sent an officer to bring him to Constantinople as a prisoner. But the people protected the Pope, and Justinian himself was soon afterwards deposed (695).

Sergius succeeded in extinguishing the last remnants of the Schism of the Three Chapters in Aquileia. He repaired and adorned many Basilicas, added the Agnus Dei to the Mass and instituted processions to various Churches.

Pope Sergius died in Rome on 8 September 701. He was succeeded by John VI.

The image below The Dream of Pope Sergius depicts an miraculous incident in the life of our Saint. A cut-away wall reveals a small bedroom where an Angel appears to Pope Sergius in his sleep. The Angel tells Sergius that the Bishop Saint Lambert has been assassinated and Sergius is to appoint a new Bishop, Saint Hubert. The Angel holds a Bishop’s mitre and crozier formerly belonging to Saint Lambert. To the right, the Pope and two Cardinals go out into a brick enclosure, meeting a lawyer or noble and a Franciscan friar, who both kneel before the Papal retinue and present petitions requesting benefits or indulgences. In the far distance, on the steps of the early Saint Peter’s Basilica, Pope Sergius presents Saint Hubert with the Bishop’s mitre and staff.

An amplified detail of St Sergius placing the Bishop’s mitre on St Hubert’s head

The artists made an imaginative effort to recreate Rome as it would have appeared at that time. The depiction of minutely detailed objects and the ability to portray space in a convincing manner were among the major achievements of Netherlandish painters in the 1400s.


Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Marian Feasts in Cuba, Spain, India, Andora and Memorials of the Saints – 8 September

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 8 September (Feast)
On this Marian Feast Day:

Nuestra Senora de la Virgen de la Caridad / Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, Cuba (1612)- 8 September:
The Story:

Nuestra Senora de la Covadonga, also named “La Santina” / Our Lady of Covadonga (720) – 8 September:

This is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the name of a Marian Shrine devoted to her at Covadonga, Asturias. The Shrine in northwestern Spain rose to prominence following the Battle of Covadonga in about 720, which was the first defeat of the Moors during their invasion of Spain. A Statue of the Virgin Mary, secretly hidden in one of the caves, was believed to have miraculously aided the Christian victory.
Our Lady of Covadonga is the Patron of Asturias, and a Basilica was built to house the current Statue. Our Lady of Covadong’s east day is 8 September.

Our Lady of Health of Vailankanni (16th Century) – 8 September:

This is the title given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by people as she twice appeared in the town of Velankanni, Tamil Nadu, India, in the 16th to 17th centuries. The Feast of the Nativity of Mary, is also commemorated as the feast of Our Lady of Good Health. The celebration starts on 29 August and ends on the day of the feast. The feast day prayers are said in Tamil, Marathi, East Indian, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Konkani, Hindi and English.

Nuestra Senora de la Meritxell / Our Lady of Meritxell (12th Century) – 8 September:

This is an Andorran Roman Statue depicting an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Our Lady of Meritxell is the Patron Saint of Andorra. On 6 January in the late 12th century, villagers from Meritxell, Andorra were going to Mass in Canillo. Though it was winter, they found a wild rose in bloom by the roadside. At its base was a Statue of the Virgin and Child. They placed the Statue in a Chapel in the Church in Canillo. The next day the Statue was found sitting under the wild rose again. Villagers from Encamp took the Statue to their Church but the next day the Statue had returned to the rose bush. Though it was snowing, an area the size of a Chapel was completely bare and the villagers of Meritxell took this to mean that they should build a Chapel to house the Statue and so they did. On 8-9 September 1972 the Chapel burned down and the Statue was destroyed, a copy now resides in the new Meritxell Chapel.
The feast day of Our Lady of Meritxell is 8 September and the Andorran National Day.

St Adam Bargielski
St Adela of Messines
Bl Alanus de Rupe

St Corbinian (c 670–c 730) First Bishop of Freising and Founder of the Diocese, Hermit, Missionary, Confessor.

St Disibod of Disenberg
St Ethelburgh of Kent
St Faustus of Antioch
St Isaac the Great
St István Pongrácz
St Kingsmark
St Peter of Chavanon
Bl Seraphina Sforza
St Pope Sergius I (c 650–701)

St Thomas of Villanova OSA (1488 – 1555) Bishop, Religious Priest of the Order of St Augustine, Confessor, Writer, Preacher, Teacher, Apostle of Charity, Mystic, Miracle-Worker often called “the Almsgiver” and “the Father of the Poor“, Reformer.
His Life:

St Timothy of Antioch
Bl Wladyslaw Bladzinski

Martyrs of Alexandria – (5 saints)
A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian – Ammon, Dio, Faustus, Neoterius and Theophilus. Martyred in Alexandria, Egypt.

Martyrs of Japan – (21 beati):
A group of 21 missionaries and converts who were executed together for their faith.
• Antonio of Saint Bonaventure
• Antonio of Saint Dominic
• Dominicus Nihachi
• Dominicus of Saint Francis
• Dominicus Tomachi
• Francisco Castellet Vinale
• Franciscus Nihachi
• Ioannes Imamura
• Ioannes Tomachi
• Laurentius Yamada
• Leo Aibara
• Lucia Ludovica
• Ludovicus Nihachi
• Matthaeus Alvarez Anjin
• Michaël Tomachi
• Michaël Yamada Kasahashi
• Paulus Aibara Sandayu
• Paulus Tomachi
• Romanus Aibara
• Thomas of Saint Hyacinth
• Thomas Tomachi
Died on 8 September 1628 in Nagasaki, Japan
Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Pius XI

Martyred in England:
Bl John Norton
Bl Thomas Palaser

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Adrián Saiz y Saiz
• Blessed Apolonia Lizárraga Ochoa de Zabalegui
• Blessed Bonifacio Rodríguez González
• Blessed Dolores Puig Bonany
• Blessed Eusebio Alonso Uyarra
• Blessed Ismael Escrihuela Esteve
• Blessed Josefa Ruano García
• Blessed Josep Padrell Navarro
• Blessed Mamerto Carchano y Carchano
• Blessed Marino Blanes Giner
• Blessed Miguel Beato Sánchez
• Blessed Pascual Fortuño Almela
• Blessed Segimon Sagalés Vilá
• Blessed Tomàs Capdevila Miquel