Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saints of the Day – 19 June – Saints Gervase and Protase (Died c 165) Martyrs,

Saints of the Day – 19 June – Saints Gervase and Protase (Died c 165) Martyrs, Twin Brothers of Martyr Parents, Laymen Died c 165. Patronages – for the discovery of thieves, haymakers, Archdiocese of Perugia-Città della Pieve, Italy, City of Milan and 4 Cities. Also known as – Gervasius and Protasius

The Roman Martyrology states of them today: “In Milan, Saints Gervase and Protase. The Judge Astasius ordered that Gervase be beaten to death with leaded scourges and Protase beaten with sticks and beheaded. By divine revelation blessed Ambrose discovered their bodies, flecked with blood and incorrupt as if they had just died that day. During the translation of their bodies, a blind man gained his sight by touching the bier and many were set free who had been possessed by demons.”

Gervase and Protase were the twin sons of Martyrs. Their Father, Saint Vitalis of Milan, a man of consular dignity, suffered Martyrdom at Ravenna, possibly under Nero. Their Mother, Saint Valeria, died for her faith at Milan. When their parents died, the two brothers sold the family assets, distributed the proceeds to the poor and retired to a small house where they spent ten years in prayer and meditation. Denounced as Christians in Astasio, they were imprisoned and refusing to sacrifice to pagan gods, they were, therefore, sentenced to death. Gervase died under the blows of the scourges, Protase was instead beheaded.

The Martyrdom

The legend around our Martyrs was enriched with further clarifications: the Datiana historia eccle siae Mediolanensis states that the two saints were converted to Christianity, together with their parents, noble citizens of Milan, by the Bishop St Gaius who would have ruled the Church of the City from 63 to 85 and their Martyrdom would have occurred in the time of Nero (54-68), therefoe. a discrepancy exists as to the date of their death.

Saint Ambrose, in 386, had built a magnificent Basilica at Milan, now called the Basilica Sant’Ambrogio. Asked by the people to consecrate it in the same solemn manner as was done in Rome, he promised to do so if he could obtain the necessary relics. In a dream, he was shown the place where such relics could be found. He ordered excavations to be made outside the City, in the cemetery Church of Saints Nabor and Felix, who were at the time the primary patrons of Milan and there found the relics of Saints Gervasius and Protasius. In a letter, St Ambrose wrote: “I found the fitting signs and on bringing in some, on whom hands were to be laid, the power of the holy Martyrs became so manifest, that even whilst I was still silent, one was seized and thrown prostrate at the holy burial-place. We found two men of marvellous stature, such as those of ancient days. All the bones were perfect, and there was much blood.”

St Ambrose had their relics removed to the Basilica of Fausta (now the Church of Saints Vitalis and Agricola) and on the next day, moved into the Basilica, accompanied by many miracles, emblematic of divine favour in the context of the great struggle then taking place between St Ambrose and the Arian Empress Justina. Of the vision, the subsequent discovery of the relics and the accompanying miracles, St Ambrose wrote to his sister Marcellina describing thee events..

Saint Augustine, not yet baptised, witnessed these events and relates them in his “Confessions” (IX, vii), and in “De Civitate Dei” (XXII, viii) as well as in his “Sermon 286 in natal. “.

They are also referred to by Saint Paulinus in his life of Saint Ambrose. The latter died in 397 and by his own wish was buried in his Basilica by the side of these Twin Brpther Martyrs. The Brescia Casket was made for or used to hold the relics of all three – St Ambrose, St Gervase and St Protase.

The Crypt in Sant’Ambrogio Basilica. Embossed silver urn, (the Brescia Casket) displaying the skeletons of Saints Ambrose, Gervase and Protase.

The two Saints immediately enjoyed considerable popularity, especially in the West – they were particularly venerated in Italy, in Miam. Ravenna, in Brescia and in Rome, where, under the Pontificate of Pope Innocent I (402-417), the matron Vestina erected a dedicated Church in their honour, the current St Vitale in via Nazionale; in Gaul, in Vienne and in Rouen; in Spain, in Carmona; in Africa, in Carthage.  The anniversary of the invention of their bodies soon entered the most important Calendars and Sacramentaries, such as the Carthaginian Calendar, the Gregorian Sacramentary and the Geronymian Martyrology which all remember them, unanimously, on 19 June. The Geronymian, then, also remembers them other times – 20 May (apparently due to a reading and transcription error); 28 July, the day of Saints Nazario and Celso, in whose Acts. our twin Martyrs are also remembered.


Nostra Signora d Montesenario / Our Lady of Monte Senario, Florence, Italy (1240) and Memorials of the Saints – 19 June

Nostra Signora d Montesenario / Our Lady of Monte Senario, Florence, Italy – Ordo Servorum Beatae Mariae Virginis (OSM) (1240) – 19 June:

The cradle of the Order of the Servants of Mary began at Monte Senario in the year 1233 in the City of Florence, Italy, by a group of Hermits now known as the Seven Holy Founders Saints of the Servite Order – Ordo Servorum Beatae Mariae Virginis (OSM). They were sons of wealthy families and they retired from the world for a life of prayer and devotion to the praises of Mary.
Leaving La Camarzia, a Suburb of Florence, the seven went to Monte Senario in the region of Tuscany. Uncertain of what way of life to follow, they turned to Our Lady in prayer and supplication and she appeared to them on the Feast of the Assumption in the year 1240.

Monte Senario

The Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Monte Senario, presented the Seven Holy Founders with the Habit of their new Order and an Angel stood nearby bearing a scroll that was marked, “Servants of Mary.” He read to the Seven Holy Founders the following words: “You will found a new order, and you will be my witnesses throughout the world. This is your name: Servants of Mary. This is your rule: that of Saint Augustine. And here is your distinctive sign: the black scapular, in memory of my sufferings.”

From that day in 1240, the seven were known as the Servants of Mary, the Order of Servants of Mary, or the Servites. under her title of Mother of Sorrows (Italian: Madonna Addolorata) Members of the Order take solemn vows to especially honour the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The sorrows are, in order, the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the loss of the Holy Child at Jerusalem, meeting Jesus on His Way to Calvary, standing at te foot of the Cross, Jesus taken down from the Cross, and the burial of Christ.
According to an ancient document called the “Legenda de Origin ordini,” “Our Lady wanted to begin her Order with seven men to show everyone, with absolute clarity, that she wanted to adorn her Order, endowing it with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.”

The Order gained official recognition in 1249 but was not officially approved until Pope Benedict IX issued a Bull in 1304. Their Church on Monte Senario, rebuilt in 1700, is a favourite resort of pilgrims from Florence especially. Mary here, as Our Lady of Monte Senario, as well as elsewhere, proves herself the miraculous Mother of God.
The names of the Seven Holy Founders are Saint Alexis Falconieri, Saint Bartholomew degli Amidei, Saint Benedict dell’Antella, Saint Buonfiglio Monaldi, Saint Gherardino Sostegni, Saint Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni, and Saint John Buonagiunta Monetti.

St Romuald (c 951-1027) (Optional Memorial) Monk, Abbot, Ascetic, Founder of the Camaldolese Order and a major figure in the eleventh-century “Renaissance of eremitical asceticism.”
Biography of St Romuald:

St Adleida of Bergamo
Bl Arnaldo of Liniberio
St Culmatius of Arezzo
St Deodatus of Jointures
St Deodatus of Nevers
St Gaudentius of Arezzo
St Gervase and St Protase (Died c 165) Martyrs, Twin Brothers of Martyr Parents, Laymen
St Hildegrin of Châlons-sur-Marne
Bl Humphrey Middlemore
St Innocent of Le Mans

St Juliana Falconieri OSM (1270 – 1341) Virgin and Foundress of the Religious Sisters of the Order of Servites, Mystic.
Her Life:

St Lambert of Saragossa
St Lupo of Bergamo

Blessed Maria Rosa/Margaretha Flesch FSMA (1826-1906) Religious Sister and Founder of the Franciscan Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Angels, Apostle of the sick, the poor, orphans, spiritual writer, Nurse and Teacher.
Her Life:

St Modeste Andlauer
St Nazario of Koper
Bl Odo of Cambrai
St Rémi Isoré
Bl Sebastian Newdigate
Bl Thomas Woodhouse
Bl William Exmew
St Zosimus of Umbria