Monday, August 14, 2017


St. Simon

St. Simeon, Bishop of Jerusalem, Martyr


A.D. 116.

Feastday: February 18

 St. Simeon, amidst the consolations of the Holy Ghost and the great progress of the church, had the affliction to see two heresies arise within its bosom, namely, those of the Nazareans and the Ebionites; the first seeds of which, according to St. Epiphanius, appeared at Pella. The Nazareans were a sect of men between Jews and Christians, but abhorred by both. They allowed Christ to be the greatest of the prophets, but said he was a mere man, whose natural parents were Joseph and Mary: they joined all the ceremonies of the old law with the new, and observed both the Jewish Sabbath and the Sunday. Ebion added other errors to these, which Cerenthus had also espoused, and taught many superstitions, permitted divorces, and allowed of the most infamous abominations. He began to preach at Cocabe, a village beyond the Jordan, where he dwelt; but he afterwards travelled into Asia, and thence to Rome. The authority of St. Simeon kept the heretics in some awe during his life, which was the longest upon earth of any of our Lord’s disciples. But, as Eusebius says, he was no sooner dead than a deluge of execrable heresies broke out of hell upon the church, which durst not openly appear during his life.

ST. SIMEON was the son of Cleophas, otherwise called Alpheus, brother to St. Joseph, and of Mary, sister of the Blessed Virgin. He was therefore nephew both to St. Joseph and to the Blessed Virgin, and cousin-german to Christ. Simeon and Simon are the same name, and this saint is, according to the best interpreters of the holy scripture, the Simon mentioned, 1 who was brother to St. James the Lesser, and St. Jude, apostles, and to Joseph of José. He was eight or nine years older than our Saviour. We cannot doubt but he was an early follower of Christ, as his father and mother and three brothers were, and an exception to that of St. John, 2 that our Lord’s relations did not believe in him. Nor does St. Luke 3 leave us any room to doubt but that he received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost with the Blessed Virgin and the apostles; for he mentions present St. James and St. Jude, and the brothers of our Lord. Saint Epiphanius relates, 4 that when the Jews massacred St. James the Lesser, his brother Simeon reproached them for their atrocious cruelty. St. James, bishop of Jerusalem, being put to death in the year 62, twenty-nine years after our Saviour’s resurrection, the apostles and disciples met at Jerusalem to appoint him a successor. They unanimously chose St. Simeon, who had probably before assisted his brother in the government of that church.
  In the year 66, in which SS. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom at Rome, the civil war began in Judea, by the seditions of the Jews against the Romans. The Christians in Jerusalem were warned by God of the impending destruction of that city, and by a divine revelation 5 commanded to leave it, as Lot was rescued out of Sodom. They therefore departed out of it the same year, before Vespasian, Nero’s general, and afterwards emperor, entered Judæa, and retired beyond the Jordan to a small city called Pella; having St. Simeon at their head. After the taking and burning of Jerusalem, they returned thither again, and settled themselves amidst its ruins, till Adrian afterwards entirely razed it. St. Epiphanius  and Eusebius  assure us, that the church here flourished extremely, and that multitudes of Jews were converted by the great number of prodigies and miracles wrought in it.


St. Maximus

Feastday: February 18
Death: 295

Martyr with Alexander, Claudius, Cutias, and Praepedigna. Nothing can be documented about their sufferings under Emperor Diocletian.


Bl. Martin

Feastday: February 18

Martyr of China, a native Chinese who sheltered Blessed John Peter Neel. Martin was beheaded and beatified in 1909.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Sts. Lucius, Classicus, Fructulus, Maximus, Rutulus, Secundinus, and Silvanus.

 Born  Africa

Died North Africa

Canonized Pre-Congregation

Feastday: February 18
Death: unknown

Group of Christians who were martyred together in Africa, date unknown. No other information has survived except seven of their names Classicus, Fructulus, Maximus, Rutulus, Secundinus, and Silvanus.


Bl. John Pibush

Feastday: February 18
Death: Hanged on 18 February 1601 at Saint Thomas’s Waterings, Camberwell, England

English martyr, born in Thirsk, Yorkshire. He went to Reims and was ordained in 1587. Returning to England in 1589, John was arrested at Gloucestershire in 1593 and kept in prison in London. He escaped but was recaptured and then tried and condemned. He was executed at Southwark. His beatification took place in 1929.

According to Gillow he was probably a son of Thomas Pibush, of Great Fencott, and Jane, sister to Peter Danby of Scotton. He came to Reims on 4 August, 1580, received minor orders and subdiaconate in September, and diaconate in December, 1586, and was ordained on 14 March, 1587. He was sent on the English mission on 3 January, 1588-9, arrested at Morton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, in 1593, and sent to London, where he arrived before 24 July. The Privy Council committed him to the Gatehouse at Westminster, where he remained a year. He was then tried at the Gloucester Assizes under 27 Eliz., c. 2, for being a priest, but not sentenced, and was returned to Gloucester gaol, whence he escaped on 19 February 1594-5. The next day he was recaptured at Matson and taken back to Gloucester gaol, whence he was sent to the Marshalsea, London, and again tried under the same statute at Westminster on 1 July, 1595. He was sentenced to suffer the penalties of high treason at St. Thomas's Waterings, and in the meantime was to be returned to the Marshalsea. However, by the end of the year he was in the Queen's Bench prison, where he remained for more than five years. The sentence was carried out after one day's notice.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


Sts. Leo & Paregorius


Feastday: February 18
Death: 260

Martyrs of Patara in Lycia. Paregorius was martyred first, and when Leo protested a pagan festival near Paregorius' grave, he was martyred.


St. Gertrude Caterina Comensoli

Feastday: February 18
Born January 18, 1847 Bienno, Brescia
Died February 18, 1903Bergamo, Italy

Beatified October 1, 1989,  by John Paul II
Canonized April 26, 2009, by Benedict XVI

Gertrude Comensoli, born Catherine, was an Italian who was canonized in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI. Saint Gertrude was born in Bienne, Valcamonica, then under the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia.Catherine grew up in a family with ten brothers and sisters, of which only three females survived: Bartolomea, Cristina and Catherine precisely.She received her First Communion in 1867 and joined the Society of St. Angela Merici.On December 15, 1882, decided to found, with Francesco Spinelli, the Institute of the Sisters Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament which was also the origin of the Sisters Sacramentine and taking the name Sister Gertrude.On 1 November 1894, opened a house of nuns in Castelnuovo Bocca d'Adda and in the same year in the province of Lodi.Gertrude died February 18, 1903, on 1 October 1989 was proclaimed Blessed by Pope John Paul II, February 26, 2009 was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI, who gave evidence at the solemn ceremony of April 26, 2009.

Saint Geltrude Comensoli was born on January 18, 1847 in Bienno, Italy. Her name at birth was Caterina, and she was one of 10 children in the family, though only 3 of the girls, including her survived. When she was seven years old, she felt an urge to receive her First Communion, and so she dressed in her mother's black shawl and secretly received the Eucharist. She felt a “heavenly” feeling and swore to love Jesus as long as she lived.

As a child she was mature and wise beyond her years, exhibiting a great devotion to the Eucharistic Jesus. While still young, she organized the Guard of Honor among some of the girls she knew, under the motto: "Jesus, loving You and making others love You". This motto became the foundation of her work in life.

In 1862, she left her family and joined the Sisters of Charity, founded by St. Bartolomea Capitanio in Lovere, Brescia. It was not meant to be, however as she contracted a serious illness and was dismissed from the Institute. After she regained her health, her family was in a poor financial position, and she left her village and became a domestic servant of Rev. G. B. Rota, a parish priest of Chiari. A few years later, he became the Bishop of Lodi. Later, she served in the household of the Countess Fe

-Vitali. Towards the end of 1876 she reaffirmed her dedication to Jesus and wrote a strict personal rule of life, to which she remained faithful.

On the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1878, she made the vow of chastity that she had originally taken on the morning of her secret Communion, perpetual. While still serving as a domestic servant, Caterina also worked to educate the children of San Gervasio, Bergamo, instructing them in the Catholic faith and virtuous living.

Caterina lived a life of copious prayer, mortification, meditation, and works of charity. She grew closer to the Lord, and sought a way to live the life dedicated to the Eucharist that she had longed for her entire life. She confided in the Bishop of Bergamo, Mgr. Speranza, who was in Bienno visiting the Fé-Vitali’s. He gave her his assurance that she was following the will of God through her plans.

In 1880, she traveled to Rome with the Fé-Vitali’s, and was able to gain an audience with Pope Leo XIII, where she discussed her plans to establish a religious institute devoted to the adoration of the Eucharist. Pope Leo encouraged her to also work toward the education of young female factory workers as well. Encouraged by this charge, on December 15, 1882, Caterina and two of her friends founded the Congregation of the Sacramentine Sisters of Bergamo with the first adoration hour of the Blessed Sacrament. Two years later to the day, on December 15, 1884 she took the name of Sister Geltrude of the Blessed Sacrament.

The Sisters of the Congregation were advised by the new Bishop of Bergamo, Mgr. Camillo Guindani to abandon their first motherhouse in order to move to Lodi. Mgr. Rota, Bishop of Lodi, generously offered them a house in Lavagna di Comazzo, which temporarily became their new Mother House. After many obstacles were overcome, Mgr. Rota issued a Decree on September 8, 1891, granting the Institute canonical recognition. On March 28, 1892, Mother Geltrude returned with the Congregation to Bergamo. By this time, she had instituted perpetual public Eucharistic Adoration and had inspired the same love of the Eucharist among the members of her congregation.

On February 18, 1903, Mother Geltrude died, bowing her head towards the church where Eucharistic Adoration was proceeding. Those who knew her instantly called for her official sainthood. On August 9, 1926, her body taken from the cemetery of Bergamo to the Mother House of the Institute she established and placed in a chapel next to the Church of Adoration. On October 1, 1989, Pope John Paul II beatified her. She was canonized on April 26, 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI. Her feast day is February 18. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017


St. Flavian of Constantinople

Patriarch of Constantinople, Martyr
Died 449
Hypaepa, Lydia, Asia Minor

Feast day: February 18

Patriarch of Constantinople from 446 or 447, succeeding St. Proclus. Refusing to give Em­peror Theodosius II a bribe upon becoming patriarch and making the emperor's sister Pulcherius a deaconess, Flavian received hostile treat­ment from the imperial court. Flavian also started the condemnation of Eutyches, who began the heresy of Monophysitism. This led to his being deposed and exiled at the so-called "Robber Synod" at Ephesus in 449, whereupon the famous "Tome" of dogmatic letters of Pope Leo I the Great was ignored. Appealing to the Pope, Flavian was beaten so mercilessly that he was mortally wounded and died three days later in exile. He was proclaimed a saint and martyr by the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

              St Flavian was a priest of distinguished merit, and treasurer of the church of Constantinople, when he succeeded St. Proclus in the archiepiscopal dignity in 447. The eunuch Chrysaphius, chamberlain to the emperor Theodosius the Younger, and a particular favourite, suggested to his master, a weak prince, to require of him a present, out of gratitude to the emperor for his promotion. The holy bishop sent him some blessed bread, according to the custom of the church at that time, as a benediction and symbol of communion. Chrysaphius let him know that it was a present of a very different kind that was expected from him. St. Flavian, an enemy to simony, answered resolutely that the revenues and treasure of the church were designed for other uses, namely, the honour of God and the relief Of his poor. The eunuch, highly provoked at the bishop's refusal, from that moment resolved to contrive his ruin. Wherefore, with a view to his expulsion, he persuaded the emperor, by the means of his wife Eudoxia, to order the bishop to make Pulcheria, sister to Theodosius, a deaconess of his church. The saint's refusal was a second offence in the eyes of the sycophants of the court. The next year Chrysaphius was still more grievously offended with our saint for his condemning the errors of his kinsman Eutyches, abbot of a monastery of three hundred monks, near the city, who had acquired a reputation for virtue, but in effect was no better than an ignorant, proud, and obstinate man. His intemperate zeal against Nestorius for asserting two distinct persons in Christ threw him into the opposite error, that of denying two distinct natures after the incarnation.

In a council, held by St. Flavian in 448, Eutyches was accused of this error by Eusebius of Dorylaeum, his former friend, and it was there condemned as heretical, and the author was cited to appear to give an account of his faith. On the day appointed in the last summons he appeared before the council, but attended by two of the principal officers of the court, and a troop of the imperial guards. Being admitted and interrogated on the point in question, that is, his faith concerning the incarnation; he declared that he acknowledged indeed two natures before the union, but after it only one. To all reasonings and authority produced against his tenet, his reply was that he did not come thither to dispute, but to satisfy the assembly what his faith was. The council, upon this, anathematized and deposed him, and St. Flavian pronounced the sentence, which was subscribed by thirty-two bishops and twenty-three abbots, of which last eighteen were priests. Eutyches said privately to his guards that he appealed to the bishops of Rome, Egypt, and Jerusalem; and in a letter he wrote to St. Leo, to complain of his usage in the council, he endeavoured to impose on the pope. But his holiness being informed of the state of the affair by St. Flavian, wrote to him an ample declaration of the orthodox faith upon the point, which was afterwards read, and inserted in the acts of the council of Chalcedon, in which the errors of Eutyches were solemnly condemned. Chrysaphius, however, had interest enough with the weak emperor to obtain an order for a re-examination of the cause between St. Flavian and Eutyches in another council. This met in April 449, consisting of about thirty bishops, one-third whereof had assisted at the late council. St. Flavian being looked on as a party, Thalassius, Bishop of Caesarea, presided in his room. After the strictest scrutiny into every particular, the impiety of Eutyches and the justice of our saint's proceedings clearly appeared. St. Flavian presented to the emperor a profession of his faith, wherein he condemned the errors of both Eutyches and Nestorius, his adversaries pretending that he favoured the latter.

Chrysaphius, though baffled in his attempts, was still bent on the ruin of the holy bishop, and employed all his craft and power to save Eutyches and destroy Flavian. With this view he wrote to Dioscorus, a man of a violent temper, who had succeeded St. Cyril in the patriarchal see of Alexandria, promising him his friendship and favour in all his designs if he would undertake the defence of the deposed abbot against Flavian and Eusebius. Dioscorus came into his measures; and, by their joint interest with the empress Eudoxia, glad of an opportunity to mortify Pulcheria, who had a high esteem for our saint, they prevailed with the emperor to order a council to be called at Ephesus, to determine the dispute. Dioscorus was invited by the emperor to come and preside in it, accompanied with ten metropolitans and other bishops, together with the archimandrite, or abbot Barsumas, a man strongly attached to Eutyches and Dioscorus. The like directions were sent to the other patriarchs. St. Leo, who was invited, though late, sent legates to act in his name, Julius, Bishop of Puteoli, Renatus, a priest, who died on the road, Hilarius, a deacon, and Dulcitius, a notary. He sent by them a learned letter to St. Flavian, in which he taxes the ignorance of Eutyches in the holy scriptures, and explains the Catholic doctrine against that heresiarch, which he also did by other letters.

The false council of Ephesus, for the violences therein used commonly. called the Latrocinale, was opened on the 8th of August, in 449, and consisted of one hundred and thirty bishops, or their deputies, from Egypt and the East. Eutyches was there, and two officers from the emperor with a great number of soldiers. Every thing was carried on, by violence and open faction, in favour of Eutyches, by those officers and bishops who had espoused his party and formed a cabal. The pope's legates were never suffered to read his letters to the council. The final result of the proceedings was to pronounce sentence of deposition against St. Flavian and Eusebius. The pope's legates protested against the sentence. Hilarius, the deacon, cried out aloud, "contradicitur," opposition is made; which Latin word was inserted in the Greek acts of the synod. And Dioscorus no sooner began to read the sentence but he was interrupted by several of the bishops, who, prostrating themselves before him, besought him, in the most submissive terms, to proceed no further in so unwarrantable an affair. Upon this he starts up and calls aloud for the imperial commissioners, Elpidius and Eulogius, who, without more ado, ordered the church doors to be set open; upon which Proclus, the proconsul of Asia, entered surrounded with a band of soldiers, and followed by a confused multitude, with chains, clubs, and swords. This struck such a terror into the whole assembly that when the bishops were required by Dioscorus and his creatures to subscribe, few or none had the courage to withstand his threats, the pope's legates excepted, who protested aloud against these violent proceedings—one of whom was imprisoned; the other, Hilarius, got off with much difficulty, and came safe to Rome. St. Flavian, on hearing the sentence read by Dioscorus, appealed from him to the holy see, and delivered his acts of appeal in writing to the pope's legates, then present. This so provoked Dioscorus that, together with Barsumas and others of their party, after throwing the holy bishop on the ground, they so kicked and bruised him that he died within a few days, in 449, not at Ephesus, as some have said by mistake, but in his exile at Epipus, two days' journey from that city, situated near Sardes in Lydia, as Marcellinus testifies in his chronicle.

The council being over, Dioscorus, with two of his Egyptian bishops, had the insolence to excommunicate St. Leo. But violence and injustice did not triumph long. For the emperor's eyes being opened on his sister Pulcheria's return to court, whom the ambition of Chrysaphius had found means to remove in the beginning of these disturbances, the eunuch was disgraced and soon after put to death; and the empress Eudoxia obliged to retire to Jerusalem. The next year the emperor died, as Cedrenus says, penitent; and Pulcheria, ascending the throne in 450, ordered St. Flavian's body to be brought with great honour to Constantinople, and there magnificently interred among his predecessors in that see. St. Leo had, upon the first news of these proceedings, wrote to him to comfort him, as also to Theodosius, Pulcheria, and the clergy of Constantinople in his defence. The general council of Chalcedon declared him a saint and martyr, and paid great honours to his memory, in 451. The same council honourably restored Eusebius of Dorylaeum to his see. Pope Hilarius, who had been St. Leo's legate at Ephesus, had so great a veneration for the saint that he caused the martyrdom to be represented in Mosaic work, in the church which he built in ho our of the holy cross. The wicked Dioscorus was condemned by the council of Chalcedon in 451, and died obstinate and impenitent in the Eutychian heresy, and his other crimes, in his banishment at Gangres, in 454.

It was the glory of St. Flavian to die a martyr of the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God. This is the fundamental article of the Christian religion, and, above all other mysteries, challenges our most profound homages and constant devotion. In it hath God displayed, in the most incomprehensible manner, the astonishing immensity of his power, mercy, wisdom, and love, the contemplation of which will be the sweet occupation of angels and saints to all eternity. The servants of God on earth find their greatest delight in meditating on this great mystery, and in profound adoration and transports of love, honouring, praising, and glorifying their divine Saviour, and studying to put on his spirit by the constant union in mind and heart, or of their thoughts and affections, with him. But as the incarnation is the mystery of the unfathomed humility of a God to heal the wound of our pride, it is only by humility, and the annihilation of creatures in our hearts, that we can be disposed to contemplate or honour it with fruit. The dreadful fall and impenitence of Eutyches, after he had renounced the world with a view to give himself to God, were owing to the fatal sin of a secret pride.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


St. Colman of Lindisfarne

Feast Day: February 18

Born . 605 Ireland
Died 18 February 675 Ireland

Saint Colman was Bishop of Lindisfarne from 661 until 664
 England, a disciple of St. Columba. He was born in Connaught, Ireland. At the Synod of Whitby Colman defended the Celtic ecclesiastical practices against St. Eilfrid and St. Agilbert. When King Oswy introduced the Roman rites, Colman refused to accept the decision and led a group of Irish and English monks to the Isle of Innishboffin, near Connaught. In time he moved the English monks to Mayo. Colman was praised by Blessed Alcuin and St. Bede.

Colman was a native of the west of Ireland and had received his education on Iona. He was probably a nobleman of Canmaicne. Colman succeeded Aidan and Finan as bishop of Lindisfarne.Colman resigned the Bishopric of Lindisfarne after the Synod of Whitby called by King Oswiu of Northumbria decided to calculate Easter using the method of the First Ecumenical Council instead of his preferred Celtic method.

Later tradition states that between the years 665 AD and 667 AD, St. Colman founded several churches in Scotland before returning to Iona. However, there are no seventh-century records of such activity by him. From Iona he sailed for Ireland, settling at Inishbofin in 668 AD[5] where he founded a monastery. When Colman came to Mayo he brought with him half the relics of Lindisfarne, including the bones of St. Aidan and a part of the true cross. This was reputed to be in Mayo Abbey until its vanishment during the Reformation in 1537.

Colman was stepping into a landscape that had been decimated by the plague of 664-665 AD. He may have been reviving an earlier church on the island or one in the area in central Connacht where Mag Éo was founded later. On Inishbofin a rift occurred between the Irish and the English ‘because in summer the Irish went off to wander on their own around places they knew instead of assisting at harvest, and then, as winter approached, came back and wanted to share whatever the English monks had gathered.’

What was the reason for their intermittent absence? Earlier commentators suspected that the two nations came from different agricultural backgrounds and that the Irish intermittently removed themselves from the island with the monastery’s livestock for the purpose of ‘booleying’, a form of transhumance. It is also possible that the Irish visited their kinsfolk on the mainland. Returning to the island in Winter, they helped to consume the fruits of the Saxons' labours. This situation inevitably led to tensions within the community. Disputes arose between the Saxon and Irish monks after a short time. Colman brought his Saxon followers onto the mainland and founded a monastery for them at "Magh Eo" - the Plain of Yew Trees, subsequently known as "Mayo of the Saxons".


St. Charalampias

Feast Day: February 18

Death: 203

Martyr of Magnesia, in Asia Minor, with companions. He was a priest taken in the persecution of Emperor Septimius Severus. He was martyred with two soldiers and three women.