English Speaking Saints And Martyrs

English Saints and Martyrs

Sunday, August 29, 2010

ENGLISH SAINTS AND MARTYRS AUGUST 29-SEPI. 4

August 29

St. Velleicus, 8th century. Anglo-Saxon abbot also listed as Willeic. He journeyed to Germany to assist in the evangelization of the region as a disciple of St. Swithbert and served as abbot of Kaiserswerth, on the Rhine.

St. Sebbi, 694 A.D. Also listed as Sebbe, he became the king of Essex (or the East Saxons) following the conversion of the kingdom by St. Cedd in 664. He ruled at a time when there was relative peace and the realm was under the domination of Mercia, a nearby kingdom. Sebbi abdicated after ruling thirty years and became a monk in London. He died there and was buried in the old St. Paul’s.

St. Edwold, 9th century. A hermit who was the brother of St. Edmund the Martyr, King of East Anglia, England. Edwold lived as a recluse in Cerne, Dorsetshire.

Bl. Richard Herst, 1628 A.D. English martyr, also called Hurst. Born near Preston, Lancashire, England, he was well known as a farmer until being arrested on the charge of murder. He fought with three men who tried to arrest him, and one of them, named Dewhurst, died. In point of fact, he was hanged at Lancaster on August 29 because of his refusal to deny Catholicism. He was offered his freedom if he took the Oath of Supremacy but declined. He was beatified in 1929.

August 30

St. Rumon. Rumon, also known as Ruan, Ronan, and Ruadan, was probably a brother of Bishop St. Tudwal of Trequier, but nothing else is known of him beyond that he was probably an Irish missionary and many churches in Devon and Cornwall in England were named after him. Some authorities believed he is the same as the St. Ronan (June 1) venerated in Brittany and believed consecrated bishop by St. Patrick, but others believe that he and St. Kea were British monks who founded a monastery at Street Somerset.

Bl. Edward Shelley, 1588 A.D. English martyr of Warminghurst. He sheltered priests and was hung at Tyburn. Edward was beatified in 1929.

St. Loaran, 5th century. Irish disciple of St. Patrick. He is sometimes listed as the bishop of Downpatrick, Ireland.

Bl. Richard Leigh, 1588 A.D. English martyr. Born in London, circa 1561, he studied at Reims and Rome and was ordained a priest in 1586. Returning to England, he was arrested and banished. He returned and was again arrested for being a priest and, with Blesseds Richard Martin, Edward Shelley, John Roche, Richard Flowers, and St. Margaret Ward, was executed at Tybum. Richard was beatified in 1929.

St. Richard Martin, 1588 A.D. English martyr. Born in Shropshire, he studied at Oxford and was a devout Catholic. Arrested for giving shelter to priests, he was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tybum with Blesseds Richard Leigh, Edward Shelley, John Roche, Richard Flowers, and St. Margaret Ward. He was beatified in 1929.

August 31

St. Aidan of Lindisfarne, 651 A.D. Aidan of Lindisfarne, born in Ireland, may have studied under St. Senan before becoming a monk at Iona. At the request of King Oswald of Northumbria, Aidan went to Lindisfarne as bishop and was known throughout the kingdom for his knowledge of the Bible, his learning, his eloquent preaching, his holiness, his distaste for pomp, his kindness to the poor, and the miracles attributed to him. He founded a monastery at Lindisfarne that became known as the English Iona and was a center of learning and missionary activity for all of northern England. He died in 651 at the royal castle at Bamburgh.

Bl. Richard Bere, 1537 A.D. English martyr. Born at Glastonbury, he studied at Oxford and the Inns of Court before entering the Carthusians in London. When he and his fellow monks voiced their opposition to the planned divorce of King Henry VIII from Catherine of Aragon, they were starved to death in Newgate Prison.


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September 1

St. Fiacre. Patron of Gardeners and Cab-drivers St. Fiacre (Fiachra) is not mentioned in the earlier Irish calendars, but it is said that he was born in Ireland and that he sailed over into France in quest of closer solitude, in which he might devote himself to God, unknown to the world. He arrived at Meaux, where Saint Faro, who was the bishop of that city, gave him a solitary dwelling in a forest which was his own patrimony, called Breuil, in the province of Brie. There is a legend that St. Faro offered him as much land as he could turn up in a day, and that St. Fiacre, instead of driving his furrow with a plough, turned the top of the soil with the point of his staff. The anchorite cleared the ground of trees and briers, made himself a cell with a garden, built an oratory in honor of the Blessed Virgin, and made a hospice for travelers which developed into the village of Saint-Fiacre in Seine-et-Marne. Many resorted to him for advice, and the poor, for relief. His charity moved him to attend cheerfully those that came to consult him; and in his hospice he entertained all comers, serving them with his own hands, and sometimes miraculously restored to health those that were sick. He never allowed any woman to enter the enclosure of his hermitage, and Saint Fiacre extended the prohibition even to his chapel; several rather ill-natured legends profess to account for it. Others tell us that those who attempted to transgress, were punished by visible judgements, and that, for example, in 1620 a lady of Paris, who claimed to be above this rule, going into the oratory, became distracted upon the spot and never recovered her senses; whereas Anne of Austria, Queen of France, was content to offer up her prayers outside the door, amongst the other pilgrims.

St. Lythan. Titular saint of two churches in Wales. He is sometimes listed as Llythaothaw and Thaw.

September 3

St. Angus MacNisse. According to legends, Angus MacNisse was baptized by St. Patrick, who years later consecrated him, bishop. After a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Rome, he founded a church and monastery at Kells, which developed into Connor, of which he is considered the first bishop. His story is filled with extravagant miracles, such as changing the course of a river for the convenience of his monks and rescuing a child about to be executed for his father's crime by causing him to be carried by the wind from his executioners to his arms.

St. Balin, 7th century. Confessor and disciple of St. Colman of Lindisfarne. Balm was the son of an Anglo-Saxon king. He accompanied St. Colman to lona, in Scotland, and then took up residence in Connaught, Ireland.

St. Hereswitha, 690 A.D. Benedictine princess of Northumbria, England, sister of St. Hilda and mother of Sts. Sexburga, Withburga, and Ethelburga. A widow, Hereswitha spent the last years of her life as Benedictine in Chelles, France.

St. Macanisius, 514 A.D. Bishop and probable founder of Kells Monastery. Ireland, which became the diocese of Connor. Tradition states that St. Patrick baptized Macanisius as an infant and then consecrated him later as a bishop. He is also listed as Aengus McNisse in some documents, and many spectacular miracles are attributed to him.

September 4

St. Ultan, 657 A.D. Bishop of Ardbraccan, Ireland. He was noted for his care of the poor, orphans, and the sick, and is the reputed collector of the writings of St. Brigid. Ultan illustrated his own manuscripts.

St. Rhuddlad, 7th century. Welsh virgin, patroness of Llanrhyddlad in Anglesey, Wales.

St. Monessa, 456 A.D. Virgin convert of St. Patrick in Ireland. Reportedly the daughter of an Irish chieftain, Monessa died in the instant that she was baptized.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

ENGLISH SAINTS AND MARTYRS AUGUST 22-28

August 22

St. Sigfrid. Sigfrid, who died in the year 690, was a deacon at Wearmouth Abbey. He was known for his knowledge of scripture and for his frail health. He was elected coadjutor abbot in 688 on the death of St. Erstwine while Abbot St. Benedict Biscop was in Rome. Sigfrid died soon after St. Benedict.

St. Andrew the Scot, 877 A.D. Archdeacon and companion of St. Donatus. Andrew and his sister, St. Bridget the Younger, were born in Ireland of noble parents. They were educated by St. Donatus, and when Donatus went on a pilgrimage to Italy, Andrew accompanied him. In Fiesole, through a miracle, Donatus was elected bishop. Andrew was ordained the archdeacon of Fiesole, serving Donatus for forty-seven years. He also founded a monastery in Mensola, Italy. Andrew died shortly after Donatus, but his sister, St. Bridget the Younger, was carried by an angel to his bedside, all the way from Ireland.

St. Arnulf, 9th century. Hermit, venerated at Arnulphsbury or Eynesbury, in England.

Bl. William Lacey, 1582 A.D. Martyr of England. Born in Horton, West Riding, Yorkshire, he distinguished himself as a lawyer and as an ardent Catholic, using his house as a refuge for the much oppressed Catholics of the time. Following the death of his second wife in 1579, he left England and studied at Reims, France, in preparation for his eventual ordination at Rome. William returned to England and worked in the area of Yorkshire until his arrest. He was arrested in York Prison while participating in the Eucharistic ceremony being sung in the cell of Blessed Thomas Bell. Condemned, he was executed at Knavesmaire, just outside of York with Blessed Richard Kirkman. William was beatified in 1886.

St. Ethelgitha. Benedictine abbess of Northumbria, England.

St. Gunifort. A martyr of Pavia, Italy. He was Irish, Scottish, or English.

St. John Kemble, 1679 A.D. One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He was born in Herefordshire, England, in 1599, and studied at Douai, where he was ordained in 1625. Returning to England, John labored in missions for fifty-three years. At the age of eighty-one, he was arrested at Pembridge Castle, the home of his brother. He was falsely charged in the Titus Oates Plot and condemned for being a Catholic. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Hereford. Pope Paul VI canonized him in 1970.

St. John Wall, 1679 A.D. One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. He was born near Preston, England, and was educated at Douai and Rome and ordained in 1645. In 1651 he became a Franciscan, called Father Joachim of St. Anne, returning to Worcester, England, in 1656. There he was arrested in December 1678 and imprisoned for five months. He was martyred by being hanged, drawn, and quartered at Redhill. Pope Paul VI canonized him in 1970.

Bl. Richard Kirkman, 1582 A.D. English martyr. Born in Addingham, Yorkshire, he left England and studied at the famous Catholic school of Douai, France, the preparatory institution for English Catholics who would then return home and work for the reconversion of the isle. Ordained in 1579, in Reims, he sailed to England and served as a tutor for Richard Dymake’s family in Scrivelsby. Richard then went to Yorkshire and Northumberland and he was arrested near Wakefield. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered near York with Blessed William Lacey, on August 22, for denying the supremacy of Queen Elizabeth I as head of the Church of England

August 23

St. Tydfil, 480 A.D. Welsh martyr, reportedly from the clan of Brychan. She was slain by a group of pagan Picts or Saxons and is venerated at Merthyr-Tydfil, Glamorgan. Wales.

St. Ebba, 870 A.D. Abbess of Coldingham, England, on the Scottish border, called “the Younger.” She and her nuns were martyred by Danes in an invasion. She mutilated her face to discourage rape by the invading Danes. The raiders set fire to Coldingham, killing all of the nuns.

St. Eugene, 6th century. Irish missionary to England who became the first bishop of Ardstraw, in Tyrone, Ireland, now Derry. He is also listed as Eoghan, Enny, and Owen. He was born in Leinster, Ireland, and was a relative of St. Kevin of Glendalough. Kidnapped as a child, he spent years as a slave before returning to Ireland. There he helped St. Tigernach found Clones Monastery in 576.

August 24

St. Yrchard, fifth century. Scottish bishop and disciple of St. Ternan also called Yardcard. Yrchard served as a missionary among the Picts.



August 26

St. Bregwin, 764 A.D. Also Breguivine, the twelfth archbishop of Canterbury, England. He served from 761 until his death. His letters to St. Lullus of Mainz are extant and Eadmer wrote his life.

Bl. Thomas Percy, 1572 A.D. English Martyr, born in 1528. Earl of Northumberland from 1537, Thomas initially enjoyed an excellent relationship with Queen Elizabeth I (r. 1558-1603). Thomas also served Queen Mary (r. 1542-1587). Queen Elizabeth bestowed the Order of the Garter on him in 1563. He then became involved in the Rising of the North and fled to Scotland but was sold to Queen Elizabeth for two thousand pounds. For three years he languished in a prison, refusing fervently to abjure his faith in return for his freedom. Thomas was finally beheaded at York and was beatified in 1896.

St. Pandwyna, 10th century. A Scottish or Irish saint also called Pandonio. A church is dedicated to her in Cambridgeshire, England.

August 27

St. Decuman, 706 A.D. Hermit martyr, also called Dagan. He was Welsh, and he lived as a recluse in Somersetshire, England. There he was murdered in a fashion that led to his veneration as a martyr.

St. Etherius, 602 A.D. Bishop of Lyons, France, who welcomed St. Augustine when he was on his way to England. Pope St. Gregory I the Great recommended Etherius to St. Augustine. Etherius is some­times listed as Alermius.

St. Malrubius. Martyred hermit of Merns, Scotland. He was slain by Norse invaders who landed in his area and razed the countryside.

August 28

St. Edmund Arrowsmith, 1628 A.D. St. Edmund Arrowsmith (1585 - 1628) Edmund was the son of Robert Arrowsmith, a farmer, and was born at Haydock, England. He was baptized Brian, but always used his Confirmation name of Edmund. The family was constantly harrassed for its adherence to Catholicism, and in 1605 Edmund left England and went to Douai to study for the priesthood. He was ordained in 1612 and sent on the English mission the following year. He ministered to the Catholics of Lancashire without incident until about 1622, when he was arrested and questioned by the Protestant bishop of Chester. He was released when King James ordered all arrested priests be freed, joined the Jesuits in 1624, and in 1628 was arrested when betrayed by a young man he had censored for an incestuous marriage. He was convicted of being a Catholic priest, sentenced to death, and hanged, drawn, and quartered at Lancaster on August 28th. He was canonized as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales by Pope Paul VI in 1970.

Blesseds John Roche and Margaret Ward. John Roche was one of the London martyrs of 1588. Blessed Margaret Ward was a gentle woman born at Congleton in Cheshire, in the service of another gentle woman, Whitall, in London. She had visited in the Bridewell prison, Mr. Richard Watson, a secular priest; to him she smuggled a rope, but in making use of it to escape, Watson had fallen and broken an arm and a leg. He was gotten away by Margaret's young Irish serving-man, John Roche, who, to assist the priest's escape, changed clothes with him and so, was himself arrested. When charged, both Blessed Margaret and Blessed John refused to disclose Mr. Watson's whereabouts. They were offered their liberty if they would ask the Queen's pardon and promise to go to church; to which they replied that they had done nothing that could reasonably offend her Majesty, and that it was against their conscience to attend a protestant church. So they were condemned. These martyrs, who suffered with such firm constancy and patience, were forbidden to speak to the people from the scaffold because their persecutors were afraid of the impression they would make; "but the very death of so many saint-like innocent men (whose lives were unimpeachable), and of several young gentlemen, which they endured with so much joy, strongly pleaded for the cause for which they died."

Bl. William Dean, 1588 A.D. Martyr of England. Born at Linton in Craven, Yorkshire, he was originally a minister who was converted to Catholicism. William left England and received ordination at Reims, France, in 1581. Returning to England, he was arrested and exiled but returned and was arrested again in London. William was executed in Nile End Green, London. He was beatified in 1929.

Bl. William Guntei, 1588A.D. Martyr of Wales. A native of Raglan, Gwent, Wales, he was a Catholic who received ordination at Reims, France, in 1587. He returned to England to work for the Catholic mission. Captured, he was hanged at Shoreditch and beatified in 1929.

Bl. Thomas Felton, 1588 A.D. English martyr. The son of Blessed John Felton, he was born at Bermondsey, England, in 1568. Leaving England to study at Reims, France, he entered the Friars Minim and went home to England to recover from an illness. He was arrested and imprisoned for two years. Released, he was again put in prison and hanged at lsleworth, London.

Bl. Thomas Holford, 1588 A.D. English martyr. Also known as Thomas Acton, he was born at Aston, in Cheshire, England. Raised a Protestant, he worked as a schoolmaster in Herefordshire until converting to the Catholic faith. He left England and was ordained at Reims in 1583. Going home, he labored in the areas around Cheshire and London until his arrest. He was hanged at Clerkenwell in London.

Bl. Hugh More, 1588 A.D. Martyr of England. He was a native of Lincolnshire, educated at Oxford. After converting while at Reims, Hugh was martyred at Lincoln’s Inn Fields by hanging. Pope Pius XI beatified him in 1929.

Bl. Robert Morton, 1588 A.D. English martyr. Born in Bawtry, Yorkshire, he left England and studied for the priesthood at Reims and Rome. After ordination in 1587, he returned home immediately and was soon arrested. He was executed at Lincoln's Inn Fields, London. Robert was beatified in 1929 as one of the Martyrs of London of 1588.

St. Rumwald, 650 A.D. Was a prince, the son of King Aldfrith and Queen Cuneburga, in the kingdom of Northumbria, England. He is said to have been only three days old when, upon his Baptism, he declared the profession of faith and then died. Venerated for centuries in parts of England.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

ENGLISH SAINTS AND MARTYRS AUGUST 15-21

August 16

St. Armagillus, 570 A.D. Welsh missionary, called Armel, Ermel, and Ervan, and a cousin of St. Samson. He studied under Abbot Carentmael, joining the abbot in missionary journeys to Brittany, France. The missionaries founded Saint-Armel-des-Boscheaux and Plou-Ermel or Plouharzel. Connor, a local chieftain, forced them to leave the mission until 555. Connor was slain in battle that year, allowing their return. Armagillus is honored by a Comish church, St. Erme.

August 17

St. Drithelm, 700 A.D. A wealthy man of Northumbria, England, who supposedly died, experienced a powerful vision of heaven, hell, and purgatory, and then was found to be alive. He divided his possessions among his wife and children and made benefices for the poor before becoming a monk at Melrose Abbey. He lived as a hermit there with great austerities. St. Bede gives an account of his life.

St. Hiero, 885 A.D. Irish martyr, also called Iero. He was an Irish missionary to Holland, where he was martyred

St. James the Deacon, 769 A.D. Italian monk and deacon. A companion of St. Paulinus in the missionary effort in Northumbria, England, he was so dedicated to the evangelizing cause that he remained in the region despite the constant dangers of the severe pagan reaction.

August 18

St. Daig Maccairaill, 586 A.D. Monastic founder and bishop, also called Dagaeus and Daganus. He was the son of Cayrill and a disciple of St. Finian. Daig Maccairaill founded a monastery at Iniskeen, Ireland. He is called “one of the Three Master Craftsman of Ireland.”

St. Hugh the Little, 1255 A.D. Martyred nine year old of Lincoln, England, reportedly a victim of ritual killing by English Jews. King Henry III conducted the investigation of the crime which resulted in eighteen or nineteen Jews being hanged. Hugh had been scourged, crowned with thorns, and crucified. Miracles supposedly accompanied the recovery of the lad’s body from a well, and the martyrdom became part of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The feast of the saint is no longer kept by the Church, and the entire account of the young saint is considered an example of the anti Semitism which was rampant throughout the Middle Ages. In art, he was depicted bound in cords, kneeling before the Blessed Mother.

St. Evan, 9th century. A Scottish hermit in Ayrshire, Scotland, also listed as man. Churches in the region bear his name.

August 19

St. Mochta, 535 A.D. Bishop of Ireland. He was born in Britain but was brought to Ireland as a child. There he became a disciple of St. Patrick. During a visit to Rome, Mochta was made a bishop by Pope St. Leo I. He founded Louth Monastery with twelve companions and was probably consecrated by St. Patrick. He died at the age of ninety, the last known disciple of St. Patrick.

St. Sebald, 770 A.D. Patron Saint of Nuremberg. Hermit, missionary, and a patron saint of Nuremberg. Most likely an Anglo-Saxon from England, he arrived on the Continent and became a hermit near Vicenza, Italy, and then participated in the missionary enterprise of the times, assisting in the work. of St. Willibald in the Reichswald. Many miracles were attributed to him, including turning icicles into firewood.

St. Credan, 780 A.D. A Benedictine abbot of Evesham, England, in the reign of King Offa of Mercia.

August 20

St. Edbert, 960 A.D. King of Northumbria, England, the successor of St. Ceolwulph. He reigned for two decades and then became a Benedictine monk at York.

St. Herbert Hoscam, 1180 A.D. Archbishop and patron saint of Conze, Italy. He was English by birth but served as prelate of the Basilicata area.

St. Ronald, 1158 A.D. A warrior chieftain in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. According to tradition, he made a vow to build a church, fulfilling the pledge by erecting the cathedral of St. Magnus at Kirkwall. Ronald was later murdered by a group of rebelling warriors and was venerated as a martyr at Kirkwall.

August 21

St. Hardulph. A hermit of Leicester, England, possibly the recluse of Breedon, mentioned in the life of St. Modwenna. A church was dedicated in hid honor.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

ENGLISH SAINTS AND MARTYRS AUGUST 7-14

August 7
St. Donat. Patron saint of St. Donat’s or Llandunwyd, Glamorgan, Wales. Nothing else is known, but in some lists he is called Dunwyd.

St. Claudia. Claudia was the mother of Linus, who became the second Pope. Tradition has her as the daughter of British King Caractacus, who was sent to Rome with his family in chains when he was defeated by Aulus Plautius. Released by Emperor Claudius, one of his daughters took the name Claudia, remained in Rome, was baptized, and is the Claudia mentioned in St. Paul's second letter to Timothy. Another tradition has her as the daughter of Cogidubnus, a British ally of Claudius, who took the Emperor's name. Martial mentions a British lady, Claudia Rufina, and says she was married to his friend Aulus Pudens, a Roman senator. Another tradition has this senator the Pudens also mentioned in St. Paul's second letter to Timothy.

August 8

St. Ellidius, 7th century. Patron saint of Himant, Powys, Wales, and of a church in the Scilly Isles of England. Also called Illog.

Bl. John Felton, 1570 A.D. Martyr of England who promoted the papacy in London. Born in Bermondsey, London, to a Norfolk line, John nailed a copy of the Bull of Pope St. Pius V excommunicating Queen Elizabeth I to the doors of the bishop of London’s residence. Arrested and imprisoned, he was racked three times before being martyred in St. Paul’s churchyard. Pope Leo XIII beatified him in 1886.

Bl. Mary MacKillop, 1909 A.D. The first native Australian to be beatified. Born Mary Helen MacKillop in Melbourne, she was of Scottish ancestry. Concerned with the poor and suffering, Mary founded the Sisters of St. Joseph and of the Sacred Heart. These sisters were dedicated to educating children. In 1873, she became Mary of the Cross, and two years later was elected mother general of her congregation. After many difficulties, Mother MacKillop received papal approval of her work in 1888 from Pope Leo XIII. When she died on August 8, 1909, in Sydney, there were one thousand women in her congregation. Pope John Paul II beatified her on January 19, 1995.

August 9

St. Nathy. Nathy is surnamed Cruimthir (the priest). He was born at Luighne, Sligo, Ireland and became a disciple of St. Finnian of Clonnard, who made him a bishop. He was founder-abbot of a monastery, which is questioned by some in view of his surname. His cult was confirmed in 1903.

St. Phelim, 6th century. Irish monk and disciple of St. Columba. He is honored as a patron saint of Kilmore and is also listed as Fidleminus and Felix.

St. Bandaridus, 556 A.D. Bishop of Soissons, also called Banderik, Bandarinus, and Bandery. In 540, Bandaridus was made bishop of Soissons, France. He founded Crepin Abbey and served the area until King Clotaire I banished him over a disagreement. He went to England and became a gardener in an abbey, living there anonymously. When he was recognized after seven years, Bandaridus was recalled by the king. Bandaridus was buried in Crépin Abbey.

August 11

St. Blane. Blane was born on the island of Bute, Scotland; he studied in Ireland for seven years, became a monk there, and on his return to Scotland was ordained and devoted himself to missionary work. He was consecrated bishop, made a pilgrimage to Rome, is credited with performing miracles, and died at Kingarth on Bute. He is also known as Blaan

St. Lelia. The diocese of Limerick today keeps the feast of St. Lelia, who as well as a commemoration in all other Irish dioceses. Canon O'Hanlon, in his lives of the Irish saints, says of this maiden that "her era and her locality have not been distinctly revealed to us; but there is good reason for supposing that she lived at a remote period, and most probably she let a life of strict observance, if she did not preside over some religious institution in the province of Munster". Lelia is now generally identified with the Dalcassian saint Liadhain, great-grand-daughter of the prince Cairthenn whom St. Patrick baptized at Singland. There are no particulars or traditions about her (in the 17th century she was said to be the sister of St. Munchin), but she gives her name to Killeely (Cill Liadaini) just within the borough boundary of Limerick.

St. Attracta, 6th century. Hermitess and co-worker with St. Patrick also called Araght or Taraghta. She is traditionally listed as a daughter of a noble Irish family. Her father opposed her religious vocation but Attracta went to St. Patrick at Coolavin, Ireland, and made her vows to him. Attracta founded a hospice on Lough Gara called Killaraght. She also performed miracles, while living at Drum, near Boyle.

August 12

St. Just. Patron saint of the church of St. Just, near Penzance, Cornwall, England, also called Justus. It is possible that several saints' lives are present in the accounts of Just's life, as he is variously described as a hermit and martyr.

St. Jambert or Lambert, 792 A.D. Benedictine archbishop of Canterbury, sometimes listed as Lambert. He succeeded St. Bregwin as archbishop in 766. Jambert was the thirteenth prelate of the primal see of England and was noted for his patronage of monasteries and the poor.

St. Merewenna. Patroness of Marharm Church, in Cornwall, England. Sometimes known as Merwenna and Merwinna, she was a daughter of Brychan of Brecknock.

St. Murtagh, 6th century. Bishop of Killala, Ireland, appointed by St. Patrick. Also called Muredach, he was a member of the royal family of King Laoghaire. Murtagh reportedly met with St. Columba at Ballsodare, near Sligo, in 575. He died as a hermit on Inismurray Island.

August 13

St. Wigbert, 738 A.D. Abbot and missionary. Originally an English monk, he traveled to Germany, where he accepted the invitation of St. Boniface, who wanted his help in the missionary field and who named him abbot of Fritzlar, near Cassel, France. After a number of years, he was transferred to Ohrdruf, in Thuringia, Germany, but Boniface gave him permission to return to Fritzlar, where he died.

St. William Freeman, 1595 A.D. English martyr. Born in East Riding, Yorkshire, he studied at Oxford and was converted to Catholicism in 1586 by the martyrdom of Blessed Edward Stransahm at Tyburn. He went to Reims, France, where he was ordained in 1587. He went back to England the following year, and labored for the English mission in Worcestershire and Warwickshire until arrested in early 1595. Seven months later he was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Warwick on August 13. William was beatified in 1929.

August 14

St. Fachanan. This saint's feast is observed liturgically throughout all Ireland and he is patron of the diocese of Ross, where he was probably the first bishop. He was born at Tulachteann, was one of the pupils of St. Ita, and founded the monastery of Molana on an island in the Blackwater, near Youghal. But his great achievement was the establishment of the monastic school of Ross, at what is now Rosscarbery, in county Cork, one of the most famous schools of Ireland, which flourished for three hundred years and survived in some form until the coming of the Normans. Fachanan (Fachtna) suffered for a time from blindness, from which he recovered at the intercession of St. Ita's sister, who was about to give birth to St. Mochoemog. St. Fachanan was revered as a "wise and upright man", with a great gift for preaching; St. Cuimin of Connor said of him that he was "generous and steadfast, fond of preaching to the people and saying nothing that was base or displeasing to God".

St. Werenfrid, 760 A.D. Benedictine missionary. From England, he journeyed to become an assistant to St. Willibrord in his labors to convert the Frisians. He died at Arnhem, in the Netherlands.

Monday, August 02, 2010

ENGLISH SAINTS AND MARTYRS AUGUST 1-6

August 1

St. Elined. Welsh virgin and martyr, also called Ellyw and Almedha. She is honored in Lianelly and Llanelieu.

St. Almedha, sixth century. Virgin and martyr also called Aled or Filuned. The Welsh tradition reports that Almedha was the daughter of King Brychan. Having taken a vow of virginity and dedicated to Christ, Almedha fled from her father's royal residence to escape marriage to the prince of a neighboring kingdom. She went to three Welsh villages - Llandrew, Llanfillo, and Llechfaen - but the people turned her away, despite her promise warning that dreadful thing calamities would befall anyone who denied her sanctuary. Almedha reached Brecon, where she took up residence in a small hut, but the king arrived and demanded her return. When she refused him, he beheaded her. Tradition states that a spring of water appeared on the site of her murder. The three villages that refused her were visited by disasters.

Bl. Thomas Welbourne, 1605 A.D. English martyr. Born in Hutton Bushel, Yorkshire, he worked as a schoolmaster until his arrest for preaching the Catholic faith. He was arrested and condemned with Blesseds John Fuithering and William Brown. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered at York.

St. Ethelwold. Bishop of Winchester, England, called “the Father of Monks.” Born in that city, he was ordained by St. Alphege the Bald. In 943, he joined the Benedictines at Glastonbury under St. Dunstan. He became the abbot of Abingdon in 955 and bishop in 963. Ethelwold worked with Sts. Dunstan and Oswald of York in bringing about a monastic revival after the Danish invasions. He also expelled the canons of Winchester, replacing them with monks. Ethelwold founded or restored the abbeys of Ely, Chertsey, Milton Abbas, Newminster, Peterborough, and Thorney. He authored Regularis Concordia, a monastic decree based on the Benedictine Rule, and his school of illumination at Winchester was famed.

St. Peregrinus, 643 A.D. Irish or Scottish hermit. Peregrinus was originally a pilgrim who, on his way home from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the holy places, chose to become a hermit in the area around Modena, Italy. He remained there for the rest of his life.

St. Rioch, 480 A.D. Bishop Abbot of lnisboffin, Ireland. He was a nephew of St. Patrick and the brother of Sts. Mel and two others, Melchu and Muinis. They were the sons of Conis and St. Darerca. Rioch was a missionary bishop.

August 2

St. Alfreda, 795 A.D. Virgin and hermit, also known as Afreda, Alfritha, Aelfnryth, and Etheldreda. She was the daughter of King Offa of Mercia, in England, and was either betrothed to or loved by St. Ethelbert, the king of the East Angles. Ethelbert went to Offa's court to ask for Alfreda but was murdered by Offa's queen, Cynethritha. Horrified by the deed, Alfreda departed the court and retired to the marshes of Crowland. There she lived as a hermitess until her death. Her sister, Aelfreda, also lost a husband to the political intrigue of Offa and his queen.

St. Thomas of Dover, 1295 A.D. Benedictine monk and martyr. Also called Thomas Hales, he served as a Benedictine monk at St. Martin's Priory in Dover, England. In 1295, the priory was overrun by a French raiding party which was assailing Dover, and Thomas, being old and infirm, could not escape with the rest of the community. The French raiders demanded that he tell them the whereabouts of the church treasures. When he refused, they murdered him. Miracles were soon reported at his tomb, and an altar was dedicated to him in the priory church in 1500. King Richard II of England (r. 1379-1399) requested that his cause be opened in 1382.

St. Plegmund, 914 A.D. Benedictine Archbishop of Canterbury and the tutor of King Alfred the Great. Plegmund was born in Mercia, England, and was a hermit near Chester. He was appointed archbishop by Pope Stephen V at the request of Alfred, proving a capable prelate, scholar, and dedicated reformer. He went to Rome in 908 to see Pope Sergius III and later died at Canterbury.

August 3

St. Trea, 5th century. Irish hermitess. A convert to Christianity through the efforts of St. Patrick, she embraced the eremitical life and lived out her days as a recluse at Ardtree, Derry, Ireland.

Bl. Waltheof, 1160 A.D. Cistercian abbot, also known as Walthen and Waldef. The son of Simon, earl of lluntingdon, England, he was born circa 1100, and was raised at the court of the Scottish king alter his mother, Maud, wed King David I of Scotland (r. 1124-1153) following the death of her first husband. While at court, Waltheof came under the influence of St. Adred, who was master of the royal household. Drawn toward the religious life, he entered the Augustinian Canons in Yorkshire and was elected abbot of Kirkham after a vision of the Christ Child. Waltheof desired a more austere life and so joined the Cistercians at Wardon, Bedfordshire, and then became abbot of Melrose which had been rebuilt recently by his stepfather. In later years, he declined the office of archbishop of St. Andrews. He was renowned for his immense charity to the poor, personal holiness, and deep austerity.

August 4

Bl. William Horne, 1540 A.D. Carthusian lay brother and martyr. A member of the London Charterhouse of the Carthusians, he was arrested for opposing the religious policies of King Henry VIII (r. 1509-1547), which included the imprisonment of Catholics and the destruction of monasteries. William was executed at Tyburn with two companions.

St. Lua, 609 A.D. Abbot and disciple of St. Comgall, sometimes listed as Lugud or Molua. He was born in Limerick, Ireland, where he aided St. Comgall and reportedly founded 120 monasteries. He was also a hermit for a few years.

August 5

St. Abel, 751 A.D. Archbishop and Benedictine abbot. Abel was probably born in Ireland, and was a noted churchman, accompanying St. Boniface on his missions to the European Continent. He was chosen as archbishop of Reims by Pope St. Zachary, a nomination ratified by the Council of Soissons in 744. However, a usurper named Milo occupied the see and would not relinquish it. Abel retired to a monastery at Lobbes, and was installed as abbot. He died there in the "odor of sanctity."

St. Gormcal, 1016 A.D. An Irish abbot of Ardoilen Abbey, in Galway, Ireland. He participated in the monastic renaissance of that era.