English Speaking Saints And Martyrs

English Saints and Martyrs

Saturday, September 18, 2010

ENGLISH SAINTS AND MARTYRS SEPT. 19 -SEPT. 25


September 19

St. Theodore of Tarsus, 690 A.D. Archbishop of Canterbury, England, and a memorable figure in the English Church. A native of Tarsus, Turkey, he was a Greek by descent. After studying in Tarsus and Athens, Greece, he went to Rome, where he became so respected that Pope St. Vitalian (r. 657-672) appointed him to succeed to the see of Canterbury in 667. After receiving consecration on March 26, 668, he set out for England in the company of Sts. Dominic Biscop and Hadrian the African, both of whom were to provide assistance and helped guarantee that Theodore's administration remained entirely orthodox. They arrived at Canterbury in May 669 and Theodore moved immediately to consolidate his position as primate of England and the metropolitan status of the see of Canterbury. To promote further unity, he convened two synods, at Hereford in 673 and at Hatfield in 680. Such was the success of his programs that the Venerable Bede wrote that Theodore was "the first archbishop obeyed by all the English Church."

September 20

Bl. Thomas Johnson, 1537 A.D. English Carthusian Martyr. A priest and member of the London Charterhouse, he was arrested with fellow monks for opposing the claim by King Henry VIII of spiritual supremacy over the English Church. Imprisoned at Newgate, Thomas was starved to death.

September 21

St. Hieu, 657 A.D. English abbess of Northumbria, England, who received the veil from St. Aidan. She governed Tadcaster Abbey, in Yorkshire. She may be identical with St. Bega or Bee.

St. Mabyn, 6th century. Welsh and Cornish saint, with Mabon and Mabenna. All are associated with St. Teilo. St. Mabenna was the daughter of Chieftain Brychan of Brecknock, Wales. They are all revered in various places that bear their names, but no details of their lives are extant.

September 22

St. Lolanus, 1034 A.D. Scottish bishop whose life is Unknown because fifth-century legends obscure the historically accurate accounts of his labors.


September 23

St. Adamnan. Adamnan, born in Drumhome, Donegal, Ireland, became a monk at the monastery there. Later at Iona, of which he became ninth abbot in 679. He gave sanctuary to Aldfrid when the crown of Northumbria was in dispute after the death of Aldfrid's father, King Oswy. In 686, when Aldfrid had ascended the throne, Adamnan visited him to secure the release of Irish prisoners. Two years later Adamnan visited several English monasteries and was induced by St. Ceolfrid to adopt the Roman calendar for Easter. Adamnan worked ceaselessly thereafter with much success to get Irish monks and monasteries to replace their Celtic practices with those of Rome. His success in convincing the Council of Birr that women should be exempt from wars and that women and children should not be taken prisoners or slaughtered caused the agreement to be called Adamnan's law. A scholar noted for his piety, he wrote a life of St. Columba, one of the most important biographies of the early Middle Ages. He also wrote DE LOCIS SANCTIS, a description of the East told to him by a Frank bishop, Arculf, whose ship was driven ashore near Iona on the way back from Jerusalem. Adamnan is thought by some in Ireland to be the same as St. Eunan, though this is uncertain. He died at Iona on September 23 which is his feast day.

Bl. William Way, 1588 A.D. Martyr of England. Born in Exeter, England, he went to Reims, France, where he was ordained in 1586. Using the name Flower, William started his labors, but was arrested within six months. He was executed at Kingston-on-Thames by being hanged, drawn, and quartered.

St. Cissa, 7th century. A Benedictine hermit in Northumbria, England. It is believed he resided near Lindisfarne.

September 24

Sts. Chuniald and Gislar, 7th century. Irish or Scottish missionaries to southern Germany and Austria. They labored as disciples of St. Rupert of Salzburg.

September 25

St. Finbar. He was the son of an artisan and a lady of the Irish royal court. Born in Connaught, Ireland and baptized Lochan, he was educated at Kilmacahil, Kilkenny, where the monks named him Fionnbharr (white head) because of his light hair; he is also known as Bairre and Barr. He went on pilgrimage to Rome with some of the monks, visiting St. David in Wales on the way back. Supposedly, on another visit to Rome the Pope wanted to consecrate him a bishop but was deterred by a vision, notifying the pope that God had reserved that honor to Himself, and Finbar was consecrated from heaven and then returned to Ireland. At any rate, he may have preached in Scotland, definitely did in southern Ireland, lived as a hermit on a small island at Lough Eiroe, and then, on the river Lee, founded a monastery that developed into the city of Cork, of which he was the first bishop. His monastery became famous in southern Ireland and attracted numerous disciples. Many extravagant miracles are attributed to him, and supposedly, the sun did not set for two weeks after he died at Cloyne about the year 633 A.D.

St. Caian, 5th century. A saint of Wales, England. He was the son or grandson of the local king of Brecknock. A church at Tregaian in Anglesey is named after him.

St. Ceolfrid, 716 A.D. Benedictine abbot of St. Paul Monastery at Wearmouth-Jarrow, England, also called Geoffrey. He was born in Northumbria in 642 and became a monk at Ripon. St. Benedict Biscop named him prior of Wearmouth, but he was too strict and was forced to leave. Accompanying St. Benedict to Rome in 678, Ceolfrid became the deputy abbot of St. Paul’s in 685. He and one young student were the only ones to survive the regional plague. He became the abbot in 690 and developed the twin monasteries into cultural centers. The Codex Amatianus, the oldest known copy of the Vulgate Bible in one volume, was produced at his command. He also trained St. Bede. In 716, Ceolfrid retired and started for Rome, dying on September 25 at Longres, in Champagne, France.

St. Egelred, 870 A.D. Benedictine monk at Crayland Abbey, Great Britain. He died with the abbot and many fellow monks at the hands of invading Danes.

St. Fymbert, 7th century. Bishop of western Scotland. He was ordained by Pope St. Gregory the Great.

St. Mewrog. A Saint of Wales of whom no details are extant.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

ENGLISH SAINTS AND MARTYRS SEPT. 12 -SEPT. 18


September 12

St. Ailbhe, 541 A.D. Bishop and preacher, one of the saints whose life has been woven into the myths and legends of Ireland. He was a known disciple of St. Patrick, and is called Albeus in some records. What is known about Ailbhe is that he was a missionary in Ireland, perhaps sponsored by King Aengus of Munster. He was also the first bishop of Emily in Munster, Ireland. Legends and traditions abound about his life. One claims that he was left in the woods as an infant and suckled by a wolf. This legend is prompted in part by Ailbhe's later life. An old she-wolf came to Ailbhe for protection from a hunting party, resting her head upon his breast. He is supposed to have been baptized by a priest in Northern Ireland, possibly in a British settlement. The so called Acts of Ailbhe are filled with traditions that are not reliable. Ailbhe was noted for his charity and kindness, as well as his eloquent sermons. He is beloved in Ireland.

September 14

St. Cormac, 6th century. An Irish abbot who was a friend of St. Columba.

September 15

St. Merinus, 620 A.D. Bishop beloved in both Scotland and Ireland. Sometimes called Meadhran or Merryn, he was a disciple of St. Comgall at Bangor.

September 16

St. Ninian. According to the life of Ninian by St. Aelred, he was the son of a converted chieftain of the Cumbrian Britons, studied at Rome, was ordained, was consecrated a bishop and returned to evangelize his native Britain. He had his own church built by masons from St. Martin's Monastery in Tours, which became known as The Great Monastery and was the center of his missionary activities. From it Ninian and his monks evangelized neighboring Britons and the Picts of Valentia. Ninian was known for his miracles, among them curing a chieftain of blindness, which cure led to many conversions.

St. Edith of Wilton, Edith of Wilton was the daughter of King Edgar of England and Wulfrida. She was born at Kensing, England, and was brought as a very young child to Wilton Abbey by her mother, who later became a nun there and Abbess. Edith became a nun when fifteen, declined her father's offer of three abbacies, and refused to leave the convent to become queen when her half-brother, King Edward the Martyr was murdered, as many of the nobles requested. She built St. Denis Church at Wilton.


September 17

St. Brogan, 7th. Century. Abbot of Ross Tuirc, Ossory, Ireland, he is called the author of a hymn to St. Brigid.

September 18

St. Hygbald, 690 A.D. Benedictine abbot of Lincolnshire England, also called Higbald, Hugbald, or Hybald. Several churches in the region bear his name.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

ENGLISH SAINTS AND MARTYRS SEPT. 05-SEPT. 11

September 5

Bl. William Browne, 1605 A.D. Martyr of England. He was a layman in Northamptonshire arrested and executed at Ripon for being a Catholic. He is associated in martyrdom with Blesseds Thomas Welbourne and John Fulthering.

September 6

Sts. Felix and Augebert, seventh century. Two martyred Englishmen who were captured and sold into slavery in France. Ransomed by Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Felix became a priest and Augebert a deacon. While preparing to return to England as missionaries, they were slain by pagans in Champagne, France.

St. Maccallin, Irish bishop of Lusk, Great Britain, Sometimes called Macallan and Macculin Dus. He is also venerated in Scotland.

September 7

St. Grimonia. French legend relates that St. Grimonia was the daughter of a pagan Irish chief, and that when she was twelve years old; she was converted to Christianity and made a vow of perpetual virginity. Her father, in defiance of or not understanding such a vow, wished her to marry, and when she refused, shut her up. Grimonia escaped and fled to France, where she became a solitary in the forest of Thierache in Picardy. Here the contemplation of the beauty of created things would often bring her to the state of ecstasy. After a prolonged search, the messengers of her father traced her to her retreat, where they before her the alternatives of return in a forced marriage or death. Grimonia remained firm and so she was beheaded on April 20th in an unknown year. A chapel was built over her grave which became famous for miracles, and around it, grew up a town called from its origin, LaChapelle. On September 7, 1231, her relics, together with those of Saint Proba (Preuve), another Irish woman, who is supposed to have suffered with Grimonia, were enshrined at Les Quielles. The facts about St. Grimonia are hard to come by; she may have been a solitary who lost her life in defending her chastity.

St. Alcmund, 781 A.D. Bishop and miracle worker, also called Alchmund in some lists. He was the bishop of Hexham in Northumberland, England, in 767, succeeding to the see established by St. Wilfrid. His tenure as bishop lasted until his death on September 7, 781. He was buried near St. Acca beside the Hexham church, but invasions by the Danes decimated that area of England, and the grave was forgotten. In the eleventh century, St. Alcmund appeared to a parishioner, telling him to inform the sacrist of Durham, a man named Alfred or Alured, to move the bones. Alfred agreed, but he took one bone from the remains when the grave was opened. No one could move the remains of St. Alemund until that one bone was placed among the rest. In 1154, Hexham was again invaded, and the bodies of the Hexham saints were gathered into one shrine. These remains were destroyed in 1296, when Scottish Highlanders attacked the region.

St. Tilbert, 789 A.D. Bishop of Hexham, England, from 781 A.D. He was the eighth bishop of that see. Simeon of Durham wrote of him.

St. Diuma, 7th century. Bishop of Mercia and companion of St. Cedd. An Irishman, Diuma was praised by St. Bede.

Bl. John Duckett, 1644 A.D. Martyr of England, born in Underwinder, Yorkshire, John was ordained in 1639 at Douai. He studied three years in Paris and then returned to the English mission at Durham, where he worked until his arrest and martyrdom on September 7 at Tyburn with Blessed Ralph Corby. They were hanged, drawn, and quartered. Both were beatified in 1929.

St. Madalberta. Benedictine abbess, the daughter of Sts. Vincent Madelgarus and Waldetrudis. St Aldegund was her superior and aunt who founded. Maubeuge, where Madalberta took the veil. She became abbess in 697. Her sister was St. Aldetrudis.

Bl. Ralph Corby, 1644 A.D. Jesuit martyr of England, also known as Ralph Corbington. Born in Maynooth Ireland, on March 25, 1598, he was trained at St. Omer, France, Seville, and Valladolid, Spain, before receiving ordination. He entered the Jesuits in 1631, and volunteered in 1632 for the dangerous mission in England He was given responsibility for the area around Durham Ralph worked for twelve years before he was arrested near Newcastle with Blessed John Duckett. He was martyred by being hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tybum on September 7. Ralph was beatified in 1929.

September 8

St. Disibod, 700 A.D. An Irish bishop also called Disen or Disibode. Discouraged by his lack of success as a missionary in Ireland, he went to Germany, where he founded a monastery on a hill near Bingen, called Disibodenburg. St. Hildegard of Bingen resided there in time.

St. Kingsmark, 5th century. A Scottish chieftain also called Cynfarch. He lived in Wales, where he is venerated.


September 9


St. Kieran. Kieran was born in Connacht, Ireland. He was the son of Beoit, a carpenter. He studied at St. Finnian's school at Clonard and taught the daughter of the king of Cuala, as he was considered the most learned monk at Clonard. Kieran spent seven years at Inishmore on Aran with St. Enda and then went to a monastery in the center of Ireland called Isel. Forced to leave by the monks because of what they considered his excessive charity, he spent some time on Inis Aingin (Hare Island) and with eight companions, migrated to a spot on the bank of the Shannon river in Offaly, where he built a monastery that became the famous Clonmacnois, reknowned for centuries as the great center of Irish learning, and was its Abbot. Many extravagant miracles and tales are told of Kieran, who is one of the twelve apostles of Ireland. He is often called St. Kieran the Younger to distinguish him from St. Kieran of Saighir.

St. Bettelin, 8th century. Hermit also called Bertram, a disciple of St. Guthlac. He lived in Croyland, England, and is listed as the patron of the town of Stafford. Remains of his shrine are at 11am, Staffordshire. Legend claims he was a noble who married an Irish princess who went into labor and gave birth in the forest while he went for help. Wolves ate her and the child in his absence. Bettelin and companions lived under the auspices of Croyland Monastery, founded by King Ethelbald of Mercia.

St. Wulfhilda, 1000 A.D. Benedictine abbess. Probably a member of the Anglo-Saxon nobility, she was much sought after by King Edgar (r. 957-975) for her hand in marriage while a novice at Wilton Abbey. She refused his proposal and finally won his permission to become a nun. She eventually became abbess of the convents of Barking and Ilorton, serving from 993 as abbess of both houses.

September 10

St. Finian, 579 A.D. Irish abbot, a disciple of Sts. Colman and Mochae also called Winin. He was born in Strangford, Lough, Ulster, in Ireland, a member of a royal family. Studying under Sts. Colman and Mochae, he became a monk in Strathclyde and was ordained in Rome. Returning to Ulster, Finian founded several monasteries, becoming abbot of Moville, in County Down, Ireland. He became embroiled with St. Columba, a student, over a copy of St. Jerome’s Psalter, and St. Columba had to surrender that copy to Finian. He also founded Holywood and Dumfries in Scotland. Finian was known for miracles, including moving a river.

St. Frithestan, 933 A.D. Benedictine bishop, a disciple of Sts. Grimbald and Plegmund. Frithestan was bishop of Winchester, England, for almost a quarter of a century

September 11

St. Ambrose Edward Barlow, 1641 A.D. Martyr and one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. A convert, Ambrose studied for the priesthood at Douai, France, and Valladolid, Spain. In 1615 he was professed Benedictine, affiliated by request to the Spanish Abbey of Celanova. For twenty-four years, Ambrose worked in Lancashire, England, despite the dangers. He was arrested four times but was released. On his fifth arrest, he was executed at Lancaster.

St. Daniel, 584 A.D. Welsh bishop and founder, companion of Sts. Dygrig and David. Daniel belonged to the Strathclyde family of Wales. He founded a monastery at Bangor Fawr, Caernarvonshire, in 514. He also became the first bishop of that see. Daniel went to St. David to persuade him to attend the Synod of Brefi. In Wales he is sometimes called Desiniol