Saints of the Day Saints and biographies from the Catholic calendar. This site is copyright © 2020 Universalis Publishing Limited. Universalis Publishing Ltd http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml http://universalis.com/static/bin/icon80.png 2020-01-21T19:00:00Z http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20200119.0 2020-01-18T19:00:00Z 2020-01-21T12:53:40Z St Wulstan (1008? - 1095)
Celebrated: 19 Jan (England)
St Wulstan became a Benedictine monk at Worcester Cathedral priory, and later was made prior. He reformed the monastic observance, and became known as a preacher and counsellor.
In 1062 he became Bishop of Worcester and combined effectively the tasks of monastic superior and diocesan bishop. He is the first English bishop known to have made a systematic visitation of his diocese. Together with Lanfranc he was instrumental in abolishing the slave trade from Bristol to Viking Ireland, and later he supported Lanfranc’s policy of reform. He built parish churches and re-founded the monastery at Westbury-on-Trym. He insisted on clerical celibacy, and under him Worcester became one of the most important centres of Old English literature and culture. He was known for his abstinence and generosity to the poor.
After the Norman Conquest he remained one of the few Englishmen to retain office. In the Barons’ Rising he was loyal to the Crown and defended the Castle of Worcester against the insurgents. He was buried in his Cathedral, and his cult began almost at once. He was canonised in 1203 and his feast was widely kept in monastic and diocesan calendars.
In the Chapel of St Oliver Plunkett at Downside Abbey, a stained glass window depicts a less official story concerning Wulstan: that one day, whilst celebrating Mass, he was distracted by the smell of roast goose, which was wafted into the church from the neighbouring kitchen. He prayed that he might be delivered from the distraction and vowed that he would never eat meat again if his prayer were granted.
The modern world needs stories like this more than it realises. The watered-down puritanism that serves so many of us as a moral code today equates pleasure with evil – cream cakes, the advertisements tell us, are “naughty but nice”.. or even “wickedly delicious.” Messages like this are a libel on the name of God, who created the pleasures, and on his Son, whose first recorded public act was turning water into wine. There is nothing wicked about delicious food in itself, or in any other pleasant or beautiful thing. Let us enjoy God’s creation all we can and rejoice in its creator as we do so, and if, like Wulstan, we have to deprive ourselves of something for our spiritual or bodily health, then let us suffer our deprivation cheerfully, blaming the weakness in us that made it necessary. Let us never devalue our sacrifices by denigrating the things we sacrifice, or the sacrifice will be pointless. Let us remember what God did, day after day, as he was creating the world: he looked at it, and saw it, and behold: it was very good.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20200119.1 2020-01-18T19:00:00Z 2020-01-21T12:53:40Z Feast of the Santo Niño
Celebrated: 19 Jan (Philippines)
The devotion to the Santo Niño (Holy Child) is the oldest and one of the most popular in the Philippines. When Legazpi landed on the island of Cebu in 1565, one of his soldiers found an image of the Child Jesus. It is believed to be the same statue Magellan had given to the wife of the chieftain of the island after her baptism. The image is venerated today in the Basilica of Cebu. For Filipino Catholics the Holy Child represents a God who is accessible to all and can be approached without fear. The devotion instils the virtues of simplicity, obedience, and trust in God. At the same time it calls for mature discipleship and loving service to all.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20200119.2 2020-01-18T19:00:00Z 2020-01-21T12:53:40Z St Faolan (8th century)
Celebrated: 19 Jan (Dunkeld)
The fact that the saint’s name can be spelt Fillan, Filan, Phillan, Fáelán or Faolan says everything about the difficulty of disentangling the records of early Gaelic saints, and even their identities. This is nothing to worry about: saints are real people, and they remain real even when most of the facts about them have evaporated. It will happen to us.
This St Faolan appears to be St. Fillan of Munster, the son of Feriach, grandson of Cellach Cualann, King of Leinster. He received the monastic habit in the Abbey of Saint Fintan Munnu and came to Scotland from Ireland in 717 as a hermit along with his Irish princess-mother St. Kentigerna, his Irish prince-uncle St. Comgan, and his siblings. They settled at Loch Duich. Fillan later moved south and is said to have been a monk at Taghmon in Wexford before eventually settling in Pittenweem (‘the Place of the Cave’), Fife, in the east of Scotland later in the 8th century.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20200119.3 2020-01-18T19:00:00Z 2020-01-21T12:53:40Z The Jesuit Martyrs of the Reformation in Europe
Celebrated: 19 Jan
Saints John Ogilvie, Priest; Stephen Pongrácz, Melchior Grodziecki, Priests, and Mark of Križevci, Canon of Esztergom; Blessed Ignatius de Azevedo, Priest, and Companions; James Salès, Priest, and William Saultemouche, Religious, Martyrs
Today we commemorate Jesuits who were killed for the Catholic Faith in the sixteenth century, after the Reformation. John Ogilvie ministered clandestinely to persecuted Catholics in Scotland. Stephen Pongracz from Hungary, Melchior Grodziecki from Poland, and Mark Krizevci, a local diocesan priest, ministered to the abandoned Catholics in Koscielny (Slovakia). Ignatius de Acevedo and thrity-nine Jesuits he had recruited from Portugal for the missions were massacred at sea by French Calvinist pirates while en route to Brazil. James Salès, a French Jesuit, ministered to straying Catholics in the Aube as, with his companion William Saultemouche, a Jesuit Brother.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20200120.0 2020-01-19T19:00:00Z 2020-01-21T12:53:40Z Pope St Fabian (- 250)
Celebrated: 20 Jan (worldwide)
He became Pope in 236 and was martyred on 20 January 250, during the persecution of the Emperor Decius. See the articles in Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20200120.1 2020-01-19T19:00:00Z 2020-01-21T12:53:40Z St Sebastian
Celebrated: 20 Jan (worldwide)
Nothing is known about St Sebastian except the fact that he was martyred early on in the persecutions of Diocletian. St Ambrose knew of him and states that he was already venerated in Milan in the fourth century. One of the seven chief churches of Rome was built over his grave in 367.
All else (his youth, his martyrdom by arrows) is fiction, some of it dating from more than a thousand years after his death. But what we know is what we need to know. For the Christians of the fourth century the important, the true, the sufficient fact about Sebastian was that he was a martyr, and they venerated him as such. It should be enough for us as well. See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20200120.2 2020-01-19T19:00:00Z 2020-01-21T12:53:40Z Blessed Cyprian Michael Tansi (1903 - 1964)
Celebrated: 20 Jan (Nottingham, Nigeria, Southern Africa)
Father Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi was born in Nigeria in 1903. He was brought up by the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) and trained as a teacher and a catechist. Later he decided to join the seminary and in 1937 he was ordained a priest. In 1950 he left his Diocese in order to go to England where he joined the Cistercian Abbey of Mount St Bernard, near Nottingham. He had been singled out as the ideal candidate to be trained in England and then return to establish a Trappist Monastery in the Diocese of Onitsha in Nigeria. Fr Tansi lived the monastic life with great faith and humility. Absorbed in prayer, he was a living example of patience and charity. Early in 1964 he was diagnosed with aortic aneurysm and died two weeks later on 20 January 1964. See the article in Wikipedia.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20200120.3 2020-01-19T19:00:00Z 2020-01-21T12:53:40Z Bl Angelo Paoli (1642-1720)
Celebrated: 20 Jan
Angelo Paoli, a professed priest of the Carmelite Order, was born in Tuscany on 1 September 1642. In the convents in which he lived, he served others in a multitude of ways with dedication and humility, and held the post of master of novices several times. Everywhere he sought to help the poor in their need. In 1687 the Prior General called him to Rome, to entrust him with the formation of the novices. A much sought after animator and spiritual director, he devoted himself without reserve to the poor, the sick and the imprisoned, whom he assisted in every way, including by recourse to original and novel initiatives. He established a hospice for the convalescent poor of the hospital of S. Giovanni, in which they could recover their strength in order to rejoin society and the labour market. His devotion to the cross led him to place the sign of Christ in a number of places. He died in Rome on 20 January 1720 in the odour of sanctity. He was beatified on 25 April 2010.

Carmelite Proper

http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20200121.0 2020-01-20T19:00:00Z 2020-01-21T12:53:40Z St Agnes (- 304)
Celebrated: 21 Jan (worldwide)
As with so many of the early Roman martyrs, very little is now known about Agnes’ life. Partly this is because the details have been obscured by the light that shines from her martyrdom and the cult that it inspired, and partly because if you are martyred at the age of 12, your life has not really acquired that many details in any case. Agnes was filled with the love of God from an early age, vowed herself to celibacy, and when the opportunity of martyrdom arose, she did not hide away but stepped forward and took it.
That is really all that is known: but it is enough. We who are used to compromising with the world at every turn, and would find excuses to avoid any inconveniences that our faith might cause us, let alone martyrdom (“yes, of course I would die for my faith in principle, but wouldn’t I be able to do more good in the long run if I stayed alive just now?”), should admire the simple wisdom of Agnes, realise that there are moments where compromise and moral ambiguity just will not do, and pray for the strength to live up to such moments when they happen. See the article in Wikipedia.