Saints of the Day Saints and biographies from the Catholic calendar. This site is copyright © 2017 Universalis Publishing Limited. Universalis Publishing Ltd http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml http://universalis.com/static/bin/icon80.png 2017-08-22T19:00:00Z http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20170820.0 2017-08-19T19:00:00Z 2017-08-19T19:00:00Z In other years: St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 - 1153)
Celebrated: 20 Aug (worldwide)
He was born near Dijon, in France, in 1090, of a noble family. In 1112 he joined the new monastery at Cîteaux. This had been founded fourteen years before, in a bid to reject the laxity and riches of the Benedictine Order (as exemplified by great monasteries such as Cluny) and to return to a primitive poverty and austerity of life.
Bernard arrived at Cîteaux with four of his five brothers and two dozen friends. Within three years he had been sent out to found a new monastery at Clairvaux, in Champagne, where he remained abbot for the rest of his life. By the time of his death, the Cistercian Order had grown from one house to 343, of which 68 were daughter houses of Clairvaux itself.
Bernard was a man of great holiness and wisdom, and although he was often in very poor health, he was active in many of the great public debates of the time. He strongly opposed the luxurious lives of some of the clergy, and fought against the persecution of the Jews. He was also a prolific writer, of an inspiring rather than a technical kind.
The Church is always suffering from corruption and always being renewed. If St Bernard, so often ill, could take a leading part in this renewal, what excuse do we have?
See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20170821.0 2017-08-20T19:00:00Z 2017-08-20T19:00:00Z Pope St Pius X (1835 - 1914)
Celebrated: 21 Aug (worldwide)
He was born in the village of Riese, near Venice, one of ten children of a very poor family. He was ordained to the priesthood at the age of 23. He was successively bishop of Mantua and of Venice, and was elected Pope, against his wishes, in 1903. In his time as Pope, he sought to “restore all things in Christ.” He insisted on the separation of Church and State, and banned the formation of political associations that claimed exclusive religious sanction for their political programme, whether of the Left or of the Right. He revised the code of Canon Law, founded an institute for scriptural studies, and initiated the revision of the Latin translation of the Bible (the Vulgate) and the reform of the liturgy.
He lived in great poverty even when he was Pope, and preached sermons every Sunday in the courtyards of the Vatican, to any who would listen. In his simplicity and goodness of heart, he performed miracles even when he was alive, and the clamour for his canonization started immediately after his death, on 20th August 1914, broken-hearted at the outbreak of the First World War.
See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20170821.1 2017-08-20T19:00:00Z 2017-08-20T19:00:00Z Blessed Victoria Rasoamanarivo (1848 - 1894)
Celebrated: 21 Aug (Southern Africa)
She was born in Tananarive in Madagascar to one of the most powerful families of the country.
She was educated by the Jesuits and by the Sisters of the Congregation of St Joseph of Cluny. Her Catholic education made a strong impression on her, and she subsequently asked to be received into the Church.
She was baptized in 1863. During the persecutions that were aimed at the Catholic Mission, her parents tried to get her to give up her faith but she refused. She asked to become a nun but the missionaries felt it wiser not to permit this. She was given in marriage to the son of the Prime Minister, a high officer in the army. Because of her husband’s character and behaviour (he was violent and an alcoholic) the marriage was a true martyrdom for her. Nevertheless she remained faithful to her vows and refused to divorce her husband despite the urgings of her parents and of the queen herself. Christian matrimony, she said, was indissoluble.
Her exemplary Christian life gained her the admiration of the court and the people. This admiration, and her moral authority, made her a providential support of the Catholic Church in Madagascar after the expulsion of the Catholic missionaries. She publicly defended the Catholic Church against the authorities and kept the people’s faith alive. When the missionaries returned in 1886 they found a vigorously flourishing community thanks to Victoria’s virtues and activities. She prayed for her husband’s conversion and when he died in 1888 as a result of an accident, he asked for baptism on his deathbed.
She herself died on 21 August 1894 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1989. See also the article in Wikipedia.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20170822.0 2017-08-21T19:00:00Z 2017-08-21T19:00:00Z St John Kemble (1599-1679)
Celebrated: 22 Aug
John Kemble was one of the oldest of the martyrs, being 80 when executed. He was from near Hereford, being born into a Catholic family in 1599. He studied for the priesthood at Douai where he was ordained priest, and worked as a priest in England and Wales for 54 years. He founded several missions, some of which were still functioning well into the 19th century. In 1678 he was caught up in the aftermath of the “gunpowder plot” (this was a fictitious plot invented by Titus Oates and is now known as the “Popish Plot” to distinguish it from Guy Fawkes’ plot of 1605). He was cleared of all involvement of this and was eventually condemned for being a “seminary priest”. Before his execution he said: “I die only for professing the old Catholic religion, which was the religion that first made this kingdom Christian” He was hanged, drawn and when dead quartered at Widemarsh Common on 22 August 1679.

DK

http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20170823.0 2017-08-22T19:00:00Z 2017-08-22T19:00:00Z St Rose of Lima (1586 - 1617)
Celebrated: 23 Aug (worldwide)
She was born in Lima, in Peru. She lived a life of selflessness and devotion from an early age. She refused to marry, and became a Dominican tertiary at the age of 20. Her asceticism and her intense spiritual experiences excited the criticism of her friends and family and the suspicion of the Church authorities.
She cared for the sick, the poor, Indians, and slaves.
She was the first person in the Americas to be canonized, and is a patron saint of South America.
See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20170823.1 2017-08-22T19:00:00Z 2017-08-22T19:00:00Z Saint Eugene (- c.618)
Celebrated: 23 Aug (Ireland)
Eoghan or Eugene of Ardstraw was a native of Leinster, and, after presiding over the Abbey of Kilnamanagh (Co. Wicklow) for fifteen years, settled in the valley of Mourne (Co. Tyrone), his mother’s country, about the year 576. He was followed by many disciples. He was consecrated first Bishop of Ardstraw in about 581. His name is generally latinised as Eugenius, but the Irish form is Eoghan (Owen), hence Tir Eoghain, or Tyrone.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20170823.2 2017-08-22T19:00:00Z 2017-08-22T19:00:00Z St John Wall (1620-1679)
Celebrated: 23 Aug (Birmingham)
John Wall was born 1620 near Preston in Lancashire. He was the son of wealthy and staunch Lancashire Catholics. He was sent to Douai for his schooling. He enrolled at the English College in Rome in 1641 (as John Marsh, one of various aliases he used during his ministry), was ordained priest in 1645 and sent to the English mission in 1648. In 1651 he received the Fransiscan habit at St Bonaventure’s Friary, Douai. He returned to England some years later, and worked as a priest for more than twenty years, mainly based at Harvington Hall in Worcestershire. He was arrested in December 1678 during the flurry following the Titus Oates Plot, at Rushock Court near Bromsgrove, where the sheriff’s man came to seek a debtor. Once it was clear that he was a priest, he was ordered to take the Oath of Supremacy; on refusing to do so he was committed to Worcester. He was tried on the charges of receiving and exercising his priesthood, and of refusing the oaths. He was duly sentenced to death, and sent to London. On being sentenced he said: “Thanks be to God; God save the King; and I beseech God to bless your lordship and all this honourable bench” Under further questioning he was offered his life if he would abjure his religion. He later wrote: “I told them I would not buy my life at so dear a rate as to wrong my conscience.” He was brought back to Worcester, and was executed at Redhill. His quartered body was given to his friends, and was buried in St Oswald’s churchyard. The long speech he composed for his execution was circulated among Catholics after his death; and the authorities issued as a broadsheet the public account of his execution containing “a true copy of the speech…with animadversions upon the same”.

DK

http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20170823.3 2017-08-22T19:00:00Z 2017-08-22T19:00:00Z Saint John Wall (1620-1679)
Celebrated: 23 Aug (Birmingham)
John Wall came from a Norfolk gentry family but was born in Lancashire in 1620. His parents were fervent Catholics and sent him, when he was thirteen, to Douai College in northern France; from there he went to the English College in Rome and was ordained priest at 25. He then joined the Franciscan Order at the friary at Douai. When he was 36 he was sent secretly to England to work as a priest in Worcestershire. For 22 years he ministered to Catholics, moving from place to place, often using an assumed name to avoid capture. In 1678 he was arrested at Rushock Court near Bromsgrove as part of the scare caused by the fictitious “Popish Plot”. He was condemned to death at the Worcester Spring Assizes in 1679 and was hanged, drawn and quartered on Red Hill at Worcester on 22 August 1679. In his speech at the gallows he said: “I will offer my life in satisfaction for my sins and for the Catholic cause. I beseech God... to turn our captivity into joy; that they who sow in tears may reap in joy”. He was canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs.

Birmingham Ordo