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Archive for February, 2013

St. AdelaFeastday: February 24

Died: 1137

Saint Adela was a benefactor and an English princess. Not much is known about Saint Adela.
It is believed that she was the youngest daughter of William the Conqueror. In 1080 she married Stephen of Blois.
Throughout her life, Adela had an active role in English politics. She was famed for endowing churches and monastic institutions.

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St. Alexander AkimetesFeastday: February 23

Died: 403

Saint Alexander Akimetes was a monk, hermit and founder of religious houses. He was born in Asia Minor and studied in Constantinople. There he became a convert to Christianity and began a life of retreat and prayer.

Saint Alexander remained a hermit for eleven years in Syria and then started missionary work. He founded a monastery in Mesopotamia and another one in Constantinople.

He visited Antioch but found opposition there, which forced him to leave Constantinople and go to Gomon, where he founded a monastery.

Alexander is believed to have converted Rabulas, who became the bishop of Edessa. Alexander is also credited with initiating the liturgical service in which his four-hundred monks sang the Divine Office continuously day and night.

He died in Gomon.His feast day is June 17 in the Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches.

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St. Alexis FalconieriFeastday: February 17

Patron of the city of Orvieto (Italy)
1200 – 1310

Saint Alexis Falconieri was a founder and a mystic. He and six others joined together to establish the congregation of the Servites. He is the uncle of St Juliana Falconeri (also one of the founders of Servites) He was the son of a wealthy merchant in Florence, Italy. Saint Alexis and six companions joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin in Florence in 1225.

Gathered together on the Feast of the Assumption in 1233, the group experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary which inspired them to found a new religious community dedicated to prayer. They founded the group at La Camarzia, near Florence, moving eventually to Monte Senario, on the outskirts of the city.

Another vision inspired Alexis and his companions to form the Servites, or the Servants of Mary. All in the group were ordained priests, except for Saint Alexis, who believed he was not worthy of such an honor.

He helped build the Servite church at Cafaggio, and he managed the day-to-day temporal affairs of the congregation. The Servites received papal approval from Pope Benedict XI in 1304. Saint Alexis was the only founding member still alive when the approval was received.

He died at Monte Senario on February 17, 1310, recorded as 110 years old. Saint Alexis and his companions are called the Seven Holy Founders. They were canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1888.

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St. DanielFeastday: February 16

Died: 309

Saint Daniel and four of his companions – Elias, Isaias, Jeremy and Samuel were Egyptians who visited the Christians condemned to work in the mines of Cilicia during Maximus persecution, to comfort them. Apprehended at the gates of Caesarea, Palestine, they were brought before the governor, Firmilian and accused of being Christians.

They were all tortured and then beheaded. When Porphyry, a servant of St. Pamphilus demanded that the bodies be buried, he was tortured and then burned to death when it was found he was a Christian.

Seleucus witnessed his death and applauded his constancy in the face of his terrible death; whereupon he was arrested by the soldiers involved in the execution, borught before the governor and was beheaded at Firmilian’s order.

His feast day Feb. 16.

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St. ScholasticaFeastday: February 10

Died: 543

St. Scholastica is the sister of St. Benedict who established the famous monastery. She dedicated her life to God from her early age. She took up her abode in the neighborhood at Plombariola, where she founded and governed a monastery of nuns, about five miles from that of St. Benedict, who also directed his sister and her nuns.

They both shared a very different relationship. She visited her brother once a year, and as she was not allowed to enter his monastery, he went in company with some of his brethren to meet her at a house some distance away. These visits were spent in conferring together on spiritual matters.

On one occasion they had passed the time as usual in prayer and pious conversation and in the evening they sat down to take their reflection. St. Scholastica begged her brother to remain until the next day. St. Benedict refused to spend the night outside his monastery.

In order to prevent her brother from leaving she recourse to prayer and a furious thunderstorm burst so that neither St. Benedict nor any of his companions could return home. They spent the night in spiritual conferences. The next morning they parted to meet no more on earth.

Three days later St. Scholastica died and her holy brother beheld her soul in a vision as it ascended into heaven. He sent his brethren to bring her body to his monastery and laid it in the tomb he had prepared for himself. St. Benedict followed her soon after.

Her feast day is February 10th.

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St. AltoFeastday: February 9

Died: 760

Very little is known about Saint Alto. He was a hermit and a missionary. It is believed that he was an Irishman who lived in Augsburg, Germany.

He lived in a small hut in the wilderness and soon was known for his holiness and austerity. Word of his good works reached King Pepin, who gave him a parcel of land near Altmunster, in modern Friesling Diocese in Bavaria. Saint Alto then used the land to build an abbey.

St. Boniface came in 750 to dedicate the abbey church. The monastery was ravaged but was restored in 1000 and made a Benedictine house.The Brigittines took it over in the fifteenth century.

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St. BlaiseFeastday: February 3

Patron of Throat Illnesses

Little is known about Saint Blaise. He was born in to a rich and noble family who raised him as a Christian. He is believed to be a bishop of Sebastea in Armenia who was martyred under the reign of Licinius in the early fourth century.

There are two legends associated with him. One in which a boy was brought to him who had a fishbone stuck in his throat. The boy was about to die when Saint Blaise healed him.

The second legend of his life that sprang up in the eighth century tell us that after becoming a bishop, a new persecution of Christians began. He received a message from God to go into the hills to escape persecution. Men hunting in the mountains discovered a cave surrounded by wild animals who were sick. Among them Blaise walked unafraid, curing them of their illnesses. Recognizing Blaise as a bishop, they captured him to take him back for trial. On the way back, he talked a wolf into releasing a pig that belonged to a poor woman. When Blaise was sentenced to be starved to death, the woman, in gratitude, sneaked into the prison with food and candles.

Blaise was finally Blaise was killed by the governor.

Many Catholics might remember Saint Blaise’s feast day because of the Blessing of the Throats that took place on this day. Two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said. Blaise is the patron saint of wild animals as well because of his care for them and of those with throat maladies.

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