Archive for December, 2013

Feastday: December 29

Died: 706

St. Ebrulf also called Ebrulfus and Evroult was born in 626, in Bayeux, Normandy, France. He was a courtier to King Childebert III. He and his wife separated, each entering a religious house.

He went to Deux Jumeaux Abbey at Bayeux. As a hermit in Ouche Forest in Normandy, he attracted so many followers that he had to found a monastery there.

A legend states that he converted a robber to Christianity when the robber visited the rough settlement that Ebrulf had built. This settlement became the abbey of Saint-Evroul. He founded other monastic houses, fifteen in total, all of which placed emphasis on manual labor both as a spiritual and economic exercise.

His feastday is celebrated on December 29.


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St. Anthony the HermitFeastday: December 28

Saint Anthony was born in 468 at Valeria (now Balkans) in Lower Pannonia. When he was eight years old, his father died and he was first entrusted to the care of St. Severinus. After the death of Severinus, an uncle, Bishop Constantius of Lorsch in Bavaria took charge of his upbringing.

While in Bavaria, Anthony became a monk. He returned to Italy in 488 and joined the cleric Marius and his companions as a hermit at Lake Como. He was eventually joined by numerous disciples seeking to emulate his holiness and he chose to seek greater solitude in Gaul.

Anthony then went to Lerins in Gaul and became a monk there. However, he lived only two years at Lerins before his death, renowned for his miracles and spirituality.

His feastday is on December 28 and is venerated by both the Western Rite Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

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Feastday: December 22

Died: 303

There are very few saints who celebrate their feast day today and unfortunately not much is known about either of them. Here is what we know about Saint Zeno.
Saint Zeno was a martyred soldier at Nicomedia (present day Turkey). He was seized and condemned to death for laughing while Emperor Diocletian offered a sacrifice to the Roman god Ceres. Saint Zeno had his jaws shattered and was then beheaded.

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St. Peter CanisiusFeastday: December 21

1521 – 1597

Saint Peter Canisius was born in Holland in 1521. He had edited and written several volumes on Church history and theology, been a delegate to the Council of Trent, and reformed the German universities from heresy. Called to Vienna to reform their university, he couldn’t win the people with preaching or fancy words but he won their hearts by ministering to the sick and dying during a plague.

For many years during the Reformation, Peter saw the students in his universities were swayed by the flashy speeches and the well-written arguments of the Protestants. Peter wished for a Catholic catechism that would present true Catholic beliefs undistorted by fanatics. On being ordered by King Ferdinand to write a catechism, Saint Peter started working on it. He approached Christian doctrine in two parts: wisdom -including faith, hope, and charity and justice avoiding evil and doing good, linked by a section on sacraments.

Because of the success and the need, Peter quickly produced two more versions: a Shorter Catechism for middle school students which concentrated on helping this age group choose good over evil by concentrating on a different virtue each day of the week; and a Shortest Catechism for young children which included prayers for morning and evening, for mealtimes, and so forth to get them used to praying.

Peter died in December 21, 1597. He is known as the Second Apostle of Germany and was named a Doctor of the Church.

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St. Paul of LatrosFeastday: December 15

Died: 956

From catholic.org

Saint Paul was born at Pergamos, near Smyrna, in Asia Minor. He was the son of an officer in the Byzantine army. His father was killed in battle, and after his mother died, he became a monk in a community on Mt. Olympus in Greece, with his brother, Basil.

Saint Paul later left the monastery and became a hermit on Mount Latros in Bithynia, Asia Minor. Soon he attracted followers, and Paul was compelled to organize them into a community.

After twelve years, Paul departed Mount Latros and settled on the island of Samos to live in a cave. More followers gathered around him and Paul oversaw the creation of several more communities before returning to Latros, where he died after years of prayer and mortifications.

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St. John of the CrossFeastday: December 14

Born: 1542

From catholic.org

Saint John was born in Spain in 1542. His father gave up wealth, status, and comfort when he married a weaver’s daughter and was disowned by his noble family. After his father died, his mother kept the destitute family together as they wandered homeless in search of work.

At fourteen, John took a job caring for hospital patients who suffered from incurable diseases and madness. It was out of this poverty and suffering, that John learned to search for beauty and happiness not in the world, but in God.

After John joined the Carmelite order, Saint Teresa of Avila asked him to help her reform movement. John supported her belief that the order should return to its life of prayer. But many Carmelites felt threatened by this reform, and some members of John’s own order kidnapped him. He was locked in a cell six feet by ten feet and beaten three times a week by the monks. There was only one tiny window high up near the ceiling. Yet in that unbearable dark, cold, and desolation, his love and faith were like fire and light. He had nothing left but God — and God brought John his greatest joys in that tiny cell.

After nine months, John escaped by unscrewing the lock on his door and creeping past the guard. Taking only the mystical poetry he had written in his cell, he climbed out a window using a rope made of stirps of blankets. With no idea where he was, he followed a dog to civilization. He hid from pursuers in a convent infirmary where he read his poetry to the nuns. From then on his life was devoted to sharing and explaining his experience of God’s love.

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St. PatapiusFeastday: December 8

Died: 4th century

Not much is known about Saint Patapius. He was hermit in the foruth century.
He was originally from Egypt but journeyed to Constantinople where he lived as a hermit.

Patapius is especially revered in the Eastern Churches.

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