|Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church|
• Athanasius of Egypt
• Athanasius the Great
• Champion of Christ's Divinity
• Champion of Orthodoxy
• Father of Orthodoxy
• Greek Doctor of the Church
• Holy Hierarch
• Pillar of the Church
Studied the classics and theology in Alexandria, Egypt. Deacon, secretary, and student of bishop Alexander of Alexandria. Attended the Council of Nicea in 325 where he fought for the defeat of Arianism and acceptance of the divinity of Jesus. Formulated the doctrine of homo-ousianism which says that Christ is the same substance as the Father; Arianism taught that Christ was different from and a creation of the Father, a creature and not part of God. Bishop of Alexandria c.328; he served for 46 years. When the dispute over Arianism spilled over from theology to politics, Athanasius got exiled five times, spending more than a third of his episcopate in exile. Biographer of Saint Anthony the Abbot and Saint Potamon of Heraclea. Confessor of the faith and Doctor of the Church, he fought for the acceptance of the Nicene Creed.
c.295 at Alexandria, Egypt
• 2 May 373 at Alexandria, Egypt of natural causes
• relics in San Croce, Venice, Italy
• bishop arguing with a pagan
• bishop holding an open book
• bishop standing over a defeated heretic
medals and pendants
For the Son of God became man so that we might become God. - Saint Athanasius
Brethren, how fine a thing it is to move from festival to festival, from prayer to prayer, from holy day to holy day. The time is now at hand when we enter on a new beginning: the proclamation of the blessed Passover, in which the Lord was sacrificed. We feed as on the food of life, we constantly refresh our souls with his precious blood, as from a fountain. Yet we are always thirsting, burning to be satisfied. But he himself is present for those who thirst and in his goodness invites them to the feast day. Our Savior repeats his words: If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He quenched the thirst not only of those who came to him then. Whenever anyone seeks him he is freely admitted to the presence of the Savior. The grace of the feast is not restricted to one occasion. Its rays of glory never set. It is always at hand to enlighten the mind of those who desire it. Its power is always there for those whose minds have been enlightened and who meditate day and night on the holy Scriptures, like the one who is called blessed in the holy psalm: Blessed is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked, or stood where sinners stand, or sat in the seat of the scornful, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. Moreover, my friends, the God who first established this feast for us allows us to celebrate it each year. He who gave up his Son to death for our salvation, from the same motive gives us this feast, which is commemorated every year. This feast guides us through the trials that meet us in this world. God now gives us the joy of salvation that shines out from this feast, as he brings us together to form one assembly, uniting us all in spirit in every place, allowing us to pray together and to offer common thanksgiving, as is our duty on the feast. Such is the wonder of his love: he gathers to this feast those who are far apart, and brings together in unity of faith those who may be physically separated from each other. - from an Easter letter by Saint Athanasius
The Word who became all things for us is close to us, our Lord Jesus Christ who promises to remain with us always. He cries out, saying: See, I am with you all the days of this age. He is himself the shepherd, the high priest, the way and the door, and has become all things at once for us. In the same way, he has come among us as our feast and holy day as well. The blessed Apostle says of him who was awaited: Christ has been sacrificed as our Passover. It was Christ who shed his light on the psalmist as he prayed: You are my joy, deliver me from those surrounding me. True joy, genuine festival, means the casting out of wickedness. To achieve this one must live a life of perfect goodness and, in the serenity of the fear of God, practice contemplation in one's heart. This was the way of the saints, who in their lifetime and at every stage of life rejoiced as at a feast. Blessed David, for example, not once but seven times rose at night to win God's favor through prayer. The great Moses was full of joy as he sang God's praises in hymns of victory for the defeat of Pharaoh and the oppressors of the Hebrew people. Others had hearts filled always with gladness as they performed their sacred duty of worship, like the great Samuel and the blessed Elijah. Because of their holy lives they gained freedom, and now keep festival in heaven. They rejoice after their pilgrimage in shadows, and now distinguish the reality from the promise. When we celebrate the feast in our own day, what path are we to take? As we draw near to this feast, who is to be Our guide? Beloved, it must be none other than the one whom you will address with me as our Lord Jesus Christ. He says: I am the way. As blessed John tells us: it is Christ who takes away the sin of the world. It is he who purifies our souls, as the prophet Jeremiah says: Stand upon the ways; look and see which is the good path, and you will find in it the way of amendment for your souls. In former times the blood of goats and the ashes of a calf were sprinkled on those who were unclean, but they were able to purify only the body. Now through the grace of God's Word everyone is made abundantly clean. If we follow Christ closely we shall be allowed, even on this earth, to stand as it were on the threshold of the heavenly Jerusalem, and enjoy the contemplation of that everlasting feast, like the blessed apostles, who in following the Savior as their leader, showed, and still show, the way to obtain the same gift from God. They said: See, we have left all things and followed you. We too follow the Lord, and we keep his feast by deeds rather than by words. - from an Easter letter by Saint Athanasius
You will not see anyone who is really striving after his advancement who is not given to spiritual reading. And as to him who neglects it, the fact will soon be observed by his progress. - Saint Athanasius
The Word of God, incorporeal, incorruptible, and immaterial, entered our world. Out of his loving-kindness for us he came to us, and we see this in the way he revealed himself openly to us. Taking pity on mankind's weakness, and moved by our corruption, he could not stand aside and see death have the mastery over us. He did not want creation to perish and his Father's work in fashioning man to be in vain. He therefore took to himself a body, no different from our own, for he did not wish simply to be in a body or only to be seen. By dying for others, he immediately banished death for all mankind. The corruption of death no longer holds any power over mankind, thanks to the Word, who has come to dwell among us through his one body. - from a talk by Saint Athanaius
Mary, Mother of Grace, it becomes you to be mindful of us, as you stand near him who granted you all graces, for you are the Mother of God and our Queen. Help us for the sake of the King, the Lord God and Master who was born of you. For this reason, you are called full of grace. Remember us, most holy Virgin, and bestow on us gifts from the riches of your graces, Virgin full of graces. - Saint Athanasius
• People's Prelate
• Protector of the Poor
2 May in Florence, Italy
When he first tried to join the Dominicans he was refused due to his poor health. When he persisted, the prior told him he could only enter if he could recite the whole of canon law from memory; a year later, in 1405, after spending his time in study, he recited it and was admitted. Priest. Worked for the reforms of Blessed John Dominic. Vicar of the convent of Foligno, Italy in 1414. Prior. Member of the Council of Florence which sought to end the schism between the churches of the east and west. Vicar-General of the Dominicans. Archbishop of Florence, Italy in 1446. Diplomat. Theologian. Healer. Wrote a biography of Blessed John Dominic, a history of the world, and a reference work on moral theology.
1 March 1389 at Florence, Italy
2 May 1459 at Florence, Italy
31 May 1523 by Pope Adrian VI
• pair of scales in which he weighs false merchandise against God's word
• wearing bishop's mitre, holding the cross, and giving the sign of blessing in absolution
Apostle of Madrid
One of twelve children born to a farm family; six of his siblings died in childhood. Educated in Almería, Spain. Entered the diocesan seminary in 1876, and the Granada seminary in 1878. Ordained on 24 September 1887.
Parish priest in Chinchón and Estremera. For nearly 20 years he cared for an elderly brother priest. Synodal examiner in Madrid, Spain in 1890. Taught metaphysics, Latin, and pastoral theology at the Madrid seminary. Chaplain to the convent of Saint Bernard. Pilgrim to the Holy Land in 1905. Entered the Jesuit noviate in Granada in 1906, and made his religious profession on 12 October 1908.
Noted and sought after counselor and confessor, known for his parish ministry, spiritual direction, his devotion to the poor, and his excellent preaching that brought many to the faith. He served as spiritual director for groups of lay people, and from behind the scenes he helped them start academic and trade schools, find work for the unemployed, and minister to the sick and disabled. He organized missions and spiritual exercises, and worked to bring better financial and spiritual life to the poorest of the city.
22 July 1864 in Dalías, Spain
2 May 1929 in Aranjuez, Spain of natural causes
4 May 2003 by Pope John Paul II
Guiborat, Viborada, Weibrath
Born to the Swabian nobility. Her brother, Hatto, was a priest and provost of Saint Magnus church. Wiborada turned her home into a hospital for the sick poor people that her brother brought to her. Pilgrim to Rome, Italy. Benedictine nun at Saint Gall's monastery, where she worked as a bookbinder.
Subject of virulent criticism, she eventually withdrew further from the world, becoming an anchoress first near Saint Gall's, then near her brother's church. Noted for her austerity, and a gift of prophecy, she drew many visitors and would-be students. One of her prophecies involved the Hungarian invasion of her region; her warning allowed the priests and religious of Saint Gall and Saint Magnus to escape, but Wiborada refused to leave her hermit's cell and was found by the invaders. Martyr.
9th century at Klingna, Aargau, Switzerland
axed to death in 926
• 1047 by Pope Clement II
• first woman formally canonized by the Vatican
• Benedictine nun holding a book and axe
Lord of Baye, France. Studied at the abbey of Lérins, France. Worked with Saint Germanus of Auxerre and Saint Lupus of Troyes to fight the Pelagian heresy. Negotiated with Attila the Hun, and saved the city of Châlons, France from being sacked. Travelling evangelist, he founded several churches, hospices, convents and monasteries, brought many to the faith, and many to join monastic orders. Bishop of Châlons, France from 433 to 480, serving for 47 years.
• 7 September 480 in Baye, France of natural causes
• relics re-interred at the church of Saint Andrew in Châlons, France in 860 by Bishop Erchanraus; the church was later renamed Saint Alpin
• some relics enshrined in the cathedral of Châlons and in other locations around the region
• some relics lost and reliquaries stolen during the anti-Christian excesses of the French Revolution; surviving relics were stored in the cathedral of Châlons
• Boleslaw Strzelecki
• Saint Francis of Radom
Parish priest in the diocese of Radom, Poland. His devotion to God and his fellow man led to his parishioners giving him the nickname Saint Francis of Radom. Arrested in January 1941 as part of the Nazi persecution of the Church, and sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz, Poland where he died four months later from general abuse and mistreatment. He spent his time there ministering to other prisoners. One of the 108 Polish martyrs of World War II.
10 June 1896 in Poniemon, Podlaskie, Poland
2 May 1941 in Oswiecim (Auschwitz), Malopolskie, Poland
13 June 1999 by Pope John Paul II in Warsaw, Poland
Fifth century bishop in north Africa. Leader of a Council called to express clear defense of the Catholic faith during a period of pagan resurgence and Arian heresy. Envoy from the Council to emperor Honorius and emperor Theodosius. Exiled to the Mediterranean island of Corsica in 484 in the purges and persecutions of the Arian King Hunneric. Martyr.
• beheaded in 485 on Corsica
• relics brought to Italy by Bishop Titian of Treviso c.743 to prevent their destruction by Saracen invaders
• Bishop Titian interred the relics in the church of Saint John in an area that is still used as a baptistery
• relics re-interred in the crypt of the cathedral of Treviso, Italy c.1025 by Bishop Rotari
• relics enshrined in glass containers near the altar of Blessed Henry of Bolzano in the cathedral of Treviso
• Guglielmo Tirry
• Liam Tuiridh
• William Tirrey
Son of John and Joan Tirry. Studied in Valladolid, Spain and Paris, France. Augustinian priest. He returned to Ireland in 1630, and worked many years as secretary for his uncle, the bishop of Cork. In 1654 he was assigned to Fethard, Tipperary. Arrested on Holy Saturday, 25 March 1654, and condemned to death for his crime of being a priest. One of the Irish Martyrs.
1608 in Cork, Ireland
hanged on 2 May 1654 in Clonmel, Ireland
27 September 1992 by Pope John Paul II in Rome, Italy
Married to Saint Exsuperius. Mother of Saint Cyriacus and Saint Theodulus. Slave, owned by a rich devout worshipper of the ancient Roman gods in Attalia, Pamphylia. Zoe's job was to tend the house dogs and prevent them from biting visitors, and she rarely saw her husband as he worked the fields far from the house. Since she worked near a roadway, she gave of her own meagre rations to those even poorer than herself. One pagan feast day, the family of slave saints was given meat to sacrifice to an idol. They refused, and the entire family was tortured and murdered.
burned to death c.127
Giuse Nguyen Van Luu
Lay man farmer and catechist in the apostolic vicariate of West Cochinchina. Imprisoned when he tried to take the place of a hunted priest during the persecutions of Emperor Tu-Duc. Martyr.
c.1790 at Cái Nhum, Vinh Long, Vietnam
2 May 1854 in prison at Vinh Long, Vietnam of injuries received while being tortured
19 June 1988 by Pope John Paul II
Married to Saint Zoe. Father of Saint Cyriacus and Saint Theodulus. Slave, owned by a rich devout worshipper of the ancient Roman gods in Attalia, Pamphylia. Field worker. One pagan feast day, the family of slave saints was given meat to sacrifice to an idol. They refused, and the entire family was tortured and martyred.
burned to death c.127
Celtic hermit who moved to an isolated site in Cornwall, England where his holiness soon attracted the attention of the locals. He taught them Christianity and baptized them into the faith. The water source he used for baptism became one of the many holy wells that dot the region and serve as points of pilgrimage. A church built on the site in the 10th century was dedicated to his memory, which had been preserved by the locals.
Born to the nobility, a member of the royal house of Seldenbüren. Founded and endowed Engelberg Abbey at Unterwalden, Switzerland. Benedictine lay-brother at Engelberg. Considered a martyr because he was killed on a trip to Zurich to defend the rights of the abbey.
murdered in 1126 at Zürich, Switzerland
Bishop of Gafsa, Nicomedia (in modern Turkey) who stayed loyal to orthodox Christianity and opposed Arianism. Tortured and martyred by order of the Arian Vandal king Hunneric.
Son of Saint Exsuperius and Saint Zoe; brother of Saint Cyriacus. Slave, owned by a rich devout worshipper of the ancient Roman gods in Attalia, Pamphylia. One pagan feast day, the family of slave saints was given meat to sacrifice to an idol. They refused, and the entire family was tortured and martyred.
burned to death c.127
Son of Saint Exsuperius and Saint Zoe; brother of Saint Theodulus. Slave, owned by a rich devout worshipper of the ancient Roman gods in Attalia, Pamphylia. One pagan feast day, this family of slave saints was given meat to sacrifice to an idol. They refused, and the entire family was tortured and martyred.
burned to death c.127
Brother of Saint Fursey of Péronne and Saint Foillan of Fosses. Fellow monk with them at Burgh Castle near Yarmouth, England. Missionary to Belgium where he served as a priest in the convent of Nivelles and worked with Saint Gertrude. Abbot at Fosses, Belgium. Abbot at Péronne, France.
Gaubert, Valbert, Valdeberto, Vaubert, Walbert, Waldebertus
Monk. Abott of Luxeuil Abbey c.628. Worked with Saint Salaberga to found the convent of Saint John the Baptist in Laon, France.
• Germanus the Scot
Convert, brought to the faith by Saint Germanus of Auxerre, in whose honour he took the name Germanus. Bishop. Martyr.
c.460 at Normandy, France
Brother of Saint Cadoc of Llancarfan; may have been the nephew of Saint Petroc. Monk. Sent to Cornwall by Cadoc, he founded the monastery and parish now know as Saint Glywys. May have been martyred; records are unclear.
Bishop in north Africa who stayed loyal to orthodox Christianity and opposed Arianism. Tortured and martyred by order of the Arian Vandal king Hunneric.
Martyr. No details have survived.
• beheaded on Sardinia
• buried in the church of San Sperate
• relics enshrined in the cathedral in Cagliari, Sardinia in 1616
Bishop of Tlemcen, Mauritania who stayed loyal to orthodox Christianity and opposed Arianism. Tortured and martyred by order of the Arian Vandal king Hunneric.
• Neachtain of Fennor
• Neachtan of...
• Nectan of...
A relative of Saint Patrick. Present at Patrick's death.
Benedictine monk at the abbey of Sithiu, France. Spiritual student of Saint Bertin the Great.
c.699 of natural causes
Mercedarian who freed 99 Christians from slavery in Muslim Numidia.
15th century of natural causes
Commander of the Mercedarian convent of Saint Eulalia in Seville, Spain.
A group of Christians marytred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know little more than their names - Celestine, Germanus, Neopolus and Saturninus.
304 in Alexandria, Egypt
• Nicholas Hermansson
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