|Optional Memorial of Saint John Damascene, Priest and Doctor of the Church|
A beautiful maiden imprisoned in a high tower by her father Dioscorus for disobedience. While there, she was tutored by philosphers, orators and poets. From them she learned to think, and decided that polytheism was nonsense. With the help of Origen and Valentinian, she converted to Christianity.
Her father denounced her to the local authorities for her faith, and they ordered him to kill her. She escaped, but he caught her, dragged her home by her hair, tortured her, and killed her. He was immediately struck by lightning, or according to some sources, fire from heaven.
Her imprisonment led to her association with towers, then the construction and maintenance of them, then to their military uses. The lightning that avenged her murder led to asking her protection against fire and lightning, and her patronage of firefighters, etc. Her association with things military and with death that falls from the sky led to her patronage of all things related to artillery, and her image graced powder magazines and arsenals for years. One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.
While there were undoubtedly beautiful converts named Barbara, this saint is legend, and her cultus developed when pious fiction was mistaken for history.
• beheaded by her father c.235 at Nicomedia during the persecution of Maximinus of Thrace
• some relics in Burano, Italy
• some relics in the Cathedral of Saint Vladimir, Kiev, Ukraine
• some relics at the Church of Saint Blaise, Vodnjan, Grad Vodnjan, Istarska, Croatia
• against death by artillery • against explosions • against fire • against impenitence • against lightning • against mine collapse • against storms • against vermin • ammunition magazines • ammunition workers • architects • armourers • artillery • artillerymen • boatmen • bomb technicians • brass workers • brewers • builders • carpenters • construction workers • dying people • explosives workers • fire prevention • firefighters • fireworks • fireworks manufacturers • fortifications • foundry workers • geologists • gravediggers • gunners • hatmakers • hatters • against lightning • mariners • martyrs • masons • mathematicians • military engineers • milliners • miners • ordnance workers • prisoners • safety from storms • sailors • saltpetre workers • smelters • stone masons • stonecutters • storms • sudden death • Syria • tilers • warehouses • watermen • 8 cities •
• cannon, its attack being reminiscent of the lightning that struck her father
• catapult, its attack being reminiscent of the lightning that struck her father
• princess in a tower with either the palm of martyrdom or chalice of happy death
• woman holding a feather
• woman holding a tower
• palm of martyrdom
• woman trampling a Saracen
• medals, page 1
• medals, page 2
• medals, page 3
• medals, page 4
• medals, page 5
• Doctor of Christian Art
• Jean Damascene
• Johannes Damascenus
• John Chrysorrhoas ("golden-stream")
• John of Damascus
Son of Mansur, representative of the Christians to the court of the Muslim caliph. Apparently thrived as a Christian in a Saracen land, becoming the chief financial officer for caliph Abdul Malek. Tutored in his youth by a captured Italian monk named Cosmas. Between the Christian teaching from the monk, and that of the Muslim schools, John became highly educated in the classical fields (geometry, literature, logic, rhetoric, etc.).
He defended the use of icons and images in churches through a series of letters opposing the anti-icon decrees of Germanus, Patriarch of Constantinople. Legend says that Germanus plotted against him, and forged a letter in which John betrayed the caliph; the caliph ordered John's writing hand chopped off, but the Virgin Mary appeared and re-attached the hand, a miracle which restored the caliph's faith in him.
After this incident, John became a monk near Jerusalem. Priest. Anathematized by name by the 754 Council of Constantinople over his defense of the use of icons, but was defended by the 787 Seventh Council of Nicea.
Wrote The Fountain of Wisdom, the first real compendium of Christian theology, along with other works defending the orthodox faith, commentaries on Saint Paul the Apostle, poetry, and hymns. Philospher. Orator; such an excellent speaker he was known as Chrysorrhoas ("golden-stream"). Last of the Greek Fathers of the Church, and the first of the Christian Aristotleans. Adapted choral music for use in the liturgy. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1890 by Pope Leo XIII.
676 at Damascus, Syria
749 of natural causes
• icon painting
• theology students
• with his severed hand
• with a Marian icon
• Barlaam and Ioasaph
• Collected Works
• Exact Exposition Of The Orthodox Faith
• Exposition of the Orthodox Faith
• Sermon 1 on the Assumption
Show me the icons that you venerate, that I may be able to understand your faith. - Saint John of Damascus
The saints must be honored as friends of Christ and children and heirs of God, as John the theologian and evangelist says: "But as many as received him, he gave them the power to be made the sons of God." Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all the apostles, martyrs, ascetics and just men who announced the coming of the Lord. And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life, patience under suffering, and perseverance unto death, so that we may also share their crowns of glory. - Saint John of Damascus,
Even though your most holy and blessed soul was separated from your most happy and immaculate body, according to the usual course of nature, and even though it was carried to a proper burial place, nevertheless it did not remain under the dominion of death, nor was it destroyed by corruption. Indeed, just as her virginity remained intact when she gave birth, so her body, even after death, was preserved from decay and transferred to a better and more divine dwelling place. There it is no longer subject to death but abides for all ages. - Saint John Damascene
• Father of All Apprentices
• Apostle of Working Men
Son of a poor shepherd. Apprenticed to a shoemaker. Studied in Munich, Bonn and Cologne in Germany. Ordained on 10 April 1845. Chaplain of Saint Laurentius parish, Elberfeld, Germany from 1845 to 1849. Founded several Catholic apprentice associations, one of which became the International Kolping Society with all its national and local organizations. Worked to improve the physical and spiritual lives of craftsmen and their apprentices. Worked with youth, and to improve family life. Vicar of the cathedral in Cologne. Rector of Saint Maria Empfängnis Church, Cologne in 1862.
8 December 1813 at Kerpend, Germany
• 4 December 1865 at Cologne, Germany of natural causes
• buried in the Church of the Minor Friars, Saint Maria Empfängnis, Cologne
27 October 1991 by Pope John Paul II in Rome, Italy
Almighty, everlasting God! You gave us Blessed Adolph Kolping as an intercessor and role model. His life found fulfilment in his concern for the young people in religious and social difficulties. For many he was an untiring pastor, a fatherly advisor, a patient teacher and a true friend. He set us an example in his love for your Son. In his loyalty to the Church he is an exemplary role model for us. His concern was to understand work, family and society in the light of our faith. He considered helping one another within the community to be the expression of the Christian love for one's neighbour. From the Holy Scripture, the sacraments and prayer he drew the strength to create a movement that is to serve You and mankind. At all times you have called us to help establish your kingdom. We therefore beseech you: help us work together to overcome poverty, injustice and hopelessness. Through the intercession of Blessed Adolph Kolping, help us to defend human life and protect marriage and family. As members of the International Kolping Society in the community of your Church let us be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Fulfill our hope of being able to honour Adolph Kolping as a Saint throughout the whole church in all languages and nations. Let us, through faith, hope and love, work towards bringing your kingdom in this world, just as Adolph Kolping did. This we ask of You, through Christ, our Lord. Amen. - prayer for the canonization of Blessed Adolph
Edimund, Edmund, Osimund
16 July (translation of his relics)
Son of Henry, count of Seez, Normandy, France. He received a good education, and became count of Seez in his own turn. Companion of William the Conqueror, and part of the force that invaded England in 1066.
Following the Battle of Hastings, he was made royal chaplain and Earl of Dorset. Helped prepare the Domesday Book, an analysis of the resources of England. Chancellor of England in 1072. Between his duties of chaplain and chancellor, he received a great education in administration and management.
Bishop of Salisbury, England in 1078. He took his duties seriously, concerned for the good of his diocese, even if many considered it conquered territory. His cathedral administration became a model for cathedrals throughout England. Believed to have initiated the Sarum Rite in England. May have written a biography of Saint Aldhelm of Sherborne, which has not survived, and approved his beatification in 1078. Knew and sought the guidance of Saint Anselm. Enjoyed copying and binding books.
His areas of patronage derive from the miraculous healings that occurred at his tomb, and which paved the way for his canonization.
at Seez, Normandy, France
• 4 December 1099 at Salisbury, England of natural causes
• buried in his cathedral at Old Sarum
• relics translated to Salisbury in 1226
• relics later translated to the new cathedral and deposited in the chapel of Our Lady in the church in 1457
• shrine was destroyed in the reign of King Henry VIII
• bones still interred in the same chapel, covered with a marble slab
• 1456 by Pope Callistus III
• his cause had been pursued since 1228
• against insanity or mental illness
• against paralysis
• against ruptures
• against toothache
• paralysed people
• Anno of Cologne
• Annan, Annon, Hanno
A pious child. As a young man Anno became a soldier, and considered a military career; however, with the help of his uncle, the canon of Bamberg, he answered the call to religious life. He had a background in literature as well as theology, was an eloquent speaker, and considered quite handsome by writers of the day. Priest. Bishop and then archbishop of Cologne, Germany in 1055.
Anno became a member of the court of Holy Roman Emperor Henry III where he was known for his life of prayer. At one point he became so influential that he drew the reprimand of Pope Nicholas II for excess involvement in civil matters. Following the emperor's death, Anno was made regent for the young Henry IV. Henry rebelled against Anno's strict discipline and had him removed. However, the young Henry's companions were so corrupt that reform was required; in 1072 they were all thrown out, and Anno was brought in as regent again.
Anno supported the reforms led by Saint Peter Damian, and helped found monasteries in the region. He was involved in the disputes between Pope Alexander II and anti-pope Honorius II, supporting the legitimate Alexander and drawing the ire of many countrymen. Anno had his nephew, Cunon, chosen bishop of Trier, Germany; Cunon was opposed and then murdered by Count Theodoric. Anno spent his final years in Michaelsberg Abbey in Siegburg, Germany, praying and doing penance for this incident and others.
4 December 1075 in Siegburg, Germany of natural causes
1183 by Pope Lucius III
• Pietro Pettinaio
• Peter, Pier
Moved from Campi to Siena, Italy with his family as a child. He married and worked as a comb-maker. Widower. Franciscan tertiary, serving as a nurse in a Franciscan hospital. He continued making combs, living a simple, solitary life, giving any excess monies to the Franciscans, and spending his nights in prayer and meditation. He eventually moved from a layman's house to a cell in the monastery that ran the hospital. He considered himself too talkative, and worked to living in silence. Pilgrim to holy sites in various Italian cities. Known as a mystic and a miracle worker, he became a sought after advisor to priests and laity. The character of Pier the comb-seller in Dante's Purgatorio may have been modeled upon him.
c.1200 at Campi, Tuscany, Italy
• early December 1289 in Siena, Italy of natural causes
• buried at the Franciscan church in Siena
• his grave became a site for pilgrims and scene of miracles
• shrine built over his grave in 1326
• an annual local feast began to be celebrated in 1329
• shrine destroyed by fire in 1655
• remaining relics preserved by the Poor Clare nuns of Siena
18 August 1802 by Pope Pius VII (cultus confirmation)
• John Calabria
• Johannes Calabria
Youngest of seven boys born to Luigi Foschi and Angela Calabria. His was a poor family, and his father died when Giovanni was only 9 years old; the boy had to leave school and become an apprentice. He eventually received some tutoring from a local priest, and was able to finish high school. Soldier. Priest, ordained on 11 August 1901. Rector of San Benedetto del Monte in 1907. Started a series of homes for abandoned adolescents throughout Italy. Founder of Congregation of the Poor Servants of Divine Providence, which received diocesan approval on 11 February 1932, and papal approval on 25 April 1949. Frequent correspondent, in Latin, with the author C. S. Lewis.
8 October 1873 at Verona, Italy
4 December 1954 at San Zeno, Italy
18 April 1999 by Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter's Square, Rome, Italy
Be living Gospels. - Saint Giovanni Calabria
Cyran, Sigiramnus, Sigirannus, Sigram, Siran
Born to the nobility of Berry, France; son of the Count of Bourges, a man who later became bishop of Tours, France. Part of the royal court of Clothaire II, serving as cup-bearer. Feeling a call to the religious life, Sigiranus refused an arranged marriage and took holy orders in Tours in 625. Archdeacon in Tours. Upon his death of his father, Sigiranus gave away his fortune to the poor; because of this, he was certified insane and locked up. Upon his release in 640, he made a pilgrimage to Rome, Italy, working with the serfs in the fields as he travelled. Founded the monasteries of Saint-Pierre de Longoret and Méobecq Abbey (later Saint-Cyran-du-Jambot) in the diocese of Bourges, France on land given to him by Clothaire. Monk and then abbot at Longoret in 655.
• c.655 of natural causes
• relics were kept at the abbey of Saint-Cyran until 1860 when Empress Eugénie de Montijo encased them in a reliquary and gave it to the church of Saint-Michel-en-Brenne
Titus Flavius Clemens
Teacher at the Catechetical School in Alexandria, Egypt. He trained the famous theologian and teacher Origen. Writer and confessor of the faith. During the persecutions of 202, Clement fled to Caesarea, Cappadocia where he governed the diocese during the imprisonment of his student, Bishop Alexander.
probably at Athens, Greece, as Titus Flavius Clemens
217 of natural causes
Jesuit priest. Sailed as a missionary to Japan shortly after ordination, but due to a series of problems, took six years to arrive, landing during a persecution of Christians. Spent twelve years working with the Nagasaki Christians. An edict in 1614 expelled Jesuits and ended Catholic missions in Japan. Jerome went into hiding in Nagasaki, and ministered to Japanese Christians in secret, disguising himself as a merchant. In 1623 he was found out by the authorities, and martyred with 47 other Christians.
1568 in Enna, Sicily, Italy
burned to death on 4 December 1623 in Edo (modern Tokyo), Japan
7 May 1867 by Pope Blessed Pius IX
Sualo, Solo, Solus
No information of his early life has survived, and the first we hear of Sola he is a monk in England. He immigrated to Germany where he became a spiritual student of Saint Boniface. Ordained by Boniface. Hermit near Fulda, Germany, and later at Eichstätt, Germany. At each place he attracted would-be students. At Eichstätt there were so many who stayed that Sola founded the abbey at Solnhofen, Germany, for them; he spent the rest of his life there.
An obviously allegorical legend says that one day while riding a donkey, Sola saw a field of sheep with no shepherd; the sheep were attacked by a wolf, Sola ordered his donkey to fight off the wolf, and saved the flock.
8th century England
3 December 794 at the abbey of Solnhofen, Germany of natural causes
Francisco Gálvez Iranzo
• 10 September as one of the 205 Martyrs of Japan
• 22 May as one of the Franciscan Martyrs of Japan
Joined the Franciscan Friars Minor in 1591. Missionary to Manila, Philippines in 1609. Missionary to Japan in 1612. Forced to return to Manila in 1614 due to the persecutions in Japan. In 1618 he dyed his skin, assumed a disguise, and returned to evangelize Japan. He worked there for several years before being captured and martyred.
at Utiel, New Castile, Spain
burned to death on 4 December 1623 in Edo (modern Tokyo), Japan
7 May 1867 by Pope Blessed Pius IX
Member of the Florentine nobility. Benedictine Vallombrosan monk. Abbot of San Salvi monastery. General-superior of the Vallombrosans. Created cardinal by Pope Urban II in 1097. Papal legate. Bishop of Parma, Italy in 1106. Exiled twice during disputes with anti - papal forces opposing Pope Saint Gregory VII, and with those who supported Conrad II as king of Germany, but considered a successful bishop.
at Florence, Italy
4 December 1133 in Parma, Italy of natural causes
• Ada of Soissons
• Ada of St-Julien
• Adarhilda, Adeneta, Adna, Adneta, Adnetta, Adnette, Adonette, Adrechild, Adrehilda, Adrehilde, Adrehildis
Niece of Saint Engelbert; Ada's whole family was known for its piety. Nun at Soissons, France. Abbess at Saint Julien-des-Prés abbey, Le Mans, France.
• 7th century of natural causes
• buried in the church at Saint Julien-des-Prés abbey, Le Mans, France
• relics destroyed by Huguenots
• Apostle of Iran
• Apostle of Persia
Bishop of Maiferkat, Mesopotamia. He reorganized the Church adminstration in Syria and Persia. Collected the stories (called the Passiones) of Syrian and Persian martyrs. Hymnist. Friend of Saint John Chrysostom.
Benedictine monk of Corbie Abbey, Amiens, France. Spiritual student of Saint Adelhard. Bishop of Beauvaus, France in 821; he served for 25 years. Signed and supported the decrees of the Council of Pris. Ministered to his people during Norman invasions.
846 in Beauvais, France of natural causes
Bishop of Polybotum, Phrygia. Defended orthodox teachings and the use of images against emperor Leo the iconoclast. His reputation as a miracle worker was such that the emperor feared to act against him.
Buddhist monk. Convert to Christianity. Lay catechist. Jesuit. Martyr.
c.1580 in Nozu, Japan
burned to death on 4 December 1623 in Edo (modern Tokyo), Japan
7 May 1867 by Pope Blessed Pius IX
Brother of Saint Plutarch of Alexandria. Spiritual student of Origen. Succeeded Origen as the head of the catechetical school at Alexandria, Egypt. Patriarch of Alexandria in 231.
c.247 of natural causes
Officer in the Byzantine imperial court of Leo the Armenian. He was arrested with three others officers for treason because they opposed Leo's Iconoclasm. The other survived the torture and imprisonment and became monks, but Theophanes did not. Martyr.
tortured to death in 815
Late 3rd-century bishop in Pontus (in modern Turkey); known as an eloquent speaker. He was frequently abused for his faith during the persecutions of Diocletian, but there are no records of him being a martyr.
Abbess of the Columbanian house of Notre Dame de Sales, Bourges, France from 612 until her death.
614 at Notre-Dame-de Sales, Bourges, France of natural causes
Spiritual student of and deacon for Saint Ambrose of Milan. Bishop of Bologna, Italy.
429 of natural causes
7th century Lyons, Gaul (modern France)
Seventh century hermit in the forests of Brenne, France.
Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939. I have pages on each of them, but in most cases I have only found very minimal information. They are available on the CatholicSaints.Info site through these links:
• Blessed Eulogio Álvarez López
• Blessed Ezequiel Álvaro de La Fuente
• Blessed Francisco de la Vega González
• Blessed Jacinto García Chicote
• Blessed Robustiano Mata Ubierna
CatholicSaints.Info Portable Edition