Feastday: January 1
A patron of Chieti, Italy. He has been venerated there for centuries and was possibly a bishop.
Saint Justin of Chieti (Italian: San Giustino di Chieti) is venerated as an early bishop of Chieti, Italy. His date of death varies, and is sometimes given as the 3rd, 4th, or 6th centuries.
Historical evidence for Justin's existence from before the 15th century does not exist. His passio dates from the 15th century and was modeled mostly on that of a saint with the same name, who was bishop of Siponto, while his brothers Florentius and Felix were martyred at Furci in the
Abruzzo, along with Justin's niece Justa. Cathedral of San Giustino in Chieti.Chieti's cathedral (Duomo) was dedicated to him –and built- in the 9th century. Most of his relics, such as his arm, are found in an urn placed in the crypt of the cathedral of Chieti. He is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology for January 1. His
celebration was moved to January 14 in Chieti and later to May 11.
Joseph Mary Tomasi
(1649-1713) Cardinal, of the Order of Clerics Regular
Theatine Birth name Don Giuseppe Maria Tomasi di Lampedusa
Born 12 September 1649(1649-09-12) Licata, Kingdom of Sicily
Died 1 January 1713(1713-01-01) (aged 63)Rome, Papal States
Buried Sant'Andrea della Valle, Rome
Feast day January 3
Beatified 29 September 1803 by Pope Pius VII
Canonized 12 October 1986 by Pope John Paul II
The very eminent servant of God Joseph Mary Tomasi, Cardinal, whom Pope Pius
VII decorated with the honors of the Blessed in 1803, and whom today the Supreme
Pontiff John Paul II ascribes solemnly in the book of the Saints, was born at
Licata, in Sicily, the Diocese of Agrigento, on 12 September 1649, the first son
of Julius Tomasi and Rosalie Traina, the Prince of Lampedusa and the Duke of
Palma di Montechiaro.
His own life was oriented toward God from his first years. Formed and
educated in the noble paternal home, where they did not lack riches nor virtue,
he gave proofs of a spirit, very open to study and to piety. His parents cared
greatly for this and for his own Christian formation and his instruction in the
classical and modern languages, above all in the Spanish language, because he
was destined by the family for the court of Madrid, as he was bound to inherit
from his own father, for his own noble titles, that of "Grande of Spain".
But his own spirit aspired, even from youth, to be small in the Kingdom of
God, and to serve not the kings of the earth but the King of heaven. He
cultivated his pious desire in his heart until he obtained the consent of his
father to follow his vocation to the religious life.
After having renounced, by means of a notarial document, the principate,
which belonged to him through heredity, and his very rich patrimony, he was
admitted into the Order of the Clerics Regular Theatine, founded by St. Cajetan
of Thien in 1524. He made his religious profession in the Theatine house of St.
Joseph, at Palermo, on 25 March 1666.
In the new state of life, which he had embraced to follow the call of Christ,
he was able to dedicate himself better to piety and study. The sacred Liturgy
had been his attraction from childhood; even as a child he wanted to wear every
day the clothes of the liturgical color of the day. Gregorian chant had
blossomed soon on his lips, which exulted with joy singing the liturgical
psalms. The sacred languages of Latin and Greek, as if by an innate
disposition, he knew well and appreciated from his adolescence.
He completed his studies of philosophy in Messina, Ferrara, Bologna and
Modena, forced to the transfers for reasons of health. He studied Theology
instead at Rome, in the House of San Andrea della Valle.
In Rome, after having received the subdiaconate and the diaconate, on the
Saturday of Advent, on 23 December 1673, he was ordained a Priest in the Lateran
Basilica, at the hands of Mons. Joachim De Angelis, Archbishop of Urbino,
Vice-Regent of the Cardinal Vicar Gaspar Carpegna. Two days later, on the night
of the Nativity, he celebrated his first Mass, in the church of San Silvestro al
Quirinale, at that time the residence of the General House of the Theatine
Fathers. The priestly anointing seems to have incardinated Father Tomasi to
Rome and to give him Roman citizenship. Here, from his priestly ordination and
in the same house of San Silvestro al Quirnale, for almost forty years, he
dedicated himself, with intense productivity, to piety and to assiduous studies.
To his knowledge of Latin and Greek, acquired from adolescence, he added that of
Hebrew, Syriac, Chaldean and Arabic.
Urged by his particular love for the ancient documents of the Church and for
the sound ecclesiastical traditions, he considered that a good part of his own
religious perfection lay in dedicating himself, with the spirit of faith, to the
publication of rare liturgical books and of the ancient texts of the sacred
Liturgy, and so bringing to light many ancient sacred scriptures which until
then had been hidden in the libraries.
In fact, thanks to his wide knowledge of sacred matters, he edited many
volumes dealing with biblical, patristic and principally liturgical subjects.
With these last it is sufficient to mention: Codices Sacramentorum nongentis
annis vetustiores (edited in 1680); the critical edition of the Salterio in its
double Roman and Gallican version; the Antifonari and Responsoriali of the Roman
Church prepared by St. Gregory the Great (edited in 1686); the critical edition
of the Sacra Biblia according to the codes from the fifth century to the
eleventh century (published in 1688).
On account of his vast scholarship and his excellent and well-known virtues,
Father Joseph M. Tomasi was subject to such fame and esteem that everyone sought
and felt honored by his acquaintance and knowledge and his friendship. The Queen
of Sweden, Christina Alexandra, wanted him among the members whom she honored
among her own circle of scholars; the Roman Academy of Arcadia counted him among
its own more illustrious members; the learned Rabbi of the Synagogue of Rome,
Moses Cave, who was converted to Catholicism while he taught Father Tomasi
Hebrew, considered him his friend and father in the faith.
But the greater the praises which the persons of that time attributed to him,
the more he tried to remain hidden, even to the point of publishing, because of
his humility, some of his own works under a pseudonym.
Besides being in relationship with important persons and scholars of his own
intellectual breadth, he dedicated himself no less to the formation of the
simple faithful. For these he composed: Vera norma di glorificare Iddio e di far
Orazione secondo la dottrina delle divine Scritture e dei Santi Padri, and also
a Breve istruzione del modo di assistere fruttuosamente al Santo sacrificio
della Messa, as well as a condensed version of the Psalms selected and prepared
for facilitating the prayer of the Christian.
Named General Consultor of his Order by his confreres, out of humility he
quickly renounced the appointment, alleging the many other occupations for the
appointments which he had already in the Roman Curia, among which were those of
Consultor of the Sacred Congregations of Rites, and of Indulgences, as well as
that of Qualificator of the Holy Office.
His many publications on liturgical subjects, in which piety was united with
scholarship, motivated the titles which some of his contemporaries gave to him,
those of "the Prince of the Roman Liturgists" and of "Liturgists" and of
In truth, not a few of the norms, established by the authority of the Roman
Pontiffs and by the documents of the Second Vatican Council and today
praiseworthily in use in the Church, were already proposed and ardently desired
by Father Tomasi, among which it is sufficient to recall: the present-day
form of the Liturgy of the Hours for the prayer of the Divine Office; the
distinction and use of the Missal and of the Lectionary in the celebration of
the Eucharist; various norms contained in the Pontifical and in the Roman
Ritual; the use of the vernacular language, which he himself recommended in
private devotions and in the prayers made in common by the faithful; all
intended to promote a more intimate and personal participation of the People of
God at the celebration of the sacred Liturgy.
All his labors and solicitudes, in research and in his studies, were not able
in the slightest amount to distract Father Tomasi from aiming, constantly and
with all his strength, at the attainment of that evangelical perfection to which
God had called him from his infancy.
To all he was an example of profound humility, of the spirit of mortification
and of sacrifice, of faithful observance, of meekness, poverty, piety, and
filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He helped the poor; he gave relief
to the sick, both at home and in the hospital of St. John Lateran. In this way
wisdom and charity were united and harmonized in him.
Clement XI, who knew him personally and admired his eminent virtues and the
widespread fame of his doctrine, named him cardinal, with the title of Ss.
Silvestro e Martino ai Monti, in the Consistory of 18 May 1712. He accepted the
cardinalate only through the expressed mandate of the Pope. Placed in this
sublime grade, as a lamp on a lampstand, he illuminated the roman Church to such
a point, with the splendor of his virtues, that many venerated him as another
St. Charles Borromeo, whom he himself had proposed to imitate.
He joined to the cardinalatial dignity all those virtues which distinguished
him as a Theatine religious; he changed none of his previous rule of life. For
his court and for the service of his home he chose, for motives of humility, the
poor, the weak, the lame and persons with various physical handicaps. In his
titular church of Ss. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti he not only participated,
with the clergy of his family, in the liturgical celebrations of the
Carmelite Fathers, but also dedicated himself to teaching the catechism of
Christian doctrine to children and to the other faithful.
But such a light of good example and of virtues shone for a short time. Not
having completed eight months as a Cardinal, he was struck by a violent
pneumonia after he took part, as a member of the Papal chapel, at the vigil of
the Nativity in the Vatican Basilica. He died a saintly death on 1 January 1713
in his apartment at the Passarini Palace on the Via Panisperna.
The first panegyric for Cardinal Tomasi was pronounced by the same Pope
Clement XI, in the Consistory celebrated one month after his passing. "We cannot
disguise", the Pope said, "the intimate sorrow which the death of eminent and
most pious Cardinal Tomasi has provided Us. ... He was an authentic model of the
most holy and ancient discipline and We already expect much from his virtues and
The fame of his sanctity that during life accompanied Cardinal Tomasi became
even greater immediately after his death. Because of this, only five months from
his pious passing, on the desire of Clement XI, the canonical Ordinary
Informative Process for his Beatification began. After having overcome
vicissitudes and difficulties of various kinds, after two miracles attributed to
the intercession of the Venerable Cardinal Tomasi were approved, Pius VII
proclaimed him Blessed on 29 September 1803.
A new miracle, attributed to the intercession of Blessed Joseph M. Tomasi,
was approved, with the Decree of 6 July 1985, by the Holy Father John Paul 11,
for his canonization.
The relics of his body, transferred in 1971 from the Basilica of his title of
Ss. Silvestro e Martini ai Monti, are presently exposed for the veneration of
the faithful in the Basilica of San Andrea della Valle of the Theatine Fathers,
His feast is celebrated on 3 January
Born circa 465 Thelepte
Died 1 January 527 or 533 Ruspe
Honored in Roman Catholic Church
Feast 1 January and 3 January Augustinian Order
Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (Thelepte, 462 or 467 — 1 January 527 or 533) was bishop of the city of Ruspe, North Africa, in the 5th and 6th century who was canonized as a Christian saint. Fabius Claudius Gordianus Fulgentius.was born into a noble family of Carthage, which had been cut off from the Roman Empire some thirty years earlier by the Vandals Bishop of Ruspe, Tunisia, and a friend of St. Augustine. Born Fabius Claudius Gordianus Fulgentius of Carthage, he was a Roman of senatorial rank.
His mother, widowed, opposed Fulgentius’ religious career, but he became a monk. He became abbot with Felix but had to flee the monastery in 499 when Vandals or Numidians invaded, going to Sicca Veneria. Retuming to the area, Fulgentius was named bishop of Ruspe, circa 508. King Thrasamund , an Arian, banished Fulgentius to Sardinia, Italy where he and other bishops were aided by Pope St. Symmachus . Fulgentius founded a monastery and wrote such eloquent defenses of orthodox Catholic doctrines that King Thrasamund returned him to his see, only to banish him again. In 523, Fulgentius returned to his see, where he set about rebuilding the faith.Born 468, died 533. Bishop of Ruspe in the province of Byzacene in Africa, eminent among the Fathers of the Church for saintly life, eloquence and theological learning. His grandfather, Gordianus, a senator of Carthage, was despoiled of his possessions by the invader Genseric, and banished to Italy, his two sons returned after his death, and, though their house in Carthage had been made over to Arian priests, they recovered some property in Byzacene. Fulgentius was born at Telepte in that province. His father, Claudius, soon died, and he was brought up by his mother,
Mariana. He studied Greek letters before Latin "quo facilius posset, victurus inter Afros, locutionem Graecam, servatis aspirationibus, tamquam ibi nutritus exprimere". We learn from these words of his biographer that the Greek aspirates were hard for a Latin to pronounce. We are told that Fulgentius at an early age committed all Homer to memory, and throughout his life his pronunciation of Greek was excellent. He was also well trained in Latin literature. As he grew older, he governed his house wisely in subjection to his mother. He was favored by the provincial authorities, and made procurator of the fiscus. But a desire of religious life came over him: he practiced austerities privately in the world for a time, until he was moved by the Enarration on Psalm 36 of St. Augustine to betake himself to a monastery which had been founded by a bishop named Faustus near his episcopal city, from which like other Catholic bishops he had been exiled by the Vandal king, Hunneric. The fervent appeal of the young man won his admission from Faustus, to whom he was already well known. His mother clamored with tears at the door of the monastery to see her son; but he gave no sign of his presence there. He became ill from excessive abstinence, but recovered without renouncing it. His worldly goods he made over to his mother, leaving his younger brother dependent on her.
But Faustus was obliged to fly from renewed persecution, and by his advice Fulgentius sought a small monastery not far off, whose abbot, Felix, had been his friend in the world. Felix insisted upon resigning his office to Fulgentius. A contest of humility ended in the agreement of all that Fulgentius should be co-abbot. Felix cared for the house, and Fulgentius instructed the brethren; Felix showed charity to the guests, Fulgentius edified them with discourse. A raid of Moors made it necessary to remove to a safer spot, and a new retreat was started at Idida in Mauretania, but Fulgentius soon left Felix, having conceived an ardent desire to visit the monasteries of Egypt, for he had been reading the "Institutiones" and "Collationes" of Cassian, and he also hoped to be no longer superior, and to be able to keep yet stricter abstinence. He took ship at Carthage for Alexandria with a companion named Redemptus. On his arrival at Syracuse, the holy bishop of that city, Eulalius, told him. "The lands to which you wish to travel are separated from the communion of Peter by an heretical quarrel". Fulgentius therefore stopped a few months with Eulalius,
and then sought further advice from an exiled bishop of his own province, who was living as a monk on a tiny island off the coast of Sicily. He was recommended to return to his own monastery, but "not to forget the Apostles". In consequence, he made a pilgrimage to Rome, where he was present at a speech made by Theodoric before the senate, and had an opportunity of despising all the magnificence the court of the Gothic king could show. His return was hailed with joy in Africa, and a nobleman of Byzacene gave him fertile land on which he established a new monastery. But Fulgentius retired from his position as superior in order to live a more hidden life in a large and strict abbey which flourished on a rocky island. Here he worked, read, and contemplated. He was an accomplished scribe, and could make fans of palm leaves. Felix, however, refused to submit to the loss of his brother abbot, and he got Bishop Faustus to claim Fulgentius as his own monk and to order his return to Felix. The bishop ensured his continuance as abbot by ordaining him priest.
At this time the Arian King Thrasimund (496-523), though not so cruel a persecutor as his predecessors, allowed no Catholic bishops to be elected in Africa. It was decided in 508 by such bishops as could manage to meet together that it was necessary to brave this law, and it was decreed that elections should take place quietly and simultaneously in all the vacant sees, before the Government had time to take preventive measures. Fulgentius was nominated in several cities; but he had fled into hiding, and could not be found. When he thought all the appointments had been made, he reappeared, but the seaport of Ruspe, where the election had been delayed through the ambition of a deacon of the place, promptly elected him; and against his will he was consecrated bishop of a town he had never seen. He insisted on retaining his monastic habits. He refused all ease and continued his fasts. He had but one poor tunic for winter and summer; he wore no orarium, but used a leathern girdle like a monk; nor would he wear clerical shoes, but went barefoot or with sandals. He had no precious chasuble (casula), and did not permit his monks to have any. Under his
chasuble he wore a grey or buff (?) cloak. The same tunic served day and night, and even for the holy Sacrifice, at which, said he, the heart and not the garment should be changed. His first care at Ruspe was to get the citizens to build him a monastery, of which he made Felix abbot, and he never lived without monks around him. But very soon all the new bishops were exiled. Fulgentius was one of the juniors among the 60 African bishops collected in Sardinia, but in their meetings his opinion was eagerly sought, and the letters sent in the name of all were always drawn up
by him. He also frequently composed pastoral letters for individual colleagues to send to their flocks. Fulgentius had brought a few monks with him to Sardinia, and he joined with two other bishops and their companions in a common life, so that their house became the oracle of the city of
Calaris, and a centre of peace, consolation, and instruction. It was perhaps about the year 515 that Thrasimund issued a series of ten questions as a challenge to the Catholic bishops, and the reputation of
Fulgentius was now so great that the king sent for him to Carthage to speak in the name of the rest. The saint, during his stay in that city, gave constant instructions in the faith of the Holy Trinity, and reconciled many who had been rebaptized by the Arians. He discussed with many wise
persons the replies to be made to the ten questions, and at length submitted to the king a small but able work which we still possess under the title of "Contra Arianos liber unus, ad decem objectiones decem responsiones continens". The king then proposed further objections, but was anxious to avoid a second reply as effective as the former one. He took the unfair and tyrannical course of having the new questions, which were expressed at great length, read aloud once to Fulgentius, who was not allowed to have a copy of them, but was expected to give direct answers; though the public would not know whether he had really replied to the point or not. When the bishop pointed out that he could not even recollect
the questions after hearing them but once, the king declared that he showed a want of confidence in his own case. Fulgentius was therefore obliged to write a larger work, "Ad Trasimundum regem Vandalorum libri tres", which is a very fine specimen of careful and orthodox theological argument. Thrasimund seems to have been pleased with this reply. An Arian bishop named Pinta produced an answer which, with Fulgentius's refutation of it, Is lost to us. The work now entitled "Adversus Pintam" is spurious. The king wished to keep Fulgentius at Carthage, but the Arian bishops were afraid of his influence and his power of converting, and therefore obtained his exile. He was put on board ship at night, that the people of Carthage might not know of his departure. But contrary winds obliged the vessel to remain several days in port, and nearly all the city was able to take leave of the holy bishop, and to receive Holy Communion from his hand. To a religious man who was weeping he privately prophesied his speedy return and the liberty of the African Church.
Fulgentius was accompanied to Sardinia by many of his monastic brethren. Instead, therefore, of proceeding to his former abode, he obtained permission from the Bishop of Calaris to build an abbey hard by the Basilica of St. Saturninus, and there he ruled over forty monks, who observed the strictest renunciation of private property, while the abbot saw to all their wants with great charity and discretion; but if any monk asked for anything, he refused him at once, saying that a monk should be content with what he is given, and that true religious have renounced their own will, "parati nihil velle et nolle". This severity in a particular point was no doubt tempered by the saint's sweetness of disposition and charm of manner, with which was associated a peculiarly winning and moving eloquence. He wrote much during his second exile. The Scythian monks, led by John Maxentius at Constantinople, had been trying to get their formula approved at Rome: "One of the Trinity was crucified". At the same time they were attacking the traces of Semipelagianism in the works of Faustus of Riez. On the latter point they had full sympathy from the exiles in Sardinia, whose support they had asked. Fulgentius wrote them a letter in the name of the other bishops (Ep. 15), and composed a work "Contra Faustum" in seven books, which is now lost. It was just completed when, in 523, Thrasimund died, and his successor, Hilderic, restored liberty to the Church of Africa.
The exiles returned, and new consecrations took place for all the vacant sees. When the bishops landed at Carthage, Fulgentius had an enthusiastic reception, and his journey to Ruspe was a triumphal progress. He returned to his beloved monastery, but insisted on Felix being sole superior; and
he, who was consulted first among all the bishops of the province, asked leave in the monastery for the least things from the abbot Felix. He delivered in writing to the abbey a deed by which it was perpetually exempted from the jurisdiction of the bishops of Ruspe. This document was
read in the Council of Carthage of 534. It was in fact the custom in Africa that monasteries should not of necessity be subject to the local bishop, but might choose any bishop at a distance as their ecclesiastical superior. Fulgentius now gave himself to the care of his diocese. He was careful that his clergy should not wear fine clothes, nor devote themselves to secular occupations. They were to have houses near the church, to cultivate their gardens with their own hands, and to be particular about correct pronunciation and sweetness in singing the psalms. He corrected some with words, others with scourging. He ordered fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays for all clergy and widows, and for those of the laity that
were able. In this last period of St. Fulgentius's life he published some sermons, and ten books against the Arian Fabianus, of which only fragments remain. A year before his death he was moved to great compunction of heart; he suddenly quitted all his work, and even his monastery, and sailed with a few companions to the island of Circe, where he gave himself to reading, prayer, and fasting in a monastery which he had previously caused to be constructed on a small rock. There he mortified his members and wept in the presence of God alone, as though he anticipated a speedy death. But complaints were made of his absence, and he returned to his labors. He shortly fell into a grievous sickness. In
his sufferings he said ceaselessly: "O Lord, give me patience here, and forgiveness hereafter." He refused, as too luxurious, the warm bath which he physicians recommended. He summoned his clergy and in the presence of the monks asked pardon for any want of sympathy or any undue severity he
might have shown. He was sick for seventy days, continuing in prayer and retaining all his faculties to the last. His possessions he gave to the poor, and to those of his clergy who were in need. He died on 1 January, 533, in the sixty-fifth year of his life and the twenty-fifth of his Episcopate.
Besides the works already mentioned, St. Fulgentius some fine treatises, sermons, and letters. The best known is the book "De Fide", a
description of the true Faith, written for a certain Peter, who was going on a pilgrimage to the schismatic East. The three books "Ad Monimum",
written in Sardinia, are addressed to a friend who understood St. Augustine to teach that God predestinates evil. St. Fulgentius is saturated with
St. Augustine's writings and way of thinking, and he defends him from the charge of making God predestinate evil. He himself makes it a matter of
faith that unbaptized infants are punished with eternal fire for original sin. No one can by any means be saved outside the Church; all pagans and
heretics are infallibly damned. "It is to think unworthily of grace, to suppose that it is given to all men", since not only not all have faith,
but there are still some nations which the preaching of the Faith has not yet reached. These harsh doctrines seem to have suited the African
temperament. His last work against Semipelagianism was written at Ruspe and addressed to the leaders of the Scythian monks, John and Venerius: "De
veritate praedestinationis et gratiae Dei", in three books. To these we may add the two books, "De remissione peccatorum". He wrote much on the
Holy Trinity and the Incarnation: "Liber contra Arianos", "Liber ad Victorem", "Liber ad Scarilam de Incarnatione". To St. Augustine's doctrine of
the Trinity, Fulgentius adds a thorough grasp of the doctrine of the Person of Christ as defined against Nestorianism and Eutychianism. His
thought is always logical and his exposition clear, and he is the principal theologian of the sixth century, if we do not count St. Gregory. His
letters have no biographical interest, but are theological treatises on chastity, virginity, penance, etc. His sermons are eloquent and full of
fervour, but are few in number.
Fulgentius writes in his Letter to Peter on the Faith: "Hold most firmly and never doubt that the same Holy Spirit, who is the one Spirit of the
Father and the Son, proceeds from the Father and the Son. For the Son says, 'When the Spirit of Truth comes, who has proceeded from the Father,'
where he taught that the Spirit is his, because he is the Truth."
His saint's day is January 1, the day of his death. His relics were transferred to Bourges in France around 714. They were later destroyed there
Died about 470.
Her story belongs to that group of legends which relate how Christian virgins, in order the more successfully to lead the life of celibacy and asceticism to which they had dedicated themselves, put on male attire and passed for men. According to the narrative of her life in the "Vitæ Patrum", Euphrosyne was the only daughter of Paphnutius, a rich man of Alexandria,
who desired to marry her to a wealthy youth. But having consecrated her life to God and apparently seeing no other means of keeping this vow, she clothed herself as a man and under the name of
Smaragdus gained admittance into a monastery of men near Alexandria, where she lived for thirty-eight years after. She soon attracted the attention of the abbot by the rapid strides which she made toward a perfect ascetic life, and when Paphnutius appealed to him for comfort in his
sorrow, the abbot committed the latter to the care of the alleged young man Smaragdus. The father received from his own daughter, whom he failed
to recognize, helpful advice and comforting exhortation. Not until she was dying did she reveal herself to him as his lost daughter Euphrosyne.
After her death Paphnutius also entered the monastery. Her feast is celebrated in the Greek Church on 25 September, in the Roman Church on 16 January (by the Carmelites on 11 February).
MOMBRITIUS, Sanctuarium, I, 253-255; Acta SS., Feb., II, 535-541; BOUCHERIE in Revue des langues romanes (1870), II, 26-40; Analecta
Bollandiana, II, 195-205. For earlier monographs see POTTHAST, Bibliotheca historica medii ævi, II, 1298-1299; BARING-GOULD, Lives of the Saints
(London, 1898), II, 264; BUTLER, Lives of the Saints, 11 Feb.
Born . 449 Izernore, France
Died January 1, 510
Feast 4 January (formerly January 2)
(AUGENDUS; French OYAND, OYAN)
was the fourth abbot of Condat Abbey, at Saint-Claude, Jura. He was born at Izernore.
Fourth Abbot of Condat (Jura), b. about 449, at Izernore, Ain, Franche-Comté; d. 1 Jan., 510 at Condat. He was instructed in reading and writing by his father, who had become a priest, and at the age of seven was given to Sts. Romanus and Lupicinus to be educated at Condat, in the French Jura. Thenceforth he never left the monastery. He imitated the example of the above-named saints with such zeal that it was difficult to tell which of the two he resembled more. Eugendus acquired much learning, read the Greek and Latin authors, and was well versed in the Scriptures. He led a life of great austerity, but out of humility did not want to be ordained priest. Abbot Minausius made him his coadjutor, and after the former's death (about 496) Eugendus became his successor. He always remained the humble religious that he had been before, a model for his monks by his penitence and piety, which God deigned to acknowledge by miracles. After the monastery, which St.Romanus had built of wood, was destroyed by fire, Eugendus erected another of stone, and improved the community life; thus far the brethren had lived in separate cells after the fashion of the Eastern ascetics. He built a beautiful church in honour of the holy Apostles Peter, Paul, and Andrew, and enriched it with precious relics. The order, which had been founded on the rules of the Oriental monasteries, now took on more of the active character of the Western brethren; the rule of Tarnate is thought to have served as a model. Condat began to flourish as a place of refuge for all those who suffered from the misfortunes and afflictions of those eventful times, a school of virtue and knowledge amid the surrounding darkness, an oasis in the desert. When Eugendus felt his end approaching he had his breast anointed by a priest, took leave of his brethren, and died quietly after five days.
A few years after his death, his successor, St. Viventiolus, erected a church over his tomb, to which numerous pilgrims travelled. A town was founded, which was called, after the saint, Saint-Oyand de Joux, and which retained that name as late as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, while its former name of Condat passed into oblivion. But when St. Claudius had, in 687, resigned his Diocese of Besançon and had died, in 696, as twelfth abbot, the number of pilgrims who visited his grave was so great that, since the thirteenth century, the name Saint-Claude came more and more into use and has today superseded the other. The feast of St. Eugendus was at first transferred to 2 Jan.; in the Dioceses of Besançon and Saint Claude it is now celebrated on 4 Jan.
Supposedly two Britons sent by King St. Lucius to Pope St. Eleutherius to ask for missionaries.
St. Elvan & Mydwyn
[Mentioned in English Martyrologies, and by Ferrarius in his General Catalogue of the Saints. The evidence for these Saints is purely traditional;
the first written record of them was by Gildas, AD 560, but his account is lost. It is referred to by Matthew of Westminster.]
Saint Elvan of Avalon, or Glastonbury, was brought up in that school erroneously said to have been founded by S. Joseph of Arimathea. He vehemently preached the truth before Lucius, a British king, and was mightily assisted by S. Mydwyn of Wales (Meduinus), a man of great learning.
Lucius despatched Elvan and Mydwyn to Rome, on an embassy to Pope Eleutherius, in 179, who consecrated Elvan bishop, and appointed Mydwyn teacher.
He gave them, as companions, two Roman clerks, Faganus and Deruvianus; or, according to some, Fugatius and Damianus. They returned with these to
King Lucius, who was obedient to the word of God, and received baptism along with many of his princes and nobles. Elvan became the second
archbishop of London. He and Mydwyn were buried at Avalon.
S. Patrick is said to have found there an ancient account of the acts of the Apostles, and of Fugatius and Damianus, written by the hand of S.
Matthew of Westminster gives the following account of the conversion of Lucius, under the year 185 : "About the same time, Lucius, king of the
Britons, directed letters to Eleutherius, entreating him that he would make him a Christian. And the blessed pontiff, having ascertained the
devotion of the king, sent to him some religious teachers; namely, Faganus and Deruvianus, to convert the king to Christ, and wash him in the holy
font. And when that had been done, then the different nations ran to baptism, following the example of the king, so that in a short time there
were no infidels found in the island."
There is a considerable amount of exaggeration in this account of Matthew of Westminster, which must not be passed over. Lucius is known in the
Welsh triads by the name of Lleurwg, or Lleufer Mawr, which means "The great Luminary", and this has been Latinized into Lucius, from Lux, light.
He was king of a portion of South Wales only. The Welsh authorities make no mention of the alleged mission to Rome, though, that such a mission
should have been sent, is extremely probable. Some accounts say that Medwy and Elfan were Britons, and that Dyfan and Ffagan (Deruvianus and
Faganus) were Roman priests. But both these names are British, consequently we may conjecture that they were of British origin, but resided then
Four churches near Llandaf bore the names of Lleurwg (Lucius), Dyfan, Ffagan, and Medwy, which confirms the belief in the existence of these
Saints, and indicates the scene of their labours. Matthew of Westminster adds : "A.D. 185. The blessed priests, Faganus and Deruvianus, returned
to Rome, and easily prevailed on the most blessed Pope that all that they had done should be confirmed. And when it had been, then the
before-mentioned teachers returned to Britain, with a great many more, by whose teaching the nation of the Britons was soon founded in the faith
of Christ, and became eminent as a Christian people. And their names and actions are found in the book that Gildas the historian wrote, concerning
the victory of Aurelius Ambrosius."
Geoffrey, of Monmouth, who, unsupported, is thoroughly untrustworthy, mentions the same circumstance, on the authority of the treatise of Gildas,
now lost. The embassy to Rome shall be spoken of at length, under the title of S. Lucius, December 11th. See also Nennius, 22 Bede's Eccles. Hist.
Eastern Roman Empire
Died 1 January 404 or 391
Feast 1 January
St. Telemachus, who sacrificed his life to put an end to the bloody spectacles which, as late as the early fifth century, took place in Rome.
There is no reason to doubt the fact of the heroic death of St. Telemachus, but there is, on the other hand, no clear proof that its scene was theColiseum. Theodoret, the only writer who records the incident, says that it happened eis to stadio (in the stadium), a different place from the Coliseum.
Saint Telemachus also Almachus or Tilemahos citation needed was a monk who, according to the Church historian Theodoret, tried to stop a gladiator
fight in a Roman amphitheatre, and was stoned to death by the crowd. The Christian Emperor Honorius, however, was impressed by the monk's
martyrdom and it spurred him to issue an historic ban on gladiator fights. The last known gladiator fight in Rome was on January 1, 404 AD, so
this is usually given as the date of Telemachus' martyrdom.
He is described as being an ascetic who came to Rome from the East. The story is found in the writings of Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrrhus, Syria.
Although the site of Telemachus' martyrdom is often given as being the Colosseum in Rome, Theodoret does not actually specify where it happened,
saying merely that it happened in "the stadium".
Later retellings of the story have differed from Theodoret's in a number of details. Foxe's Book of Martyrs claims that Telemachus was first
stabbed to death by a gladiator, but that the sight of his death "turned the hearts of the people".In the version of the story told by Ronald
Reagan in 1984, the entire crowd left in silence.
There is also an alternate form of the story, in which Telemachus stood up in the amphitheatre and told the assembly to stop worshiping idols and
offering sacrifices to the gods. Upon hearing this statement, the prefect of the city is said by this source to have ordered the gladiators to
Rome, Roman Empire
Spoleto, Roman Empire
Honored inRoman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
1 January Roman Catholic
Concordius of Spoleto is a little-known Christian saint and martyr of the 2nd century. There is another martyr Concordius who died in the 4th century.
Saint Concordius began his life as a subdeacon in Rome, and was reclusive; spending most of his time alone and praying. He was imprisoned during the Christian persecutions of Marcus Aurelius and tried in Spoleto, Italy.
The trial was overseen and judged by the governor of Umbria, Italy. Concordius was allowed his freedom if he would denounce his faith and worship a statue of the Roman god Jupiter. When Concordius refused, the judge had him beaten on a rack. After the torture however, Concordius praised Jesus, after which he was thrown in jail. Two days later, he was offered a second chance and presented with a statue to worship. Concordius then spat on the idol and was promptly beheaded, c.175 AD. Concordius was canonized by religious officials at that time, but it is unsure when or where this occurred.