Friday, January 16, 2015


Saint Sigfrid of Sweden
Also known as
Apostle of Sweden
Sigfrid of Vaexjoe
Sigfrid of Wexlow
Sigfried of….
Siegfried of….
Also known as Sigfrid Växjö
Born in Glastonbury, England.
Died at Växjö, Sweden  1045;
canonized by Pope Adrian IV
Feast day: February 15

Priest at York and/or Glastonbury in England. Monk. Evangelized in Norway, Sweden, Denmark. Brought King Olaf of Sweden to the faith. While Sigfrid was away on a mission, his three nephews (Saint Winaman, Saint Unaman, and Saint Sunaman), who had come to help with the work in Sweden, were beheaded by pagan raiders. Sigfrid returned, recovered their heads, and claimed they could talk, a claim that terrorized the pagans. King Olaf decided to execute the murderers, but Sigfrid spoke against capital punishment and the killers were spared. Olaf then ordered them to pay a large fine, but Sigfrid refused the blood money, and thus achieved such a moral high ground that his mission work became even more successful.

Untrustworthy accounts say that the patron saint of Sweden is an Englishman, Sigfrid, who reached Sweden as a result of a call from King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway, who had been converted himself by another Englishman, Saint Alphege. Sigfrid is said to have been born in Northumberland, become a priest at York or Glastonbury, and was sent by King Ethelred as a missionary to Norway with two other bishops, Grimkel and John.

 They labored under the protection of the archbishop of Bremen (Germany). After converting many pagans, Sigfrid continued on to Sweden in 1008. Saint Ansgar had planted the seeds of faith in Sweden in 830; but the country had relapsed into paganism soon after his time. A second wave of missionary saints, including Sigfrid, followed about two centuries later.

 There he built himself a wooden church at Växjö in southern Sweden, and labored with success in the Smaeland and Västergötland districts. He converted twelve of the principal men of the province, then many others followed their example. The fountain near the mountain of Ostrabo, since called Wexlow) in which Sigfrid baptized the catechumens, long retained the names of the first 12 converts, engraved on a monument.

 Others, including the King Saint Olaf Skotkonung of Sweden, were attracted out of curiosity to see the rich fabrics and beautiful vessels used during the celebration of the Mass, to hear his preaching, and to observe the dignity and majesty of the Christian worship. That attracted them first. But it was the example of the lives of Sigfrid and his companion missionaries that open their eyes of faith and led to the baptism of so many others including the king, who was baptized at Husaby (one of the sites in Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter) in a spring that later bore Sigfrid's name and was the channel of many miracles.

 Sigfrid ordained and consecrated two native bishops to govern neighboring territories, but he retained the episcopacy of Växjö while he lived. His three nephews--Unaman, a priest; Sunaman, a deacon; and Winaman, a subdeacon--were his chief assistants in his apostolic efforts.

 Sigfrid also labored in Denmark. During one of Sigfrid's absences from Sweden, he instructed his three nephews to carry on the missionary work. A troop of idolatrous rebels--perhaps out of hatred for Christianity, perhaps in search of booty--plundered the church of Växjö and barbarously murdered Sigfrid's nephews by cutting off their heads, putting them in a box, and flinging them into a lake. The bodies they buried in the midst of the forest where they were never found.

 Sigfrid returned, recovered the three heads and claimed that they could still talk. He asked whether the crime would be avenged. "Yes," replied the first head. "When?" asked the second. "In the third generation," answered the third. And so it was. The saint had brilliantly used the dead heads to terrorize his living enemies. Their heads were placed in a shrine. The king was angered by their deaths and resolved to execute the murderers, but at Sigfrid's earnest entreaties Olaf spared their lives--an early testimony against capital punishment. Olaf compelled the guilty to pay a heavy fine to Sigfrid, but the saint refused to accept it even though he was living in extreme poverty and had to contend with rebuilding his church. Thenceforth, he was invincible.

 The saint became so renowned that the Germans claimed him as their own, insisting that he had been born either in Bremen or Hamburg. He died in old age, and his bones rest beneath the high altar of the cathedral of Växjö, and were famous for miracles. Sigfrid was so successful that he is called the Apostle of Sweden, where he is still venerated. A metrical office for his feast survives in both Sweden and Denmark.

 He is reported to have been canonized by Pope Adrian IV, but there is no proof it.

one of three bishops on a ship
baptizing King Olaf of Sweden
bishop menaced by devils
bishop carrying three severed heads
bishop carrying three loaves of bread (misrepresentation of the heads) .


Severus of Androcca
 Died . 530.
Feast day : February 15
St. Severus of Androcca Italian, parish priest, miracle worker.
Severus was a parish priest of Interocrea (Androcca) in the province of Valeria (Abruzzi), who divided his work between the care of the parish and that of his garden. Saint Gregory the Great relates that he raised a dead man to life so that he might receive the Last Rites. The relics of Severus were translated to Muenster-Maifeld, diocese of Trier, Germany, in the 10th century .


Blessed Julia of Certaldo
Also known as Giulia della Rena da Certaldo, Julia della Rena
Feast day: February 15/9 January on some calendars/formerly 25 February
Born 1319 at Certaldo, Italy

Died 9 January 1367 of natural causes

Beatified 1819 by Pope Pius VII
Blessed Julia is a model of gospel living by a lay person and of mutual collaboration between religious and laity.

Born to an impoverished noble family.Julia della Rena was born at Certaldo, Italy, near Florence, about the year 1319. Orphaned at an early age, she was employed as a domestic in the service of the Tinolfi family in Florence where, in 1337 at the Augustinian church of the Holy Spirit, she became an Augustinian Secular. After returning to Certaldo, she retired to a life of solitude near the church of Saints Michael and James.At age 19 she joined the third order of Saint Augustine at Florence. Returning to her native Certaldo, she lived as an anchoress near the church of SS. Michael and James until her death at age 48 .For thirty years she led a life of penance and prayer. Upon her death in 1370 she was immediately venerated as a saintly woman by the faithful who had sustained her with their alms and revered her for her life of prayer and penance.

Julia’s mortal remains are venerated at Certaldo in the church of Saints Michael and James, which at one time was under the care of the Augustinians. In a number of instances the people of Certadlo attributed their deliverance from the plague to Blessed Julia.

Her feast is celebrated by the Augustinian Family on 15 February.

Sometimes she may be shown
woman wearing a black habit and white veil, and rescuing a child from a burning bed
woman giving flowers to children in winter
woman rescuing a drowning horseman

Friday, January 2, 2015


Blessed Conrad of Bavaria
Also known as Conrad di Baviera;   Conrad of Clairvaux;  Conrad of Molfetta;
Conrad the Confessor ; Corrado…. Konrad….

Born : 1105 Veitsburg, Baden-Württemberg in modern Germany.
Died :1154 at the Santa Maria ad Cryptam Benedictine monastery near Modugno, Italy of natural causes.
Feast day: February15  OR
17 March OR
9 February translation of relics; diocese of Molfetta, Italy; Cistercians OR
15 February on some calendarsOR
10 July on some calendars .
Beatified ; 1832 by Pope Gregory XVI cultus confirmation

Son of Duke Henry IX of Bavaria Conrad was drawn to the monastic life while he was a student in Cologne by Saint Bernard, who professed him at Clairvaux. After some years he was granted permission to visit the Holy Land and on his return trip he died near Molfetta in Apulia .

Educated at Wiengarten Abbey in Ravensburg, Germany, and in Cologne, Germany. Joined of the Cistercians c.1124. Spiritual student of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in Cologne in 1147. Pilgrim to the Holy Lands as part of the spiritual Crusade, and died on the road.

Died1154 at the Santa Maria ad Cryptam Benedictine monastery near Modugno, Italy of natural causes interred in a cave near the monastery, a traditional resting place for the monastery‘s dead
relics translated to the cathedral of Molfetta in 1785.Reliquary restored and relics re-enshrined in August 2007.