Saturday, April 7, 2018

Saint Ronan of Locronan the Silent, Bishop in Ireland & founder of Locronan in France, from Ireland (+6th ce.) - June 1

Saint Ronan of Locronan the Silent, 

Bishop in Ireland & founder of Locronan in France,

from Ireland (+6th ce.)

June 1

Saint Ronan (6th century) was an Irish pilgrim saint and hermit in western Brittany, France. He was a son of Saint Berach and the eponymous founder of Locronan and co-patron of Quimper (France), together with its founder, Saint Corentin.

From Locronan to Quimper

The village of Locronan (lit. “the place of Ronan”), which is located about 17 km northwest of Quimper, owes its name to its reputed founder, the Irish pilgrim Ronan. To judge by his entry in the cartulary of the abbey of Quimper, he is known to have been venerated at Locronan since at least the 1030s.


Ronan was a well-educated native of Ireland whose good works as a bishop had brought him great renown in his home country. However, he longed to have a closer communion with God and so, at the height of his career in Ireland, he chose voluntary exile, per Genesis 12:1-3, by severing all ties with kin and country and embarking on a voyage to Brittany. Having landed "in the region of Léon", he continued his journey southwards to the kingdom of Cornouaille (Latin Cornubia) and set up a hermitage at what would become known as Locronan, near the woods of Névez. Here he devoted himself to prayer and an ascetic way of life, through which he soon attracted a multitude of admirers from the region. In this way, his presence also came to the attention of Gradlon, king of Cornouaille.

A local peasant much admired the saint, offering hospitality and paying frequent visits to his cell, but Keban, the peasant's wife, grew jealous and devised a scheme to bring the holy man into disrepute. Before Gradlon at his court in Quimper, she openly accused the saint, saying that he was a sorcerer who could transform himself into a wild animal and that, in the shape of a wolf, he had devoured numerous sheep and her only daughter. Ronan was put to the test to prove his sanctity. First, the king's two ferocious dogs were unleashed on him, but by the token of Christ, Ronan managed to pacify them. Second, he was given the opportunity to account for the disappearance of the peasant's daughter. He revealed that Keban had locked up her own daughter in a place so small that she had stifled to death, and named the exact location. When the girl was found dead just as the saint had told, local citizens insisted on Keban's execution. Ronan, however, prevented this, preferring to practise Christian benevolence, and brought the dead girl back to life. In spite of this, the saint continued to be harassed by Keban’s malice and therefore left for the petty kingdom of Domnonia in northwest Brittany, where he settled near Hillion. He died in his cell.


Since he died outside of Cornouaille, a quarrel arose over where to bury his body. The issue was decided by placing the body on a cart, dragged by wild oxen, and leaving it for them to drag wherever they would. The king of Cornouaille proved to be the only person able to lift the body and place it on a bier, which healed his arm of an old wound. The wild oxen driving the cart walked straight to the saint's cell in the forest of Névez. There the body was interred and the little settlement of Locronan grew up around the burial place.

It is said, that following a wave of Viking incursions, a new chapel was built at the site. The saint's relics were at some date translated, with appropriate pomp, to Quimper (Latin Confluentia). The presence of his relics in the town and the control over them by the clergy led to a series of miracles. One man is said to have been cured of dumbness after praying at the altar on which the saint's relics were placed; another was freed from demonic possession after spending a night under the saint's shrine; and the town was spared destruction by fire when the clergy used the relics to ward off the flames.



Monday, March 12, 2018

The 9 Saints nonuplet sisters Virgin-Martyrs of Portugal: Saints Wilgefortis (Liberata) the crusified, Marina, Quiteria, Genibera, Eufemia, Marciana, Germana, Basilia & Victoria the Virgin-Martyrs in Mediterranean (+139) & Saint Ovidius 3rd Bishop of Braga, Portugal (+135)


The 9 nonuplet sisters Virgin-Martyrs of Portugal:

Saints Wilgefortis (Liberata) the crusified, Marina, Quiteria, Genibera, Eufemia, Marciana, Germana, Basilia & Victoria the Virgin-Martyrs in Mediterranean (+139)

& Saint Ovidius 3rd Bishop of Braga, Portugal (+135)


Saint Virgin-Martyr Wilgefortis or Liberata the crusified

in some icons show her with a beard in a memory of Virgin Mary's miracle

to avoid to marry the pagan king

The names of the 9 Virgin-Martyrs from Portugal:

Saint Wilgefortis or Liberata or Eutropia the crucified, Virgin-Martyr in Aguas Santas, Spain (July 20, +139)

Saint Marina or Margarida, Virgin-Martyr in Aguas Santas, Spain  (January 18, +139)

Saint Quiteria, Virgin-Martyr in Aire-sur-l’Adour, France (May 22, +139)

Saint Eufemia or Eumelia, Virgin-Martyr in Braga, Portugal (September 16, +139)

Saint Marciana or Marica, Virgin-Martyr in Toledo, Spain (January 9, +139)

Saint Germana Virgin-Martyr and the Saints Paul, Gerontius, January, Saturninus, Suxessus, Julius, Katus and Pia, Martyrs in Numidia, North Africa (January 19, +139)

Saint Victoria / Vitoria / Rita, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (November 17, +139)

Saint Genibera / Genebra / Gemma, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (+139)

Saint Basilia or Basilissa, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (July 12, +139)

Feast days: Jan 9, 18 & 19, May 22, June 3, July 12 & 20, Sep 16

The Saints 9 Virgin-Martyrs of Portugal were born in the year 119 A.D. in Braga, Portugal. They were the daughters of pagan Castelius Lucius Severus and Calsia.

Her mother, Calsia was disgusted at the fact that she went through nine childbirths and not one of them was male. She called on her maid Sila to dispose of them by drowning the nine infants. Sila was a follower of Christianity so she ended up giving the babies to a Christian monk to be raised in the Christian community. Their father King Lucio was completely unaware of their birth.

Saint Ovidius the Bishop of Braga in Portugal, took care of the girls, baptized them Christian, and taught them all about Christianity. St Quiteria was the most dedicated out of her sisters when it came to their faith. She was fascinated with the Virgin Mary and the words of Christ. The monk eventually told the girls that their biological parents were the Royal Rulers of the country, but none of them had the desire to live a luxurious life.

St Wilgefortis (Liberata), St Quiteria and their seven other sisters around breaking Christians out of jail. This lasted for a few years until they were caught and brought to the King. Once the King realized who they were he asked them to live in the palace. While the sisters lived there they praised Jesus everyday and eventually turned their room into a prayer hall. When the King realized they were Christians he told them to give it up and marry Roman pagans. They refused and were locked up in jail. In jail they praised and glorified Jesus, and eventually an angel came and told St Quiteria “Happy and fortunate you are, for you deserved to find grace in front of God, so that God has chosen you as his spouse. It is God's will, that you are to live in solitude in the mount Oria and there you will exercise in oration and contemplation”. The angel released them from jail and they escaped all going in different directions. St Quiteria followed the angel and lived on the top of a mountain, where she was eventually captured. Once she again declined the marriage offer, she was imprisoned. Again she was freed by an angel, and returned to the mountain along with a group of other women whom she converted to Christianity. Along the way she had received the crown of martyrdom, and met Prosen Lastiano the ruler of the city Aufragia. She converted him to Christianity, but then a few days later he gave it up and became a pagan again. Prosen and his soldiers reached the mountain with intentions to kill her, but as the were ascending he fell down suddenly and lost all feeling in his hands and legs. Through the prayer of St Quiteria he regained his senses, and became full of faith. King Lucio was

Monday, January 29, 2018

Saint Fillan of Strathfillan, Scotland (+8th century) - January 9, June 20 & August 26


Saint Fillan of Strathfillan, Scotland (+8th century) 

January 9, June 20 & August 26



St. Fillan (Foelan) lived in the eighth century. He was born in Ireland; his mother was St. Kentigerna and his uncle was St. Comgan. From time immemorial he has been much venerated in both Ireland and Scotland. He may have been educated at Taghmon Monastery in Wexford (Ireland) under St. Fintan Munnu. Later, probably in about 717, he moved together with his mother and other relatives to Scotland. There he became a monk and lived the monastic life until the end of his life. It is known that for some time Fillan preached the Good News together with Sts. Kentigerna and Comgan and then retired to live as a hermit in a cave on the site of the present-day village Pittenweem (“the cave’s place”) in the county of Fife. This village was to become one of the most important places for his veneration. With time Fillan was appointed abbot of a monastery in Fife but after several years he gave up his abbacy and retreated to Glendochart (in Perthshire) where he lived alone in prayer and contemplation and finally built a church. Today a number of places and churches in the vicinity of Glendochart bear the name of the saint.
During his life Fillan by his prayer healed from many diseases the sick who flocked to him. The hermit worked miracles. Once, when he was abbot, a wolf ate one of his oxen while the saint was working in the field. The abbot commanded the wolf as a penance to plough up that part of the field instead of the ox that it had eaten. The wild wolf obeyed the saint and immediately fulfilled the task. The veneration of St. Fillan in Scotland was so strong that in 1314 the Scottish king Robert Bruce took the reliquary with the saint’s arm with him to the Battle of Bannockburn and attributed his victory over the English to the saint's intercession.

Fillan reposed and was buried in Strathfillan, the centre of his veneration. He probably built a church or a monastery on this site and preached to the local Pictish population. The cave of St. Fillan in Pittenweem survives to this day. After his death the cave became a destination for many pilgrims, and a holy well with healing power existed near it for many years. In late medieval times a small Augustinian priory, associated with the monastery on the Isle of May (in the outer Firth of Forth), was founded in Pittenweem and named after St. Fillan. Several centuries ago Fillan’s cave was left derelict and forgotten for a certain time. In about 1900, a horse that pastured in a local priory garden suddenly fell into an overgrown hole. When the hole was cleared it turned out that it was the saint’s cell, abandoned long before. Several stones which had healing properties owing to Fillan’s prayers were discovered in the cave together with the partly surviving holy well. In 2000, both the cave and the well were consecrated and opened for visitors.
The personal bell and staff of St. Fillan survive to this day: they are kept at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. In the past this bell was usually placed above those who suffered from severe headache—and the pain abated! In Strathfillan many lunatics were miraculously healed in ancient times. D.H. Farmer and other researchers write that mentally ill people used to be dipped into the Strathfillan well and then left for one night, tied up in a corner of St. Fillan's ruined chapel. If the following morning they were found loosed from their chains, they were considered to be completely cured. This practice existed until the first half of the nineteenth century. Today Strathfillan is a picturesque strath (a Scottish word meaning a broad, often mountainous, valley) in west Perthshire with the river Fillan flowing through it.

In the picturesque village of Killin, situated near Stirling, there are so-called healing stones, associated with St. Fillan, and kept at a former mill. According to tradition, due to the prayers of St. Fillan each of these stones heals a specific part of the body from various diseases. Interestingly, it was James Stuart, a minister from Killin, who in 1767 prepared the first New Testament in Scottish Gaelic, and his son, John, prepared the first edition of the Old Testament in this ancient language several decades later.

In the village of St Fillans in Perth and Kinross in central Scotland there is an ancient pre-Norman chapel dedicated to St. Fillan. According to local tradition, St. Fillan for some time lived on a hill nearby. An Episcopalian church in the village of Kilmacolm in Inverclyde is also dedicated to him. The nineteenth century Catholic church in the village of Houston in Renfrewshire in west central Scotland bears his name. There is also an ancient ruined church of St. Fillan not far from it, in the parish of Houston and Killellan. Close to the village there are two holy wells, dedicated to St. Fillan and St. Peter, which still have curative power. There are several other partly surviving early churches dedicated to this saint, scattered in different parts of Scotland, mostly on islands, which so much attracted Celtic saints by their severe beauty. Outside Scotland, St. Fillan is venerated in the Irish counties of Westmeath and Laois.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Saint Virgin-Martyr Artemia of Rome (+303) the daughter of Queen Saint Alexandra & Emperor Diocletian of Rome - June 7


Saint Virgin-Martyr Artemia of Rome (+303)

the daughter of Queen Saint Alexandra & Emperor Diocletian of Rome

June 7

Saint Virgin-Martyr Artemia of Rome martyred in 309 in Rome, the City of the Martyrs, along with many Christians. Before 6 years martyred her mother Saint Queen Alexandra the wife of  Emperor Diocletian in Nicomedia in Asia Minor (+303).

Saint Virgin-Martyr Artemia of Rome (+309) was the daughter of the Emperor Diocletian, and suffered from demonic oppression. Learning that the prisoner St Cyriacus the Deacon could heal infirmities and cast out devils, the emperor summoned him to the sick girl. In gratitude for healing his daughter, the emperor freed Cyriacus, Smaragdus and Largus. Soon the emperor sent St Cyriacus to Persia to heal the daughter of the Persian emperor.

Upon his return to Rome, St Cyriacus was arrested on orders of the emperor Galerius, the son-in-law of Diocletian, who had abdicated and retired as emperor. Galerius was very annoyed at his predecessor because his daughter Artemia had converted to Christianity. He gave orders to drag St Cyriacus behind his chariot stripped, bloodied, and in chains, to be shamed and ridiculed by the crowds.

St Marcellus I Bishop of Rome, denounced the emperor openly before everyone for his cruelty toward innocent Christians. The emperor ordered the holy bishop to be beaten with rods, and dealt severely with him. Sts Cyriacus, Smaragdus, Largus, and another prisoner, Crescentian, died under torture. And at this time the emperor’s daughter Artemia and another twenty-one prisoners were also executed with St Cyriacus the Deacon.