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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  March 2011

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION March 2011

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Subject:

Feasts and Saints of the day - March 8

From:

Terri Morgan <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 8 Mar 2011 13:53:46 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Today, March 8, is the feast day of:

Philemon and Apollonius (d. c305) Apollonius was a deacon in the Thebaid.
Legend tells that, when ordered to eat a ritual meal of sacrificial meat, he
was afraid and instead offered the pagan musician-entertainer Philemon money
to dress up and perform the rites on his behalf. Philemon agreed, but when
the time came, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and declared himself a
Christian. When the judge figured out the substitution and told Philemon
that this was silly, since he wasn't even baptized, Philemon prayed and a
cloud miraculously appeared and rained on him, which he claimed as baptism.
They were taken to Alexandria where Apollonius died by being tied in a sack
and thrown in the sea. Before Phileomon's execution, he requested that a
great pot be brought before him and a baby put inside. The executioners did
so. Then Philemon asked them to shoot at the pot with bows and arrows. They
again complied shooting the pot full of arrows. But the child inside was
found to be unscathed. Thereupon Philemon said: 'The Christian's body like
the pot may be riddled with wounds, whilst the soul within, like the baby,
remains unhurt.'

Arian(us), Theoticus, & co. (d. c311) Arian was the governor of Egyptian
Thebes.  He and four companions converted after they witnessed the martyrdom
of Philemon & Appolonius in Alexandria.  The judge ordered them drowned in
the sea.

Felix of East Anglia/-of Dunwich/-of Burgundy (d. 647 or 648) The Burgundian
Felix was ordained priest in his homeland before undertaking missionary work
in England. In 630 or 631 St. Honorius, archbishop of Canterbury made him
bishop of the East Angles, where the royalty was only recently Christian. He
established his see at a place called Dommoc (perhaps Dunwich, perhaps
Felixstowe) and spent 17 years evangelizing the region. According to Bede,
to whom we owe all our knowledge of the historical Felix, he helped king
Sigeberht establish a school for boys. He won the nickname "apostle of the
East Angles" His feast today is recorded in pre-Conquest calendars. Ramsey
Abbey (founded in the tenth century) claimed to possess his relics. His copy
of the gospels survived until the mid-19th century, when it was cut up to
make tags at a mansion near Eye.

Cataldus (d. c670) Cataldus may be a completely legendary figure. He is
supposed to have been an Irishman, who on his return journey from a
pilgrimage to Jerusalem was elected bishop of Taranto (Apulia). There is
evidence of a strong cult in Taranto and also in Burgundy.

Julian of Toledo (d. 690) was born into a Christian family that had recently
been Jewish.  A student of Eugenius II at the cathedral school of Toledo, he
succeeded Eugenius first as abbot of Agali and later (in 680) as archbishop
of Toledo.  He is one of the most influential figures in Visigothic history.
He presided over four councils, and is credited with getting the king to
persecute Jews. He was the first archbishop to hold primacy over the entire
Iberian peninsula. Julian was also a notable writer who produced a revision
of the Spanish liturgy and several books; including at least one, on
Messianic prophecies, intended for the conversion of Jews, a Latin grammar,
and a Life of king Wamba (in whose poisoning Julian has been thought to be
complicit).

Humphrey of Therouanne (d. 871) was a monk of Prum, appointed bishop of
Therouanne in 856. The town was put to the torch by Vikings and suffered
from a deep decline in religious life. Humphrey tried to retire to a
monastery, but the pope wouldn't let him. So, when it was safe, Humphrey
went back and rebuilt the city and also rebuilt the monastery of
Saint-Bertin, which he served simultaneously as abbot. By his order the
feast of the Assumption became generally observed throughout his province.

Duthac/Duthus/Dubthach, Dubhthach (Gaelic) (d. 1065?) was a Scotsman
educated in Ireland. Duthac is the saint of Tain (Ross and Cromarty) in the
Scottish Highlands. Our sources for him are very late and meager. The mostly
late fifteenth-century Annals of Ulster record under 1065 the laying to rest
in Ard Macha (Armagh) of Dubthach Albanach (i.e. Duthac of Scotland), chief
soulfriend of Ireland and Scotland. His lections, by William Elphinstone, a
former bishop of Ross, in the very early sixteenth-century Aberdeen
Breviary, say that he came from a noble family of Scotland, call him a
bishop and confessor, and relate a few miracle stories. They further aver
that Duthac died on this day, that he is held in especial veneration in the
church of Tain, that he continues to perform miracles (especially of the
healing kind) there, that when after seven years, six months, and nine days
had passed his body was found to be incorrupt, and that when he was then
enshrined many healing miracles occurred.
   If one ignores Elphinstone's assertions about the timing of Duthac's
enshrinement (these were made at a time when Duthac had become an important
Scottish saint) and posits that we are dealing with one Duthac and not two,
the date of his translation from Armagh to Tain is unknown. From the
appearance of the earliest of his three churches there, the now ruined St
Duthac's Chapel, it has been conjectured that this will have occurred at
some time in the thirteenth century.

Ogmund (d. 1121) Ogmund was the first bishop of Holar (Iceland) and
continued the work of christianizing the island.  He was canonized in 1201.

Gerard of Clairvaux (d. 1177) (blessed) (not to be mistaken with the blessed
Gerard of Clairvaux, brother of Bernard) The Italian Gerard was the sixth
abbot of Clairvaux. He was killed by one of his monks, and is recognized as
the first martyr of the Cistercian order.

John of God (d1550) A visiting priest somehow lured the Portuguese John to
Spain when he was 8 and was taken in by a family in Castile. He became a
soldier in 1522. Thrown by a horse and injured, he got help from the BMV to
make his way back to camp. He continued in the army for a time, but was
accused of stealing and sentenced to hang - but an officer freed him in
return for a vow to renounce the military profession. By then he was in his
40s. John got more and more religious. He peddled holy pictures and books
for a while, but went mad with remorse when he heard a sermon by St. John of
Avila. After some time in a lunatic asylum, he began enjoying ecstasies,
making pilgrimages, operating a hospital. The last became J's vocation; he
established a hospital and carried out a great deal of charity. Butler
writes: 'He was particularly careful to provide for young girls in distress
to protect them from temptations to which they are often exposed.' The
congregation of the brothers of St. John of God (Brothers Hospitallers) was
formally established in 1586, and the saint was canonized in 1690. 

happy reading,
Terri Morgan

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