medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
Today, March 26 is the feast of:
Castulus (d. 3rd century?) is a martyr of the Via Labicana, entered for this
date in the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology. According to the legendary
Acta of St. Sebastian, he was a high official in the imperial palace who
looked after the welfare of Christians and who converted many to the faith.
The legend goes on to say that he sheltered Christians, arranged for secret
Christian services at the palace, was denounced, tortured, and then placed
in a pit and suffocated by having "sand” poured over him (probably
pozzolana, the compacted volcanic ash quarried locally for use in cement).
This also tells us that it was Castulus’ widow, Irene, who found St
Sebastian still alive after Diocletian's archers had left him for dead and
who nursed him back to health, thereby permitting S. to later confront D.
with his divinely ordained recovery.
By the year 809 relics believed to be those of Castulus had reached the
monastery at Moosburg in southern Bavaria (today's Moosburg an der Isar).
Moosburg's present collegiate church of St. Castulus / Kastulus (begun 1171)
was the monastery's church until the latter's closing in the early
Montanus and Maxima (d. c304?) are a priest and his wife, entered for today
in the (pseudo-)Hieronymian Martyrology as martyrs of Sirmium in Pannonia
(Serbia) with the added detail that Montanus was killed by being thrown into
a river (presumably the Sava). Florus, followed by Ado, asserted that both
had met their fate in this fashion. In this they were followed by Usuard,
who, however, had them both thrown into the sea (a neat trick at landlocked
Sirmium!). The RM (rev. 2001) fudges by calling the body of water in
question _aequor_, a word usually denoting the sea but occasionally (when
the context, if not the water, is crystal clear) denoting a river.
Eutychius of Alexandria (d. 356) Eutychius was a subdeacon of the church of
Alexandria. He took a stand against Arianism, for which he was sentenced to
labour in the mines, but he died of exhaustion on the road there.
Bathus (priest), Verca, and their children, martyrs (c370) Bathus, a Gothic
priest, his wife Verca, their two sons and two daughters, and some others
were burned in the church by the Gothic Jungeric. Gaatha, a Gothic queen,
collected their relics, and conveyed them into Roumania; but on her return
she was stoned to death.
Braulio of Zaragoza (d. 651) Braulio was a native of Saragossa who was a
disciple of Isadore of Seville. Of noble birth (his father was bishop of
Osma), he became a monk and was elected bishop of Saragossa in 631,
succeeding his brother. His selection was divinely attributed, by the
appearance of a tongue of flame on his head during the assembly for the
election. He was one of the great scholars and preachers of his generation,
converting many Visigoths to Catholic Christianity. A number of his works
are extant. He is the patron saint of Aragon.
Ludger (d. 809) Ludger, born near Utrecht and educated there by Gregory of
Utrecht and Alcuin of York, he became a priest in 777 and then a missionary
in Frisia. He spent time at Rome and Monte Cassino after being driven out by
Widukind's rebellion; on his return north he was very successful in
Heligoland and Westphalia and built monasteries at Werden and Munster. He
refused the bishopric of Trier when Charlemagne offered it to him, but in c.
804 became the first bishop of Munster and is claimed as the city’s founder.
He built the cathedral of S. Paul at Münster. Besides the cathedral church,
Liudger founded 40 parish churches, two monasteries, and a nunnery. On the
day of his death, March 26th, 809, very early, he heard Mass at Coesfeld,
and preached; then hastening to Billerbeck, arrived there at nine o'clock
the same morning, preached again, and celebrated his last Mass. That evening
he gently expired. St. Liudger's chalice in Werden is the oldest chalice in
Bertilo (d. c. 880) was abbot of St-Benigne, Dijon. He and several of his
flock were killed at the altar of their own church during a Viking raid.
Basil the Younger (d. 952) was a hermit who moved near Constantinople after
being arrested and tortured as a suspected spy by the Moslems (he was
miraculously vindicated). He was tossed into the sea but was returned to
shore by dolphins. After his release, he became famous for his miracles and
upright life. He made a specialty of denouncing aristocrats for their wicked
ways, and suffered persecution. He lived to be 100. There is an extant
biography by one of his disciples that tells especially of Basil's prophetic
Peter Marginet (blessed) (d. 1435) The subject of an unconfirmed cult, Peter
Marginet has an interesting story. He was a monk at the Cistercian house of
Poblet near Tarragona (Spain), moving up to the office of cellarer. But he
seems to have gotten tired of it, jumped the cloister wall, and became the
head of a gang of bandits for a few years. But he then repented, returned to
the monastery, and spent the rest of his life doing penance.
"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much
you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what
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