Today, September 13, we celebrate the life and works of St Peter of Tarantaise. Born in France, St Peter was rather like most young boys in the sense that he had a desire to learn and dedicated himself to his studies because he knew that that was where his future was. He worked hard and at twenty, St Peter joined the Cistercian Order at Bonneveaux with his two brothers as well as his father. He was greatly known for his piety and, in ten years, he was sent to become abbot of Tamie. There he worked hard to ensure others would receive God’s Word and love and he had built a hospice for travelers to use when they came through the area.
In 1142, he was appointed as archbishop of Tarantaise, even though he didn’t want to become such. Even so, he worked hard and dedicated his time and energy towards reforming the diocese, purging the clergy of corrupt and immoral members, aiding the poor, and promoting education. He is also credited with starting the custom of distributing bread and soup the so called May Bread just before the harvest, a custom which endured throughout France until the French Revolution
After 13 years as bishop, he suddenly disappeared. Eventually it was discovered that he was serving as a lay brother in a Cistercian abbey in Switzerland and was convinced to return to Tarantaise and resume his episcopal duties. Trusted as an advisor by popes and kings, he defended papal rights in France and was called upon to assist in bringing about a reconciliation between King Louis VII of France and then Prince Henry II of England.
God Bless him and may we also have such faith to want to serve others as God would want us to.
Today, September 12, we celebrate the life and works of St Vicelin. Born in Hemeln, Lower Saxony, Germany, he was raised in the Catholic faith and attended the cathedral school of Paderborn. He had ideas of what it was that he wanted to do with his life, but no real set path for it aside from schooling. He ended up getting appointed as a canon at Bremen, Germany where he became head of a local school. However, that wasn’t what he was looking for in life. When the chance came, he was ordained and then set off on a life as a missionary. This took him to further north into Germany where he founded monasteries in places such as Holstein, Segeberg, and Hogerdorf.
Most of his work and missionary accomplishments didn’t come to fruitation because of a band of marauding pirates. He barely escaped with some of his priests from the fiasco and fled to safety in the Holy Roman Empire. That wasn’t the end of his life as far as the religious practices go though. He was named bishop of Staargard although there was some problems and resistance against him being appointed to such a position by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. That didn’t last though.
God Bless him and may we also follow the path that has been set before us.
Today, September 11, we celebrate the life and works of St Ephrem. St Ephrem is most known for the hymns and poems that were left behind that were about the faith that tended to inspire others deeply. Most believe that he was born into a Catholic family though he was not baptized until he was an adult which is actually quite common during his life. Aside from that most don’t know much about his younger years.
He served as a teacher and a deacon under four bishops. He had already begun working on writing his hymns and poems at this time and even described the men he worked under in them. He began to write hymns in order to counteract the heresies that were running rampant at the time. He and others developed the power of music as a way to get their points across and inspire others to take more from the church than merely what they might have heard during the sermon. It was his skill and imagery that captured many in this fashion.
He was driven out of this place due to war and political upheaval that had the city he lived in being handed over to a tyrant. As part of the treaty all Catholics were to leave the city. This happened once more before he was able to settle for a time in a city that did not hold to such. It was during this time that a famine hit Edessa in 372, the location the St Ephrem was residing in. He found people were hoarding food and confronted them. When they told him they had no one that was trustworthy enough to pass the food out, he volunteered and no one argued because they knew he would be honest in this. It was his last good work before God called him home.
God Bless him and may we also try to spread God’s love to others through the acts that we show them, not just our words.
Today, September 10, we celebrate the life and works of St Anno. Born around 1010, he grew up in the Swabian family and was educated at Bamberg. Even as a child he showed attention towards religion, dreaming of a life in the military. It was his uncle that he sent over the edge on a path towards a religious life. While studying at Bamberg, he learned much about religion as well as retained quite a bit of literary knowledge which is what seemed to set him up for great success. He became confessor to Emperor Henry III, who appointed him later as archbishop to Cologne.
He spent many years as an influential member of German court. He served both Henry III and Henry IV. It was because of these years in the public eye that when he reached his older years, he retired from the public eye to Siegburg Abbey.
God Bless him and may we also follow the path set before us and have such zeal for the life ahead of us.
Today, September 9, we celebrate the life and works of St Cletus. St Cletus was the third bishop of Rome and followed in the footsteps of St Linus. Because of the circumstances alone of his appointment, it shows his virtue for what it was among the first disciples of St Peter in the West. He was an immensely virtuous man. He sat in this highly esteemed position for 12 years, from the year 76 to the year 89 and did many things that are still used today.
There are many documents that show him to be the martyr that most believed him to be. He was a man that was devout and extremely skilled towards the religious works of his time. He worked hard to bring God to the lives of those that were in his charge and spread the love that he felt every day from God. When he left this world to be with the Heavenly Father, he was buried near St Linus on the Vatican and his relics are still at the church to this day.
God Bless him and may we also live our lives to the fullest in the pursuit of God and spreading His wisdom and love to the world.
Today, September 8, we celebrate the life and works of St Gerald. In the eleventh century, there was a called to be a reform in Spain. The archbishop of Toledo was set in charge of bringing together a group of those within the church to set this reform into motion. He pulled from France many monks and clerics, one of whom was St Gerald, Abbot of Moissac. He was appointed to the position of choir director of the Cathedral of Toledo.
He did such an amazing job and so many people looked to him. He went above and beyond in the duties that were given to him and made a point of letting God’s love shine through him and all that he did. He did such an amazing job that when the position of See of Braga opened up, the clergy and the people all voted for St Gerald to be appointed as their bishop. He did much to fix what he viewed was wrong in the city, including abuses that had been laid out before he was appointed to his role.
God Bless him and may we also let God’s love shine through us.
Today, September 7, we celebrate the life and works of St Leonard, Patron of political prisoners, imprisoned people, prisoners of war, and captives, women in labour, as well as horses. St Leonard was a Frank courtier that was converted by St Remigius. From this he became a monk of Micy and lived as a hermit. The king, who was his godfather, gave him all the lands that he could want so he could ride his donkey around in prayer and not be disturbed. Though his godfather might not have liked the path that St Leonard had chosen, he believed that his prayers had brought his queen through a difficult delivery and owed the life of his child to St Leonard and his prayers.
On this land, where he wasn’t disturbed, he focused on building a monastery that grew into a town of his own called Saint-Leonard.
God Bless him and may we also devote our lives to completing the work that God has planned for us.
Today, September 6, we celebrate the life and works of St Marcian. St Marcian was not a good man when he first came to St Mamertinus at the monastery of Auxerre. He was a fugitive on the run from the Bourges that the Visigoths occupied. However, St Mamertinus must have seen something more to the man that came to him for help because he gave him a habit. It was a good choice as well! St Marcian proved to be the perfect example of piety and obedience.
Because he was a fugitive, St Mamertinus decided to test the man by giving him the lowest position anyone there could have and he was told to be a shepherd and cowhand for the Abbey farm at Merille. He accepted this position happily, even cheerfully. It proved to be an excellent fit for him. The animals in his charge thrived and multiplied at astonishing rates. He had a strange call with animals that could only be seen as a gift from God. Birds would flock to him and eat out of his hands, bears and wolves would leave his herds alone at a simple command. He even protected a wild boar that was being hunted on the lands.
God Bless him and may we also conduct our work cheerfully and happily, going above and beyond for each job in our lives.
Today, September 5, we celebrate the life and works of St Francis Caracciolo, Patron of Naples, Italy and Italian Cooks. St Francis was the founder of the Minor Clerks Regular with St John Augustine Adorno. Born in 1963, he was a member of a noble and wealthy Neapolitan family. There was a lot of issues that caused many to not what St Francis to continue in his pursuit of religions and a religious life, one of those being the fact that he had a rare skin disease, much like leprosy that many people feared. Regardless of this, he became a priest, at which time his skin disease completely disappeared.
Many saw this as a sign that he was supposed to do this. That regardless of the fact that others had tried to stop him and dissuade him from joining, he knew that it was God’s will that he continue on this path and he followed it. In 1988, he co-founded the Minor Clerks Regular and spent the rest of his life as the superior.
God Bless him and may we also not let others dissuade us from the path that God has set us on.
Today, September 4, we celebrate the life and works of St Rupert. He was a member of a noble Frankish family and found himself called towards religion at a young age. This led to him being appointed as bishop of Worms, Germany. It was with this appointment that he found himself focusing on spreading the faith throughout Germany, wanting to bring that faith to the people. He knew that one of these ways was to educate the people. With the patronage of Duke Thedo of Bavaria, he was able to take over a deserted town which he then built a monastery, a church, and a school for people to come to. This was renamed as Salzburg, Austria.
He brought in missionaries to help people and to bring life to the then deserted town. He established a nunnery there as well, appointing his sister as the first abbess. This place became his pet project and he focused a lot of his time on this location. It was here that he spent the rest of his life.
God Bless him and may we also spread our love and faith to others, educating them so they too can establish a relationship with God.