Saint of the Day

June 20: Saint Gobain

Saint Gobain was born in Ireland, but he traveled to France in the company of another future saint named Fursey. Gobain decided to live as a hermit in a cell there and even built a church.

Some traditions also say that marauding tribes from Germany invaded the countryside and that Gobain was killed by them around the year 670. It’s not clear whether they killed Gobain because he had no treasure to give them or because he was a Christian. But he has been revered as a saint ever since.

Saint Gobain, help me to understand your love of solitude.

Saint of the Day

June 19: Blessed Michelina of Pesaro

Blessed Michelina (1300-1356) was born into a wealthy family of the Italian nobility. She married and had a son. But when both her son and husband died, she was still a young woman. Her grief overwhelmed her at first, but her maid, who was a faithful Catholic and is now known as Blessed Soriana, led Michelina to healing and a greater trust and love for God.

Michelina gave away her wealth to help orphans, widows, and the poor, began practicing a life of deep prayer and penance, and became a Third Order Franciscan. Her noble family members thought she’d lost her mind and literally locked her up for a short time, but they eventually let her go and allowed her to live the penitential life she had chosen.

Michelina helped the poor and the sick, received visions of Jesus Christ, and made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Some say she received the stigmata. She died of natural causes on this date.

Blessed Michelina, help me trust God with my life.

Saint of the Day

June 18: Saint Amandus of Bordeaux

Most of what we know about today’s saint, Saint Amandus, we know through the writings of one of his friends. That friend, Saint Paulinus of Nola (354-431), is known to us today as a father of the Church, that is, a leader in orthodoxy in the days of the early Church.

According to his friend, Amandus was a zealous priest who became bishop of Bordeaux, probably in the early fifth century. Paulinus wrote to him often and respected his piety and wisdom. Amandus resigned his position as bishop at one point, apparently due to age, but then returned when his successor passed away.

Saint Amandus, help me to be faithful to God and to develop faithful friendships.

Saint of the Day

June 17: Saint Avitus

It is certain that Saint Avitus was the abbot of Micy in the French province of Perche, that he lived during the sixth century, and that his holiness caused those who knew him in life to call him a saint after his death. Other details are not so certain.

Later traditions about Avitus may have been added to fill in details about the lives of the many holy abbots who governed the Abbey of Micy. There is also a somewhat more reliable story from Saint Gregory of Tours, who said that Avitus begged his king, Clodomir, to spare the lives of a rival (Sigismund) and his wife and sons, whom Clodomir had captured in battle. The king didn’t listen.

Saint Avitus, help me accept with patience the fact that
only God knows all the details about my life.

Saint of the Day

June 16: Saint Benno of Meissen

Saint Benno was a priest and a canon when he was made bishop of Meissen, Germany, in the year 1066.

Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV was involved in a bitter dispute with the pope because Henry demanded the right to choose the men serving as bishops in his dominions, giving the king greater money and power. Pope Gregory disagreed with him, and late eleventh century history is full of battles, interdicts, and anti-popes as a result of the conflict between the two men. The pope ultimately won, but Benno was deposed at one point because he sided with the pope. Later, Benno was reinstated as bishop, but only by compromising with an anti-pope. Benno subsequently returned to the side of the true pope, Urban II, at this point.

Later legends about Benno state that he was a diligent shepherd of his flock and a lover of music. When his canonization process was completed in 1523, it was vigorously opposed by another German leader, Martin Luther.

Saint Benno, help me to remain faithful to the Church.

Saint of the Day

June 15: Saint Benildus of Cordoba

On June 14, 853, a Catholic monk and priest named Anastasius was arrested by the Muslim rulers of Cordoba, Spain, for the crime of being a Christian. When he refused to renounce his faith, he was beheaded. Since this was done publicly and since there were still Catholics living in Cordoba, though practicing their faith in secret, faithful Catholics knew that this had been done as a lesson to all of them.

Undeterred, on the following day, a faithful Catholic woman named Benildus publicly professed her faith in Christ. She was immediately sentenced to death by being burned at the stake.

Saint Benildus, help me be a fearless witness to Jesus Christ.

Saint of the Day

June 14: Saint Protus of Aquileia

Saint Protus served a wealthy, noble family in Rome during the late fourth century as tutor to the children of the family. As a Christian, he also taught the children about the faith. When the Roman emperor Diocletian began a vigorous persecution of Christians in the year 304, Protus and his students moved to Aquileia. The Roman authorities discovered them quickly and arrested them. When Protus refused to offer a sacrifice to pagan idols, he was beheaded. All three of his students—Cantius, Cantian, and Cantianella—also died as martyrs and are commemorated on a different date.

Saint Protus, show me how to teach others about being faithful to Christ.

Saint of the Day

June 13: Saint Felicula of Rome

Catholics living in the city of Rome were persecuted sporadically but brutally for the first few centuries of the Church’s existence.

Saint Felicula was living as a consecrated virgin—an early form of religious life for women—when the Roman empire renewed its persecution of Christians. She was arrested, thrown into prison, starved for two weeks, and then left to die in a ditch. The priest Nicomedes risked his life to give the bodies of many Christians a proper burial, including Felicula’s. We aren’t certain of the year of Felicula’s death, but it is generally believed that Nicomedes was later martyred for his practice of the corporal works of mercy, dying in the year 71.

Saint Felicula, show me how to accept mistreatment with Christ’s peace.

Saint of the Day

June 12: Blessed Mercedes Molina

Blessed Mercedes Molina was born in 1828 in Baba, Ecuador. She lost both parents by the time she was fifteen years old, and she went through a deep conversion soon afterward due to a serious fall from a horse.

As a young woman, she became a nun, but then she founded her own religious order, the Institute of the Sisters of Saint Mariana of Jesus. Her sisters served girls and women, particularly through the education of orphans and poor girls and through the care of reformed prostitutes, by helping them transition to better lives. Known as Mercedes of Jesus, she died ten years later in 1883.

Saint Mercedes, show me how to serve those in need around me.

Saint of the Day

June 11: Saint Parisio

Two Italian cities claim Saint Parisio as their native son: Treviso and Bologna. Whichever is right, he spent most of his life in Treviso during the thirteenth century.

Parisio was one of those rare saints who seem to have been pure and devout from childhood. He was allowed to enter the Camaldolese order when he was only twelve, became a priest, and later became a spiritual director, a service he offered for seventy-seven years.

Otherwise, his life as a faithful priest and religious was generally unremarkable. However, God heard his prayers, both during his life and through intercessions after his death, and the miracles that resulted caused him to be named a saint. He died in the year 1267.

Saint Parisio, teach me how to pray with faith in God.