It has been a while, but we return at last to the letter W. Today’s saint is Saint Willehad of Bremen:
Willehad or Willihad (Latin: Willehadus/Willihadus); c. 745 AD – 8 November 789 AD) was a Christian missionary and the Bishop of Bremen from 787 AD.
A snippet from his life:
Willehad was born in Northumbria and probably received his education at York under Ecgbert. A friend of Alcuin he was ordained after his education and, about the year 766, he went to Frisia, preaching at Dokkum and in Overijssel, to continue the missionary work of Boniface who had been martyred by the Frisians in 754. At an assembly in Paderborn in 777, Saxony was divided into missionary zones. The zone between the Weser and the Elbe, called Wigmodia, was given to Willehad.
Learn more about him from his wiki, located here.
Today’s letter is “V”, and thus we have as our saint of the day Vincent de Paul:
St. Vincent de Paul (24 April 1581 – 27 September 1660) was a French Roman Catholic priest who dedicated himself to serving the poor. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He was canonized in 1737. He was renowned for his compassion, humility and generosity and is known as the “Great Apostle of Charity”.
He lived a truly fascinating life, and I would encourage my readers to follow this link to his wiki, which tells so much more about him.
Today marks the Nativity of the Forerunner of Christ St. John the Baptist. I don’t believe I have done a post dedicated to him yet, and even if I have, a new one seems appropriate. Here is the account of his birth:
57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. 58 And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechari′ah after his father, 60 but his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your kindred is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all marveled. 64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; 66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And his father Zechari′ah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people,
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies,
and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to perform the mercy promised to our fathers,
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath which he swore to our father Abraham, 74 to grant us
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 through the tender mercy of our God,
when the day shall dawn upon us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel.
More can be found at his wiki, located here.
We come again to the letter “U”. Our saint for today is Pope Urban I:
Pope Urban I (Latin: Urbanus I) was Bishop of Rome or Pope from 222 to 23 May 230. He was born in Rome and succeeded Pope Callixtus I, who had been martyred. It was previously believed for centuries that Urban I was also martyred. However, recent historical discoveries now lead scholars to believe that he died of natural causes.
Much of Urban’s life is shrouded in mystery, leading to many myths and misconceptions. Despite the lack of sources he is the first Pope whose reign can be definitely dated. Two prominent sources do exist for Urban’s pontificate: Eusebius’ history of the early Church and also an inscription in the Coemeterium Callisti which names the Pope
Urban ascended to the Chair of Saint Peter in the year of the Roman Emperor Elagabalus’ assassination and served during the reign of Alexander Severus. It is believed that Urban’s pontificate was during a peaceful time for Christians in the Empire as Severus did not promote the persecution of Christianity.
Today’s letter is the letter “T.” This gives us our saint, Saint Thorlak:
Saint Thorlak Thorhallsson (Old Norse: Þorlákr Þórhallsson; Icelandic: Þorlákur Þórhallsson; Latin: Thorlacus; 1133 – December 23, 1193), also spelled Thorlac, is the patron saint of Iceland. He was bishop of Skalholt from 1178 until his death. Thorlac’s relics were translated to the cathedral of Skálholt in 1198, not long after his successor as bishop, Páll Jónsson, announced at the Althing that vows could be made to Thorlac. His status as a saint did not receive official recognition from the Catholic Church until January 14, 1984, when John Paul II canonized him and declared him the patron saint of Iceland. His feast day is December 23. He is currently being considered as a potential patron saint of people with autism and autism spectrum disabilities by a grassroots movement called the Mission of Saint Thorlak.
(Gotta love that name, eh?)
More can be found out about him at his wiki, located here.
Our letter for today is S. Given the Paschal season, our saint for today is Saint Salome:
Salome (Hebrew: שלומית, Shelomit), was a follower of Jesus who appears briefly in the canonical gospels and in more detail in apocryphal writings. She is sometimes identified as the wife of Zebedee, the mother of James and John, two of the Apostles of Jesus, and sometimes also as the cousin of Mary, mother of Jesus. In Roman Catholic tradition Salome is counted as one of the Three Marys.
More can be found out about her at her wiki, located here.
Tomorrow is Thomas Sunday, so named because of St. Thomas the Apostle. Thus, it seems fitting that he is the saint for today:
Thomas the Apostle (called Didymus which means “the twin” or Mar Thoma in Syriac) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, according to the New Testament. He is informally called doubting Thomas because he doubted Jesus’ resurrection when first told (in the Gospel of John account only), followed later by his confession of faith, “My Lord and my God”, on seeing Jesus’ wounded body.
Tradition claims he travelled outside the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, travelling as far as Tamilakam which are the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in present-day India. According to tradition, the Apostle reached Muziris, (modern-day North Paravur and Kodungalloor in the state of Kerala, India) in AD 52 and baptized several people, founding what today are known as Saint Thomas Christians or MarThoma Nazranis. After his death, the reputed relics of Saint Thomas the Apostle were enshrined as far as Mesopotamia in the 3rd century, and later moved to various places. In 1258, some of the relics were brought to Abruzzo in Ortona, Italy, where they have been held in the Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle. He is often regarded as the Patron Saint of India, and the name Thoma remains quite popular among Saint Thomas Christians of India.
Much, much more can be found at his wiki, located here.