The life of St. Alban before his conversion is not known. Legends say that he was a Roman soldier at Verulanium; he may have been a Romano-Briton. Scholars have suggested that Verulanium, which is now St. Albans in Hertfordshire, was part of an enclave in Britain which resisted Roman rule. Alban, a pagan, is said to have sheltered a priest who was fleeing persecution. Alban took the priest's cloak and allowed him to escape. Roman soldiers arrested Alban, who was later beheaded. Bede dates the event to the reign of Diocletian (c. 305); modern scholars redate it to the reign of Septimius Severus (c. 209) or Decius. The first reference to the cult of Alban is found in a V Century life of St. Germanus of Auxerre, who visited a shrine during his preaching crusade against Pelagianism in Britain. Gildas, in the VI Century, relates the story of Alban's martyrdom, and Bede details the story and discusses a church dedicated to the martyr. The traditional site of Alban's death, Holmhurst Hill, became the site of St. Alban Abbey, founded by King Offa in the VIII Century. During a Danish invasion, Alban's relics are said to have been transported to Ely; St. Canute's in Odense claims to have relics of Alban, which Canute stole in his 1075 raid on York. What remained of Alban's relics were scattered in the time of the Dissolution.
Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, Germany, in 1577. A practicing lawyer, he traveled across Europe as a tutor to aristocrats but then started defending the poor. In ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Not much information is known about Elizabeth, but she has the distinction of being one of the first to know about Mary's great blessing as the Mother of God. Zachary was a priest in Jerusalem whose wife, Elizabeth, Mary's cousin, was beyond child-bearing age. He ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
FRANCIS XAVIER, ST. (1506-1552). Born in the family castle of Xavier, near Pamplona in the Basque area of Spanish Navarre on Apr. 7, he was sent to the University of Paris 1525, secured his ... continue reading
By Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas, Ph.D., S.T.D.
This model of Christian manliness recommends himself to us not for any strange or exciting things he did (because he really didn't) but for the daily listening to and heeding the voice of Almighty God - in the home, in the synagogue and Temple, in the ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes