To All Hibernians:
After spending most of February in Ordinary Time, we move on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 22) to the Lenten season. The liturgical color changes from green to violet. Lent is a time of penance leading up to the great feast of Easter. Check with your parish or diocesan sources for Lenten regulations on fast and abstinence.
MAJOR SAINTS AND FEAST DAYS OF DECEMBER
|Feb 2||The Presentation of the Lord||Feast|
|Feb 3||Nicholas, Bishop|
|Feb 6||Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor||Memorial|
|Feb 10||The Immaculate Conception||Memorial|
|Feb 14||Our Lady of Guadalupe||Memorial|
PRAYER FOR THE BLESSING OF THROATS, ST. BLAISE DAY
Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
IRISH SAINTS OF DECEMBER
Brigid, Abbess (c. 450-525) February 1
Brigid’s name is also spelled Bridget and Bride. She was born near Dundalk, Louth. By legend, her father was Dubhthach, a chieftain of Leinster, and her mother Brocca, a slave. Her parents were baptized by St. Patrick. Even as a child, Brigid aspired to the consecrated life. Besides Patrick himself, with whom she always held a close friendship, Brigid was mentored in her early religious life by St. Macaille of Croghan and St. Mel of Armagh. After earlier establishments under the mentorship of the latter two saints, she founded a double monastery at Kildare about 470, the first in Ireland, and was abbess of the female convent. This foundation developed a reputation for scholarship and sanctity and was the kernel of the cathedral city of Kildare.
Brigid’s learning and sanctity are reflected in the numerous legends that have grown up around her. She was the inspiration of the many consecrated virgins of the Irish Church. The “Mary of the Gael,” her tomb is at Downpatrick, with Sts. Columba and Patrick, with the latter of whom she shares the title of patron of Ireland.
Ia, Virgin (6th century) February 3
Little reliable evidence exists regarding St. Ia. She is reported to have been a hermitess who lived in Cornwall, having been miraculously transported there from Ireland after missing travel connections with her companions.
Indractus and Dominica, Martyrs (c. 710) February 5
Little is known of these saints, who were brother and sister. They were reportedly murdered by Saxons near Glastonbury, England, on their way to or from Rome. Their relics were venerated at Glastonbury Abbey during the Middle Ages.
Vodalus (d.c. 720) February 5
This saint, also known as Voel, was either an Irishman or a Scot, who went to Gaul to preach and lived as a hermit near Soissons.
Mel and Melchu, Bishops (5th century) February 6
An unreliable legend makes these two brothers nephews of St. Patrick who accompanied him on his return to Ireland. The two were said to be bishops, though of what sees is not certain.
Mel was cleared by St. Patrick of a rumored scandalous relationship with an aunt, though Patrick ordered them to live apart.
Alto, Abbot (d.c. 760) February 9
Alto was probably an Irishman. He took up the life of a hermit near Augsburg, in Germany, in about 743. Impressed by his holiness, the local Germanic king gave him a parcel of land near Altomunster, Bavaria, where he constructed a monastery.
Marianus Scotus (d. 1088) February 9
Marianus, or Muiredach mac Robartaigh, seems to have been born in Donegal. After assuming monastic garb and being ordained a priest, he and some companions departed for the Continent, apparently intending a pilgrimage to Rome. What started as a temporary stop in the diocese of Regensburg ended up being a lifelong commitment, when this band of Irish pilgrims took up residency in a double monastic community there. Marianus came into his own there as a skilled copyist and calligrapher, and a poet and theologian as well.
Ludan (d. 1202?) February 12
Ludan was either a Scot or an Irishman. He used an ample inheritance to construct a hostel for travelers and the infirm, and then set out on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. On his way home, passing through Alsace, he received an intimation of his imminent death, which was itself heralded by miraculous events. His relics were venerated in the area till they were evidently destroyed during the Thirty Years War.
Modomnoc (6th century) February 13
Modomnoc was an Irish monk who went to Wales, where he studied under St. David and also served as beekeeper for the saint’s monastic community. According to legend, he introduced bees to Ireland, when a swarm followed him there upon his return. He settled at Tibraghny, Kilkenny, and reportedly was later bishop of Ossory.
Tanco, Abbot and Bishop (d. 808) February 15
Also known as Tatto, this man was an Irish monk who went to Amalbarich Abbey in Saxony, where he eventually became the abbot. He evangelized in Cleves and Flanders and was eventually a bishop in Saxony. Tanco was martyred, though accounts differ as to the circumstances of his martyrdom.
Loman, Bishop (7th century?) February 17
Unreliable legends identify Loman as a relative of St. Patrick who accompanied him to Ireland.
It is more likely that he is a 7th century bishop of Trim, about whom little is known.
Fintan, Abbot (d. 603) February 17
One of a number of sainted Fintans, this man was a monk trained by St. Columba. He led an eremetical life at Cloneenagh, eventually becoming abbot of the community which grew up around him. He was known for his gifts of prophecy and clairvoyance and had many miracles attributed to him.
Finan, Bishop (d. 661) February 17
Finan was an Irish monk of Iona. He succeeded St. Aidan as second bishop of Lindisfarne, a diocese which at the time encompassed all of Northumbria, Durham, and York. Finan opposed the adoption of Roman liturgical practices to replace the Celtic usages. He was a friend of King Oswy of Northumbria, and did much to evangelize the kingdoms which lay to the south as well.
Colman, Bishop (d. 676) February 18
There are a number of sainted Colmans, but this one was an Irishman and the third bishop of Lindisfarne. He reigned only three years, but his reign was a momentous one, since during it the controversy between the Celtic and Roman usages, especially over the date of Easter, came to a head in the British Isles. Reportedly, King Oswy of Northumbria sought a solution when he found, to his consternation, that members of the royal household did not agree on when to celebrate Easter. The English monastic historian Bede relates the debates at the ensuing Synod of Whitby (663), the winning argument being that the pope, as successor of Peter, had received the power of the keys, whereas the followers of St. Columba had not.
Colman found that he could not accept the Roman usage, resigned his bishopric,and returned to Ireland, where he founded a monastery on Inishbofin. Rome chose not to press the issue of Easter with many of the Irish congregations, reasoning (correctly) that time would bring a resolution.
–Your Catholic Action Chairman joined other national officers as well as local division members in the National March for Life January 20.
–Though our Catholic faith seems increasingly under attack here in America, we have not yet reached the dire situation of some of our brothers and sisters elsewhere. The situation in Nigeria comes to mind. About 60,000 Christians have been murdered there over the last 20 years, with 3,400 being slain in the first 9 months of 2022. There have also been thousands of abductions and hundreds of attacks upon churches. The violence is being perpetrated by Boko Haram Islamic militants and by Muslim Fulani tribesmen. The government seems either unable or unwilling to stem the violence. Yet for some reason, Nigeria remains excluded from the State Department “watchlist” as a place of particular concern for threats to religious freedom.
–The Biden Administration’s attempts to impose the trans-gender agenda upon dissenters has run into trouble in the courts. Through use of administrative rule, the administration has been seeking to compel health care providers to provide gender transition procedures regardless of religious or conscience objections. This past summer, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck this down; the administration subsequently missed a deadline for filing an appeal to the ruling.
In early December, the Eighth Circuit followed the lead of the Fifth. It is not known if the administration will file an appeal against this ruling.
Patrick J. Lally
[Sources consulted for this report include: Butler’s Lives of the Saints, complete edition, ed. and rev. by Herbert Thurston and Donald Attwater; 4 vols. (New York, 1956); The Liturgy of the Hours According to the Roman Rite (New York, 1975); The National Catholic Register; ewtn.com; catholic.org; priestsforlife.org; catholicnewsagency.com; usccb.org.]