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52377 February

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  • ambrois@xtra.co.nz
    Feb 7, 2014
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      Celtic and Old English Saints 7 February

      * St. Ronan of Kilmaronen
      * St. Richard of Wessex
      * St. Meldon of Peronne
      * St. Tressan of Mareuil
      * St Aule of London

      St. Ronan of Kilmaronen, Bishop
      (Ruadan, Ruadhan)
      Saint Ronan, a Scottish bishop of Kilmaronen, has erroneously been
      identified as the Irish monk mentioned by the Venerable Bede (f.d. May
      25) as the defender of the Roman calculation for the date of Easter at
      the Synod of Whitby. St. Ronan's Well at Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, was
      popularised by one of Sir Walter Scott's novels. According to tradition,
      Ronan came into the valley and drove out the devil. This event is
      remembered annually at the end of "Saint Ronan's Games" in July when a
      schoolboy, given a pastoral staff, is chosen to represent the saint as
      he "cleeks the devil" (Farmer).

      St. Richard the King, Confessor
      Died 722. More than any other race, the Anglo Saxons are distinguished
      for the royal patronage bestowed upon the Christian Church, and for the
      way in which kings and their families have worked in the spreading of
      the gospel in their own lands and overseas. St.Richard and his family
      are outstanding examples. He was one of the kings or princes of Wessex,
      related to the royal house of Kent, and married to Winna, herself a
      descendant of Cerdic and aunt to Boniface of Crediton.

      Richard was brought up as a Christian and his faith was real and firm.
      When his eldest son Willibald was three years old, the child fell
      grievously ill, and there seemed to be no hope for his recovery. His
      father wrapped him in a blanket and, mounting his horse, rode out into
      the night to a wayside crucifix at a crossroads near to the village
      where they lived. Butler tells us that

      "Saint Richard, when living, obtained by his prayers the recovery of
      his younger son Willibald, whom he laid at the foot of a great crucifix
      erected in a public place in England, when the child's life was
      despaired of in a grievous sickness."

      Richard placed the child at the foot of the cross and knelt in prayer,
      pleading for his son's life. Willibald did recover, and two years later
      he was entrusted to Egbald, the abbot of Warham, near Winchester, to be

      When Willibald reached manhood, he returned to his family with a desire
      to spread the faith abroad, and persuaded his father and brother to
      accompany him on a pilgrimage to Rome and the Holy Land. Richard had a
      daughter, Walburga, by a second marriage, and she now entered the
      convent at Wimborne, under the Abbess Tetta. When Richard had renounced
      his royal estate, he set sail with his two sons from Hamblehaven near
      Southampton. They made a leisurely progress through France, spending
      time at various Christian centres including Rouen, and it seems that at
      some time during their journey Richard took monastic vows.

      They reached Italy and came to Lucca, where the Cathedral had been built
      by an Irish monk called Frigidian, but known by the local inhabitants as
      Frediano. Richard, who was growing old and had become infirm during his
      travels, now succumbed to the heat and died. His sons saw to his burial
      in St. Frediano's church and then continued their journey. Later they
      joined their uncle St.Boniface and their sister St.Walburga in the work
      of converting the Germans. Their father, St.Richard, is still venerated
      in Lucca. A famous account of the pilgrimage on which he died was
      written by his son's cousin, the nun Hugeburc, entitled "Hodoeporicon"

      In art, King Saint Richard is portrayed as a royal pilgrim (ermine-lined
      cloak) with two sons--one a bishop and one an abbot. His crown may be on
      a book (Roeder). He is venerated at Heidenheim and Lucca (Roeder).

      St. Meldon (Medon) of Peronne, Bishop
      6th century. An Irishman who died at Peronne, France, where he was a
      hermit and where he is the titular saint of several churches

      St. Tressan (Tresain) of Mareuil
      Died 550. Saint Tressan is said to be one of five or six brothers,
      including Saint Gibrian (f.d. May 8), and three sisters, who travelled
      from Ireland to France to evangelize for the glory of God in the diocese
      of Rheims, France. The names of the others are given as Helan, Germanus,
      Abran (who may be Gibrian), Petran, Franca, Promptia, and Possenna
      (variations on these names are used). Tressan worked there as a
      swineherd, but he was ordained to the priesthood by Saint Remigius (f.d.
      October 1), who provided the siblings with suitable retreats from which
      they could spread the faith. Tressan became curate of
      Mareuil-sur-Marne, and the patron saint of Avenay in Champagne. His
      cultus is strong and has been continuous in the area of Rheims.
      (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Encyclopaedia, Fitzpatrick, Kenney, Montague,

      St Aule (Augulus), Bishop and Martyr of London
      Died c. 303. Saint Jerome's martyrology lists Augulus as a bishop.
      Others describe him as a martyr put to death in London under Diocletian.
      French writers normally identify him with Saint Aule of Normandy

      Troparion of St Aule tone 3
      Having lighted the candle of faith in London,/ O glorious Martyr Aule,/
      thy radiance was a challenge to the godless Diocletian/ who caused the
      flame of thy life to be extinguished./ Pray, O martyr, that the flame of
      our faith/ may burn so brightly that through our constancy/ we may be
      found worthy of the mercy of Christ our God.

      Kontakion of St Aule tone 7
      Thou didst sanctify our capital with thy blood,/ O Passion-Bearer Aule,/
      defending the true Faith,/ which was more precious to thee than life
      itself./ We honour thee, we hymn thee/ and we praise thy name rejoicing/
      in thy glorious memory.


      Baring-Gould, S. The Lives of the Saints
      (15 volumes: John Hodges, 1882)

      Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine Abbey, Ramsgate.
      (1947). The Book of Saints. NY: Macmillan.

      Bowen, Paul. When We Were One: A Yearbook of the
      Saints of the British Isles Complied from
      Ancient Calendars.

      D'Arcy, M. R. (1974). The Saints of Ireland. Saint Paul, Minnesota:
      Irish American Cultural Institute. [This is probably the most
      useful book to choose to own on the Irish saints. The author
      provides a great deal of historical context in which to place the
      lives of the saints.]

      Delaney, J. J. (1983). Pocket Dictionary of Saints.
      New York: Doubleday Image.

      Fitzpatrick, B. (1922). Ireland and the Making of Britain.
      New York: Funk and Wagnalls.

      Fitzpatrick, B. (1927). Ireland and the Foundations of Europe.
      New York: Funk & Wagnalls.

      Kenney, J. F. (1929). Sources for Early History of Ireland,
      Ecclesiastical. New York: Columbia University Press.

      Montague, H. P. (1981). The Saints and Martyrs of Ireland.
      Guildford: Billing & Sons.

      O'Hanlon, J. (1875). Lives of Irish Saints, 10 vol. Dublin.

      Roeder, Helen. (1955). Saints and Their Attributes: With a
      Guide to Localities and Patronage. Chicago:
      Henry Regnery Company.

      For All the Saints: - new active link

      An Alphabetical Index of the Saints of the West - new active link

      These Lives are archived at:

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