Apostle of Frisia, Netherlands, a missionary archbishop. Born in Northumbria, England, circa 658, he studied at Ripon monastery under St. Wilfrid and spent twelve years studying in Ireland at the abbey of Rathmelsigi (most likely Mellifont, County Louth) under Sts. Egbert and Wigbert. After receiving ordination and extensive training in the field of the missions, he set out about 690 with a dozen companions for Frisia, or Friesland. In 693, he went to Rome to seek papal approval for his labors, Pope Sergius I (r. 687-701) gave his full approbation and, during Willibrord's second Roman visit, the pontiff consecrated him archbishop to the Frisians, in 696, with his see at Utrecht. In his work, Willibrord also received much support and encouragement from the Frankish leader; Pepin of Heristal (r. 687-714). Willibrord founded the monastery of Echternach, Luxembourg, to serve as a center of missionary endeavors, and extended the efforts of missionaries into Denmark and Upper Friesland. He faced chronic dangers from outraged pagans, including one who nearly murdered him after he tore down a pagan idol. In 714, Duke Radbod reclaimed the extensive territories acquired by Pepin, and Willilbrord watched all of the progress he had made be virtually undone. After Radbod's death, Willibrord started over with great enthusiasm, receiving invaluable assistance, from St. Boniface. Willibrord died on retreat at Echternach on November 7. For his efforts, he is called the Apostle of the Frisians.
On December 16, there is named in the Roman Martyrology and in certain Irish calendars a Saint Bean in Ireland, who had been confused with the St. Bean whose feast is still observed in the Scottish ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
An elder Mexican man makes his way to Mass in the early morning twilight of December 9, 1531. He is a peasant, a simple farmer and laborer, and he has no education. Born under Aztec rule, he is a convert to Catholicism, and each step he takes this morning is a step ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
Carmelite Latinpatriarch and papal legate. Peter was born in Gascony, France and joined the Carmelites while still a young man. In 1342 he was appointed procurator of the order and, from Avignon, he oversaw the organization and government of the Carmelites. As Avignon ... continue reading
Felix was the son of Hermias, a Syrian who had been a Roman soldier. He was born on his father's estate at Nola near Naples, Italy. On the death of his father, Felix distributed his inheritance to the poor, was ordained by Bishop St. Maximus of Nola, and became his ... continue reading
By Billy Atwell
In the face of the current "witch-hunts" endured by some of our Bishops, let us remember a hero on October 17, the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch. St. Ignatius of Antioch is a bishop and martyr of the Church who died in the year 107. He was torn ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes