Comgall, of Ulster, Ireland, spent several years in a monastery at the foot of the Slieve Bloom mountains before becoming a priest. He then settled on an island to begin a religious community, but excessive austerities resulted in the deaths of seven monks there. From this tragedy, Comgall learned to moderate his monastic rule. Thereafter, he founded what was to become Ireland’s most renowned monastery, Bangor. Eventually three thousand monks were living under his authority. These religious undertook a variant of the laus perennis, the perpetual recitation of psalms by relays of monks. The monks of Bangor were divided into seven choirs of 300 monks each, praying in succession throughout the day and night. Once, as Comgall and some of his monks were strolling along a lake, they spotted several swans on the water. The others begged him, “O Father, may we coax the swans?” He gave them permission, but the monks were unable to find any bread crusts in their habits with which to attract the birds. Comgall then called out to the swans, all of which thereupon swam to him. One flew onto Comgall’s lap and let him stroke it.
At the end of the sixth century anyone would have said that Augustine had found his niche in life. Looking at this respected prior of a monastery, almost anyone would have predicted he would spend ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Although we have evidence that Agatha was venerated at least as far back as the sixth century, the only facts we have about her are that she was born in Sicily and died there a martyr. In the legend of her life, we are told that she belonged to a rich, important ... continue readingMore Female Saints
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Before the 1969 reform of the Roman calendar, Christopher was listed as a martyr who died under Decius. Nothing else is known about him. There are several legends about him including the one in which ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes