Saint Kiara (St Ciara / Cera) of Kilkeary, Ireland (+679) – January 5, March 15 and December 15

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IRELAND OF MY HEART

Saint Kiara (St Ciara / Cera) of Kilkeary, Ireland (+679)

January 5, March 15 and December 15

Saint Cera (St Kiara) of Ireland (alternately Chera, Chier, Ciara, Cyra, Keira, Keara, Kiera, Cier, Ciar) was an abbess in the 7th century who died in 679. Her history is probably commingled with another Cera (alternately Ciar, Ciara) who lived in the 6th century. However, some authors maintain that monastic mistakes account for references to Cera in the 6th century or that a single Cera had an exceptionally long life span.

There are two stories connected with the saint(s). In the first story, Cera’s prayers saved an Irish town from a foul smelling fire. When a noxious blaze broke out in “Muscraig, in Momonia,” St. Brendan instructed the inhabitants to seek Cera’s prayers. They followed his instructions, Cera prayed in response to their supplications, and the fire disappeared. Since St. Brendan died in 577, this story likely refers to an earlier Cera. “Muscraig, in Momonia” may refer to Muskerry, an area outside of Cork. “Momonia” refers to southern Ireland in at least one ancient map.

The other story relates how St. Cera established a nunnery called Teych-Telle around the year 625. Cera was the daughter of Duibhre (or Dubreus) reportedly in the blood line of the kings of Connor (or Conaire). She, along with 5 other virgins asked Saint Fintan Munnu for a place to serve God. He and his monks gave the women their abbey in Heli (or Hele). Heli may have been in County Westmeath. He blessed Cera, and instructed her to name the place after St. Telle who had given birth to four children, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the plain of Miodhluachra that day.

St. Cera eventually returned to her own province and founded another monastery, Killchree, which she governed until her death in 679. “Cill Chre” means “the Cell of Cere, Ciara, Cera or Cyra.”

St. Cera’s feast day is March 15, and a festival on July 2 also commemorated her. Both dates are reported to have been the day of her death. Statements also show December 15.

Source: Wikipedia

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Saint Verena of Switzerland, from Egypt (+320) – September 14

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Saint Verena of Switzerland, from Egypt (+320)

September 14

Saint Verena (Thebes, ca. 260 – Zurzach, ca. 320) according to tradition, she was associated with the Theban Legion and died on September 14, 320.

Tradition states that she was brought up in the 3rd century in the Theban region (modern day Luxor in Upper Egypt) in a noble Christian family.

The name Verena means “the good fruit”. According to tradition, Verena was of a noble Christian family from the village of Garagous, near Luxor. Her parents sent her to Sherimon, Bishop of Beni Suef, to be instructed in the Christian faith, after which he baptized her. She was a relative of Saint Victor (or alternately, Saint Maurice) of the Theban Legion. As soldiers’ relatives were allowed to accompany them in order to look after them and take care of their wounds, Verena accompanied the legion on its mission to Rhaetia (part of modern-day Switzerland).

Verena was still in Milan when word was received that Saint Maurice, Saint Victor and the other members of the Theban Legion, who had proceeded north, were martyred. Verena went to Agaunum (modern Saint-Maurice) in Switzerland to venerate them. First, she led the life of a hermit in a place called Solothurn, from there she went to Koblenz, but later moved into a cave near present-day Zurich. As a hermit, Verena fasted and prayed continuously. Several miracles were attributed to her intercession. Verena was a spiritual counselor for young girls and due to her expertise as a nurse used to look after their physical health.

As a result of her fame, the local governor arrested her and sent her to jail, where Saint Maurice appeared to her to console and strengthen her. After she was released from jail, she continued her good works.

Due to her, many converted to Christianity. Saint Verena fed the poor and nursed the sick, especially those suffering from leprosy. She used to wash their wounds and put ointments on them, not fearing infection. She died in Switzerland in 320.

The Verena Minster church was built over the grave of Saint Verena in a Roman cemetery. She is one of the most revered saints in Switzerland.

She is often portrayed with either bread, or a jar of water in one hand, and a comb in the other, symbols of her care for the poor and lepers.

Source: Wikipedia

Saint Begnet of Ireland & her Holy Well in Dalkey Island, Ireland (+7th century) – November 12

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Saint Begnet of Ireland and her Holy Well

in Dalkey Island, Ireland (7th century)

Feast day: November 12

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Saint Begnet (also Begneta, Begnete, Begnait or Becnait) is a patron saint of Dalkey, Ireland. The name Begnet is most likely a diminutive form of Beg or Bec. She is noted as a “virgin, not a martyr”. St Begnet was an Irish princess who lived in the 7th century. Her feast day is November 12. Two ruined churches in Dalkey are named for Begnet, one on Dalkey Island, and the other near the 15th-century stone townhouse now serving as Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre, in the area known as Kilbegnet. A holy well located near the martello tower on the island is also associated with her.

St Begnet’s father was Colman, the son of Aedh in the parish of Kilbegnatan (Kilbegnet or Cill Becnait). Like many other female virgin saints, she is described as beautiful and desirable, but she refused her numerous suitors in favor of religious devotion. Her social status is sometimes given as “Irish princess”, and thus she would have been a valuable bride. She is said variously to have lived as an anchorite or to have served as the first abbess of nuns on a small island off the coast of England.

She gave her name to the two churches in the area and Dalkey town and surrounding area was for many centuries known as Kilbegnet. Perhaps she came from Dalkey, or perhaps she sailed from here to pioneer her religious order. It may also be possible the churches were dedicated to her memory by Continue reading “Saint Begnet of Ireland & her Holy Well in Dalkey Island, Ireland (+7th century) – November 12”

Video: Saint Maughold the Irish, Bishop of Isle of Man, British Isles (+488) – April 25

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IRELAND & BRITISH ISLES

Saint Maughold the Irish,

Bishop of Isle of Man, British Isles (+488)

April 25

The 9 Saints nonuplet sisters Virgin-Martyrs of Portugal: Saints Wilgefortis (Liberata) the crusified, Marina, Quiteria, Genibera, Eufemia, Marciana, Germana, Basilia & Victoria the Virgin-Martyrs in Mediterranean (+139) & Saint Ovidius 3rd Bishop of Braga, Portugal (+135)

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PORTUGAL OF MY HEART

The 9 Saints nonuplet sisters Virgin-Martyrs of Portugal:

Saints Wilgefortis (Liberata) the crusified, Marina, Quiteria, Genibera, Eufemia, Marciana, Germana, Basilia & Victoria the Virgin-Martyrs in Mediterranean (+139)

& Saint Ovidius 3rd Bishop of Braga, Portugal (+135)

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Saint Virgin-Martyr Wilgefortis or Liberata the crusified

in some icons show her with a beard in a memory of Virgin Mary’s miracle

to avoid to marry the pagan king

The names of the 9 Virgin-Martyrs from Portugal:

Saint Wilgefortis or Liberata or Eutropia the crucified, Virgin-Martyr in Aguas Santas, Spain (July 20, +139)

Saint Marina or Margarida, Virgin-Martyr in Aguas Santas, Spain  (January 18, +139)

Saint Quiteria, Virgin-Martyr in Aire-sur-l’Adour, France (May 22, +139)

Saint Eufemia or Eumelia, Virgin-Martyr in Braga, Portugal (September 16, +139)

Saint Marciana or Marica, Virgin-Martyr in Toledo, Spain (January 9, +139)

Saint Germana Virgin-Martyr and the Saints Paul, Gerontius, January, Saturninus, Suxessus, Julius, Katus and Pia, Martyrs in Numidia, North Africa (January 19, +139)

Saint Victoria / Vitoria / Rita, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (November 17, +139)

Saint Genibera / Genebra / Gemma, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (+139)

Saint Basilia or Basilissa, Virgin-Martyr from Braga, Portugal (July 12, +139)

Feast days: Jan 9, 18 & 19, May 22, June 3, July 12 & 20, Sep 16

The Saints 9 Virgin-Martyrs of Portugal were born in the year 119 A.D. in Braga, Portugal. They were the daughters of pagan Castelius Lucius Severus and Calsia.

Her mother, Calsia was disgusted at the fact that she went through nine childbirths and not one of them was male. She called on her maid Sila to dispose of them by drowning the nine infants. Sila was a follower of Christianity so she ended up giving the babies to a Christian monk to be raised in the Christian community. Their father King Lucio was completely unaware of their birth.

Saint Ovidius the Bishop of Braga in Portugal, took care of the girls, baptized them Christian, and taught them all about Christianity. St Quiteria was the Continue reading “The 9 Saints nonuplet sisters Virgin-Martyrs of Portugal: Saints Wilgefortis (Liberata) the crusified, Marina, Quiteria, Genibera, Eufemia, Marciana, Germana, Basilia & Victoria the Virgin-Martyrs in Mediterranean (+139) & Saint Ovidius 3rd Bishop of Braga, Portugal (+135)”

Saint Alberic of Utrecht, the Netherlands (+784) – August 21

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NETHERLANDS OF MY HEART

Saint Alberic of Utrecht, the Netherlands (+784)

August 21 & November 14

Saint Alberic of Utrecht (died 21 August 784) was a Benedictine monk and bishop of Utrecht, in what is today the Netherlands.

Saint Alberic was the nephew of Saint Gregory of Utrecht. Little is known of Saint Alberic before he joined the Order of Saint Benedict. It is known that he served as prior of the Cathedral of Saint Martin. When Saint Gregory died in 775, Saint Alberic succeeded his uncle as the bishop of Utrecht. His bishopric was noted for the success of its mission among the pagan Teutons, as well as the reorganization of the school of Utrecht. In addition, Saint Alberic directed the mission of Ludger in Ostergau.

Saint Alberic was a good friend of Alcuin, a teacher and poet from York, England, preeminent among the scholars of that era. This relationship likely speaks to Saint Alberic’s own intelligence, as the saint has been noted for his “encyclopedic knowledge of the faith”.

Source:

Wikipedia

Saint Maughold the Irish, Bishop of Isle of Man, British Isles (+488) – April 25

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IRELAND OF MY HEART

 

Saint Maughold the Irish,

Bishop of Isle of Man, British Isles  (+488)

April 25

Saint Maughold (also known as Macaille, Maccaldus, Machalus, Machaoi, Machella, Maghor, Mawgan, Maccul, Macc Cuill); died ca. 488 AD) is venerated as the patron saint of the Isle of Man, an island in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. Tradition states that he was an Irish prince and captain of a band of freebooters who was converted to Christianity by Saint Patrick. His feast day is April 25. He is not St MacCaille of Croghan, County Offaly, who received Brigit of Kildare into Christian life.

One day, Maughold tried to make a fool out of Patrick. Maughold had placed a living man in a shroud. He then called for Patrick to try to revive the allegedly dead man. Patrick came, placed a hand on the shroud, and left. When Maughold and his friends opened the shroud, they found the man had died in the interim. One of Maughold’s friends, a fellow named Connor, went over to Patrick’s camp and apologized to him. Patrick returned and baptized all of the men assembled. He then blessed the man who had died, who immediately returned to life, and was also baptized. Patrick then criticized Maughold, saying he should have been helping his men into leading good lives, and told him he must make up for his evil.

As penance for his previous crimes, Patrick ordered him to abandon himself to God in a wicker boat without oars. Maughold drifted to this isle, where two of Patrick’s disciples, Saint Romulus and Saint Conindrus (Romuil and Conindri), were already established. Tradition says he landed on the north-east corner of the Isle near Ramsey, at the foot of a headland since called Maughold Head, where he established himself in a cave on the mountain side. He is said to have been chosen by the Manx people to succeed Romuil and Conindri as bishop.

He is today best remembered on the Isle of Man for his kind disposition toward the Manx natives. Several places on the island, including, Maughold parish, St. Maughold’s Well, and St. Maughold’s Chair are named after him.

Source: Wikipedia