Saint Brendan the Navigator

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Saint Brendan the Navigator

Abbot of Clonfert
(484-577)

Saint Brendan was born in County Kerry, Ireland, in the year 484. His education was confided to Saint Ita, called the Bridget of Munster, and later to Saint Erc; the latter ordained him a priest in 512. Between the years 512 and 530 he built monastic cells at Ardfert and Shanakeel, at the foot of Brandon Hill. From the latter colony he set out on his famous voyage of seven years, accompanied by a number of monks, according to the account of Saint Aengus at the close of the eighth century. When Saint Brendan’s narration of the trip was transcribed and read after his return, crowds of pilgrims and students came to Ardfert, and it was necessary to found many religious houses at various sites for those who wished to live under the Saint’s direction. He established the See of Ardfert, then founded a monastery in County Clare in about 550.

He journeyed afterwards to Wales and Iona. After a three years’ mission in Britain, he returned to Ireland and concerned himself with charitable works in the region of Leinster. He founded another see at Annaghdown, and at least four churches in different counties of Ireland. The monastery of Clonfert was founded in 557, and there Saint Brendan died, in an advanced old age.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, edited by C. G. Herbermann with numerous collaborators (Appleton Company: New York, 1908).

St. John Nepomucen

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St. John Nepomucen, Martyr

St. John, whom, in our time, God has honored with many miracles, received his surname from Nepomuc, a small town two miles from Prague, where he was born. His parents were plain people and had lived many years without issue. After having made a vow, however, in honor of the blessed Virgin, whose miraculous picture is kept in a Cistercian convent not far from Nepomuc, St. John was born to them. At the time of his birth, several stars were seen which floated down from heaven and rested upon the house of his parents. This event was interpreted and admired as a prophecy of his future holiness. In his infancy, he fell dangerously sick, but recovered after his parents had consecrated him to God in the above-named place of pilgrimage. As he grew up, his greatest delight was to assist the priests at Mass, and he passed the whole forenoon in that sacred occupation in the Cistercian Church. In his studies he made such rapid progress that he became Doctor of Divinity and Canon Law. After being ordained priest, he retired one month from all intercourse with men, and prepared himself, by prayers, penances and purifying his soul, for the first holy Mass. Soon after, he was commissioned to preach at Prague in the Church of our Lady, in the suburb; and he did this with such eminent success, that the Archbishop raised him to the dignity of Canon and preacher of the Cathedral, which functions he discharged until his death.  Continue reading

St. Ubaldus

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St. Ubaldus

Confessor, Bishop of Gubbio, born of noble parents at Gubbio, Umbria, Italy, towards the beginning of the twelfth centry; died there, Whitsuntide, 1168.

Whilst still very young, having lost his father, he was educated by the prior of the cathedral church of his native city, where he also became a canon regular. Wishing to serve God with more regularity he passed to the Monastery of St. Secondo in the same city, where he remained for some years. Recalled by his bishop, he returned to the cathedral monastery, where he was made prior. Having heard that at Vienna Blessed Peter de Honestis some years before had established a very fervent community of canons regular, to whom he had given special statutes which had been approved by Paschal II, Ubaldus went there, remaining with his brother canons for three months, to learn the details and the practice of their rules, wishing to introduce them among his own canons of Gubbio. This he did at his return. Serving God in great regularity, poverty (for all his rich patrimony he had given to the poor and to the restoration of monasteries), humility, mortification, meekness, and fervour, the fame of his holiness spread in the country, and several bishoprics were offered to him, but he refused them all. However, the episcopal See of Gubbio becoming vacant, he was sent, with some clerics, by the population to ask for a new bishop from Honorius II who, having consecrated him, sent him back to Gubbio. To his people he became a perfect pattern of all Christian virtues, and a powerful protector in all their spiritual and temporal needs. He died full of merits, after a long and painful illness of two years. Numerous miracles were wrought by him in life and after death. At the solicitation of Bishop Bentivoglio Pope Celestine III canonized him in 1192. His power, as we read in the Office for his feast, is chiefly manifested over the evil spirits, and the faithful are instructed to have recourse to him “contra omnes diabolicas nequitias”.

The life of the saint was written by Blessed Theobaldus, his immediate successor in the episcopal see, and from this source is derived all the information given by his numerous biographers. The body of the holy man, which had at first been buried in the cathedral church by the Bishops of Perugia and Cagli, at the time of his canonization was found flexible and incorrupt, and was then placed in a small oratory on the top of the hill overlooking the city, where in 1508, at the wish of the Duke of Urbino, the canons regular built a beautiful church, frequented to this day by numerous pilgrims, who come to visit the relics of their heavenly protector from near and far. The devotion to the saint is very popular throughout Umbria, but especially at Gubbio, where in every family at least one member is called Ubaldus. The feast of their patron saint is celebrated by the inhabitants of the country round with great solemnity, there being religious and civil processions which call to mind the famous festivities of the Middle Ages in Italy.

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APA citation. Allaria, A. (1912). St. Ubaldus. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15114b.htm

MLA citation. Allaria, Anthony. “St. Ubaldus.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15114b.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Carol Kerstner.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.