Saints of the Week

The Seven Holy Founders of the Order of Servites – 17th February


These were seven laymen of the city of Florence - Buonfiglio dei Monaldi (Bonfilius), Giovanni di Buonagiunta (Bonajuncta), Bartolomeo degli Amidei (Amideus), Ricovero dei Lippi-Ugguccioni (Hugh), Benedetto dell' Antella (Manettus), Gherardino di Sostegno (Sosteneus), and Alessio de' Falconieri (Alexius). They belonged to seven patrician families of that city, and had early formed a confraternity of laymen, known as the Laudesi, or Praisers of Mary. While engaged in the exercises of the confraternity on the feast of the Assumption, 1233, the Blessed Virgin appeared to them, advised them to withdraw from the world and devote themselves entirely to eternal things.  They subsequently renounced the world and lived as hermits on Monte Senario about twelve miles from Florence.  They had a particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and spent themselves in the care of others and in preaching throughout Tuscany.  The Order of Servites was founded from those who came to follow them.

S. Peter Damian – 21st February


Peter Damian was born at Ravenna in 1007 and was one of the most celebrated, universally loved and zealous reforming monks in the circle of Hildebrand of the 11th century. He became a hermit at Fonte Avellana and strove to remove the abuses which had overcome the church in feudal times by his writings and his personal example of austere living.  In 1057 he was made Cardinal and Bishop of Ostia and went as Papal Legate to France and Germany as well as Italy on the work of reform.  He died in 1072.

The Chair of S. Peter  - 22nd February


This feast has been kept in Rome since the 4th Century and is a symbol of the unity of the church.

S. Polycarp – 23rd February.


S. Polycarp of Smyrna was a Christian bishop of Smyrna (now ─░zmir in Turkey) in the second century. He died a martyr when he was stabbed after an attempt to burn him at the stake failed.  His sole surviving work is his Letter to the Philippians, a mosaic of references to the Greek Scriptures. It, and an account of The Martyrdom of Polycarp that takes the form of a circular letter from the church of Smyrna to the churches of Pontus, form part of the collection of writings termed "The Apostolic Fathers" to emphasize their particular closeness to the apostles in Church traditions. The Martyrdom is considered one of the earliest genuine accounts of a Christian martyrdom, and one of the very few genuine accounts from the actual age of the persecutions.

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