Saints of the Week

S. George - 23rd April

 

George was a soldier of the Roman Empire and is one of the most venerated Saints – immortalised in the tale of George and the Dragon.  Tradition holds that he was a soldier who died for the Faith and his cult spread throughout the East and the West.  He was adopted as Patron of England during the Crusades.  He was executed by decapitation on April 23rd 303.

S. Adalbert – 23rd April

 

Adalbert was born in a Czech noble family and, after studying at Magdeburg, was priested in 980 returning, to Prague soon after.  Two years later, and still under thirty years of age, he became Bishop of Prague and was noted for charity, austerity, and zealous service to the Church.  In 989 he resigned from his bishop's cloth and left Prague. He went to Rome and lived as a hermit in St. Alexis Benedictine monastery, but four years later the Pope sent him back to Bohemia where he became the Bishop again. After he had converted Hungary, he was sent by the Pope to convert the heathen Prussians.  The bishop and his followers - including his half-brother Radim (Gaudentius) - entered Prussian territory and went along the Baltic Sea coast to GdaƄsk. It was a standard procedure of Christian missionaries to try to chop down sacred oak trees which they had done in many other places, including Saxony. Because the trees were worshipped and the spirits who were believed to inhabit the trees were feared for their powers, this was done to demonstrate to the non-Christians that no supernatural powers protected the trees from the Christians. When they did not heed warnings to stay away from the sacred oak groves, Adalbert was executed for sacrilege, which his co-religionists interpreted as martyrdom.  A few years later Adalbert was canonized as Saint Adalbert of Prague.

S. Fidelis of Sigmaringen – 24th April

 

Born Mark Roy in 1578, he grew up at Sigmaringen in Germany and became a lawyer before entering the Order of Friars Minor Capucin at Freiburg in Breisgau.  He lived a life of prayer and penance and, as soon as he had finished his course in theology, he gained a great reputation as a preacher.  The newly-formed Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith sent him to preach to the Protestants in Switzerland, but he was put to death there by a group of fanatics in 1622. 

S. Mark - 25th April

 

Mark accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey in company with his cousin Barnabas with whom he made later journeys.  He was in Rome with both Paul and S. Peter and his Gospel is based on the teaching of S. Peter in Rome. Its concise, direct and vivid style tells us something of Mark’s personality.  Tradition holds that he founded the Church in Alexandria.  

S. Peter Chanel – 28th April

 

Peter Chanel was born on July 12th 1803 in La Potiere, France.  After ordination in 1827 he did pastoral work there for a few years before entering the Marist Society.  He was sent to Oceania where there was considerable resistance to missionaries at that time.  Although he received some converts to the faith he was stabbed to death on April 28th 1841 on the island of Futuna.  He was canonised in 1954 by by Pope Pius XII and his relics were returned to Futuna in 1977.

Print This Page