Born a princess, the daughter of King Erconbert of Kent, and Saint Sexburga of Ely. Ermenilda was a pious youth with a strong prayer life. Married to the pagan Wulfhere, King of Mercia whom she converted by setting a good example. Queen. Mother of Saint Werburga of Chester and King Coenrad of Mercia, who abdicated to become a monk in Rome, Italy. Ermenilda used her royal influence to destroy the last of Anglo-Saxon paganism. When widowed, she became a Benedictine nun at Minster-in-Sheppy abbey, which had been founded by her mother. She served as abbess there and at the abbey at Ely, England.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Saint Gregory II
- Gregory the Younger
- Gregory Junior
Involved in Church affairs from an early age. Pope Saint Sergius I ordained Gregory a sub-deacon. He served the next four popes as treasurer of the Church, then librarian. Assigned important missions. Accompanied Pope Constantine to Constantinople for discussions with Emperor Justinian II.
Elected 89th pope in 715. He held synods to correct abuses, stopped heresy and promoted discipline and morality in religious and clerical life. Rebuilt a great portion of the walls of Rome, Italy to protect the city against the Lombards. Restored churches, cared for the sick and aged, re-established monasteries and abbeys. Consecrated Saint Boniface and Saint Corbinian as missionary bishops to the tribes in Germany. English pilgrims increased to the point that they required a church, cemetery, and school of their own.
In his dealings with Emperor Leo III, Gregory’s showed strength and patience. Leo demanded destruction of holy images. When bishops failed to convince him of his error, they disobeyed and appealed to the Pope. Gregory tried to change the emperor’s thinking, counseled the people to maintain allegiance to the prince, and encouraged the bishops to oppose the heresy. It appears he won out.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Saint Scholastica, from the San Luca Altarpiece.
|Born||c. 480 AD|
Nursia, Umbria, Italy
|Died||10 February 547|
near Monte Cassino
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church|
Eastern Orthodox Church
|Attributes||nun with crozier and crucifix; nun with dove flying from her mouth|
|Patronage||convulsive children; nuns; invoked against storms and rain; Le Mans|
St. Gregory the Great, in his Dialogues, tells us that she was a nun and leader of a community for women at Plombariola, about five miles from Benedict's abbey at Monte Cassino. We do not know what rule this community followed, although it seems most likely it was the Rule of St. Benedict.
Scholastica was dedicated to God from a young age (some tellings of her story indicate that she preceded Benedict in godliness, and he came to holiness after she did). The most commonly told story about her is that she would, once a year, go and visit her brother at a place near his abbey, and they would spend the day worshiping together and discussing sacred texts and issues.
supper and continued their conversation. When Benedict indicated it was time for him to leave, she protested, and begged him to stay with her for the evening so they could continue their discussions. He refused, insisting that he needed to return to his cell. At that point, Scholastica closed her hands in prayer, and after a moment, a wild storm started outside of the guest house in which they were housed. Benedict asked, "What have you done?", to which she replied, "I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery." Benedict was unable to return to his monastery, and they spent the night in discussion. According to Gregory's Dialogues, three days later, from his cell, he saw his sister's soul leaving the earth and ascending to heaven in the form of a shining white dove.
Her memorial is 10 February. Scholastica is the patron saint of nuns, convulsive children, and is invoked against storms and rain.
She was recently selected as the main motif for a high value commemorative coin: the Austria €50 'The Christian Religious Orders', issued 13 March 2002. On the obverse (heads) side of the coin Scholastica is depicted alongside Benedict.