A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
St Petroc (Pedrog, Perreux Petrocus, the captain of Cornish saints) (c468-c564). Feast Day for Welsh Christian Prince who was Abbot of Lanwethinoc (Padstow, Petroc’s Place) and primarily ministered to the Britons of Devon (Dewnans) and Cornwall (Kernow) that then formed the kingdom of Dumnonia, also serving in Somerset, Dorset and Brittany. He studied in Ireland, where he was later the teacher of Kevin of Glendalough. Petroc went to North Cornwall and arrived in Padstow, which had been founded by the hermit St Guron. St Wethinoc was in the hermitage when Petroc arrived but left for the site of the present St Petroc’s church in Bodmin, where St Guron’s Well is found in the churchyard. Petroc converted the Padstow hermitage into a Priory and founded the monastery and school of Lanwethinoc, named after the holy Wethinoc. He also founded churches in Little Petherick and other parts of Britain, Wales and Brittany. Petroc converted Constantine of Cornwall to Christianity by saving a stag that Constantine was hunting and Constantine later established a hermitage on Constantine Bay. After 30 years of ministry, Petroc went on pilgrimage to Brittany, Rome and Jerusalem. Humility is a virtue strongly associated with him and when, on his return from the pilgrimage, he prophesied that heavy rain would cease and it did not, he was ashamed of his presumptuousness and left on another pilgrimage to do penance. He retired to Bodmin and died on a farm near Little Petherick, south of Padstow. Venerated in Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, Western Orthodoxy. Major shrine St Petroc’s Church, Bodmin. Padstow was his earliest major cult centre, but Bodmin became the centre for his veneration when his relics were translated to the monastery there in the late-9th-Century. In 936, the Anglo-Saxon King Æthelstan of England granted the privilege of sanctuary to Padstow, one of 3 churches in Cornwall with that privilege. Æthelstan also granted the privilege to St Buryan and the Cistercian Beaulieu Abbey extended that right to St Keverne. In 1177, a Breton stole Petroc’s relics from Bodmin and gave them to the Brittany Abbey of St Méen but Henry II restored them to Bodmin and, although the relics were thrown into the bay at Hailemouth near Padstow during the English Reformation, their ivory casket is still on public display at St Petroc’s in Bodmin. Exeter Cathedral also possessed relics of the saint which had been presented by King Æthelstan. Bodmin monastery became one of the wealthiest Cornish foundations by the 11th Century. There is a second ancient dedication to Petroc at Little Petherick (St Petroc Minor). In Devon, ancient dedications total 17, plus Timberscombe over the border in Somerset. In Wales, his name is commemorated at St Petrox, Pembroke, Ferwig, Cardigan and Llanbedrog on the Llŷn Peninsula. He also became a popular saint in Brittany by the end of the 10th Century. Patron of Devon, Cornwall with St Piran and St Michael. Image: en.wikipedia.org.
Beata Angelina da Marsciano (Blessed Angeline of Marsciano TOR, of Montegiove, of Corbara) (1377-1435). Franciscan commemoration of Umbrian religious sister who was the daughter of a Count. At 15, Angeline made a vow of perpetual chastity but her father decided that she should marry another Count, who agreed to respect her previous vow. When her husband died 2 years later, Angeline joined the Secular Franciscans and with several other women dedicated herself to caring for the sick, the poor, widows and orphans. Thus was founded the 1379 first community of Franciscan women living under the Rule of the Third Order Regular (bizocche), the only one other than the Poor Clares to receive papal approval. Unlike the Second Order of the Franciscan movement, the Poor Clare nuns, Angeline’s community were not an enclosed religious order, although active in serving the poor around them for much of their history. Angeline and her companions later went to Foligno and she established 15 similar communities of women in other Italian cities including Florence, Spoleto, Assisi and Viterbo. In 1430, Angeline was elected their first Minister General and developed the Statutes for the congregation to be followed by all its houses. Their degree of independence was not welcomed by the Friars Minor, who had been granted complete authority over the tertiaries that same year and Angeline had to make, in Foligno that same year, a vow of obedience to the local Minister Provincial. The chapter of the community at Santa Anna said that the vow was invalid due to it having been under duress and the Holy See confirmed their autonomy the following year. To avoid a repetition of the conflict, the congregation put themselves under the obedience of their local bishops, with their spiritual direction to come from the friars of the Third Order Regular of St Francis of Penance. Angeline died in Foligno and was interred in the Church of St Francis there. Her remains were translated to a grander shrine in 1492. Due to the requirement of keeping their communities small and simple, Angeline’s congregation gained greatest popularity in the 15th and 16th centuries. They had a specific mandate for the education and instruction of young girls but their work was fairly apostolic until they were required to become an enclosed religious order in 1617, having taken solemn vows with a strict separation from the affairs of the external world, limited to the education of girls within the cloister. With a 1903 lifting of the papal enclosure, a wider apostolate was again permitted, and the congregation became known as the Franciscan Sisters of Blessed Angelina. As of 1750, they consisted of 11 houses and 80 members and in 2000 they had houses in Brazil, Madagascar and Switzerland, as well as in Italy. Venerated in Roman Catholic Church (Third Order of St Francis and the Poor Clares). Major shrine Chiesa di San Francesco, Foligno, Perugia. Liturgical Feast Day 13 July. Image: facebook.com.
Prayer Priests, sisters and brothers cannot be signs of God’s love for the human family if they belittle the vocation of marriage. Angeline respected marriage but felt called to another way of living out the gospel and her choice was life-giving in its own way. The Friars Minor, belittled Angeline’s authority but were repulsed. Help us, O Blessed Virgin, to respect the institution of marriage and to resist those who wish to impose their authority to stifle initiatives such as Angeline’s. Amen
St Eadfrith (d721). Feast Day for the monk who wrote the Lindisfarne Gospels, a masterpiece of Northumbrian illumination. A supporter of the cult of St Cuthbert, Eadfrith commissioned 3 lives of the Saint around 700, one being revised on Eadfrith’s orders by St Bede around 720 to produce both prose and verse lives. Eadfrith restored Cuthbert’s Inner Farne Island oratory and was appointed Bishop of Lindisfarne, which was among the main religious sites of the Kingdom of Northumbria in the early-8th-Century, the resting place of Sts Aidan and Cuthbert. On his death, Eadfrith joined them there and, when Lindisfarne was abandoned in 875, Eadfrith’s remains were among those taken on the community’s long wanderings through Northumbria. The relics of St Cuthbert, and Eadfrith eventually found a new home at Chester-le-Street until 995, when the relics were translated to Durham, to eventually rest in 1104 Norman Cathedral. A colophon added to the Lindisfarne Gospels in the 10th Century states that Eadfrith was the scribe and artist responsible for the work, the product of a single scribe and illustrator working full-time over a period of about 2 years. Eadfrith is named in Æthelwulf’s 9th-Century poem De abbatibus as having advised Eanmund, the 1st Abbot of an unidentified monastery founded during the reign of the 8th-Century King Osred of Northumbria. Eadfrith is venerated in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox Churches and Anglican Communion. At Durham, Eadfrith’s predecessor Eadberht and successor Æthelwold are commemorated with him on 4 June. Image: churchtimes.co.uk.