A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths
St Petronilla of Rome (Aurelia Petronilla) (d1st Century). Feast Day for Galilean early Christian virgin martyr traditionally identified as the daughter of St Peter or one of his converts and thus a spiritual daughter as a follower and servant who was cured by him of palsy (paralysis). Petronilla died in Rome and, after the building of the Basilica over her remains and those of Sts Nereus and Achilleus in the Via Ardeatina in the 4th Century, her cult spread widely. A 4th Century painting in the crypt of the Basilica shows Petronilla with the 2nd-Century St Veneranda in heaven. In 757, the coffin containing the mortal remains of Petronilla was taken to a late-4th-Century mausoleum, near to Old St Peter’s in what is now the Vatican City. that became the Chapel of St Petronilla and the burial place for some French kings. When St Peter’s was rebuilt in the 16th Century, the Chapel was demolished, and St Petronilla’s relics were translated to an altar in the new Basilica. At the time of the English Reformation, there was a leper hospital of St Petronilla in Bury St Edmunds that was part-funded by the only Anglican church dedicated to her, in Whepstead, Suffolk. When the marble sarcophagus that contains Petronilla’s remains was inspected last century in St Peter’s Basilica, the inscription carved on the sarcophagus was given as: “Aureae Petronillae Filiae Dulcissimae” (of the golden Petronilla, the sweetest daughter). Venerated in Roman Catholic Church, the Mass on her Feast Day in St Peter’s being offered for France and attended by French residents of Rome. Patroness of the Dauphins (heirs apparent to the throne) of France for the dolphin (dauphin) also carved on her sarcophagus, treaties between Popes and Frankish emperors, mountain travellers, invoked against fever. Image: catholicsaints.info.
Sts Winnow, Mancus and Myrbad. Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Church of England Feast Day for three 6th-Century Irish missionaries to Cornwall who were martyred by beheading for their evangelisation of the faith. They are honoured by several churches dedicated to them. St Winnow (Sen Gwynnek) Lostwithiel is a 12th-Century foundation substantially rebuilt in the 15th-Century and standing on the site of a Celtic monastery. Mancus and Myrbad were hermits and Mancus’ remains lie in a Protestant parish church near Fowey, Bishop Mancus being the titular patron of Lanreath (Lannreydhow) church there. Image: en.wikipedia.org.
Prayer O three holy Saints who in honour of the Trinity left your native Ireland to labour in Cornwall, having toiled on earth and given your lives for your faith you are glorified in heaven, blessed Winnow, Mancus and Myrbad. We pray that we too may give our lives to our faith in these troubled times and reap our due rewards. Amen
Whitsun. The late-20th-Century Late May Spring Bank Holiday was originally Whit Monday (Whitsun Bank Holiday), on the Monday after Pentecost in the Western Churches that was celebrated on 23 May. The term Whit Sunday derives from the custom of the newly-baptised wearing white, and from the white vestments worn by the English clergy. Whitsun was one of the 3 days each year, with Christmas and Easter, that Roman Catholics were required to go to Confession and receive Holy Communion to remain of good ecclesiastical standing. Pentecost Monday is still a public holiday in many European countries. Whitsuntide is still popular for baptisms and some UK churches have traditionally held Whit Walks, with customs such as cheese rolling and Morris dancing having been followed. In 1871, in England and Wales, the clearing banks were required to close on 4 days, making them the public holidays of Easter Monday, Whit Monday, the first Monday in August and Boxing Day. The 5 days in Scotland included New Year’s Day. In England, Wales and Ireland, Good Friday and Christmas Day were already traditional days of rest. Image: dayfinders.com.