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TABLE OF CONTENTS

SAINT AELRED.............................................................. 2 SAINT BARTHOLOMEW................................................ 4 SAINT PATRICK............................................................. 6 SAINT VALENTINE......................................................... 8 SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI........................................... 10 SAINT JOSEPH............................................................... 13 SAINT LUCY.................................................................... 16 SAINT CLARE.................................................................. 18 SAINT SEBASTIAN.......................................................... 21 SAINT CHRISTOPHER.................................................... 23

SAINT AELRED

BIOGRAPHY
Aelred was one of three sons of Eilaf, priest of St Andrew’s at Hexham and himself a son of Eilaf, treasurer of Durham. He was born in Hexham, Northumbria, in 1110. Aelred spent several years at the court of King David I of Scotland, rising to the rank of Master of the Household before leaving the court at age 24 to enter the Cistercian abbey of Rievaulx in Yorkshire. He may have been partially educated by Lawrence of Durham, who sent him a hagiography of Saint Brigid. Aelred became the abbot of a new house of his order at Revesby in Lincolnshire in 1142 and in 1147 was elected abbot of Rievaulx itself, where he spent the remainder of his life. Under his administration, the abbey is said to have grown to some hundred monks and four hundred lay brothers. Although there is no record of the fact, he probably made annual visitations to Rievaulx’s daughterhouses in England and Scotland and to the French abbeys of Cîteaux and Clairvaux. Aelred wrote several influential books on spirituality, among them Speculum caritatis and De spiritali amicitia. He also wrote seven works of history, addressing three of them to Henry II of England, advising him how to be a good king and declaring him to be the true descendent of Anglo-Saxon kings. Until the twentieth century, Aelred was generally known as a historian rather than as a spiritual writer; for many centuries his most famous work was his Life of Saint Edward, King and Confessor. Aelred died on January 12, 1167, at Rievaulx. He is thought to have suffered from the stone (hence his patronage) and arthritis in his later years.

REFLECTION
I suspect Aelred was both immensely attractive and absolutely maddening at the same time. He drew many to monastic life, yet after his death the fractures in community quickly began to show. He could write like an angel, yet those who read Aelred today without knowing or caring for the monastic discipline underpinning his writing see only part of the picture. He was more than just a “charismatic leader” with a beguiling pen and a gift for friendship.

PRAYER
Almighty, everlasting God, who never ceasest to instruct the children of Thy church and never failest to help them; grant thy faithful, through the intercession of the blessed Abbot Aelred, whom thou gavest them as a minister of eternal salvation, that by thy mercy they may obtain knowledge to do what is right, and the means to accomplish it. Amen.

SAINT BARTHOLOMEW

BIOGRAPHY
Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and is usually identified with Nathanael, who is mentioned in John 1. He was introduced to Christ through Philip, another of the twelve apostles as per (John 1:43-51), where the name Nathanael first appears. He is also mentioned as “Nathanael of Cana in Galilee” in (John 21:2). The account of the calling of Nathanael of Cana occurs at the end of John 1, immediately followed by the account of Jesus’ miracle at the Marriage at Cana in John 2. The name Nathanael is the one used for him in John’s Gospel. The relationship between Philip and Nathanael is noted as per John 1:43 51. Bartholomew comes from the Aramaic bar meaning son of Tolmay or son of the furrows. According...
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