Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lives of the Saints: Saints Almachus and Eugendus

Adapted by Dan Leo (Assistant Professor of Comparative Religions, Olney Community College) from The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints, by Rev. Alban Butler.

Somberly illustrated by rhoda penmarq.

Imprimatur: Rev. Michael J. Murgatroyd, S.J.

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St. Almachus, Martyr

HE was a holy solitary of the East, but being excited by the ardours of a pious zeal in his desert, and pierced with grief that the impious diversion of gladiators should cause the damnation of so many unhappy souls, and involve whole cities and provinces in sin; he travelled to Rome, resolved, as far as in him lay, to put a stop to this crying evil.

Whilst the gladiators were massacring each other in the amphitheatre, he ran in among them; but as a recompense for his kind remonstrance, and entreating them to desist,

he was beaten down to the ground, and torn in pieces on the 1st of January, 404.

His zeal had its desired success; for the effusion of his blood effected what till that time many emperors had found impracticable. Constantine, Constantius, Julian, and Theodosius the elder, had, to no purpose, published several edicts against those impious scenes of blood. But Honorius took occasion, from the martyrdom of this saint, to enforce their entire abolition.

St. Eugendus, in French Oyend, Abbot

AFTER the death of the two brothers, St. Romanus and St. Lupicinus, the holy founders of the abbey of Condate, under whose discipline he had been educated from seven years of age; he was first coadjutor to Minausius, their immediate successor, and soon after, upon his demise, abbot of that famous monastery.

His life was most austere, his clothes being sack-cloth, and the same in summer as in winter. He took only one small refection in the day, which was usually after sun-set. 

He inured himself to cold and all mortifications; and was so dead to himself, as to seem incapable of betraying the least emotion of anger. 

His countenance was always cheerful, yet he never laughed. 

By meekness he overcame all injuries, was well skilled in Greek and Latin, and in the holy Scriptures, and a great promoter of the sacred studies in his monastery. 

His prayer was almost continual, and his devotion so tender, that the hearing of a pious word was sufficient visibly to inflame his soul, and to throw him sometimes into raptures even in public, and at table. 

His ardent sighs to be united with his God were most vehement during his last illness. Having called the priest among his brethren to whom he had enjoined the office of anointing the sick, he caused him to anoint his breast according to the custom, and he breathed forth his happy soul five days after, about the year 510, and of his age sixty-one.

next: St Macarius

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