CNA Saint of the Day
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CNA
  • St. Eligius
    St. Eligius was born in Chaptelat, near Limoges, France around 590 A.D. to Roman parents. At a young age, his father recognized that his son had an unusual talent and sent him to the famous goldsmith, Abbo, who was the master of the mint at Limoges. Later on, Eligius went on to work at Neustria. From there, he was recommend to Clotaire II, king of Neustria, who commissioned him to craft a throne of gold adorned with precious stones for him. The honesty of the Saint impressed the king, and he was rewarded by being appointed as master of the mint at Marseilles, and by being taken into the royal household. After Clotaire II?s death, the new king, Dagobert, appointed Eligius to be the king?s chief councilor. Eligius eventually became so well known that ambassadors paid their respects to him before going on to see the king. The charitable and honest Eligius took advantage of his status to obtain alms for the poor and to ransom Roman, Gallic, Breton, Saxon, and Moorish captives who were arriving at Marseilles daily. He was able to get the king?s approval to send his servants through towns and villages in order to take down and bury the bodies of the criminals whose bodies were executed and displayed as a further punishment. He founded several monasteries to which he introduced, at least partially, the Irish monastic rule. He also built the basilica of St. Paul and restored the basilica of St. Martial in Paris. In honor of the relics of St. Martin of Tours, the national saint of the Franks, he had several churches built. He did the same thing for St. Denis, whom the king had taken as a patron saint. At court, Eligius and his friend Dado lived a life that followed the Irish monastic rule, introduced into Gaul by St. Columbanus. When King Dagobert died, Queen Nanthilde took the throne. At this time, Eligius and Dado left the court and entered the priesthood. When Acarius, the bishop of Noyon-Tournai died on May 13, 640, the clergy and people unanimously made Eligius his successor. Because the majority of his diocese was pagan, Eligius undertook the conversion of the Flemings, Antwerpians, Frisians, Suevi, and the barbarian tribes along the coast. When the body of St. Quentin was discovered, Bishop Eligius had a church built in honor of the saint. Adjoined to the church was a monastery under the Irish rule typical of Eligius?s rule. The bodies of St. Piatus and companions were also discovered during his episcopacy, as well as the remains of St. Fursey, the celebrated Irish missionary who died in 650 A.D. Eligius died on December 1, 660 and was buried at Noyon. St. Eligius is the patron of goldsmiths, blacksmiths, and all metal workers. Taxi drivers have also put themselves under his protection.

  • St. Edmund Campion
    St. Edmund CampionEdmund Campion was born in London on January 25, 1540. He was raised as a Catholic, and had such a powerful and flamboyant intellect that at the age of only 17, he was made a junior fellow at Saint John?s College of Oxford University.

    On visiting the university, Queen Elizabeth I was so taken by Edmund?s brilliance, as were a few of her dignitaries, that she bid him to ask for anything that he wished. The exaltation and praise of so many fed his vanity and eventually led him away from his Catholic faith. He took the Oath of Supremacy and acknowledged the Queen as head of the church. He also became an Anglican deacon.

    However, his brilliant intellect and his conscience would not allow him to be reconciled to the idea of Anglicanism for too long. After staying a period of time in Dublin, he turned back to his Catholic faith and returned to England.  At this point, he was suspected of being too Catholic, and was shaken when he witnessed the trial of a soon to be martyr. It carried him to the conviction that his vocation was to minister to the Catholic faithful in England who were being persecuted. He also felt the call to convert Protestants.

    He set off to Rome barefoot, and in 1573, he entered the Society of Jesus. He was ordained in 1578 and had a vision in which the Virgin Mary foretold him of his martyrdom. When he returned to England he made an immediate impression, winning many converts.

    On July 17, 1581, he was betrayed by one of the faithful who knew his whereabouts, and was thrown into prison. The queen offered him all manner of riches if he would forsake his loyalty to the Pope, but he refused.

    After spending some time in the Tower of London, he was sentenced to death by hanging, drawing and quartering. His martyrom in Tyburn on December 1, 1581 sparked off a wave of conversions to Catholicism. He was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970.