February 24 — The First and Second Findings of the Head of John the Baptist; Adela of Normandy

John the Baptist is our commemoree today. Or to be precise, his head. Or to be more precise, the first and second findings thereof. Fans of the gospels will know that John the Baptist, aka John the Forerunner, was Jesus’ cousin, baptized people (including Jesus) in the Jordan River, and heralded Jesus as the coming… Continue reading February 24 — The First and Second Findings of the Head of John the Baptist; Adela of Normandy

February 23 — Polycarp of Smyrna

Polycarp of Smyrna (ca. 69–155 or 156 or 166 or 167 or 177) was a disciple of John the Apostle (Sep 26) and bishop of Smyrna on the western coast of what is now Turkey. He is numbered among the Apostolic Fathers*, who are not (as one might think) the fathers of the apostles, but… Continue reading February 23 — Polycarp of Smyrna

February 22 — Thalassius and Limnaeus; Margaret of Cortona

Thalassius (d. 440) (“maritime”), commemorated today with his disciple Limnaeus (“lake dweller”), became a hermit in Syria sometime in the fifth century, living either in the open or in a cave near either Cyr(rhus) or Targala for thirty-eight years. One of his special ascetic practices was silence, which he must have practiced when not instructing… Continue reading February 22 — Thalassius and Limnaeus; Margaret of Cortona

February 21 — Eustathius of Antioch; Pepin of Landen

Eustathius of Antioch (ca. 270–336 or 337 or 360 or 370), a well-beloved bishop to the Antiochians of Antioch, shone at the First Ecumenical Council (also called the Council of Nicea, especially by people from Nicea), where he deftly (albeit metaphorically) cut the Arians to ribbons with his razor-sharp arguments. After the council, he refused… Continue reading February 21 — Eustathius of Antioch; Pepin of Landen

February 20 — Leo of Catania; Eucherius of Orléans

Leo of Catania, the Wonderworker (708–789), was born in Ravenna, became a Benedictine, and lived a hermit’s life in Reggio while acting as archdeacon. When the bishop of Catania shuffled off the coil, the entire populace of that town had a vision telling them to find his successor living “in odour of sanctity” in a… Continue reading February 20 — Leo of Catania; Eucherius of Orléans