May 27 – John the Russian; Anselm of Canterbury

John the Russian (ca. 1690–1730) was born in (what is now) Ukraine, and served as a soldier during the Russo-Turkish War. He was captured in battle and sold into slavery to a Turkish cavalry commander from Prokopion (in Asia Minor). As was not infrequently the case, he was threatened, tortured, beaten, and so forth to… Continue reading May 27 – John the Russian; Anselm of Canterbury

May 26 – George of Sofia; Philip Neri

George of Sofia the New Martyr (d. 1515) (Свети Ђорђе Кратовац), the answer-to-prayer baby of his parents’ old age, was either born in Kratovo (Serbia) and moved to Sofia (Bulgaria), or was born in Sofia and stayed there. His parents died when he was 25 (or 18), and then things started going downhill. He was… Continue reading May 26 – George of Sofia; Philip Neri

May 25 – Pope Urban I; Aldhelm

Urban I, Pope of Rome (d. 230), may have been a martyr, or may have died of natural causes. He is thought to be the originator of a decree that donations to the Church could only be spent on ecclesiastical needs, the common good of the Christian community, or the poor. This might lead one… Continue reading May 25 – Pope Urban I; Aldhelm

May 24 – Vincent of Lerins; Lanfranc of Canterbury

Vincent of Lérins (d. ca. 445) was definitely from Gaul, and may or may not have been of noble birth. He served for a time in the military, then fled the “service of the world” to become a monk at the island monastery of Lérins off the south coast of Gaul. At some point he… Continue reading May 24 – Vincent of Lerins; Lanfranc of Canterbury

May 23 – Michael the Black-Robed; Desiderius of Vienne

Michael “the Black-Robed” of St Sava Monastery (IX cent.) was born in Edessa, distributed his worldly goods to the poor, and wandered off to Jerusalem, then under “Mohammedan” (how often do they update these websites?) control. He settled into St. Sava’s Monastery, living a life so quiet that the hagiographers have nothing to say about… Continue reading May 23 – Michael the Black-Robed; Desiderius of Vienne