Bishop (before 549) [August 21]
A native of the Gascony region of France, Leontius had distinguished himself as a soldier in Spain when he decided to dedicate himself to the service of the Church in the clerical state. He received holy orders in Bordeaux, France, and was ultimately consecrated bishop of the city, probably in 520. Leontius is described as a man of exceptional humility, charity, and pastoral solicitude. A great peacemaker, he devoted his own wealth to the relief of the poor and the ransoming of captives.
Bishop (4th Century) [August 16]
Theodore served as the first bishop of Octodurum (Martigny, Switzerland). He was a friend of the famed archbishop of Milan, Italy, Saint Ambrose, attending with the latter the Council of Aquileia, Italy, in 381. This synod condemned two bishops who were adherents of the Arian heresy that denied the divinity of Christ. Theodore spoke at the council and signed the tenth resolution of the assembly’s concluding declaration. In 390 he attended a synod of bishops convened by Saint Ambrose in Milan. The bishops jointly condemned the heretic Jovinianus for his opposition to the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, the practice of fasting, and the evangelical counsel of chastity. Theodore is credited with finding and enshrining the bodies of the martyrs known as the "Theban Legion," a large band of third or fourth-century Roman Army soldiers martyred in Martigny for their Christian faith. The intercession of Theodore has traditionally been invoked for protection from thunderstorms.
Martyrs (c. 202) [June 30]
During the persecution under the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus (193-211), Saint Potamiaena, a beautiful young maiden of Alexandria, Egypt, was condemned to death for her Christian faith and for her resolution to consecrate her virginity to God. Basilides, a Roman Army soldier, was assigned to lead her to her death. As bystanders taunted the innocent girl with insults, Basilides was stirred with a chivalrous determination to protect her, driving away her detractors while treating her with the utmost respect. Before dying, Potamiaena told Basilides that she would plead for him before the Lord, and that he would soon be rewarded for his compassion toward her. When shortly after the maiden’s execution Basilides openly professed that he had become a Christian believer, he was imprisoned. Several Christians came to ask Basilides about his confession of Christianity. He told them that three days after Potamiaena’s death the martyr had appeared to him. She placed a crown upon his head declaring that she had obtained her request for his felicity from the Lord, and that she would soon welcome him into heaven. Basilides was baptized, and died a martyr’s death.
-- James Monti
Martyrs (late 3rd or early 4th century) [June 25]
Among the many victims of the persecution under the Roman Emperor Diocletian (284-305) were seven brothers who were serving together in the Roman Army when they suffered for their Christian faith. Described as natives of western Asia, the brother were named Orentius, Hero, Pharnacius, Firminus, Firmus, Cyriac, and Longinus. Their troubles began after Orentius won an impressive victory in single combat with an opponent described as a giant, a man comparable to Goliath, the Philistine foe of the young King David. When Orentius refused to offer a pagan sacrifice in thanksgiving for his victory, he and his six brothers were condemned to exile. The journey into exile proved to be a "death march," with all seven dying from maltreatment before reaching their destination. Their deaths occurred over a period of about five weeks, beginning with Hero on June 22 and ending with Longinus on July 28. Traditionally, the seven brother have been commemorated together on June 24.
Bishop (c. 1008) [May 11]
Ansfrid, a count of the Brabant region (along the French-Belgian border), served under two emperors of medieval Europe’s Holy Roman Empire as a knight, esteemed by his sovereigns for his combat skill in defeating robbers and pirates. When during the reign of the Emperor Henry II the bishop of Utrecht, Holland, died, the emperor proposed that Ansfrid be chosen to fill this see. Ansfrid was at first unwilling to accept this honor, clearly thinking himself unworthy of it. When at length Ansfrid agreed to receive episcopal consecration, he laid the sword of his knighthood upon an altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary, declaring to those present, "Up to this point, I have held this earthly honor, and have driven out the enemies of widows and the paupers of Christ; from now on, I commend myself to this my Lady, holy Mary, by whose power may I obtain the recompense and salvation of my soul." Following his consecration to the episcopate in 994, Ansfrid founded a monastery, where he later retired after being stricken with blindness.
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