Old Calendar: St. Juliana of Falconieri, virgin; Saints Gervase and Protase, martyrs
St. Romuald was born in Ravenna of a noble family. Founder of the Camaldolese monks — one of the Italian branches of the Benedictines — in which the eremitical life is combined with life in community. He died in 1027, after a life of prayer and rigorous penance. In the Extraordinary Form his feast is celebrated on February 9.According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Juliana of Falconieri who was born in Florence in 1270. She was about fifteen when, at the end of 1284, St. Philip Benizi, General of the Servite Order, received her among the Mantellatae, the female branch of the Order. She had a great devotion to the Holy Eucharist and practiced to a rare degree the Servite devotion to the Sorrows of our Lady. She died in Florence in 1341. Today is also the commemoration of Sts. Gervase and Protase who were martyred at Milan in the second century. St. Ambrose discovered their bodies in 386. They rest now, with the body of St. Ambrose himself on the altar of the crypt of St. Ambrose church at Milan. They are invoked in the Litany of the Saints.
St. Romuald, the founder of the Camaldolese Order, could not decide for a considerable time whether to serve God in a religious life or to remain in the world. After his father killed a relative in a duel at which Romuald was forced to be present, he went to the monastery of St. Apollinaris, near Ravenna, and did penance for forty days. Later, he entered this same monastery as a monk. Then he became a follower of the hermit Marinus in Venice. In the course of time he founded an order of hermits which received its name after the most famous of his foundations, Camalduli in Tuscany.
Often Portrayed as: Monk pointing at a ladder on which other monks are ascending to heaven indicative his founding of his Order.Things to Do:
- Read more about St. Romuald here.
St. Juliana of Falconieri
Juliana was born in 1270 of the illustrious Florentine family of the Falconieri when her parents were already well advanced in years. Her uncle, the saintly Alexius Falconieri, declared to her mother that she had given birth "not to a girl but to an angel." At the age of fifteen she renounced her inheritance and was the first to receive from the hand of St. Philip Benizi the habit of a Mantellate nun. Many women followed her example; even her mother placed herself under Juliana's spiritual direction.
Sts. Gervase and Protase
These twin brothers died as martyrs at Milan about the year 170. They belong to the illustrious saints of the ancient Church. Little is known about their lives. The finding of their remains by St. Ambrose is well attested (386). St. Augustine, himself a witness, describes the event very dramatically in his Confessions (9, 7). St. Ambrose requested to be buried alongside the bodies of Sts. Gervase and Protase. In the year 1864 their relics were found under the high altar of the old Milan basilica in a sarcophagus of porphyry, and together with the remains of St. Ambrose were honorably re-entombed.
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