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Friday, January 20, 2017
20th  January

 -  Saint Sebastian
20th January

 - Saint Sebastian

Martyr. Patron of soldiers, archers, in time of plague. St Sebastian died during the persecution of the Emperor Diocletian. He was buried on the Appian Way close to the basilica which was named after him. Little is known about him, but according to legend, he was a soldier from Gaul who enlisted in the Roman army in 283. He was soon made a captain in the Pretorian guard and visited the Christian martyrs Mark and Marcellian in prison.

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19th January  - Saint Wulfstan
19th January - Saint Wulfstan

Benedictine monk and bishop of Worcester. St Wulfstan was born of Anglo Saxon parents in 1008 at Itchington in Warwickshire. Educated at the abbeys of Evesham and Peterborough, he excelled in piety and sport. After he was ordained priest he was offered a richly endowed church but refused it. Instead he became a Benedictine monk at Worcester cathedral priory. He soon became master of the boys, cantor and sacristan.

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18 January  - Saint Prisca

18 January - Saint Prisca

Martyr. Not a great deal is known about this early Roman saint, but a 4th century church on the Aventine hill is named after her. Legends sometimes identify her as the same Priscilla named in the Acts of the Apostles as the wife of Aquila. She is sometimes represented by two lions, who are said to have refused to attack her at the Coliseum in Rome.

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 17th  January  

- Saint Anthony of Egypt
17th January 

- Saint Anthony of Egypt

Abbot. St Anthony was born in 251 in Upper Egypt. When he was 20, his parents died, leaving him a large estate. After much prayer Antony decided to sell his possessions and give the money to the poor. His younger sister joined a community of religious women while Anthony went to live in a deserted fort in complete solitude from 286 to 306. During this time he is said to have withstood many temptations. At the end of this time he gathered a group of disciples around him. He visited Alexandria to encourage the Christians there who were being persecuted by Maximinus.

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 16th January 
 - Saint Henry of Coquet Island
16th January 
 - Saint Henry of Coquet Island

Henry was a 12th century Dane who decided to become a hermit abroad rather than go in to an arranged marriage that made him unhappy. The prior of Tynemouth allowed him to settle on Coquet Island which had once had a community of monks during the time of Bede. It was also the place where Cuthbert used to meet Elfleda, abbess of Whitby.

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15th  January - Saint Paul the Hermit
15th January - Saint Paul the Hermit

Saint Paul the Hermit is regarded as the first Christian hermit. He was born in 228 AD. The Life of Saint Paul the First Hermit, was composed in Latin by Saint Jerome, around 376. According to Jerome, Paul fled to the Theban desert as a boy during the persecution of Decius and Valerianus around AD 250. At that time Paul and his married sister, both of whom lived in the Thebaid, lost their parents.

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14 January -  Saint Sava of Serbia
14 January - Saint Sava of Serbia

St Sava was the first archbishop of the autocephalous Serbian church. Born in Tirnovo, Bulgaria, in 1173, the third son of prince Stephen Nemanya (who achieved independence for the Serbs from Byzantium), he became a monk on Mount Athos in 1191. His father abdicated in favour of another son, also called Stephen, and join Sava on Mt Athos.

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13th  January -  Saint Hilary of Poitiers
13th January - Saint Hilary of Poitiers

Bishop of Poitiers. Born in 315, to wealthy pagan parents, Hilary became an orator, married and had a daughter, Afra. After a long process of study, he became a Christian in 350 and devoted the rest of his life to the Church. In 353 he was chosen as bishop. St Hilary was an outspoken champion of orthodoxy against the Arian heresy. He took part in the Synod of Bitterae in 356 and the council of Selucia in 359.

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 12th  January - St Ailred of Rievaulx,  Bl James Fenn & Companions
12th January - St Ailred of Rievaulx, Bl James Fenn & Companions

Abbot and writer. St Ailred was the son of a priest, born in Hexham in 1110. After being educated at Durham he joined the household of David I, king of Scotland as a steward. In 1134 he joined the newly-founded abbey at Rievaulx. In spite of delicate health, he followed the austere Cistercian regime and became so respected in the community that he was sent to Rome as an envoy in 1142, over the disputed election of William of York.

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11th  January - Saint Theodosius
11th January - Saint Theodosius

Abbot. Born at Cappadocia in 423, St Theodosius went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem as a young man, with dreams of becoming a hermit. For a time he lived in a monastery. Then he settled in the desert alone. But his teacher, an elderly monk called Longinus, noticed that he had other gifts and advised him to lead a more public life. In 479, near Bethlehem, Theodosius established what was to become the largest and most well

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January 10th  - St Dermot
January 10th - St Dermot

Irish abbot. This 6th century saint is said to have been of royal blood and a native of Connaught. A famous teacher, poet, writer and preacher in his day, around 530 St Dermot (Diarmiad) founded the great monastery of Inchcleraun (Clothran) on an island in Lough Ree. Wishing to found an oratory far from the day-to-day distractions of civilization, he selected the isolated island associated with the memory of Queen Medbh, Inchcleraun.
Here his fame soon attracted disciples, and is said to have trained St Kiernan of Clonrnacnoise.

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 9th January 

- Saint Philip of Moscow
9th January 

- Saint Philip of Moscow

Bishop, monk and martyr. Born in Moscow in 1507, Theodore Kolyshov was a wealthy nobleman, who probably saw active military service in his youth. At the age of 30 he joined the monastery of Solovetsk on the White Sea, and took the name of Philip. He became abbot there in 1547. Saint Philip became a distinguished religious superior. He was also a fine engineer and devised a new system of drainage and irrigation for the monastic lands.

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8th January
 - Saint Wulsin of Sherbourne
8th January
 - Saint Wulsin of Sherbourne

Abbot and bishop. Born in London towards the end of the first millennium, St Wulsin was made the first abbot of Westminster Abbey by St Dunstan, after it was restored around 980. In 992 he was also made bishop of Sherbourne in Dorset. He is said to have rebuilt the church there and introduced a Benedictine chapter.

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