SIMPLE / WHITE
SAINT ADRIAN OF CANTERBURY
We all know about men and women who travelled to China and Africa and South Seas Islands as missionaries, to bring the Word of Christ to these distant lands. But many centuries ago, when the Church was still young and hadn't spread to Europe, people would travel from Judea or Egypt to other lands as missionaries. Saint Adrian was born in Africa, but ended his days as a missionary to the people of England.
Saint Adrian was an Abbot of a monastery near Naples, Italy when the Archbishop of Canterbury died in 664. Pope Vitalian asked Adrian to travel to Canterbury as the next Archbishop. (Adrian was then an Abbot of a monastery near Naples.) Adrian refused, saying that he was not good enough for the job and suggested that the Pope send Saint Theodore of Tarsus instead. Saint Adrian offered to go to Canterbury as Saint Theodore's assistant.
Once they arrived in England, Theodore and Adrian went about teaching the Gospel. Most of England was still pagan, and There was much work to be done, to build the Christian Church in England. Adrian's job consisted mainly of establishing monasteries and schools. Together, they successfully spread the Christian faith in England so that it soon became a Christian country.
Saint Adrian died in the year 710. Saint Adrian's feast day is on the 9th on January.
SAINTS JULIAN & BASILISSA
Saint Julian and Saint Basilissa, though married, lived by mutual consent in perpetual chastity. They sanctified themselves by the most perfect exercises of an ascetic life, and employed their revenues in relieving the poor and the sick. For this purpose they converted their house into a kind of hospital, in which they sheltered up to a thousand poor people. Basilissa attended those of her sex in separate lodgings, and Julian, who for his charity is known as the Hospitaler, cared for the men.
Egypt, where they lived, was in those days blessed with persons who, either in the cities or in the deserts, devoted themselves to the most perfect exercises of charity, penance, and mortification. Conversions were numerous, and persecutions by furious pagans followed as the numbers of Christians increased. Basilissa, after having survived seven of those, died in peace, foretelling to her husband that he would die a martyr. Julian lived afterwards for a number of years, but eventually received the crown of a glorious martyrdom in 313. His interrogation and his tortures were accompanied by astonishing prodigies and numerous conversions.
With him died thirty-one other persons, including a priest named Anthony, a new Christian named Anastasius, Celsus, the seven-year-old son of the judge who sentenced Julian, Marcianilla, the mother of Celsus, who when she came to visit her son was won over to the faith, and many other Christians. Spared by fire and wild beasts, Saint Julian finally was decapitated. His tomb became illustrious by many great miracles, including the cure of ten lepers on the same day.
Many churches and hospitals, in both the East and in the West, bear the name of one or another of these martyrs. Four churches at Rome and three in Paris are dedicated to Saint Julian.