Daily Martyrology for April 18

Around 328, the death of St. Alexander of Alexandria, Patriarch. When he became Patriarch in 312 he had to deal with controversies over the date of Easter and the Melitian schism, which concerned the treatment of Christians who had lapsed during persectutions. Soon these were overshadowed by the conflict over the views of the Alexandrian priest Arius, who taught that Christ was less than fully God and also not fully human, since in him the Logos took the place of the human soul. Alexander responded with tactful overtures, but Arius appealed to bishops elsewhere. The conflict soon spread to much of the Christian world and so Constantine called a general council at Nicaea. Alexander attended, accompanied by his deacon and successor, St. Athanasius (May 2).

In 1404 Blessed James of Lodi. From a wealthy family, James married Caterina Bocconi; they had three children. They left Lodi for the country town of Lodivecchio during a plague. When they returned to Lodi, they found that two of their daughters had died of plague. The couple underwent a profound conversion. They became Franciscan tertiaries and eventually vowed perpetual continence. James then became a priest and devoted himself especially to the care of the sick.

In 1618, at the Carmelite convent in Pontoise, Blessed Mary of the Incarnation. She was born Barbe Avrillot and was the daughter of a high government official in Paris. At 17, she was married to Pierre Acarie, another aristocrat. He was very charitable to exiled English Catholics. The couple were popular in court and ecclesiastical circles. Their three daughters became Carmelites, and one of their sons became a priest. Barbe was very active in helping the poor, and persuaded Henry IV to allow Carmelites back into Paris. She helped establish Reformed Carmelite convents elsewhere. She received spiritual guidance from St. Frances de Sales (January 24) and Pierre de Berulle, and experienced mystical contemplation. When her husband died she entered the Carmelite convent in Amiens, but later transferred to Pontoise.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.