Daily Martyrology for September 8

The Birthday of Our Lady. This feast came to the West in the seventh century. We know nothing about Mary’s birth, though there are ancient traditions which suggest it occurred at Nazareth or Jerusalem.

In 438, St. Isaac the Great, bishop of the Armenians. He was married and fathered one child before his wife died. He seems then to have become a monk as well as a bishop. During his episcopate Armenian Christianity and culture flourished. Isaac combined elements of Byzantine and Syrian Christianity in an Armenian mode. One of his associates developed an Armenian alphabet, and many Christian works were translated at his instigation.

About 545, St. Ciarán of Clonmacnois. After studying under St. Finnian at Clonard, he spent seven years on Inis Mór in the Aran Islands as a monk under St. Enda. After a visit to St. Senan on Slattery Island, Ciarán settled with eight companions at Clonmacnois. Ciarán died shortly after that, but the monastery became one of the great centers of monasticism and learning in Ireland.

In 725, St. Corbinian, apostle of Bavaria. He was born at Châtres near Troyes and became a recluse there. A community grew up, but he found it too distracting for him to lead it, so he went to Rome. Pope Gregory II sent him to Bavaria as a missionary.

In 1555, St. Thomas of Villanova. He studied at Alcalá, then joined the Augustinian friars at Salamanca. He was appointed bishop of Valladolid in 1544. He held a synod and drew up guidelines for his diocese which foreshadowed the disciplinary decrees of the Council of Trent. In his reform efforts, Thomas was very kindly. Famous for his austerity, he had a special concern for the poor.

In 1853, at Marseilles, Blessed Frederick Ozanam. He was born in Milan and raised in Lyons. He went to study at Paris where he became acquainted with Lacordaire, Montalembert, and especially Emanuel Bailly, whom he assisted in founding the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. He earned doctorates in both law and literature. He became a professor at Paris, was happily married, and had a daughter. He was very devoted to the church, to his students, to scholarship, and to the poor.

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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.