Daily Martyrology for December 5

In 532, at his monastery near Jerusalem, St. Sabas. He was born in Cappadocia and was attracted to monastic life at an early age. He joined the monastery of St. Euthymius (January 20) in Jerusalem, where he proved to be hardworking and prayerful. Four years after Euthymius’ death, Sabas was prevailed upon to form a semi-eremitical laura. He was appointed archimandrite over the hermits of Palestine, and sent on a number of missions to Constantinople and elsewhere. His monastery, the Great Laura, still exists in the desert ten miles from Jerusalem.

In 304, at Theveste in North Africa, St. Crispina, martyr. She was a married woman with several children. An account of her trial shows her to have been a brave and outspoken woman.

In 1161, St. Christina of Markyate. When she was sixteen, her parents took her to the shrine of St. Alban. She was impressed with the life of the monks there, and determined to seek such a life for herself. She made a private vow of virginity. Her parents forced her to go through a marriage ceremony, but she would not consummate the marriage. The case was taken before several church officials, and then to the bishop of Lincoln, who at first sided with her but then changed his mind. She escaped with the help of a hermit, and her appeal to the archbishop of Canterbury was upheld. She went into hiding from her parents, first with an anchoress, and then with a hermit. She spent the rest of her life as a hermit at Markyate. She became a friend and guide to Abbot Geoffrey of St. Alban’s.

In 1686, Blessed Nicolas Steno. A Dane, he studied medicine at Copenhagen and Leiden and became a renowned scientist. He realized that fossils were a clue to the geological history of the earth. Some of his contributions to geology are still known as “Steno’s laws". He converted to Catholicism in 1667, while he was working at a hospital in Florence. He became a priest in 1675 and served as vicar apostolic of Hanover and then as suffragan bishop of Münster.

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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.