Daily Martyrology for September 16

In 253, at Rome during the Decian persecution, St. Cornelius, pope and martyr. During his few months as pope, he had to deal with the Novatian schism and the related issue of how to deal with those who denied their faith during persecution and later repented. He earned the support of St. Cyprian, with whom he corresponded, though the two did not always agree.

In 258, at Carthage, the martyrdom of St. Cyprian, bishop. Cyprian was a prominent and well-educated man who underwent a conversion when he was about forty-five. He became bishop and administered his diocese forcefully and lovingly, and he dealt the same way with the lapsed. Cyprian did not believe that baptisms administered by heretics and schismatics were valid, which led him to quarrel with St. Stephen, Cornelius’ successor in Rome. He was exiled in 257 when he refused to renounce his faith; he was returned to Carthage and put to death by the sword.

About 432, in Scotland, St. Ninian. He was a monk at Whithorn.

In 921, in Bohemia. St. Ludmila. She converted to Christianity with her husband, Duke Borivoy of Bohemia. She helped raise her grandson, St. Wenceslas (Sept. 28), as a Christian. She was murdered by a party which opposed the Christianization of the country.

In 1087, Blessed Victor III, pope. From a prominent family, he became a monk at Cava and at Benevento, where he was given the name Desiderius. He spent time as a hermit and as a student of medicine in Salerno. He then joined Monte Cassino and became one of its greatest abbots. He rebuilt the abbey and promoted literature and learning. He was made a cardinal and served in various mediating roles until he was elected pope against his will. He died two years later.

In 1122, St. Vitalis of Savigny. He received a good education, then became a hermit. With his disciples he formed the abbey and order of Savigny, which followed the Rule of St. Benedict. He was an effective preacher and spoke his mind. His order was incorporated into the Cistercians in 1147.

Tomorrow is the name day of our confrere Br. Tobiah Urrutia. He is commended to our charitable prayers.

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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.