Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Saint Erc Bishop of Slane, Ireland (+514) - Octomber 31 & November 2


Saint Erc Bishop of Slane, Ireland (+514)

Octomber 31 & November 2

Erc mac Dega (Latin: Ercus; Cornish: Erth), also known (incorrectly) as Herygh, was an Irish saint. He was active in Cornwall. Tradition ascribes the foundation of the original monastery on the Hill of Slane to him.

Erc, son of Dago, is believed to have been a pagan druid and the only member of King Laoghaire's retinue to pay homage to Saint Patrick during the latter's confrontation with the druids at the Hill of Slane in 433. Dubhthach maccu Lugar was also a druid who paid tribute to St. Patrick and converted. Erc mac Dega was converted to Christianity by St. Patrick and appointed the first Bishop of Slane. St. Erc’s foundation at Slane stayed active for at least six hundred years.

Erc may have arrived in Kerry soon after the mission of St. Benignus, who was sent by St. Patrick to preach to the tribes of West Munster in 450. Benignus's visit was comparatively short since he was called away to North Clare and Connaught. St. Patrick sent Erc to complete the conversion of Kerry. Erc had spiritual charge over Kerry and a wide range of southwest Limerick (in the heart of which lay the convent of Ita at Killeedy).

Before Saint Patrick died in 461, he sent Bishop Erc south to Munster.

Around the year 484, Brigit of Kildare was his travelling companion to his native province.

Erc was the friend and tutor of St. Brendan the Navigator, the patron of Kerry. Erc is said to have trained the young Brendan at his church in Ardfert in 512. Erc established the school at Slane where King Dagobert II is said to have received his early education.

St. Patrick is reputed to have said: "Bishop Erc – Everything he judged was just; Everyone that passes a just judgement – Shall receive the blessing of Bishop Erc".

The Cornish Saint Erc is generally believed to be the same man. He was the brother of Saints Uny and Ia. He crossed from Ireland to Cornwall, where a church and the village of St Erth were dedicated to him. His feast in Cornwall is held on 31 October and his feast in Ireland is held on 2 November.

Erc finally returned to Slane and lived out the rest of his life in prayer and solitude at a quiet hermitage beside the Boyne. Erc died on 2 November 514, at age 93.

Source: Wikipedia

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Saint Jacob (Iakovos) Tsalikis, Abbot of St David's Monastery in Evia Island, Greece (+1991) - November 21 (Repose) & November 22 (Feast Day)


Saint Jacob (Iakovos) Tsalikis,

Abbot of St David's Monastery in Evia Island, Greece (+1991)

November 21 (Repose) & November 22 (Feast Day)



From a young age little Jacob (=Iakovos in greek) (which was his name even at baptism) loved the Lord and His Bride, the Church. Born in Livisi, in Asia Minor, he and his family were forced to immigrate to Greece during the exchange of populations. Eventually settling on the island of Evia, he lived with his family in a storehouse with other refugees, blankets separated the individual living quarters. Little Jacob (Iakovos in greek) would lift these blankets in order to “cense” his neighbours with the toy censor he made out of a roof tile. His holiness was noticed very early, though he wasn’t fully understood and suffered a great deal of derision; children would call him “geronda (=elder)” and “father”. He would arise in the night for vigil, chant throughout the day, and was even entrusted with the keys to the village church since a priest came only twice a month to serve the divine services.

Throughout his life he lived in great poverty and fasting. As a young man he would chant in the church barefoot because he could not afford shoes. People ridiculed him but he often had visions of saints and angels which would comfort and strengthen him in his resolve to live for Christ. After serving in the Greek army and working to save enough money for his sister’s dowry, he was free to become a monk. Wanting to follow in his ancestors’ footsteps (seven generations of priest-monks, a bishop and a saint), he initially wanted to become a monk in the Holy Land. Before setting out he visited St. David’s Monastery for what he thought would be the last time and was instead spiritually persuaded to stay there by St. David himself. Through many hardships the elder increased in holiness and grace during his time at St. David’s, eventually becoming the abbot and receiving countless souls whom he guided and comforted. St. David was like his own spiritual father, appearing to him on many occasions and hearkening to his many prayers and supplications. Saint Jacob reposed on November 21, 1991, the Feast of the Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple. May we have his blessing!

His feast day is November 22.