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St. Ælred

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Saint Ælred of Rievaulx

Abbot & Confessor

Ælred was born in the north of England in the year of Our Lord 1109. He was the son of a married priest, still somewhat common in England at the time. From a young age he was a friend of King St. David I of Scotland, the son of Queen St. Margaret, the Pearl of Scotland, and King Malcolm III, of Shakespearean fame. Ælred rose to serve as steward of King St. David’s household, but when David tried to make him a bishop, Ælred refused, and soon left Scotland to become a Cistercian monk at Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire, England. Ælred gained renown for his piety, and for his charity in overseeing the novices. In 1143, he reluctantly became abbot of a new Cistercian abbey in Lincolnshire, and the next year he was elected abbot of Rievaulx. This made Ælred superior of all Cistercians in England, requiring him to travel a great deal, including back to Scotland, where he reunited with King St. David before that pious monarch’s death. After a life of austere penances and the writing of several histories, spiritual treatises, and sermons that earned him the nickname “the English St. Bernard”, Ælred died in 1166 or 1167.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for January 12th

AT Rome, in the time of the emperor Alexander, St. Tatiana, martyr, who was torn with iron hooks and combs, thrown to the beasts and cast into the fire, but, having received no injury, was beheaded, and thus went to heaven.

In Achaia, St. Satyrus, martyr. As he passed before an idol, and breathed upon it, making the sign of the cross on his forehead, the idol immediately fell to the ground; for this reason he was beheaded.

The same day, St. Arcadius, martyr, illustrious by his noble birth and miracles.

In Africa, the holy martyrs Zoticus, Rogatus, Modestus, Castulus, and forty soldiers gloriously crowned.

At Constantinople, the Saints Tygrius, priest, and Eutropius, lector, who suffered in the time of the emperor Arcadius.

At Tivoli, St. Zoticus, martyr.

At Ephesus, under Constantine Copronymus, the passion of forty-two holy monks, who endured martyrdom after being most cruelly tortured for the defense of sacred images.

At Ravenna, St. John, bishop and confessor.

At Verona, St. Probus, bishop.

In England, St. Benedict, abbot and confessor.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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