About Today

October 9

Saint Denis, Bishop, and Companions, Martyrs; Saint John Leonardi, Priest

Optional Memorial

St. Denis was the Bishop of Paris around the year 275, yet little is known of his life. St. Gregory of Tours reports that Pope Fabian sent St. Denis and his companions, the priest Rusticus and the deacon Eleutherius, to present day Paris to re-establish the Church of Gaul. The men built a church on an island in the Seine and converted many pagans. Their success incited the governor Sisinnius, who had the men captured and killed. A shrine and later, a great basilica were built over their graves. They were celebrated in verse by the Christian poet, Venantius. [1]

St. John Leonardi was born in 1541 in Lucca, Italy. When he was 17, his father sent him to train as a pharmacist. He was ordained a priest and served in hospitals and prisons, attracting many helpers. He later collaborated with St. Philip Neri and St. Joseph Calasanz. In 1596, Clement VIII appointed him Commissary Apostolic and sent him to reform some religious communities. St. John Leonardi inspired many by his preaching, which emphasized the teachings and reforms of the Council of Trent. He died in 1609. In 1621, his followers formed the Order of Clerics Regular of the Mother of God. He was canonized by Pius IX in 1861. [2][3]

Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] Catholicpedia: The Original Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. s.v. “St. Denis.”
[2] Benedict XVI, General Audience, October 7, 2009.
[3] Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, The Martyrology of the Monastery of the Ascension, 2008.
Note: Optional Memorials and Commemorations are optional celebrations and, at present, we do not include content specific to these special days. This “About Today” is provided so that you can celebrate these Saints as you worship Christ.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Readings and Old and New Testament Canticles (except the Gospel Canticles) are from the New American Bible © 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C.. Used with permission. All rights reserved. The DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media follows the liturgical calendar for the United States. The 1970 edition of the New American Bible as published in the Liturgy of the Hours is approved for use only in the United States. DivineOffice.org website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2022 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.

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