ST. ERNEST (d. 1148 A.D.)
St. Ernest was the baron of Steisslingen and had governed the monastery of Zweifalten, Germany for six years as abbot when the signal was given for the second crusade. Taking leave of the monks and lay brethren of the Wurttemburg abbey, the abbot said: “The death I am destined to die matters little so long
as it allows me to suffer for the love of Christ.” They set out in 1147 A.D., with Emperor Conrad III at their head, accompanied by his brother, Otto of Freisingen and St. Ernest. The crusade was a disaster from every point of view. As for the two or three hundred thousand Christians who reached the east, only a few hundred returned to Europe two years later.
St. Ernest himself did not reach Jerusalem, having been taken captive by an emir of the king of Persia.
Along with four hundred prisoners, he was taken to Mecca and was called upon to embrace Islam by the Persian king. After refusing conversion, St. Ernest suffered a long and frightful martyrdom.
Also celebrated this day:
ST. ENGLEBERT OF COLOGNE (b. 1180 A.D./d. 1225 A.D.)
Receiving ecclesiastical dignities while still very young, St. Englebert first took sides with an emperor excommunicated by Pope Innocent III and was himself excommunicated. The Pope removed his excommunication in 1203 A.D. and accepted his election as bishop of Cologne, France in 1216 A.D.
St. Englebert had always been a friend of the poor, a pious prelate and now showed himself to be a politician of high order. He was killed at Swelm, France by Frederick of Isenburg, his cousin, against whose simoniacal intrigues he was fighting.
ST. WILLIBRORD (d. 738 A.D.)
A disciple of St. Wilfrid and St. Egbert, St. Willibrord went to Frisia and worked for the conversion of that country. He founded the monastery of Echternach (Luxembourg) and died as archbishop of Utrecht.
ST. FLORENTIUS (d. 687 A.D.)A native of Ireland, St. Florentius was bishop of Strassbourg, Germany.
Cathedral of St. Patrick Young Adults © 2010