Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Holy Siblings

[Update] Like Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta, saints who happen to be siblings draw great inspiration. They were not only family by blood but also by baptism. There are probably a vast number of unknown saints who were siblings but never canonized.

Here are just some of the holy siblings listed in no particular order:

Saints Acisclus and Victoria, Martyrs (Acisclus is also known as Ascylus, Ocysellus)

Born at Cordova, Spain; died 304. Saints Acisclus and Victoria were siblings, who suffered martyrdom probably under Diocletian. Their home was turned into a church. They are the principal patrons of Cordova and are greatly venerated throughout Spain and southern France, especially in Provence (Benedictines). Saints Acisclus and Victoria are represented in art as a young man and woman crowned with roses (Roeder).

Saints Eulampius and Eulampia, Martyrs

Died c. 310. The siblings Saints Eulampius and Eulampia were martyred at Nicomedia during the reign of Gallienus. It is said that the courage of these two young children led to the conversion and martyrdom of 200 soldiers (Benedictines).

Saint Scholastica and Saint Benedict

Scholastica (Born in Nursia, Italy, c. 480; died near Monte Cassino, Italy, c. 543.) was the twin sister of Saint Benedict of Nursia (Founder of western monasticism, born at Nursia, c. 480; died at Monte Cassino, 543.) who founded of the Benedictine order and father of Western monasticism.

Scholastica was consecrated to God at a very early age but probablycontinued to live in her parents' home. It is said that she was as devoted to Jesus as she was to her brother. So, when Benedict established his monastery at MonteCassino, Scholastica founded a convent in nearby Plombariola, about five milessouth of Monte Cassino. The convent is said to have been under the direction of her brother, thus she is regarded as the first Benedictine nun. The siblings were quite close. The respective rules of their houses proscribed eitherentering the other's monastery. According to Saint Gregory, they met once a yearat a house near Monte Cassino monastery to confer on spiritual matters, and wereeventually buried together, probably in the same grave. Saint Gregory says, "so death did not separate the bodies of these two, whose minds had ever been united in the Lord."

Saint Andrew and Saint Peter

St Andrew and Saint Peter were natives of Bethsaida, a town in Galilee, upon the banks of the lake of Genesareth. They were the sons of Jonas, or John, a fisherman of that town. They had afterwards a house at Capharnaum, where Jesus lodged when he preached in that city. Andrew, who loved affectionately his brother Simon, called afterwards Peter, could not rest till he had imparted to him the infinite treasure which he had discovered, and brought him to Christ that he might also know him. Simon was no sooner come to Jesus than the Saviour of the world admitted him as a disciple and gave him the name of Peter, which means "the Rock" because he was to be the rock upon which God would build His Church.

Saints Cyril and Methodius

These brothers, the Apostles of the Slavs, were born in Thessalonica, in 827 and 826 respectively. Though belonging to a senatorial family they renounced secular honours and became priests. They were living in a monastery on the Bosphorous, when the Khazars sent to Constantinople for a Christian teacher. Cyril was selected and was accompanied by his brother. They learned the Khazar language and converted many of the people. Thus the brothers were the first to produce written material in the Slavic languages, and are regarded as the founders of Slavic literature. They were summoned to Rome and there Pope Adrian II commended their missionary activity, sanctioned the Slavonic Liturgy, and ordained Cyril and Methodius bishops. Cyril, however, was not to return to Moravia. He died in Rome, 4 Feb., 869. Methodius died in 6 April, 885.

[Update] Saints Cosmas and Damien (Hat tip to Carmel)

Cosmas and Damien were twin brother born in Arabia (modern day Syria) around 270 A.D. They had three younger brothers; their father died, so their mother, Theodota, was left to raise all five of them herself. Cosmas and Damien were educated in science and medicine, and became physicians that were quite skilled and enthusiastic about their work. Cosmas and Damien saw in every patient a brother or sister in Christ. For this reason, they showed great charity to all and treated their patients to the best of their ability.Every chance they had, the two saints told their patients about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Because the people all loved these twin doctors, they listened to them willingly. Cosmas and Damien often brought health back to both the bodies and the souls of those who came to them for help.

Other saints who were brothers:

Saint Jude was the brother of Saint James the Less and Saint Simeon.

Saint James the Greater was the brother of Saint John the Evangelist.


Blogger Carmel said...

Wow that is so interesting! I bet there were quite a few proud parents out there.
I know of another 2 sibling Saints who were twin brothers and doctors, I can't think of who they are now but I have them in a book somewhere.
I didn't know there were so many!

8:46 PM  
Blogger Saint Peter's helpers said...

Thanks Carmel! I was curious to see who the twin doctors were so I looked them up and sure enough they were Cosmas and Damien! So I've updated the post, thanks to you.

9:42 PM  

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