Monday 28th, St Augustine, 354-430, bishop and doctor of the Church; Bishop of Hippo, where he lived with a community until his death. His theological influence has been most significant in the Church, especially on the understanding of God’s grace. Patron of theologians.
Tuesday 29th, The Beheading of John the Baptist. In the Liturgical Calendar rather than write something for this feast day, those who compiled it decided to refer to the Preface for the Feast Day saying that the favours and vocation given to him are contained in it. So here is the preface: “It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord. In his Precursor, Saint John the Baptist, we praise your great glory, for you consecrated him for a singular honour among those born of women. His birth brought great rejoicing; even in the womb he leapt for joy at the coming of human salvation. He alone of all the prophets pointed out the Lamb of redemption. And to make holy the flowing waters, he baptized the very author of Baptism and was privileged to bear him supreme witness by the shedding of his blood. And so, with the Powers of heaven, we worship you constantly on earth, and before your majesty without end we acclaim…”
Wednesday 30th, St Fiacre was an Irishman who went abroad to seek a hermitage. He passed through Normandy and eventually met Fara, who was a great patron of Irish pilgrims at Meaux. Fiacre was given a hermitage near Breuil and there he stayed until his death around 670.
Thursday 31st, St Aidan of Lindisfarne, bishop and missionary, was of Irish descent and was a monk of Iona. When Oswald, the exiled King of Northumbria who had fled for refuge to Iona, returned to his throne in 634, he invited Aidan to come to reconvert his people. Aidan made his headquarters at Lindisfarne. With the aid of the king as interpreter he was very successful in his mission. He died in 651.