JUNE Calendar of Deacon Saints

(based on Ormond Plater’s Calendar of Deacon Saints)

June 1

Valens, aged deacon and martyr of Jerusalem, with presbyter Pamphilus and Porphyrius and companions, killed at Caesarea in Palestine in 309.
Pamphilus, a native of Berytus (Beirut), received a high education and was the presbyter in Caesarea. During the persecution of Diocletian (emperor 284-305), Pamphilus suffered torture, together with Valens, the aged deacon of the Prophet Elijah Church, and Paul, a native of Jamnia. After torture all of them were imprisoned for two years and finally were dismembered by the sword together with five young Egyptians. Porphyrius, a servant of Pamphilus, asked permission to bury the bodies. When he confessed to being a Christian, he was burned. Seleucus, a warrior, was beheaded. Theodulus, the starets (elder), was crucified on a cross. One young Christian, Julian, approaching Caesarea, saw the mutilated bodies of the martyrs, went up to them, and kissed them. Soldiers who saw this informed the governor, and when the young man confessed Christ he was burned. [16 February among the Orthodox]

Richard Henry Pemble, archdeacon of the Episcopal diocese of Chicago, leader in the revival of the diaconate, died 1 June 2001.
Born in 1933, Dick Pemble was ordained a deacon in 1974 and served at St. Augustine Church in Wilmette, Illinois, for 19 years. In 1993 Bishop Frank Griswold appointed him archdeacon, a position previously held by priests. Archdeacon Pemble was deeply committed to ecumenism and was ecumenical officer of the North American Association for the Diaconate. He served on the board of the Fund for the Diaconate of the Episcopal Church and executive committee of the Episcopal Diocesan Ecumenical Officers. He also was chairman of the Chicago Episcopal- Roman Catholic Deacons Dialog Group. He died after a long bout with lung cancer. (His wife, Pat, died 5 June 2014.)

June 2

Sanctus, deacon and martyr, one of the Martyrs of Lyons in 177.
At Lyons (Lugdunum in Latin) and nearby Vienne, in Gaul, there were missionary centers which drew many Christians from Asia and Greece. Persecution began in 177. At first, Christians were excluded from the public baths and the market place and from all social and public life. They were subject to attack when they appeared in public, and many Christian homes were vandalized. The government became involved and began to take Christians into custody for questioning. Some slaves from Christian households were tortured to obtain confessions and were induced to say that Christians practiced cannibalism and incest. These charges were used to arouse the whole city against the Christians, especially Pothinus, the aged bishop of Lyons; Sanctus, a deacon from Vienne; Attalus; Maturus, a recent convert; and Blandina, a slave. Pothinus was beaten and then released, to die of his wounds a few days later. Sanctus the deacon resisted the interrogation. His torturers demanded his name, race, birthplace, and whether he was a slave or free, and to every question he replied: “I am a Christian.” When they ran out of ideas, they pressed red-hot copper plates against sensitive parts of his body. After a few days they put him on the rack, hoping that this would break him, but he still resisted. Blandina, tortured all day long, would say nothing except, “I am a Christian, and nothing vile is done among us.” Finally, the survivors were put to death in the public arena.

June 3

Abraham Yac Deng, deacon and martyr, shot to death by armed forces of the Islamic National Front in the village of Ayen in southern Sudan (now South Sudan) on 3 June 1998.
As reported by Christian Solidarity International-Suisse, between 1-10 June 1998 the armed forces of the Islamic National Front launched attacks on the majority Christian population of the district of Twic, north of Bahr el Ghazal, Sudan. During these attacks, on 3 June in the village of Ayen, the Islamic militia killed the deacon of the Episcopal church, Abraham Yac Deng, and took away as slaves Elizabeth Ading Deng and Abuk Goch, two members of the community. Two of the children of Abuk Goch were among the 25 members of the community who were abducted as slaves. The militia sacked the Episcopal church of Ayen, and the pastor and another deacon narrowly escaped death. Other attacks, with summary executions, destruction of churches, and the abduction of women and children as slaves took place in the villages of Turalei and Maper.

Basman Yousef Daud, Wahid Hanna Isho, and Gassan Isam Bidawed, deacons and martyrs, shot and killed with priest Ragheed Ganni after Sunday mass, as they left the (Chaldean Catholic) Church of the Holy Spirit in Mosul, northern Iraq, on 3 June 2007.
As they left the church, their car was stopped by a group of armed gunmen, who shot all four men and then rigged their car with explosives so that no one would dare remove their bodies. The car with the four murdered men remained in the street, bearing witness to the killings, for several hours until a police bomb-squad defused the devices. The parish where they served, the Church of the Holy Spirit, had been bombed and vandalized in the past, and Father Ganni had been threatened by Islamic militants. The three deacons had been accompanying the priest constantly, hoping to protect him.

June 5

Rosemary Skinner Keller, deacon of the United Methodist Church, feminist historian, and scholar, died 5 June 2008 of kidney cancer.
Dr. Keller was professor of church history and academic dean at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She also taught at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, where she served as the seminary’s first woman dean and vice president of academic affairs. She was an ordained permanent deacon in the United Methodist Church. With feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether, Rosemary Skinner Keller was the editor of In Our Own Voices: Four Centuries of American Women’s Religious Writings and the three-volume Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America.

June 6

Ini Kopuria, deacon, founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, died on 6 June 1945.
According to Father Brian Macdonald-Milne, Spearhead: The Story of the Melanesian Brotherhood (Watford, England: The Melanesian Mission, about 1975), 7-9: “On San Cristoval in the Solomons, a Brotherhood of Melanesian men attempted for a short time to work among the heathen of the mountainous bush areas. At that time, Dr. Charles Fox was working on the island and took a great interest in the experiment, as he and the Reverend John Mainwaring Steward were contemplating something similar for the island of Malaita, where the largest number of non-Christians was concentrated. One of the boys who had been sent to school at Pamua on San Cristoval at that time was Ini Kopuria. He was from Maravovo, the first Christian village on Guadalcanal, where Steward was based. It was through him, in cooperation with Steward and Fox, that the vision of a Melanesian Brotherhood would eventually come true. Ini Kopuria continued his education at Norfolk Island, then returned to the Solomons. His teachers wanted him to become a catechist to his own people, but because of his great love of adventure and travel, he refused. Instead, he joined the Solomon Islands Police Force, rising rapidly to the rank of Corporal. It was one of the few openings available to Solomon Islanders in the service of the colonial Government at that time. His work took him all over Guadalcanal, his home island, so he got to know the bush people as well as the people of the coastal areas, like himself.
“One day, while attempting to make an arrest, he had an accident and lay in hospital for a long time—the first period of prolonged inactivity in his life! This gave him time to think and to pray, and also to ask himself what was the meaning of the accident. During this time, he had a vision. He believed Jesus himself appeared to him and said, ‘Ini, you are not doing the work I want you to do.’ He did not go back to the Police. The question in Ini’s mind when he eventually came out of hospital was ‘What does Jesus want me to do?’ He went to discuss this question with John Steward, who had by then become Bishop of Melanesia. He sent him to the Reverend Arthur Hopkins at the theological college. There he listened to Hopkins’s lectures and heard for the first time about St. Francis and Brotherhoods and monasteries of Europe. This set him thinking. Soon he was clear in his own mind that God wanted him to be a Brother and that in this way he could go back to the bush people of Guadalcanal, not to arrest them but to share with them the Good News of peace and love through Jesus Christ. He hoped other young men would join him and that the Brothers would be able to go even further than the limits of the Diocese of Melanesia (which still included the Territory of New Guinea)—perhaps even to Indonesia.
“Bishop Steward was overjoyed with Ini Kopuria’s suggestion and helped him to prepare simple rules for the Brotherhood, which they called the ‘Retatasiu’, the word for Brotherhood in the Mota language of the Banks Islands, which was then used as the common language of Anglicans in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. In 1925 Ini made his life vow standing on his own land at Tabalia, along the Guadalcanal coast from Maravovo. He had composed the vow himself, and as well as giving himself to the work for life, he also gave the use of his land to the Brothers, and promised not to marry, and to obey the orders of his superiors. This included being willing to go wherever the church wanted to send him. (His intention was sincere, but the coming of the Japanese invasion in 1942 led him to break his vow, join the American Labour Corps, and get married. At the end of his life, he deeply regretted what he had done, and in 1945 died of a broken heart, though full of trust in God.)
“Ini set out to find other young [men to] join him. He found them at Pawa School, the Senior School of the Diocese on Ugi Island in the Eastern Solomons where Solomon Islanders and Ni- Vanuatu (New Hebrideans) were trained. This school had replaced the one at Norfolk Island. The headmaster at that time was Charles Fox and he was very interested in his ideas and encouraged six of his schoolboys (some of whom were already grown men) to join him. Later he himself joined and was the only white man to become a Melanesian Brother, although others have worked with the Brotherhood at different times or been associated with it as Fathers or Chaplains or Companions. Charles Fox was a Brother for eleven years and was the only Brother who was a priest, although Ini Kopuria himself was later ordained deacon. Fox was also the only European working under a Melanesian at that time, as Ini was his superior, and he took orders from him. He established a proper training for the Novices and advised them also on their worship and spiritual life, but control was in the hands of the Melanesian leaders, under the general direction of the Bishop, with whom they had an annual meeting.
“Later, Ini became concerned that most of their support was coming from the Diocese, which derived its income largely from overseas. He therefore expressed his wish to Charles Fox that the Melanesian members of the Church should become the main supporters of the work, so that they could become involved with the work of the Brotherhood through prayer and giving, and also see it as their own agency of evangelisation, and not that of the ‘Mission.’ Together they worked out a scheme for Companions of the Brotherhood, men and women and young people, who would form groups in villages and schools, who would pray daily for the Brothers, who would receive and help the Brothers when they worked in or passed through their districts, and who would have annual collections in money or kind for the work of the Brothers and their own group of companions. They also hoped that by forming such groups in areas where the Brothers had worked, the Companions would continue to carry out some of the work the Brothers had started when the Brothers themselves were withdrawn or moved on to another place. The principle followed by the Brotherhood was that they were to be the spearhead of the evangelistic work of the church and not normally be used for ordinary pastoral work or teaching. They were to prepare the way for catechist-teachers and priests who would follow up the work. However, in many places there were not enough of these workers to follow up what the Brothers had done, and people who wanted to become Christians sometimes had to join other churches, especially in Malaita.
“Through their work, as it spread out all over the Diocese, the Brothers challenged the established structures and forced a review of priorities, not so much through what they said but through what they did. Their sense of dedication and devotion and their simplicity of approach, living with the people and supporting themselves with the work of their own hands (or accepting whatever the people would give them), made their influence among village people very strong. Their reputation for courage in the face of opposition (whether of spiritual demonic forces or of physical threats of violence) and also for performing miracles, established them rapidly as the spearhead of the Church’s work in the bush villages. Their influence was greatly strengthened when the Companions were established and recruits began to flow in, so that at one time before the Second World War their numbers reached nearly 200.”

June 7

Wallabonsus, deacon and martyr of Córdoba in Spain, with companions, put to death in 851 for publicly rebuking Mohammed.

Five Spanish martyrs—Wallabonsus, Peter, Sabinian, Wistremundus, Habentius, and Jeremias— were killed in Córdoba at the order of Emir Abd al-Rahman II for preaching against Mohammed. Jeremias was scourged to death, and the others were beheaded.

June 9

Vincent of Agen, deacon and martyr, tortured and beheaded at Agen in Gascony (southwestern France) for having disturbed a feast of the Gallic druids, in 292.

Ephrem the Syrian (or Ephrem of Edessa), deacon, theologian, and hymn writer, died of plague on 9 June 373 (celebrated June 10 in the Episcopal Church).
Ephrem is venerated as a saint by Christians throughout the world, and especially among Syriac Christians. He wrote a wide variety of hymns, poems, and homilies in verse, as well as prose biblical commentaries. These were works of practical theology for the edification of the church in troubled times. So popular were his works that, for centuries after his death, Christian authors wrote hundreds of pseudepigraphous works in his name. Ephrem’s works witness to an early, vibrant expression of Christian faith, little touched by the European modes of thought, and more engaged with eastern methods of discourse.
Ephrem was born around the year 306 in the city of Nisibis (now Nusaybin, in the extreme southeast of Turkey, on the border with Syria). Internal evidence from Ephrem’s hymnody suggests that both his parents were part of the growing Christian community in the city, although later hagiographers wrote that his father was a pagan priest. Numerous languages were spoken in the Nisibis of Ephrem’s day, mostly dialects of Aramaic. The Christian community used the Syriac dialect. Various pagan religions, Judaism, and early Christian sects vied with one another for the hearts and minds of the populace. It was a time of great religious and political tension. The Roman Emperor Diocletian (reigned 284-305) had signed a treaty with his Persian counterpart Nerses in 298 that transferred Nisibis into Roman hands. The savage persecution and martyrdom of Christians under Diocletian were an important part of Nisibene church heritage as Ephrem grew up.
Jacob, the first bishop of Nisibis, was appointed in 308, and Ephrem grew up under his leadership of the community. Jacob of Nisibis is recorded as a signatory at the Council of Nicaea in 325. Ephrem was baptized as a youth and almost certainly became a son of the covenant, an unusual form of Syrian proto-monasticism. Jacob appointed Ephrem as a teacher (Syriac malp̄ānâ, a title that still carries great respect for Syriac Christians). He was ordained as a deacon either at his baptism or later. In his poems Ephrem refers to himself as a “herdsman” (‘alana), a member of the shepherd-bishop’s pastoral staff. At the end of his Hymns Against the Heresies Ephrem wrote of himself, saying:
O Lord, may the works of your herdsman (‘alana) not be negated.
I will not then have troubled your sheep,
but as far as I was able,
I will have kept the wolves away from them,
and I will have built,
as far as I was capable,
enclosures of teaching-hymns (madrāšê)
for the lambs of your flock.
I will have made a disciple
of the simple and unlearned man,
and I will have given him a strong hold
on the herdsmen’s (‘alone) staff,
the healers’ medicine,
and the disputants’ armour.

This is all that Ephrem tells us about his role in the church. It is probable that he was a deacon, but there is no early Syriac text that identifies him as such. The word ‘alana translated as “herdsman” is difficult to define precisely. Most often it is interpreted in relation to the Greek tradition simply as meaning deacon. But the normal Syriac word for deacon is mshamshono. The term ‘alana is often used to denote a disciple in relation to his master. In this instance the term expresses Ephrem’s relationship to God, which is the same relationship of Ephrem to his bishop. What inspired the Syriac writers to celebrate Ephrem as a teacher par excellence was the fame of his teaching and the holiness of his life. The same also led the hagiographers in the Greek- speaking world, and those under their influence, to fashion the image of Ephrem Byzantinus.

Constantine I (emperor 306-337), who had legalized and promoted the practice of Christianity in the Roman Empire, died in 337. Seizing on this opportunity, Shapur II of Persia began a series of attacks into Roman North Mesopotamia. Nisibis was besieged in 338, 346, and 350. During the first siege, Ephrem credits Bishop Jacob as defending the city with his prayers. Ephrem’s beloved bishop died soon after the event, and Babu, who succeeded Jacob as bishop, led the church through the turbulent times of border skirmishes. In the third siege, of 350, Shapur rerouted the river Mygdonius to undermine the walls of Nisibis. The Nisibenes quickly repaired the walls while the Persian elephant cavalry became bogged down in the wet ground. Ephrem celebrated what he saw as the miraculous salvation of the city in a hymn which portrayed Nisibis as being like Noah’s Ark, floating to safety on the flood.
One important physical link to Ephrem’s lifetime is the baptistry of Nisibis. The inscription tells that it was constructed under Bishop Vologeses in 359. That was the year that Shapur began to harry the region once again. The cities around Nisibis were destroyed one by one, and their citizens killed or deported. The Roman Empire was preoccupied in the west, and Constantius II (emperor 337-361) and Julian the Apostate (emperor 360-363) struggled for overall control. Eventually, with Constantius dead, Julian began his march into Mesopotamia. He brought with him his increasingly stringent persecutions of Christians. Julian began a foolhardy march against the Persian capital, Ctesiphon, where, overstretched and outnumbered, he was forced into an immediate retreat back along the same road. Julian was killed defending his retreat, and the army elected Jovian as the new emperor (reigned 363-364).
Unlike his predecessor, Jovian was a Nicene Christian. He was forced by circumstances to ask for terms from Shapur and conceded Nisibis to Persia, with the provision that the city’s Christian community would leave. Bishop Abraham, the successor to Vologeses, led his people into exile. Ephrem found himself among a large group of refugees that fled west, first to Amida (Diyarbakır), and eventually settling in Edessa (now Urfa in Turkey) in 363. Ephrem, in his late fifties, applied himself to ministry in his new church, and seems to have continued his work as a teacher, perhaps in the School of Edessa.
Edessa had always been at the heart of the Syriac-speaking world, and the city was full of rival philosophies and religions. Ephrem comments that orthodox Nicene Christians were simply called “Palutians” in Edessa, after a former bishop. Arians, Marcionites, Manichees, Bardaisanites, and various Gnostic sects proclaimed themselves as the true church. In this confusion, Ephrem wrote a great number of hymns defending Nicene orthodoxy. A later Syriac writer, Jacob of Serugh, wrote that Ephrem rehearsed all-women choirs to sing his hymns set to Syriac folk tunes in the forum of Edessa. After a ten-year residency in Edessa, in his sixties, Ephrem succumbed to the plague as he ministered to its victims. The most reliable date for his death is 9 June 373.
Ephrem began to compose hymns and write biblical commentaries as part of his educational office. He is popularly credited as the founder of the School of Nisibis, which in later centuries was the center of learning of the church of the East. Over four hundred hymns composed by Ephrem still exist. Granted that some have been lost, Ephrem’s productivity is not in doubt. The church historian Sozomen credits Ephrem with having written over three million lines. Ephrem combines in his writing a threefold heritage: he draws on the models and methods of early Rabbinic Judaism, he engages skillfully with Greek science and philosophy, and he delights in the Mesopotamian-Persian tradition of mystery symbolism.
The most important of his works are his lyric, teaching hymns (madrāšê). These hymns are full of rich, poetic imagery drawn from biblical sources, folk tradition, and other religions and philosophies. The madrāšê are written in stanzas of syllabic verse, and employ over fifty different metrical schemes. Each madrāšâ had its qālâ, a traditional tune identified by its opening line. All of these qālê are now lost. Bardaisan and Mani had composed madrāšê, and Ephrem felt that the medium was a suitable tool to use against their claims.
The madrāšê are gathered into various hymn cycles. Each group has a title—Carmina Nisibena, On Faith, On Paradise, On Virginity, Against Heresies—but some of these titles do not do justice to the entirety of the collection (for instance, only the first half of the Carmina Nisibena is about Nisibis). Each madrāšâ usually had a refrain (‘ûnîṯâ), which was repeated after each stanza. Later writers have suggested that the madrāšê were sung by all-women choirs with an accompanying lyre.
Particularly influential were his Hymns Against Heresies. Ephrem used these to warn his flock of the heresies which threatened to divide the early church. He lamented that the faithful were “tossed to and fro and carried around with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness and deceitful wiles.” He devised hymns laden with doctrinal details to inoculate right-thinking Christians against heresies such as docetism. The Hymns Against Heresies employ colorful metaphors to describe the incarnation of Christ as fully human and fully divine. Ephrem asserts that Christ’s unity of humanity and divinity represents peace, perfection, and salvation; in contrast, docetism and other heresies sought to divide or reduce Christ’s nature, and in doing so would rend and devalue Christ’s followers with their false teachings.
Ephrem also wrote verse homilies (mêmrê). These sermons in poetry are far fewer in number than the madrāšê. The mêmrê are written in a heptosyllabic couplets (pairs of lines of seven syllables each).
The third category of Ephrem’s writings is his prose work. He wrote biblical commentaries on the Diatessaron (the single gospel harmony of the early Syriac church), on Genesis and Exodus, and on the Acts of the Apostles and Pauline epistles. He also wrote refutations against Bardaisan, Mani, Marcion, and others. Ephrem wrote exclusively in the Syriac language, but translations of his writings exist in Armenian, Coptic, Georgian, Greek, and other languages. Some of his works are only extant in translation (particularly in Armenian).mSyriac churches still use many of Ephrem’s hymns as part of the annual cycle of worship. Most of these liturgical hymns are edited and conflated versions of the originals. The most complete, critical text of authentic Ephrem was compiled between 1955 and 1979 by Dom Edmund Beck, OSB, as part of the Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium. There are several collections in English, including translations by Sebastian Brock and Kathleen E. McVey.

June 11

Katherine Gilmore, deaconess in New York City and New England, died 11 June 1942.
Katherine Gilmore was educated at the Geneseo Seminary in Illinois and was set apart as a deaconess by Bishop David Greer of New York in 1905 at the Chapel of the Church Missionary House located at Fourth Avenue (Lexington Ave.) and 22nd Street in New York City, where she served for three years. She later served the congregation of St. John’s in the Rosebank/Clifton section of Staten Island. In 1910 she was employed as the housemother and superintendent of “The Shelter for Respectable Girls” in New York City, a temporary home for young women looking for work in the city. In the twenties, Gilmore moved to Rhode Island, and by 1932 she was in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Like many deaconesses before and after her, Gilmore was reduced to genteel poverty in her old age. [research of Deacon Geri Swanson]

June 13

Brooke Bushong, deacon of the diocese of New York, died 13 June 2009.
Born in Maryland on 21 May 1941, Ann Brooke Bushong attended the University of Maryland before moving on to a multi-faceted career with the Church Army, Samaritan Village, Covenant House, and other non-profit groups, settling in the Brooklyn Heights area of New York City. Brooke was an accomplished liturgist and assisted Howard Galley with his work on rites and liturgy. Brooke was a founder of the AIDS Memorial at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and instituted a monthly eucharistic celebration that still continues. She was ordained deacon in the diocese of New York on 4 June 1994 and served the congregations of St. Ann’s in Brooklyn Heights and, from 1996 until her death, St. Clement’s in Hell’s Kitchen, in whose columbarium her ashes rest. A bit of a curmudgeon, at St. Clement’s she was known as the “Princess Deacon.” She not only served at the altar but also held court at coffee hour and on the days when she served as receptionist, greeter, and screener for the rector.

June 14

Anastasius, deacon and martyr of Córdoba, Spain, beheaded in 853.
A deacon of the church of Saint Acisclus in Córdoba, Anastasius became a Benedictine monk at the double monastery of Tábanos nearby. He was beheaded by order of the caliph with the monk Felix and the nun Digna at Córdoba.

June 16

Ferrutio, deacon and martyr, with his brother the presbyter Ferreolus, natives of Asia Minor, killed at Vesontio in Gaul about 212.
The brothers were sent by Irenaeus of Lyons (who had ordained them) to evangelize the country around Vesontio (present-day Besançon in Franche-Comté), where they worked for thirty years. They were tortured and beheaded during the persecution of Severus. According to Gregory of Tours in the sixth century, their relics cured Gregory’s brother-in-law of distemper. The relics are still treasured in the cathedral of Besançon.
Colman McRoi, deacon, disciple of Columba of Iona (Colum Cille), and founder and abbot of an abbey at Reachrain, now Lambay Island, Dublin, died sixth century.

June 17

James Eugene Upton, archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma on 17 June 2007.
Born 9 June 1950 in Kansas City, Missouri, Jim Upton was a longtime educator and taught special needs students. He was ordained deacon on All Saints Day 1984, named archdeacon in April 1994 by Bishop William Smalley, and retained that post under Bishop Dean Wolfe. His extensive service to the diocese included five years as director of the Kansas School of Ministry. He was the deacon at St. Christopher’s and St. Alban’s in Wichita and St. Matthew’s in Newton, Kansas.

June 18

Sarah Shrewder Tracy, former archdeacon of the Episcopal diocese of Northern Indiana and a leader in the revival of the diaconate, died of a stroke on 18 June 2009.
Born 4 January 1932 in Idaho, she was ordained deacon by the bishop of Idaho on 16 November 1984. Meanwhile, she and her husband Paul, a priest, had moved to Northern Indiana, where she served as deacon at St. James Cathedral in South Bend and other nearby churches. From 1989 to 1995 she served as archdeacon of the diocese, in charge of the deacons. She was the founder of St. Margaret’s House for women and children. She was president of the North American Association for the Diaconate in 1993-1995. She and Paul were in New York City preparing for a cruise to Scandinavia when she suffered a stroke; they returned to South Bend by air ambulance, where she died a few days later.
In appearance, Sarah seemed the very model of everybody’s grandmother, the embodiment of affection and sweet disposition. This picture was incomplete. She liked to confront bishops and make them squirm. At a national meeting of deacons in 1987, she told off the then-Presiding Bishop, Edmond Browning, who had made the mistake of bragging about transitional deacons. Sarah rose and countered: “The deacon, the honest-to-God deacon, is trained to be a deacon. The transitional deacon is trained to be a priest, and they are giving diakonia a bad name.” Poor Ed Browning was not used to being contradicted. Sarah also gave sharp advice to her own bishops, on more than one occasion. In reality, Sarah was an honest-to-God deacon, gentle when gentleness was called for, earthy in language and blunt when she needed to get someone’s attention.

June 19

Culmatius, deacon and martyr, with his bishop Gaudentius, layman Andreas and his wife and children, and 53 companions, killed for their catholic faith by the Arians in Arretium (now Arezzo in Tuscany), during the reign of Valentinian I (emperor 364-375), in 364.

June 20

Demetrian, deacon and martyr, with presbyter Aristocleus and reader Athanasius, beheaded at Salamis in Cyprus in 306.
Aristocleus, a native of the Cypriot city of Tamasa, served in the local church during the persecution under Maximian Galerius (emperor 305-311). He became terrified of the tortures, left the city, and hid in a mountain cave. Once during prayer a light shone on him, and he heard a command from the Lord to return to the island of Cyprus and suffer for Christ. Aristocleus obediently set out to return, and on the way he visited the church of the apostle Barnabas, where he met Demetrian and Athanasius. He told them of his vision, and Demetrian and Athanasius decided to endure martyrdom with him. Arriving in the city of Salamis, all three began to preach to the people about Jesus Christ and denounced idol worship. The pagans arrested them, and the governor, seeing that they were steadfast in their faith, gave orders to behead Aristocleus and to burn Demetrian and Athanasius. Because in the fire they remained unharmed, they were beheaded by sword.

June 27

Arialdus, also called Arialdo, deacon and martyr, persecuted and killed by allies of the archbishop of Milan on 27 June 1066.
A noble of the Alciati family, born in Cutiacum (now Cucciago, near Como in northern Italy), Arialdus studied at Laon and Paris before becoming a canon. He was leader of the patari, a popular reform movement, whose members assembled in the Pataria or ragmen’s quarter of Milan (pates being a dialectal word for “rags”). He preached against the abuses of the clergy and was excommunicated by Archbishop Guido but reinstated by Pope Stephen IX. Arialdus procured the excommunication of Guido for simony and immorality, but Guido ignored the decree. Guido’s allies tortured and killed Arialdus and threw his body into Lake Maggiore. The body was recovered ten months later, uncorrupt and sweet smelling, and carried to the cathedral in Milan, where it remained on public display before being buried in the cathedral. In 1067 Pope Alexander II declared Arialdus a martyr.