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Saint John “of the Grating”

Faithful Monk and Bishop


© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro | CC BY-SA 4.0

Bishop (1098-1163)

His life

+ John was born in Brittany and became a Cistercian monk at the abbey of Clairvaux, professing his monastic vows to the great Saint Bernard.

+ Serving as abbot in the monastery of Guingamp, France, he later founded and served as abbot of abbeys in Buzay and Bégard. He was known as fair and just abbot.

+ In 1144, he was named as bishop of Aleth (modern-day Saint-Servan) and served in that post until his death in 1163.

+ The name by which is he is known—de Craticula (“of the Grating”)—is named for the metal railings that surround his shrine. Devotion to Saint John “of the Grating” was confirmed in 1517.

Spiritual bonus

On February 1, the Church remembers Saint Brigid of Kildare. Honored for her dedication to the poor and needy, she founded a monastery in Cil-Dara (Kildare) and established other monasteries in other parts of Ireland and came to hold great influence within the early Christian community in Ireland. She died in 523 and is honored with Saints Patrick and Columba as a patron saint of Ireland.

For reflection

“Faith, hope, charity, and others of that class are wholly good; it cannot be wrong to command, or to practice them, nor right to forbid them, or to neglect the practice of them.”—Saint Bernard of Clairvaux


Almighty ever-living God, who chose blessed John to preside as Bishop over your holy people, we pray that, by his merits, you may bestow on us the grace of your loving kindness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors—For a Bishop)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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