Question for John Gecik : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

Hello John,

I was just wondering if there are any saints whose feast day is on 29th February. If this were the case would we only celebrate their day every four years, or would their day be transferred to 28th February or 1st March?

Since you're the forum saints expert I could think of nobody better to ask!

Thank you

God bless


-- Sara (, February 28, 2004


Bumping to 'Recent Answers'

-- Sara (, February 28, 2004.

According to the saint calender that I see there are no feast days on 29 Feburary.

-- Scott (, February 28, 2004.

Hi Sara, I hope John answers your question for I too, am curious about this. I believe that in the past during leap years, beginning on February 24, it has been common practice in many parts of the world to extend the feast day of a saint to one day later. For example, St. Romanus, whose feast day is on February 28, would have his feast day celebrated on on February 29 during leap year. I am not quite sure if this tradition originated in the Vatican and is worldwide "Church" practice, or if it is something that has sprung up over the centuries on local levels. The practice seems to be widespread. Of course if this is the case, it then begs the question, who celebrates their feast day on February 24, during a leap year? :)

-- Ed (, February 29, 2004.

Just discovered a saint whose feast day really is February 29 - St. Oswald. He actually died on February 29 (the date of death is commonly the date chosen as the feast day for a saint). In normal years his feast day is celebrated on February 28.

St. Oswald pray for us!

-- Ed (, February 29, 2004.

While we wait for John's answer we can keep discovering other Saints that died of Febr. 29. Look at what I found:

In Leap Year the Twenty-ninth Day of February)

At Florence, Blessed Villana (de'Botti), widow, who joined the Order of St. Dominic. She became noted for her love of the Crucified Saviour, for her admirable patience, self-denial, contempt of worldly things, and for other virtues. A semi-duplex feast.

At Rome, the birthday of the holy martyrs Macarius, Rufinus, Justus, and Theophilus.

At Alexandria, the Suffering of SS. Caerealis, Pupulus, Caius, and Serapion.

Likewise the Commemoration of the holy priests, deacons, and many others in the time of the Emperor Valerian. A most deadly pestilence was raging, but they willingly met their death while ministering to the sick. The religious faith of pious persons has honored them as martyrs.

At Rome, St. Hilary, pope and confessor.

In the territory of Lyons in the Jura Mountains, the death of St. Romanus, abbot. He first led an eremitical life there, and afterward, being renowned for many miracles and virtues, was the spiritual father of many monks.

At Pavia, the transferal of the body of St. Augustine, bishop, confessor and Doctor of the Church. Through the care of Luitprand, King of the Lombards, it was removed from the island of Sardinia (to Pavia).

-- Enrique Ortiz (, February 29, 2004.

We must take into consideration St, John Cassiani as well.


-- Enrique Ortiz (, February 29, 2004.

C'mon John! You are the best in this category. And I have a friend born on this day, struggling to grow in his faith, who needs a rundown of all the saints actually associated with leap day.


-- Pat Delaney (, February 29, 2004.

Thanks for your very informative responses Ed and Enrique. Interesting reading!

God bless


-- Sara (, February 29, 2004.


Hello, Sara.
You have asked a surprisingly complicated question -- one that I had not really considered before. Unlike every other day on the calendar, February 29 is one for which I never started a "saints-of-the-day" thread. The reason I did not start one is this ...

Of the many sites related to saints and blesseds that I have used (including four major ones), there are three that have calendar-day-by-calendar-day lists, and none of those three showed anything for February 29. However, the appearance (above) of several good helpers' contributions for saints of "leap-year-day" has made me delve into this a little more carefully. Here is what I found:

There appear to be two men to whom February 29 at least informally assigned as a day of commemoration, because it is their "birthday into heaven" -- their day of death. However, in each case, there is an alternate commemoration date for non-leap years:
1. Blessed August Chapdelaine (named on a Spanish-language page at Vatican Radio's site as today's saint [here]) was martyred on Feb. 29, 1856 in China. He is on this forum's thread for Feb. 27, though, because that date of "memorial" is given here.
2. St. Oswald of (Worcester and) York died on Feb. 29 in the year 992, according to this and other sites. He is on this forum's thread for Feb. 28, though, because that date of memorial is given here and elsewhere.

Almost all the people mentioned for Feb. 29 by Enrique Ortiz are mentioned, at multiple sites, as having their day of memorial on Feb. 28. That is why almost all of them are on this forum's thread for the 28th. I'll mention a couple of exceptions:
(a) Blessed Villana de'Botti seems to be commemorated in some places on Feb. 28, but in other places on her date of death, Jan. 29 (as shown here. She is on this forum's thread for Jan. 29.
(b) St. John Cassian. This early saint is associated with Feb. 29 (alternating to March 1) mainly at Eastern Christian sites. The Latin Catholic day of memorial (reflected on a page at this forum) is July 23, as shown here. He is on this forum's thread for Jul. 23.

Thank you, Sara, for helping me to learn something interesting today!
St. Oswald and Bl. Augustus, pray for us.

-- J. F. Gecik (, February 29, 2004.

Thank-you for your terrific post John. As always, it's full of fascinating information!

God bless

-- Sara (, February 29, 2004.

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