Saint of the Day - January
Jan · Feb · Mar · Apr · May · Jun · Jul · Aug · Sep · Oct · Nov · Dec
January 1 - Theotokos
Blessed Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God! “Brothers and sisters: When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. As proof that you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then also an heir, through God.” Galatians 4:4-7
Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!
January 2 - Sts. Basil & Gregory
Blessed Memorial of Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianen! “Of the dogmas and messages preserved in the Church, some we possess from written teaching and others we receive from the Tradition of the apostles, handed on to us in mystery. In respect to piety, both are of the same force. No one will contradict any of these, no one, at any rate, who is even moderately versed in matters ecclesiastical. Indeed, were we to try to reject unwritten customs as having no great authority, we would unwittingly injure the gospel in its vitals; or rather, we would reduce the Christian message to a mere term.? – St. Basil the Great ?God accepts our desires as though they were of great value. He longs ardently for us to desire and love him. He accepts our petitions for benefits as though we were doing him a favor. His joy in giving is greater than ours in receiving. So let us not be apathetic in our asking, nor set too narrow bounds to our requests; nor ask for frivolous things unworthy of God’s greatness.”
St. Gregory Nazianen Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianen, pray for us!
January 3 - St. Genevieve
Blessed Feast of St. Genevieve! St. Genevieve was born circa 422 in a small village near Paris. At the age of seven, St. Germanus of Auxerre prophesied her future sanctity. She took a vow of virginity at a very young age and began religious life at the age of 17. St. Genevieve prophesied invasions and disasters for Paris. She could read consciences and calmed the possessed. Before Paris was invaded, St. Genevieve encouraged its defense, organized prayers for God?s protection of the city and gathered food for the hungry. She led a successful cause to build a church around the tomb of St. Denis. St. Genevieve died in Paris circa 500. In 1129, a procession of her relics through Paris is believed to have ended an epidemic. (Source: EWTN)
St. Genevieve, pray for us!
January 4- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Blessed Memorial of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton!
“I will go peaceably and firmly to the Catholic Church for if Faith is so important to our salvation, I will seek it where the true Faith first began, seek it among those who received it from God himself.”
“God is everywhere, in the very air I breathe, yes everywhere, but in His Sacrament of the Altar He is as present actually and really as my soul within my body; in His Sacrifice daily offered as really as once offered on the Cross.”
“The heart preparing to receive the Holy Eucharist should be like a crystal vase.”
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!
January 5- St. John Neumann
Blessed Memorial of St. John Neumann!
St. John Neumann was born in modern-day Czech Republic on March 28, 1811 and studied theology in the seminary of Budweis. He soon came to the United States with the intent of becoming a missionary. Neumann was ordained in 1836 by Bishop John Dubois of New York and he soon began ministering to the people near Niagara Falls. Desiring to live in a missionary community, he entered the Redemptorists six years later.
A tireless missionary, Neumann busied himself specifically with German immigrants, first in Baltimore, then in Pittsburgh. He was vice-provincial superior of the Redemptorists 1846-49 then became the pastor of St. Alphonsus Church in Baltimore. In 1852, at the age of 41, he was named Bishop of Philadelphia. Neumann established Catholic schools across the eastern U.S. and promoted devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. In just seven years, he built 89 churches, as well as several hospitals and orphanages. He founded a new religious institute – the Third Order of St. Francis of Glen Riddle.
On January 5, 1860, at the age of 49, he died suddenly of a heart attack on a Philadelphia street. Neumann was beatified during the Second Vatican Council on October 13, 1963, and was canonized on June 19, 1977. In the homily on the occasion of Neumann’s canonization, Pope Paul VI summarized the new saint: “He was close to the sick, he loved to be with the poor, he was a friend of sinners, and now he is the glory of all emigrants.” St. John Neumann is invoked as a patron of sick children and of immigrants. The National Shrine of St. John Neumann is in Philadelphia. (Source: Redemptorists of the Baltimore Province)
St. John Neumann, pray for us!
January 6-Holy Magi/St. Andre Bessette
Blessed Feast of the Epiphany!
A reading from the Gospel according to St. Matthew: When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.” Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.” After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.
– Matthew 2:1-12
Holy Magi, pray for us!
Blessed Feast of St. Andre Bessette!
St. Andre was born Alfred Bessette in Quebec, 1845, and orphaned by the time he was 12. With little formal education, he became a Holy Cross brother and assigned as doorkeeper at Notre Dame College in Montreal. It was in this role as a porter that St. Andre was able to minister to the sick for nearly 40 years. He prayed with them to God through the intercession of St. Joseph. Hundreds credit their healing to St. Andre’s prayers. St. Andre began building St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal to honor his patron. By the 1920s, the Oratory hosted more than a million pilgrims annually and hundreds of cures were attributed to his prayers every year.
St. Andre Bessette died in Montreal on January 6, 1937. It is estimated that more than a million people attended his wake and funeral. He was beatified in May 1982 and canonized in October 2010 — becoming the Congregation of Holy Cross’ first saint. The Order observes his feast on January 7 because the Vatican and many nations observe the Epiphany on January 6. (Source: Congregation of the Holy Cross)
St. Andre Bessette, pray for us!
January 7-St. Raymond of Peñafort
Blessed Feast of St. Raymond of Peñafort!
“May the God of love and peace set your hearts at rest and speed you on your journey; may he meanwhile shelter you from disturbance by others in the hidden recesses of his love, until he brings you at last into that place of complete plenitude where you will repose for ever in the vision of peace, in the security of trust, and in the restful enjoyment of his riches.”
“Look then on Jesus, the author and preserver of faith: in complete sinlessness He suffered, and at the hands of those who were His own, and was numbered among the wicked. As you drink the cup of the Lord Jesus (how glorious it is!), give thanks to the Lord, the giver of all blessings.”
St. Raymond of Peñafort, pray for us!
January 8- St. Severinus
Blessed Feast of St. Severinus of Noricum!
St. Severinus, not to be confused with the later Pope Severinus, was born circa 410 in either southern Italy or northern Africa. He preached to Germanic barbarians in Austria, fed the hungry, released slaves, estalished monasteries and clinics. St. Severinus predicted a Hun invasion and a king’s rise to power. He practiced great austerity, sleeping on sackcloth and fasting severely. St. Severinus died in his cell while singing Psalm 150. His remains are interred in the Abbey of San Severino near Naples. (Source: The Penguin Dictionary of Saints)
St. Severinus, pray for us!
January 9-St. Adrian of Canterbury
Blessed Feast of St. Adrian of Canterbury!
St. Adrian was born in Libya and entered a monastery on a Mediterranean island. It was there that he became acquainted with the Emperor Constans II and later with Pope Vitalian. Adrian became a valuable advisor to the pontiff and, three years later, was offered the position of Archbishop of Canterbury. He declined the papal appointment, but did accept the position as abbot of St. Augustine’s Abbey in Canterbury. He established a flourishing monastic school, where many future bishops and abbots were educated in Latin, Greek, scripture, theology, law, math, and science. St. Adrain died on January 9, 710, at Canterbury. (Source: Catholic News Agency)
St. Adrian of Canterbury, pray for us!
January 10-St. William the Confessor
Blessed Feast of St. William the Confessor!
St. William the Confessor was born as William Berruyer in 1155, central France. Desiring to live an austere life, he joined the Cistercians and eventually became an abbot. St. William was appointed Archbishop of Bourges in 1200 and was reluctant to accept the See. Only after the command of the general of his Order did William accept the office. He practiced great mortification by wearing a hair shirt and abstaining from meat. St. William died in 1209 while kneeling prayer. At his request, he was buried wearing his hair shirt and surrounded by ashes. (Source: Lives of the Saints)
St. William, pray for us!
January 11-Pope St. Hyginus
Blessed Feast of Pope St. Hyginus!
St. Hyginus was a philosopher born in Athens and became the ninth Pope circa 138. He organized church hierarchy and established the order of ecclesiastical precedence among priests and deacons. Pope St. Hyginus died four years into his papacy and buried on the Vatican Hill near the tomb of St. Peter. (Source: Liber Pontificalis)
Pope St. Hyginus, pray for us!
January 12-St. Aelred
Blessed Feast of St. Aelred!
St. Aelred served in the court of King David I of Scotland and later joined a Cisterican abbey at the age of 24. As an monk and eventual abbot, he became a noteworthy author with several books about spirituality and several more about history. Three of his books were addressed to Henry II of the England a guides to be a good king. St. Aelred also wrote a biography of St. Edward the Confessor and was a contemporary to St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Hsuffered greatly from kidney stones and arthritis, living in an infirmary for months until his death on January 12, 1167. (Source: Lives of the Saints)
St. Aelred, pray for us!
January 13-St. Hilary of Poitiers
Blessed Feast of St. Hilary of Poitiers!
“To those who wish to stand in God’s grace, neither the guardianship of saints nor the defenses of angels are wanting.”
“For Christ teaches that only those who become again as it were little children, and by the simplicity of that age cut off the inordinate affections of vice, can enter the kingdom of heaven. These follow and obey their father, love their mother; are strangers to covetousness, ill-will, hatred, arrogance, and lying, and are inclined easily to believe what they hear. This disposition of affections opens the way to heaven. We must therefore return to the simplicity of little children, in which we shall bear some resemblance to our Lord’s humility.”
St. Hilary of Poitiers, pray for us!
January 14-St. Felix of Nola
Blessed Feast of St. Felix of Nola!
St. Felix was a priest and farmer near Naples in the Third Century. He sold most of his possessions and gave to the poor. St. Felix was ordained by, and subject to, bishop St. Maximus of Nola. Felix was arrested and tortured during persecutions by Roman Emperor Decius and freed from prison by an angel. One legend tells that Sts. Felix and Maximus were hiding from Roman soldiers and a spider quickly wove a web around the doorway to make the room appear abandoned. The soldiers passed by their room but never entered. St. Felix was elected to succeed St. Maximus but Felix declined. Some believe he was martyred but most say he survived, thus earning the title “confessor of the faith.” St. Felix died of old age on January 14 circa 250. A hundred years later, there lived another St. Felix of Nola whose feast day is celebrated November 15. (Source: Lives of the Saints)
St. Felix of Nola, pray for us!
January 15-St. Íte of Killeedy
Blessed Feast of St. Íte of Killeedy!
St. Íte was born circa 480 in Killeedy, southwest Ireland. Along with St. Brigid, she is regarded as one of the most popular Irish women in history. Also known as Ita, Ida or Ides, she was raised pagan and baptized with the name Deidre. St. Íte rejected a marriage proposal from a wealthy man to pursue a consecrated life. She started a convent, at the age of 16, in County Limerick along with her sister Fiona. The sisters started a boys’ school where they taught St. Brendan. As an adult, St. Brendan continued to visit St. Íte and sought her counsel. St. Íte practiced a life of great austerity before dying from cancer circa 570. (Source: The Saints: A Concise Biographical Dictionary)
St. Íte of Killeedy, pray for us!
January 16-Pope St. Marcellus I
Blessed Feast of Pope St. Marcellus I!
Pope St. Marcellus I was the 30th Pope; he began his papacy in 308 after a four-year period when the Chair of Peter was vacant. During those four years, in the Diocletian Persecution, many Christians lapsed and Pope St. Marcellus I forced many penances on the people. He divided the Church into 25 districts, or tituli. Pope St. Marcellus I was banished from Rome the next year and died shortly thereafter. His relics are interred under the altar of San Marcello al Corso in Rome. (Source: Liber Pontificalis)
Pope St. Marcellus I, pray for us!!
January 17-St. Anthony of Egypt
Blessed Feast of St. Anthony of Egypt!
St. Anthony was born to a wealthy family in southern Egypt circa 251. He was about 18 years old when his parents died; St. Anthony soon gave away his inheritance and went into a desert exile. He practiced great ascetism, became leader of the Desert Fathers and gained many followers. Legend tells of the extreme temptations he suffered in solitude and is often depicted surrounded by demons. St. Anthony wrote some of the oldest literature recorded in the Coptic language and is held as a great saint in the Coptic Church. He is regarded as a patron for those with skin diseases as he suffered from many sores and rashes. (Source: Butler’s Lives of the Saints)
St. Anthony of Egypt, pray for us!
January 18-St. Margaret of Hungary
Blessed Feast of St. Margaret of Hungary!
St. Margaret of Hungary was born in 1242, daughter of King Bela IV. She beecame a Dominican novice at the age of twelve and resided in a convent built on an island in the Danube. Although she was a princess among nuns, she objected to any special treatment and went out of her way to perform the most menial tasks to help the poor and sick. A life of extreme austerity lead to great fatigue and her ultimate death on January 18, 1271.
St. Margaret of Hungary, pray for us!
January 19-St. Wulfstan
Blessed Feast of St. Wulfstan!
St. Wulfstan was a Benedictine monk and Bishop of Worcester, England, 1062-1095. His uncle, the Archbishop of York, strongly influenced him in his vocation. St. Wulfstan was compassionate towards the poor and a strong opponent of slavery that was common at his time. French Normans conquered England and Wulfstan was the only English-born bishop to retain his diocese, all other bishops were replaced by Normans. He rebuilt Worcester Cathedral as well as many churches and abbeys after the invasion. Soon after St. Wulfstan’s death, a hagiography was written about him in English by his former chancellor Colma. He was canonized on May, 14 1203 by Pope Innocent III. St. Wulfstan is remembered for curing the sick daughter of King Harold and is also the patron of vegetarians. (Source: English and the Norman Conquest)
St. Wulfstan, pray for us!
January 20-Pope St. Fabian/St. Sebastian
Blessed Feast of Pope St. Fabian!
Legend tells that the Holy Spirit descended as a dove upon Pope St. Fabian and selected him as the 20th pope. He brought the remains of Pope St. Pontian and St. Hippolytus back to Rome, gave them a Christian burial, and reconciled a schism between their followers. Pope St. Fabian sent seven missionaries, including St. Denis, to modern-day France. He was martyred on January 20, 250, at the beginning of the Decian persecution. Pope St. Fabian was interred in the St. Sebastian Catacombs and the two saints share a feast day. (Source: Liber Pontificalis)
Pope St. Fabian, pray for us!
Blessed Feast of St. Sebastian!
St. Sebastian came from a wealthy family, was educated in Milan, and served as an officer in the Roman army. During the Diocletian persecuton, St. Sebastian brought supplies to Christian prisoners and comforted them. He also converted many soldiers to the faith and healed a woman by making the Sign of the Cross over her. St. Sebastian was tied to a tree and shot with arrows but he survived with the help of St. Irene. Once he regained health, St. Sebastian approached Diocletian and preached to him. St. Sebastian was promptly beaten to death. He is remembered as the patron of athletes and archers. (Source: Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints)
St. Sebastian, pray for us!
January 21-St. Agnes
Blessed Memorial of St. Agnes!
St. Agnes lived a short life in Rome during the last half of the third century. She was a beautiful teenager, about 13 years old, whom many men wanted to marry. Among those she refused, one reported her to the authorities for being a Christian. She was arrested and condemned to prostitution. There, one man lusted over St. Agnes and he was blinded. By her prayer, the man regained his vision. St. Agnes was condemned, executed and buried in a catacomb that eventually was named after her. Her cause of death is uncertain but many have been suggested: beheading, burning, strangling, etc. The daughter of Constantine built a basilica in honor of St. Agnes. (Source: American Catholic)
St. Agnes, pray for us!
January 22-St. Vincent of Saragossa
Blessed Feast of St. Vincent of Saragossa!
St. Vincent was a deacon and from the same Spanish village as St. Lawrence. He was arrested during the Diocletian persecution and tortured on a gridiron. St. Vincent was offered release if he burned Scripture, but he refused, and was martyred circa 304. Legend tells that ravens protected his body from vultures shortly after his death. St. Vincent was interred at a shrine in southwest Portugal, near the Atlantic coast, and ravens continued to guard his shrine for nearly a millenium. In 1173, King Afonso tranferred the remains to the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon where they remain today. (Source: Butler’s Lives of the Saints)
St. Vincent of Saragossa, pray for us!
January 23-St. Emerentiana
Blessed Feast of St. Emerentiana!
St. Emerentiana was a catechumen, virgin, martyr, and a close friend of St. Agnes. She was stoned to death, shortly after her friend’s death, and recognized as a martyr even though she was never baptized. The Roman minor basilica of St. Agnes Outside the Wall houses the remains of the namesake as well as St. Emerentiana. In art, she is usually depected as a young woman with stones in her lap, holding lilies or palms. (Source: New Advent)
St. Emerentiana, pray for us!
January 24-St. Francis de Sales
Blessed Memorial of St. Francis de Sales!
“Do not look forward to what might happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or he will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.”
“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew.”
“Do everything calmly and peacefully. Do as much as you can as well as you can. Strive to see God in all things without exception and consent to His will joyously. Do everything for God, uniting yourself to Him in word and deed. Walk very simply with the Cross of the Lord and be at peace with yourself.”
St. Francis de Sales, pray for us!
January 25-St. Paul
Blessed Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul!
A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians:
“I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.
Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother. In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie! Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; they only heard it said, “The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.”
– Galatians 1:11-24
St. Paul, pray for us!
January 26-Sts. Timothy & Titus
Blessed Memorial of Sts. Timothy & Titus!
“Paul, a slave of God and Apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith of God’s chosen ones and the recognition of religious truth, in the hope of eternal life that God, who does not lie, promised before time began, who indeed at the proper time revealed his word in the proclamation with which I was entrusted by the command of God our savior, to Titus, my true child in our common faith: grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior. For this reason I left you in Crete so that you might set right what remains to be done and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you.”
– Titus 1:1-5
Sts. Timothy & Titus, pray for us!
January 27-St. Angela Merici
Blessed Feast of St. Angela Merici!
“Disorder in society is the result of disorder in the family.”
“In the fulfillment of your duties, let your intentions be so pure that you reject from your actions any other motive than the glory of God and the salvation of souls.”
“A good tree, that is, a good heart as well as a soul on fire with charity, can do nothing but good and holy works.”
St. Angela Merici, pray for us!
January 28-St. Thomas Aquinas
Blessed Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas!
“He who does not embrace the teaching of the Church does not have the habit of faith.”
“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
“The celebration of Holy Mass is as valuable as the death of Jesus on the cross.”
“Concerning God, we cannot grasp what He is, but only what He is not, and how other beings stand in relation to Him.”
St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!
January 29-St. Aquilinus of Milan
Blessed Feast of St. Aquilinus of Milan!
St. Aquilinus was born in Würzburg, Germany, to a noble family and studied theology in Cologne, where he became a priest. He was appointed Bishop of Cologne but refused in order to become a wandering preacher. He traveled to Paris, where he miraculously cured many people from cholera. As a result, he was offered the bishopric of Paris, but this he also refused. He traveled to Pavia, Italy, and preached against many heretics such as Cathars, Manichaeans, and Arians. St. Aquilinus traveled to Milan, where, according to local tradition, he was stabbed in the neck by a dissident. His body was thrown into a drain, near the Porta Ticinese. His body was found and then buried in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, Milan. The Cappella di Sant’Aquilino is dedicated to him. (Source: Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints)
St. Aquilinus of Milan, pray for us!
January 30-St. Martina
Blessed Feast of St. Martina!
St. Martina was a Roman by birth and orphaned at a young age. She was arrested under Emperor Severus circa 226 for professing Christianity. St. Martina refused idolatry, was tortured and finally beheaded. Her remains are interred at the Crypt of St. Lucy and Martina in Rome. (Source: Martyrologium Romanum)
St. Martina, pray for us!
January 31-St. John Bosco
Blessed Memorial of St. John Bosco!
“Do you want our Lord to give you many graces? Visit him often. Do you want him to give you few graces? Visit him seldom. Visits to the Blessed Sacrament are powerful and indispensable means of overcoming the attacks of the devil. Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the devil will be powerless against you.”
“There must be no hostility in our minds, no contempt in our eyes, no insult on our lips. We must use mercy for the present and have hope for the future, as is fitting for true fathers who are eager for real correction and improvement.”
“It is easier to become angry than to restrain oneself, and to threaten a boy than to persuade him. Yes, indeed, it is more fitting to be persistent in punishing our own impatience and pride than to correct the boys. We must be firm but kind, and be patient with them.”
St. John Bosco, pray for us!
Saint of the Day - February
Jan · Feb · Mar · Apr · May · Jun · Jul · Aug · Sep · Oct · Nov · Dec
February 1 - St. Brigid
Blessed Feast of St. Brigid of Kildare!
St. Brigid was born out of wedlock circa 451; her father was a Celtic chieftain and her mother a Christian slave baptized by St. Patrick. While pregnant, St. Brigid’s mother was sold to another slave-owner with the agreement that her child would eventually return to the father. St. Brigid was likely baptized as an infant and raised in slavery before she returned to her father’s house at the age of 10. From her family’s wealth, she gave generously to the poor. St. Brigid’s compassion angered her father and he threatened to sell her into slavery again. Instead, St. Brigid was granted freedom. Seeking a consecrated life, St. Brigid disfigured her face to deter suitors. She professed vows as a religious and, on that day, her scars were healed and beauty restored.
St. Brigid soon became an abbess and started a community with seven companions. She travelled throughout Ireland, establishing communities across the country. St. Brigid’s life as a nun was rooted in prayer but also involved heavy manual labor: making textiles, dairy farming, and raising sheep. St. Brigid directly influenced several other future saints of Ireland and her many religious communities helped to secure the country’s conversion from paganism to the Catholic faith. St. Brigid is recognized as one of Ireland’s patron saints along with St. Patrick and St. Columba. (Source: Catholic News Agency)
St. Brigid of Kildare, pray for us!
February 2 - Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Blessed Feast of the Presentation of the Lord!
A reading from the Gospel according to St. Luke:
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”
– Luke 2:22-32
Lord, have mercy on us!
February 3 - St. Blase
Blessed Feast of St. Blase!
St. Blase was an Armenian bishop in the late 200s and early 300s. Even though Christianity was legally permitted, Christians were still widely persecuted. St. Blase was forced into the countryside and lived as a hermit. He spent his days praying in a cave and communed with wild animals. A group of hunters stumbled upon St. Blase’s cave and found him praying with bears, wolves, and lions. The hunters arrested St. Blase and, en route to the prison, he healed a boy from choking on a fish bone. The governor tried to persuide St. Blase into pagan sacrfice, which he refused. St. Blase was beaten, hung from a tree, torn with iron rakes, and finally beheaded. (Source: American Catholic)
St. Blase, pray for us!
February 4 - St. Andrew Corsini
Blessed Feast of St. Andrew Corsini!
St. Andrew Corsini was a born in Florence on November 30, 1302, to a noble family. He became a Carmelite friar in his hometown and began a life of mortification. Corsini was eventually appointed Bishop of Fiesole, which he refused and went into hiding. However, he eventually accepted the office. For twelve years, he served as bishop, almoner, and papal legate. While celebrating Midnight Mass in 1373, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Corsini and told him that he would die on the Feast of the Epiphany. Her prediction was fulfilled when St. Andrew Corsini died January 6, 1374. So many miracles were reported after his death that Pope Eugene IV allowed immediate, public veneration of St. Andrew Corsini 76 years before his beatification. St. Andrew Corsini was eventually canonized on April 22, 1629.(Source: The Lives of the Saints)
St. Andrew Corsini, pray for us!
February 5 - St. Agatha
Blessed Memorial of St. Agatha!
St. Agatha was a young, Sicilian woman and victim of the Decian persecutions circa 251. At the age of 15, she refused marriage to a Roman prefect. St. Agatha was soon arrested and sent to a brothel and then to prison. She was tortured for her faith and had her breasts cut off. St. Agatha was sentenced to be burnt at the stake but an earthquake delayed her sentence. She was sent to prison where St. Peter appeared to her and healed her wounds. St. Agatha eventually died in prison from repeated torture. She is one of seven women to be remembered in the Canon of the Mass and is also patroness of breat cancer patients, rape victims, nurses and bakers. Her incorrupt body lies in a crypt on Malta. (Source: The Lives of the Saints)
St. Agatha, pray for us!
February 6 - St. Paul Miki and Companions
Blessed Memorial of St. Paul Miki and Companions!
“The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the doctrine of Christ. I thank God it is for this reason that I die. I believe that I am telling the truth before I die. I know you believe me and I want to say to you all once again: Ask Christ to help you become happy. I obey Christ. After Christ’s example, I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them. I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.”
“Like my Master I shall die upon the cross. Like Him, a lance will pierce my heart so that my blood and my love can flow out upon the land and sanctify it to His name.”
St. Paul Miki and Companions, pray for us!
February 7 - Blessed Pope Pius IX
Happy Feast of Blessed Pope Pius IX!
Pope Pius IX was born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti on May 13, 1792 and baptized that same day. He was the ninth child to a noble Italian family. As a theolofy student in 1814, the future pontiff met and became close a acquantiance with sitting Pope Pius VII. He entered the Papal Noble Guard the following year but was dismissed after an epileptic seizure. Giovanni was ordained priest in April of 1819. In 1827, at the age of 35, he was appointed Archbishop of Spoleto and consecrated as cardinal in 1480.
Blessed Pope Pius IX was elected as the 255th pope on June 16, 1846 and held the papacy for over 31 years as the longest-tenured pope in history. He defined the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and papal infallibility. In 1866, Pius IX opened the First Vatican Council to address the rising influences of rationalism, liberalism, and materialism. He conferred the Marian title of Our Mother of Perpetual Help and promoted veneration to that icon. Blessed Pope Pius IX was also the last pope to rule the Papal States which fell to Italian nationalist armies in 1870. Blessed Pope Pius IX died on February 7, 1878. (Source: “Pope Pius IX: The Man and The Myth”)
Blessed Pope Pius IX, pray for us!
February 8 - St. Jerome Emiliani
Blessed Feast of St. Jerome Emiliani!
“If then you remain constant in faith in the face of trial, the Lord will give you peace and rest for a time in this world, and forever in the next.”
“Our Goal is God, the source of all good. As we say in our prayer, we are to place our trust in God and in no one else. In his kindness, our Lord wished to strengthen your faith, for without it, as the evangelist points out, Christ could not have performed many of his miracles. He also wished to listen to your prayer, and so he ordained that you experience poverty, distress, abandonment, weariness and scorn.”
“God wishes to test you like gold in the furnace. The dross is consumed by the fire, but the pure gold remains and its value increases. It is in this manner than God acts with his good servant, who puts his hope in Him and remains unshaken in times of distress. God raises him up and, in return for the things he has left out of love for God, He repays him a hundredfold in this life and with eternal life hereafter.”
St. Jerome Emiliani, pray for us!
February 9 - St. Apollonia
Blessed Feast of St. Apollonia!
St. Apollonia, virgin and martyr, lived in Alexandria in the mid-200s. In a time of Christian persecution, she was tortured by having her teeth pulled and/or broken. St. Apollonia was given a choice: utter blasphemy or be burnt at the stake. She chose martyrdom and willingly jumped into the fire. St. Apollonia is the patroness of dentists and those with tooth problems. In art, she is portrayed holding tongs and a martyr’s palm. (Source: New Advent)
St. Apollonia, pray for us!
February 10 - St. Scholastica
Blessed Memorial of St. Scholastica!
St. Scholastica was born circa 480 in Nursia, Italy, the twin sister of St. Benedict. The two lived together until Benedict left to study in Rome. Benedict started a monastery and Scholastica a convent. As adults, once a year, she would visit her brother and they would spend a day in prayer and discussion. The last time they met, Scholastica felt her looming death. She wished to spend more time with her brother but he refused. Scholastica prayed and a storm prevented Benedict from returning to his monastery. Three days later, on February 10, 543, Benedict witnessed his sister’s soul ascending to heaven in the form of a shining dove. St. Scholastica is remembered as patron of nuns, epilepsy, and against storms. She is often portrayed with a crozier, crucifix and/or dove. (Source: “The Life of St. Scholastica”)
St. Scholastica, pray for us!
February 11 - Our Lady of Lourdes
Blessed Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes!
Consecration to Our Lady of Lourdes:
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Virgin Immaculate, you appeared 18 times to Bernadette at the grotto in Lourdes to remind Christians of what the truths in the Gospel require of them. You call them to prayer, penance, the Eucharist and the life of the church. To answer your call more fully, I dedicate myself, through you, to your Son Jesus. Make me willing to accept what he said. By the fervour of my faith, by the conduct of my life in all its aspects, by my devotion to the sick, let me work with you in the comforting of those who suffer and in the reconciliation of people that the church may be one and there be peace in the world. All this I ask, confident that you, Our Lady, will fully answer my prayer. Blessed be the Holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us! St. Bernadette, pray for us!
February 12 - St. Julian
Blessed Feast of St. Julian!
St. Julian the Hospitaller came from a wealthy, noble family in the early 4th century. Once, while hunting, he had a vision that he would murder his parents. At the same time, his parents made an unexpected visit to his home. Julian’s wife let his parents sleep in the best room and, when Julian returned, he saw the two figures in bed. Julian assumed it was his wife caught in adultery. In a jealous rage, Julian killed his mother and father. Julian was so horrified by his mistake that he swore to devote his life to good works.
He and his wife went on a pilgrimage to a distant country where he established a hospital. Here, he ministered to the sick and helped pilgrims on their journey. One night, thieves raided their hospital then killed Julian and his wife in bed — the same way Julian had killed his parents. St. Jualian is known as co-patron of travellers, along with St. Christopher and St. Raphael the Archangel. He is also patron of hunters, innkeepers, ferrymen, and circus performers. (Source: Catholic News Agency)
St. Julian, pray for us!
February 13 - St. Catherine de Ricci
Blessed Feast of St. Catherine de Ricci!
St. Catherine de Ricci was born in Florence on April 23, 1522. She was taught by Benedictine nuns including her aunt, Luisa de Ricci, the local abbess. In May, 1535, Catherine received the religious habit from her uncle, Friar Timoteo de Ricci, O.P., who was confessor to the convent of the Third Order of St. Dominic. During her noviate, St. Catherine experience many ecstasies to the point that she appeared asleep during community prayer, routinely dropped plates and food, so much so that the community began to question her competence. Eventually the other Sisters became aware of the spiritual basis for her behavior. By the age of 30 she had risen to the post of prioress. St. Catherine was a noted mystic and advisor to princes, bishops and cardinals. She frequently corresponded with St. Philip Neri, Pope Marcellus II, Pope Clement VIII, and Pope Leo XI. St. Catherine had a lifelong devotion to the Passion of Christ and bore the marks of stigmata. De Ricci wore an iron chain around her neck, practiced extreme fasting and other forms of penance for souls in Purgatory. She lived in the convent until her death in 1590 after a prolonged illness. Her remains are visible under the altar of the Minor Basilica of Santi Vicenzo e Caterina de’ Ricci in Tuscany. (Source: EWTN)
St. Catherine de Ricci, pray for us!
February 14 - Sts. Cyril & Methodius/St. Valentine
Blessed Memorial of Sts. Cyril & Methodius!
The two of seven brothers were born in Thessalonica during the early 800s. St. Methodius was eight years older than his brother and their father died when Cyril was 14. After ordination, in 1860, St. Cyril was a missionary to Arabia and and Kazakhstan. Two years later, Sts. Cyril and Methodius were sent as missionaries to central Europe.
The two evangelized to Slavic people and used the vernacular in the liturgy with papal approval. They translated the Sacred Scripture into the language later known as Old Church Slavonic (or Old Bulgarian) and invented a Slavic alphabet based on Greek characters. St. Methodius was appointed bishop to the Slavs after the death of St. Cyril.
Their feast is celebrated February 14 in the Ordrinary Form of the Roman Rite and July 7 in the Extraordinary Form. The Eastern Orthodox celebrates them on May 11 & 24, respectively. In 1980, Pope St. John Paul II declared them co-patron saints of Europe, together with St. Benedict of Nursia. (Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Sts. Cyril & Methodius, pray for us!
Blessed Feast of St. Valentine!
St. Valentine was a Roman priest, circa 270, under the rule of Emperor Claudius the Cruel. In an effort to reinforce military discipline, Claudius outlawed marriages and engagements. Valentine defied the command and continued to celebrate marriages. He was eventually arrested, imprisoned, and beaten with clubs. Legend also has it that while in jail, St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine.” St. Valentine was beheaded on February 14, 278. (Source: History Channel)
St. Valentine, pray for us!
February 15 - St. Claude de la Colombière
Blessed Feast of St. Claude de la Colombière!
St. Claude de la Colombiere was born of French noble parents in 1641 and entered the Jesuit noviate at age 17. After his ordination, Claude taught at the Jesuit college in Lyons and was moderator for several Marian congregations. In 1675, he was named rector at the Jesuit college at Paray-le-Monial, France. There, Colombiere became the spiritual advisor and confessor for St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. The two promoted the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1676, Claude was appointed preacher for the Duchess of York (later Queen of England). He moved to London, where he worked to reconcile former Catholics with the Church. Two years later, he arrested and sent into exile. St. Claude died on February 15, 1682, in Paray-le-Monial. (Source: Loyola Press)
St. Claude de la Colombière, pray for us!
February 16-St. Juliana of Nicomedia
Blessed Feast of St. Juliana of Nicomedia!
According to St. Bede, St. Juliana was raised in a wealthy family in Nicomedia, modern-day Turkey. Her father was hostile towards Christians but St. Juliana was baptized without his knowledge. She was betrothed to a Roman Senator but St. Juliana declared herself “bride of Christ.” Her father reported her to authorities and again she refused marriage unless her suitor converted to Christianity. St. Juliana was arrested, flogged, burned with iron, and scalped. Satan visited her in prison, disguised as an angel, but St. Juliana was aware of his deception. Guards threatened to burn her in molten lead but, by her touch, the giant cauldron was overturned. Legend tells that hundreds of pagans witnessed this and converted to Christianity on the spot. St. Juliana was finally beheaded at the age of 18, along with 630 new converts, in 304.
St. Juliana of Nicomedia, pray for us!
February 17-Seven Founders of the Servite Order
Blessed Feast of the Seven Founders of the Servite Order!
The seven founding priests were born and raised in the city of Florence. They were prominent, professional men who sought seclusion from the materialistic world. Devoted to the Blessed Virgin, they dedicated their lives to common prayer and works of charity. They moved to Monte Senario circa 1245 and followed a mendicant life. As more came to join them, they laid the foundations for the Servite Order and lived a communal life according to the Rule of St. Augustine. They are venerated on February 17 because it is said to be the day on which St. Alexis Falconieri, one of the seven, died in 1310. All seven were beatified December 1, 1717 by Pope Clement XI and canonized in 1887 by Pope Leo XIII. (Source: Friar Servants of Mary)
Seven Founders of the Servite Order, pray for us!
February 18-Blessed Fra Angelico/St. Simeon of Jerusalem
Happy Feast of Blessed Fra Angelico!
Blessed Fra Angelico was born Guido di Pietro in Tuscany circa 1395. He joined the Dominican Order on October 17, 1417 and became known for his beautiful paintings, frescoes, and illuminated manuscipts. He was one of the leaders of the early Renaissance, created countless pieces of sacred art, and was mentor to many great artists. Fra Angelico was offered the Archbishopric of Florence but refused and recommended another friar. Beginning in 1445, at the request of Pope Nicholas V, Fra Angelico spent ten years at the Vatican where he painted sacred art for churches and chapels until his death on February 18, 1455. Pope John Paul II beatified Fra Angelico on October 3, 1982, and declared him patron of artists two years later. (Source: Lives of the Artists)
Blessed Fra Angelico, pray for us!
Blessed Feast of St. Simeon of Jerusalem!
St. Simeon was the son of Cleophas (St. Joseph’s brother), and a cousin of Jesus. After the martyrdom of St. James the Lesser in 62 A.D., St. Simeon was elected his successor and second bishop of Jerusalem. Four years later, St. Simeon was warned of the impending destruction of Jerusalem. He led Christians to exile in Jordan until it was safe to return and Christianity flourished there. Thirty years later, St. Simeon was crucified under the rule of Emperor Trajan. (Source: Historia Ecclesiae)
St. Simeon of Jerusalem, pray for us!
February 19-St. Conrad of Piacenza
Blessed Feast of St. Conrad of Piacenza!
St. Conrad was born Corrado Confalonieri in 1290, Piacenza, northern Italy. He came from a noble family and married a woman named Ephrosyne at a young age. One day, he started a small fire to drive away pests from his land but the fire grew and caused great damage to surrounding property. As a result, the government seized all of his property. Reduced to poverty and seeking penance, Conrad and Ephrosyne aggred to seperate. Conrad became a hermit of the Third Order of St. Francis while Ephrosyne joined the Order of Poor Clares. St. Conrad became a counsel to many, and was known for prophesy, but sought a life of solitude. He travelled to Rome, Malta, the Holy Land, and Sicily. St. Conrad then spent two years ministering to the sick at a hospital. He died while in prayer, kneeling before a crucifix, on February 19, 1351, the day he had predicted. (Source: New Advent)
St. Conrad of Piacenza, pray for us!
February 20-St. Eucherius of Orléans
Blessed Feast of St. Eucherius of Orléans!
St. Eucherius was born circa 687 in Orléans, France, a nephew to the Bishop of Auxerre. After reading the Letters of St. Paul, Eucherius began a monastic life at the age of 27 and joined the Abbey of Jumièges. His uncle, Bishop Suavaric, died in 721 and Eucherius became his successor. St. Eucherius strongly opposed the ruling dynasty and was exiled to Cologne. He retired to the Abbey of Sint-Truiden and spent the remainder of his life in prayer until his death in 743. (Source: Lives of the Saints)
St. Eucherius of Orléans, pray for us!
February 21-St. Peter Damian
Blessed Feast of St. Peter Damian!
“Let us detach ourselves in spirit from all that we see and cling to that which we believe. This is the cross which we must imprint on all our daily actions and behavior.” “Do not be depressed. Do not let your weakness make you impatient. Instead, let the serenity of your spirit shine through your face. Let the joy of your mind burst forth. Let words of thanks break from your lips.” “It is not sinners, but the wicked who should despair; it is not the magnitude of one’s crime, but contempt of God that dashes one’s hopes.”
St. Peter Damian, pray for us!
February 22-St. Peter
Blessed Feast of the Chair of St. Peter!
“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.”
St. Peter, pray for us!
February 23-St. Polycarp
Blessed Feast of St. Polycarp!
“I praise you for all things, I bless you, I glorify you through the eternal priest of heaven, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son. Through him by glory to you, together with him and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.” “Stand fast, therefore, in this conduct and follow the example of the Lord, ‘firm and unchangeable in faith, lovers of the brotherhood, loving each other, united in truth,’ helping each other with the mildness of the Lord, despising no man.”
St. Polycarp, pray for us!
February 24-St. Adela
Blessed Feast of St. Adela!
St. Adela was born circa 1067 in Normandy, France, the youngest daughter of King William the Conqueror. She married Stephen II, Count of Blois, in 1080, and bore ten children. Her husband fought in the First Crusade and, in 1102, died in battle. St. Adela funded the building of monasteries, supported Crusaders, and eventually retired to a convent in 1120. Two of her sons, Philip and Henry, would become bishops. The fifth son, Stephen, was eventually made King of England with his coronation on St. Stephen’s Day, 1135. St. Adela died two years later. (Source: “Adela of Blois: Countess and Lord”)
St. Adela, pray for us!
February 25-St. Ethelbert of Kent
Blessed Feast of St. Ethelbert of Kent!
St. Ethelbert was born circa 560 in Kent, England. He married a French Christian, St. Bertha, even though Ethelbert was still pagan. At the age of thirty, he began a 26-year reign as King of Kent. St. Augustine of Canterbury was sent as a missionary to Kent in 597 following a petition from St. Bertha and order from St. Gregory the Great. King Ethelbert was baptized shortly thereafter and became the first English king to convert to Christianity. Christianity spread rapidly in England after Ethelbert’s conversion. He built churches and monasteries throughout his kingdom, including Canterbury Cathedral and St. Augustine’s Abbey. St. Ethelbert and St. Bertha had one son and one daughter. The daughter, St. Ethelburh, married St. Edwin of Northumbria. (Source: “Earliest English Kings”)
St. Ethelbert of Kent, pray for us!
February 26-St. Isabelle of France
Blessed Feast of St. Isabelle of France!
St. Isabelle was a French princess born in March of 1224, the daughter of King Louis VIII and Queen Blanche. St. Isabelle was two years old when her father died from dysentery. She studied extensively as a child and became an expert in Latin to the point that she frequently corrected her chaplains in their mistakes. St. Isabelle refused multiple marriage proposals from noble men and remained a consecrated virgin. Shen worked tirelessly to establish a convent for the Order of Poor Clares, even though she never entered the cloister herself. St. Isabelle followed a rule similar to the Rule of St. Clare and she dedicated her life to service to the sick and poor. St. Isabelle died at home in February, 1270, and was canonized in 1696 by Pope Innocent XII. (Source: “The Writings of Agnes of Harcourt”)
St. Isabelle of France, pray for us!
February 27-St. Gabriel Possenti
Blessed Feast of St. Gabriel Possenti!
“I will attempt day by day to break my will into pieces. I want to do God’s Holy Will, not my own!” “Love Mary!… She is loveable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love, but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her. She comes quickly and opens her merciful heart to you, embraces you and consoles and serves you. She will even be at hand to accompany you on the trip to eternity.”
St. Gabriel Possenti, pray for us!
February 28-Pope St. Hilarius
Blessed Feast of Pope St. Hilarius!
St. Hilarius was a native of Sardinia and was a papal legate to the Second Council of Ephesus. There, he defended St. Flavian of Constantinople from unjust persecution. Hilarius succeeded St. Leo the Great as the 46th pope with a papacy that began on November 19, 461 and last nearly seven years. He opposed the heresy of monophysitism which stated that Jesus is not fully human and fully divine. Pope St. Hilarius stengthened the discipline of clergy in modern-day France and Spain. He also decreed that a bishop cannot leave his diocese or appoint a successor without approval. Pope St. Hilarius died on February 28, 468, and is buried at Basilica of St. Lawrence outside the Walls in Rome. (Source: “Saint Companions for Each Day”)
Pope St. Hilarius, pray for us!
Saint of the Day - March
March 1 - St. David of Wales
Blessed Feast of St. David of Wales!
St. David was born circa 500 in Wales and studied under St. Paulinus. He became a priest and missionary, establishing monasteries throughout Britain. St. David and his companions lived an austere life of silence, heavy labor, and followed a diet of bread, vegetables, and water. As a bishop, St. David presided over two synods against Pelagianism. Legend tells that he was preaching to a crowd and a dove landed on his shoulder. The flat ground beneath him rose up to form a hill so the people could see and hear him. St. David died on March 1, 589. (Source: “Life of St David”)
St. David of Wales, pray for us!
March 2 - St. Agnes of Bohemia
Blessed Feast of St. Agnes of Bohemia!
St. Agnes of Bohemia was born June 20, 1211, into a very noble family. She was daughter of King Ottokar I of Bohemia – a descendant of St. Ludmila and St. Wenceslaus – patrons of her land. On her mother’s side of the family, Agnes was niece of King Andrew II of Hungary and cousin to St. Elizabeth of Hungary. After the age of three, Agnes was raised by her aunt, St. Hedwig and Agnes was educated by Cisterian nuns. She was betrothed to King Henry VII of Germany but their six-year engagment was cancelled in favor of a different bride. After this, St. Agnes had forsaken arranged marriage and sought a consecrated life She established a hospital and two Franciscan friaries. The friars taught St. Agnes about St. Clare of Assisi and soon the Order of Poor Clares established a community in Bohemia – their first one north of the Alps. In 1236, St. Agnes joined the Poor Clares and treated lepers. She became abbess and resided with the community until her death on March 2, 1282. (Source: “The Franciscan Book Of Saints”)
St. Agnes of Bohemia, pray for us!
March 3 - St. Cunegunda/St. Katharine Drexel
Blessed Feast of St. Cunegunda!
St. Cunegunda was born in Luxembourg, circa 975, one of eleven children to a noble family. Though St. Cunegunda desired to be a nun, she married in 999 to the future Holy Roman Emperor Saint Henry II. By mutual agreement, they remained celibate. Her husabnd was crowned King of Germany three years later and Holy roman Emperor in 1004. st. Cunegunda suffered from severe illness and promised that, if she were to regain health, she would establish a Benedictine monastery. St. Cunegunda recovered and kept her promise. However, her husband died before it was finished. One the anniversary of his death, St. Cunegunda joined a community of Benedictin nuns. She devoted the rest of her life to prayer and charity until her death on March 3, 1040. (Source: )
St. Cunegunda, pray for us!
Blessed Feast of St. Katharine Drexel!
St. Katharine Drexel was born on November 26, 1858, in Philadelphia. Her father was a wealthy banker and her mother died a month after her birth. She was homeschooled and travelled extensively Katharine sought to help the needy, especially racial minorities. In 1885, as a laywoman, she established a school for Native Americans in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pope Leo XIII recommended that she become a missionary and, in 1889, she began discernment with the Sisters of Mercy. Katharine and a few companions started Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament two years later. Under her guidance, the congregation started 60 schools as well as Xavier University of Louisiana. Mother Katharine suffered a heart attack in 1935 and resigned from her role as superior general two years later. St. Katharine Drexel spent the next two decades in Eucharistic adoration before her death on March 3, 1955, at the age of 96. She was declared Venerable in 1987, beatified the next year, and canonized in 2000. (Source: EWTN)
St. Katharine Drexel, pray for us!
March 4 - St. Casimir
Blessed Feast of St. Casimir!
St. Casimir Jagiellon was born in 1458, the third of thirteen children of Polish King Casimir IV and Elizabeth of Austria. St. Casimir despised regal life; he wore a hairshirt and plain clothes, slept on the ground, and spent sleepless nights meditating on the Passion. His father tried to arrange marriage with a German princess but Casimir insisted on celibacy. He died en route to Lithuania on March 4, 1484, at the age of 25. St. Casimir was buried with a copy of a Marian hymn he frequently recited and later canonized by Pope Adrian VI in 1522. St. Casimir is remembered as a patron of Poland, Lithuania, and bachelors. (Source: Catholic News Agency)
St. Casimir, pray for us!
March 5 - St. Olivia
Blessed Feast of St. Olivia!
St. Oliva, a.k.a. St. Olivia of Brescia, was a 2nd Century virgin and martyr. She was a victom of Christian persecutions in 138 – the last year of Hadrian’s reign as Roman Emperor. Her relics are interred at St. Afra’s Church, Brescia, northern Italy. (Source: Saints of the Day)
St. Olivia, pray for us!
March 6 - St. Colette
Blessed Feast of St. Colette!
“If there be a true way that leads to the Everlasting Kingdom, it is most certainly that of suffering, patiently endured.” “We must faithfully keep what we have promised. If through human weakness we fail, we must always without delay arise again by means of holy penance, and give our attention to leading a good life and to dying a holy death. May the Father of all mercy, the Son by his holy passion, and the Holy Spirit, source of peace, sweetness and love, fill us with their consolation. Amen.”
St. Colette, pray for us!
March 7 - Sts. Perpetua and Felicity
Blessed Feast of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity!
St. Perpetua was a young, educated mother from a noble family in Carthage. She was a 22-year old with an infant son who refused to sacrifice to pagan god. St. Felicity was a slave and catechumen, eight months pregnant at the time of her arrest. The two of them, along with three companions, were imprisoned for their Christian faith in the early 200s. St. Felicity gave birth to a daughter during captivity (execution of pregnant women was forbidden). A few days later, all were taken to an amphipheater for public execution. Here, Sts. Perpetua and Felicity were beheaded while the others were killed by beasts.
Sts. Perpetua and Felicity are remembered are martyrs and named in the Canon of the Mass. (Source: Orthodox Church in America)
Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, pray for us!
March 8 - St. John of God
Blessed Feast of St. John of God!
“The Son of Man came for sinners, and we are bound to seek their conversion. I am unfaithful to my vocation because I neglect this, but I confess that I know of no bad person in my hospital except myself alone, who am indeed unworthy to eat the bread of the poor.” “Just as water extinguishes a fire, so love wipes away sin.” “Labor without stopping; do all the good works you can while you still have the time.”
St. John of God, pray for us!
March 9 - St. Gregory of Nyssa
Blessed Feast of St. Gregory of Nyssa!
“Concepts create idols; only wonder comprehends anything. People kill one another over idols. Wonder makes us fall to our knees.” “When God revealed himself, he united himself with our mortal nature in order to deify humanity through this close relation with deity. Since this is so, through his flesh, constituted by bread and wine, he implants himself in all believers.” “May we never risk the life of our souls by being resentful or by bearing grudges.”
St. Gregory of Nyssa, pray for us!
March 10 - St. John Ogilvie
Blessed Feast of St. John Ogilvie!
St. John Ogilvie was born into a wealthy, Scottish Calvinist family in 1579. Despite the faith he was raised in, Ogilvie was educated at Catholic schools. He converted to Catholicism at the age of 17 in the midst of religious turmoil. Ogilvie joined the Society of Jesus in 1608 and was ordained a priest two years later. He preached in Normandy and ministered to the few remaining Catholics in Glasgow (at that time, any endorsement of Catholicism was illegal in Scotland). Ogilvie preached in secret and celebrated Mass in private homes. He was betrayed less than a year later, arrested and tortured. Ogilvie was forced to stay awake for eight days and interrogators tried to divulge the names of other Catholics. Ogilvie remained firm and was convicted of high treason. On March 10, 1615, a captive St. John Ogilvie was paraded through the streets of Glasgow, hanged and disembowelled. At his execution, Ogilvie threw his rosary into the crowd and the recipient converted to Catholicism. His last words were “If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have.” St. John Ogilvie was beatified in 1929 and canonized in 1976; he is the only post-Reformation saint from Scotland. (Source: Lives of the Saints)
St. John Ogilvie, pray for us!
March 11 - St. Eulogius of Córdoba
Blessed Feast of St. Eulogius of Córdoba!
Moors controlled Spain in the 9th Century and Córdoba was their capital. Christians were allowed to worship if they paid a monthly tax. These taxes included fees for every church, monastery, and even the living paying on behalf of the dead. Persecution intensified in 850; Christians were accussed of blashpemy against Mohammed, conspiracy against the government, and proselytizing Muslims. The bishop and priests of Córdoba, including St. Eulogius, were arrested and imprisoned. There, St. Eulogius recited Scripture to encourage his companions. A virgin named St. Leocritia converted to Christianity and sought protection from her Muslim family. St. Eulogius helped her but the two were eventually discovered. St. Eulogius was beheaded on March 11, 859, and St. Leocritia met the same fate four days later. (Source: Voices of the Saints)
St. Eulogius of Córdoba, pray for us!
March 12 - St. Fina
Blessed Feast of St. Fina!
St. Fina, a.k.a St. Serafina, was born to a noble family in San Gimignano, Italy, 1238. She was extremely kind and devoted to the Blessed Virgin. At the age of ten, St. Fina became seriously ill and gradually became paralyzed. Despite her infirmity, she refused a bed and chose a wooden pallet. Legends tells that St. Fina was bedridden for so long that her skin became attached to wood and that vermin fed on her rotting flesh. Both of St. Fina’s parents died during this illness. Townspeople frequently visited her and were surprised by her joy and optimism. On March 4, 1253, St. Gregory the Great appeared to St. Fina and predicted she would die eight days later. The prediction was true and St. Fina died on March 12, 1253, after five years of suffering. (Source: Catholic.org)
St. Fina, pray for us!
March 13 - St. Roderick
Blessed Feast of St. Roderick!
St. Roderick, a.k.a. San Rodrigo, was a Spanish priest in the 800s and one of the Martyrs of Córdoba. He had two brothers: one Muslim and the other irreligious. St. Roderick attempted to end a dispute between his brothers but they turned against him and beat him. The Muslim brother reported that Roderick was Muslim but St. Roderick openly professed his Catholic faith. For this he was accused of apostasy under sharia law. St. Roderick was arrested, imprisopned and beheaded on March 13, 837. (Source: Catholic News Agency)
St. Roderick, pray for us!
March 14 - St. Matilda
Blessed Feast of St. Matilda!
St. Matilda was born circa 895 in Westphalia, Germany, to a noble family. She was raised by her grandmother, an abbess. At the age of 18, Maatilda married King Henry I of Germany y. The couple have five children including Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor. King Henry I died and in 936 and St. Matilda spent the rest of her life doing good works. She established several Benedictine abbeys, visited the sick, and educated the ignorant. St. Matilda died on March 14, 968, in Quedlinburg Abbey, Germany. Her remains, as well as those of her husband, are interred at the abbey. (Source: “Lives of the Saints”)
St. Matilda, pray for us!
March 15 - St. Louise de Marillac
Blessed Feast of St. Louise de Marillac!
“How good it is to trust God! Turn to Him often, as children look to their father and mother in their needs.”
“The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin leads us to realize and adore the omnipotence of God because grace totally vanquished nature in her…The knowledge that God gives us of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin should cause us to glorify him eternally for this masterpiece of his omnipotence in a nature that is purely human.”
St. Louise de Marillac, pray for us!
March 16- St. Herbert of Derwentwater
Blessed Feast of St. Herbert of Derwentwater!
St. Herbert other than he was an English hermit and a close friend of St. Cuthbert. He was a priest and lived as a recluse on an island in Lake Derwentwater, England, which was later named in his honor. St. Herbert had asked to die on the same day as his friend St. Cuthbert and his wish was fulfilled in March of 687. (Source: Catholic News Agency)
St. Herbert, pray for us!
March 18- St. Cyril of Jerusalem
Blessed Feast of St. Cyril of Jerusalem!
“Since Christ Himself has said, ‘This is My Body’ who shall dare to doubt that It is His Body?” “Just as Christ, after His baptism and the coming upon Him of the Holy Spirit went forth and defeated the adversary, so also with you. After holy Baptism and the Mystical Chrism, having put on the full suit of armor of the Holy Spirit, you are to withstand the power of the adversary, and defeat him, saying, ‘I am able to do all things in Christ, Who strengthens me.’”
“Only a pure soul can boldly say: ‘Thy kingdom come.’ One who has heard Paul say, ‘Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies,’ and has purified himself in action, thought, and word will say to God: ‘Thy kingdom come!’”
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, pray for us!
March 19- St. Joseph
Blessed Solemnity of St. Joseph!
A prayer to St. Joseph: Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers. Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls – Pray for me.
St. Joseph, pray for us!
March 20 - St. Wulfram
Blessed Feast of St. Wulfram!
St. Wulfram was born circa 640 in northern France and his father was a knight to King Dagobert I. Wulfram was educated in the royal court and ordained a priest. He was consecrated as Archbishop of Sens in 692. Three years later, he residened from the See and retired to the Benedictine abbey of Fontenelle. st. Wulfram eventually died at the abbey in 703. (Source: Catholic Encyclopedia)
St. Wulfram, pray for us!
March 21- St. Enda
Blessed Feast of St. Enda!
St. Enda was raised pagan, a prince and soldier during 5th Century Ireland. His sister, St. Fanchea, was an abbess who converted him to Christianity. St. Enda wished to marry one of the women from his sister’s community but his betrothed died suddenly. At this time, Enda renounced his heir to the throne and worldly possessions. He made a pilgrimage to Rome and was ordained there. St. Enda moved to barren Aran Island off the coast of Ireland and became an abbot. Here, he started Killeaney monastery, one of the first in Ireland. His community, several of whom were also canonized, followed an austere life of manual labor, prayer, fasting, and study of the Scriptures. The area became a haven to religious life for centuries. st. Enda died in his cell circa 530. (Source: EWTN)
St. Enda, pray for us!
March 22 - St. Benvenutus Scotivoli
Blessed Feast of St. Benvenutus Scotivoli!
St. Benvenutus was born at Ancona, Italy, and studied law at Bologna. Here he was a companion of St. Sylvester Gozzolini and later joined the Order of Friars Minor. St. Benvenutus was soon appointed archdeacon of Ancona and finally bishop of Osimo in 1264. He died in 1282 and was canonized by Martin IV. (Source: Catholic.org)
St. Benvenutus Scotivoli, pray for us!
March 23 - St. Turibius of Mogrovejo
Blessed Feast of St. Turibius of Mogrovejo!
St. Turibius was born to a noble Spanish family on November 16, 1538. He was very educated and taught law at University of Salamanca. St. Turibius was ordained in 1578, sent as a missionary to Peru, and named Archbishop of Lima the next year. He travelled on foot across his vast diocese and evangelized to the natives. St. Turibius baptized and confirmed nearly half a million souls, including St. Rose of Lima and St. Martin de Porres. He built roads, schools, chapels, hospitals and convents. In Lima, 1591, St. Turibius founded the first seminary in the western hemisphere. Years before he died, he predicted the day and hour of his death. St. Turibus contracted a severe fever at age 67. He dragged himself to the sanctuary of a church and received the Viaticum shortly before his death on March 23, 1606. (Source: Lives of the Saints)
St. Turibius of Mogrovejo, pray for us!
March 24 - St. Catherine of Sweden
Blessed Feast of St. Catherine of Sweden!
St. Catherine was born circa 1331, daughter to St. Bridget of Sweden and Ulf Gudmarsson, a Swedish nobleman. She married Lord Eggert van Kyren at the age of 13 and they remained celibate. Five years later, St. Catherine and her mother went on a pilgrimage to Rome. During this time, Catherine’s husband died. The mother and daughter continued on several pilgrimages until St. Bridget’s death. St. Catherine returned to Sweden and became abbess Brigittine convent at Vadstena. She returned to Rome after a few years to promote her mother’s cause for canonization and formed a close friendship with St. Catherine of Siena. She died on March 24, 1381. (Source: Catholic Encyclopedia)
St. Catherine of Sweden, pray for us!
March 25 - Blessed Virgin Mary
Blessed Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord!
A reading from the Gospel according to St. Luke:
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
– Luke 1:26-38
Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us!
March 26 - St. Margaret Clitherow
Blessed Feast of St. Margaret Clitherow!
St. Margaret Clitherow was born to Anglican parents in Middleton, England, 1555. She married John Clitherow in 1571 and the couple had two children. St. Margaret entered the Catholic Church a few years later. Her zeal led her to harbor fugitive priests, for which she was arrested and imprisoned. The aurthorities tried force Clitherow to renounce her Faith, but the holy woman stood firm. Finally, she was condemned to be pressed to death in March, 1586, at the age of 31. When she learned of her condemnation, St. Margaret told a friend: “The sheriffs have said that I am going to die this coming Friday; and I feel the weakness of my flesh which is troubled at this news, but my spirit rejoices greatly. For the love of God, pray for me and ask all good people to do likewise.” St. Margaret was stretched out on the ground with a sharp rock on her back, she was crushed a platform of unbearable weight. Clitherow’s bones were broken and she died within fifteen minutes. (Source: Catholic.org)
St. Margaret Clitherow, pray for us!
March 27 - St. Rupert of Salzburg
Blessed Feast of St. Rupert of Salzburg!
St. Rupert was born circa 660 in modern-day France. He became a Benedictine monk and was a missionary to Rhineland, Germany, and eventually consecrated as Bishop of Worms. Although St. Rupert was wise, charistmatic, and devout, he was savagely beaten by the mostly pagan population and forced into exile. St. Rupert made a pilgrimage to Rome where he remained for two years. At the request of a Duke, St. Rupert and several priests became missionary to Bavaria and Austria, they were received with great fnafare in Regensburg. In Salzburg, St. Reupert established several churches, a cathedral, and a monastery. His niece became abbess of a nearby convent. St. Rupert died on March 27, Easter Sunday of 718, after celebrating Mass. (Source: Catholic News Agency)
St. Rupert of Salzburg, pray for us!
March 28 - St. Gontran
Blessed Feast of St. Gontran!
St. Gontran, also known as Contran or Guntramnus, was the son of King Clotaire and the grandson of Clovis I. He was raised pagan and became King of Orleans in 561. He married a woman named Mercatrude, but later divorced her. However, when Mercatrude became ill, King Gontran sent a doctor but he could not heal her. Gontran ordered the doctor’s execution.
The king later converted to Christianity and was overcome with remorse for his sins. Because of the Lord’s mercy on him, St. Gontran became merciful to others — even those who tried to kill him. One attempted assassin took refuge in a church and Gontran let him go free. He spent much time in prayer and fasting, and built several churches and monasteries. St. Gregory of Tours writes that he was an eyewitness to miracles performed by St. Gontran. King Gontran died at the age of 68 on On March 28, 592, and buried in a church he founded. In the 16th century, Huguenots scattered his ashes but his skull remained untouched and is kept in a silver box in the same church. St. Gontran is the patron saint of divorced people, guardians, and repentant murderers. (Source: Catholic Exchange)
St. Gontran, pray for us!
March 29 - St. Joseph of Arimathea
Blessed Feast of St. Joseph of Arimathea!
A reading of the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark:
When it was already evening, since it was the day of preparation, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a distinguished member of the council, who was himself awaiting the kingdom of God, came and courageously went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was amazed that he was already dead. He summoned the centurion and asked him if Jesus had already died. And when he learned of it from the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. Having bought a linen cloth, he took him down, wrapped him in the linen cloth and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses watched where he was laid.
— Mark 15:42-47
St. Joseph of Arimathea, pray for us!
March 30 - St. John Climacus
Blessed Feast of St. John Climacus!
“Humility is the only thing that no devil can imitate. If pride made demons out of angels, there is no doubt that humility could make angels out of demons.” “Our good Redeemer, by speedily granting what is asked, draws to His love those who are grateful. But He keeps ungrateful souls praying a long time before Him, hungering and thirsting for what they want, since a badly trained dog rushes off as soon as it is given bread and leaves the giver behind.” “A man who has embraced poverty offers up prayer that is pure, while a man who loves possessions prays to material images.”
St. John Climacus, pray for us!
March 31 - St. Benjamin
Blessed Feast of St. Benjamin!
St. Benjamin was born in Persia circa 329. He became a deacon and was imprisoned for a year because of his Christian faith. The emperor released St. Benjamin under the condition that he no longer preach but the saint declared it his duty. St. Benjamin was tortured until his death in 424. One of his punishments was having sharpened reeds placed under his fingernails and toenails. St. Benjamin’s feast day is celebrated on March 31 in the Roman Rite and October 13 in the Eastern Orthodox. (Source: Orthodox Church in America)
St. Benjamin, pray for us!