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January 2018

Saint Vincent of Zaragossa

Jan 22

Saint Vincent of Zaragossa’s Story (d. c. 304) Most of what we know about this saint comes from the poet Prudentius. His Acts have been rather freely colored by the imagination of their compiler. But Saint Augustine, in one of his sermons on Saint Vincent, speaks of having the Acts of his martyrdom before him. We are at least sure of his name, his being a deacon, the place of his death and burial. According to the story we have, the unusual devotion he inspired must have…

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Saint Marianne Cope

Jan 23

Saint Marianne Cope’s Story (January 23, 1838 – August 9, 1918) Though leprosy scared off most people in 19th-century Hawaii, that disease sparked great generosity in the woman who came to be known as Mother Marianne of Molokai. Her courage helped tremendously to improve the lives of its victims in Hawaii, a territory annexed to the United States during her lifetime (1898). Mother Marianne’s generosity and courage were celebrated at her May 14, 2005, beatification in Rome. She was a…

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Saint Francis de Sales

Jan 24

Saint Francis de Sales’ Story (August 21, 1567 – December 28, 1622) Francis was destined by his father to be a lawyer so that the young man could eventually take his elder’s place as a senator from the province of Savoy in France. For this reason Francis was sent to Padua to study law. After receiving his doctorate, he returned home and, in due time, told his parents he wished to enter the priesthood. His father strongly opposed Francis in this, and…

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Conversion of Saint Paul

Jan 25

The Story of the Conversion of Saint Paul Paul’s entire life can be explained in terms of one experience—his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus. In an instant, he saw that all the zeal of his dynamic personality was being wasted, like the strength of a boxer swinging wildly. Perhaps he had never seen Jesus, who was only a few years older. But he had acquired a zealot’s hatred of all Jesus stood for, as he began to harass…

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Saints Timothy and Titus

Jan 26

Saints Timothy and Titus’ Story (d. c. 95) What we know from the New Testament of Timothy’s life makes it sound like that of a modern harried bishop. He had the honor of being a fellow apostle with Paul, both sharing the privilege of preaching the gospel and suffering for it. Timothy had a Greek father and a Jewish mother named Eunice. Being the product of a “mixed” marriage, he was considered illegitimate by the Jews. It was his grandmother,…

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Saint Angela Merici

Jan 27

Saint Angela Merici’s story (March 21, 1474 – January 27, 1540) Angela has the double distinction of founding the first teaching congregation of women in the Church and what is now called a “secular institute” of religious women. As a young woman, she became a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis, and lived a life of great austerity, wishing, like Saint Francis, to own nothing, not even a bed. Early in life she was appalled at the ignorance among poorer children, whose…

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Saint Thomas Aquinas

Jan 28

Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Story By universal consent, Thomas Aquinas is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and of divine revelation. He is one of the great teachers of the medieval Catholic Church, honored with the titles Doctor of the Church and Angelic Doctor. At five he was given to the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino in his parents’ hopes that he would choose that way of life and eventually became abbot. In 1239, he was sent to…

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Servant of God Brother Juniper

Jan 29

Servant of God Brother Juniper’s Story (d. 1258) “Would to God, my brothers, I had a whole forest of such Junipers,” said Francis of this holy friar. We don’t know much about Juniper before he joined the friars in 1210. Francis sent him to establish “places” for the friars in Gualdo Tadino and Viterbo. When Saint Clare was dying, Juniper consoled her. He was devoted to the passion of Jesus and was known for his simplicity. Several stories about Juniper in…

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Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska

Jan 30

Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska’s Story (May 16, 1825 – October 10, 1899) Today we honor a woman who submitted to God’s will throughout her life—a life filled with pain and suffering. Born in 1825 in central Poland and baptized Sophia, she contracted tuberculosis as a young girl. The forced period of convalescence gave her ample time for reflection. Sophia felt called to serve God by working with the poor, including street children and the elderly homeless in Warsaw’s slums. In…

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Saint John Bosco

Jan 31

Saint John Bosco’s Story (August 16, 1815 – January 31, 1888) John Bosco’s theory of education could well be used in today’s schools. It was a preventive system, rejecting corporal punishment and placing students in surroundings removed from the likelihood of committing sin. He advocated frequent reception of the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. He combined catechetical training and fatherly guidance, seeking to unite the spiritual life with one’s work, study and play. Encouraged during his youth to become…

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