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March 2020

Saint Peter Regalado

Mar 30
St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Peter Regalado’s Story (1390 – March 30, 1456) Peter lived at a very busy time in history. The Great Western Schism (1378-1417) was settled at the Council of Constance (1414-1418). France and England were fighting the Hundred Years’ War, and in 1453, the Byzantine Empire was completely wiped out by the loss of Constantinople to the Turks. At Peter’s death, the age of printing had just begun in Germany, and Columbus’s arrival in the New World was less than…

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Saint Stephen of Mar Saba

Mar 31
St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Stephen of Mar Saba’s Story (725 – 794) A “do not disturb” sign helped today’s saint find holiness and peace. Stephen of Mar Saba was the nephew of Saint John Damascene, who introduced the young boy to monastic life beginning at age 10. When he reached 24, Stephen served the community in a variety of ways, including guest master. After some time he asked permission to live a hermit’s life. The answer from the abbot was yes and no: Stephen…

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April 2020

Saint Hugh of Grenoble

Apr 1
St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Hugh of Grenoble’s Story (1053 – April 1, 1132) Today’s saint could be a patron for those of us who feel so overwhelmed by all the problems in the world that we don’t know where to begin. Hugh, who served as a bishop in France for 52 years, had his work cut out for him from the start. Corruption seemed to loom in every direction: the buying and selling of Church offices, violations of clerical celibacy, lay control of Church…

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Saint Francis of Paola

Apr 2
St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Francis of Paola’s Story (March 27, 1416 – April 2, 1507) Francis of Paola was a man who deeply loved contemplative solitude and wished only to be the “least in the household of God.” Yet, when the Church called him to active service in the world, he became a miracle-worker and influenced the course of nations. After accompanying his parents on a pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi, he began to live as a contemplative hermit in a remote cave…

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Saint Benedict the African

Apr 3
St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Benedict the African’s Story (1526 – 1589) Benedict held important posts in the Franciscan Order and gracefully adjusted to other work when his terms of office were up. His parents were slaves brought from Africa to Messina, Sicily. Freed at 18, Benedict did farm work for a wage and soon saved enough to buy a pair of oxen. He was very proud of those animals. In time, he joined a group of hermits around Palermo and was eventually recognized…

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Saint Isidore of Seville

Apr 4
St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Isidore of Seville’s Story (c. 560 – April 4, 636) The 76 years of Isidore’s life were a time of conflict and growth for the Church in Spain. The Visigoths had invaded the land a century and a half earlier, and shortly before Isidore’s birth they set up their own capital. They were Arians—Christians who said Christ was not God. Thus, Spain was split in two: One people (Catholic Romans) struggled with another (Arian Goths). Isidore reunited Spain, making…

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Saint Vincent Ferrer

Apr 5
St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Vincent Ferrer’s Story (January 23, 1350 – April 5,1419) The polarization in the Church today is a mild breeze compared with the tornado that ripped the Church apart during the lifetime of this saint. If any saint is a patron of reconciliation, Vincent Ferrer is. Despite parental opposition, he entered the Dominican Order in his native Spain at 19. After brilliant studies, he was ordained a priest by Cardinal Peter de Luna—who would figure tragically in his life. Of…

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Saint Crescentia Hoess

Apr 6
St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Crescentia Hoess’ Story (October 20, 1682 – April 5, 1744) Crescentia was born in 1682, the daughter of a poor weaver, in a little town near Augsburg. She spent play time praying in the parish church, assisted those even poorer than herself and had so mastered the truths of her religion that she was permitted to make her first Holy Communion at the then unusually early age of 7. In the town she was called “the little angel.” As…

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Saint John Baptist de la Salle

Apr 7
St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint John Baptist de la Salle’s Story (April 30, 1651 – April 7, 1719) Complete dedication to what he saw as God’s will for him dominated the life of John Baptist de la Salle. In 1950, Pope Pius XII named him patron of schoolteachers for his efforts in upgrading school instruction. As a young 17th-century Frenchman, John had everything going for him: scholarly bent, good looks, noble family background, money, refined upbringing. At the early age of 11, he received…

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Saint Julie Billiart

Apr 8
St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Julie Billiart’s Story (July 12, 1751 – April 8, 1816) Born in Cuvilly, France, into a family of well-to-do farmers, young Marie Rose Julie Billiart showed an early interest in religion and in helping the sick and poor. Though the first years of her life were relatively peaceful and uncomplicated, Julie had to take up manual work as a young teen when her family lost its money. However, she spent her spare time teaching catechism to young people and…

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