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Chris Michalczuk

023 9282 8305||www.stswithuns.org.uk

January 2021

Saint Sebastian

Jan 20
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 20 of January, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint Sebastian’s Story (c. 256 –  January 20, 287) Almost nothing is historically certain about Sebastian except that he was a Roman martyr, was venerated in Milan even in the time of Saint Ambrose and was buried on the Appian Way, probably near the present Basilica of St. Sebastian. Devotion to him spread rapidly, and he is mentioned in several martyrologies as early as 350. The legend of Saint Sebastian is important in art, and there is a vast iconography. Scholars now…

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Saint Agnes

Jan 21
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 21 of January, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint Agnes’ Story (d. c. 258) Almost nothing is known of this saint except that she was very young—12 or 13—when she was martyred in the last half of the third century. Various modes of death have been suggested—beheading, burning, strangling. Legend has it that Agnes was a beautiful girl whom many young men wanted to marry. Among those she refused, one reported her to the authorities for being a Christian. She was arrested and confined to a house of…

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Saint Vincent of Zaragossa

Jan 22
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 22 of January, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 23 of January, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 24 of January, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 25 of January, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 26 of January, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 27 of January, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 28 of January, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 29 of January, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 30 of January, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 31 of January, repeating until 31st December 2030

St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom
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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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February 2021

Saint Ansgar

Feb 1
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 1 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Presentation of the Lord

Feb 2
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 2 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Blaise

Feb 3
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 3 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Joseph of Leonissa

Feb 4
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 4 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Agatha

Feb 5
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 5 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Paul Miki and Companions

Feb 6
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 6 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Colette

Feb 7
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 7 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Josephine Bakhita

Feb 8
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 8 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Jerome Emiliani

Feb 9
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 9 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Scholastica

Feb 10
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 10 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Our Lady of Lourdes – Patron of our Southsea Parish

Feb 11
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 11 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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Saint Apollonia

Feb 12
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 12 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Giles Mary of Saint Joseph

Feb 13
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 13 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saints Cyril and Methodius

Feb 14
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 14 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Claude de la Colombière

Feb 15
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 15 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Gilbert of Sempringham

Feb 16
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 16 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Seven Founders of the Servite Order

Feb 17
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 17 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Blessed John of Fiesole

Feb 18
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 18 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Conrad of Piacenza

Feb 19
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 19 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marto

Feb 20
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 20 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Peter Damian

Feb 21
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 21 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Chair of Saint Peter

Feb 22
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 22 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Polycarp

Feb 23
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 23 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Blessed Luke Belludi

Feb 24
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 24 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio

Feb 25
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 25 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Saint Maria Bertilla Boscardin

Feb 26
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 26 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

event/SOD-2602/

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Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

Feb 27
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 27 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

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Blessed Daniel Brottier

Feb 28
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 28 of February, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

event/SOD-2802/

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March 2021

Saint David – Patron Saint of Wales

Mar 1
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 1 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint David of Wales’ Story (d. March 1, 589) David is the patron saint of Wales and perhaps the most famous of British saints. Ironically, we have little reliable information about him. It is known that he became a priest, engaged in missionary work, and founded many monasteries, including his principal abbey in southwestern Wales. Many stories and legends sprang up about David and his Welsh monks. Their austerity was extreme. They worked in silence without the help of animals…

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Saint Agnes of Bohemia

Mar 2
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 2 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint Agnes of Bohemia’s Story (1205 – March 6, 1282) Agnes had no children of her own but was certainly life-giving for all who knew her. Agnes was the daughter of Queen Constance and King Ottokar I of Bohemia. She was betrothed to the Duke of Silesia, who died three years later. As she grew up, she decided she wanted to enter the religious life. After declining marriages to King Henry VII of Germany and King Henry III of England, Agnes…

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Saint Katharine Drexel

Mar 3
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 3 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Katharine Drexel’s Story (November 26, 1858 -March 3, 1955 ) If your father is an international banker and you ride in a private railroad car, you are not likely to be drawn into a life of voluntary poverty. But if your mother opens your home to the poor three days each week and your father spends half an hour each evening in prayer, it is not impossible that you will devote your life to the poor and give away millions…

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Saint Casimir

Mar 4
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 4 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint Casimir’s Story (1458 – 1483) Casimir, born of kings and in line to be a king himself, was filled with exceptional values and learning by a great teacher, John Dlugosz. Even his critics could not say that his conscientious objection indicated softness. As a teenager, Casimir lived a highly disciplined, even severe life, sleeping on the ground, spending a great part of the night in prayer and dedicating himself to lifelong celibacy. When nobles in Hungary became dissatisfied with…

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Saint John Joseph of the Cross

Mar 5
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 5 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint John Joseph of the Cross’ Story (August 15, 1654 – March 5, 1734) Self-denial is never an end in itself but is only a help toward greater charity—as the life of Saint John Joseph shows. John Joseph was very ascetic even as a young man. At 16, he joined the Franciscans in Naples; he was the first Italian to follow the reform movement of Saint Peter Alcantara. John Joseph’s reputation for holiness prompted his superiors to put him in charge of establishing…

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Saint Mary Ann of Jesus of Paredes

Mar 6
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 6 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint Mary Ann of Jesus of Paredes’ Story (October 31, 1618 – May 26, 1645) Mary Ann grew close to God and his people during her short life. The youngest of eight, Mary Ann was born in Quito, Ecuador, which had been brought under Spanish control in 1534. She joined the Secular Franciscans and led a life of prayer and penance at home, leaving her parents’ house only to go to church and to perform some work of charity. She…

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Saints Perpetua and Felicity

Mar 7
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 7 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saints Perpetua and Felicity’s Story (d. 203) “When my father in his affection for me was trying to turn me from my purpose by arguments and thus weaken my faith, I said to him, ‘Do you see this vessel—waterpot or whatever it may be? Can it be called by any other name than what it is?’ ‘No,’ he replied. ‘So also I cannot call myself by any other name than what I am—a Christian.’” So writes Perpetua: young, beautiful, well-educated,…

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Saint John of God

Mar 8
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 8 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint John of God’s Story ( March 8, 1495 – March 8, 1550) Having given up active Christian belief while a soldier, John was 40 before the depth of his sinfulness began to dawn on him. He decided to give the rest of his life to God’s service, and headed at once for Africa where he hoped to free captive Christians and, possibly, be martyred. He was soon advised that his desire for martyrdom was not spiritually well based, and returned to Spain…

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Saint Frances of Rome

Mar 9
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 9 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

 Saint Frances of Rome’s Story (1384 – March 9, 1440) Frances’ life combines aspects of secular and religious life. A devoted and loving wife, she longed for a lifestyle of prayer and service, so she organized a group of women to minister to the needs of Rome’s poor. Born of wealthy parents, Frances found herself attracted to the religious life during her youth. But her parents objected and a young nobleman was selected to be her husband. As she became…

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Saint Dominic Savio

Mar 10
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 10 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint Dominic Savio’s Story (April 2, 1842 – March 9, 1857) So many holy persons seem to die young. Among them was Dominic Savio, the patron of choirboys. Born into a peasant family at Riva, Italy, young Dominic joined Saint John Bosco as a student at the Oratory in Turin at the age of 12. He impressed Don Bosco with his desire to be a priest and to help him in his work with neglected boys. A peacemaker and an organizer, young…

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Saint John Ogilvie

Mar 11
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 11 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint John Ogilvie’s Story (1579 –  March 10, 1615) John Ogilvie’s noble Scottish family was partly Catholic and partly Presbyterian. His father raised him as a Calvinist, sending him to the continent to be educated. There, John became interested in the popular debates going on between Catholic and Calvinist scholars. Confused by the arguments of Catholic scholars whom he sought out, he turned to Scripture. Two texts particularly struck him: “God wills all men to be saved and come to…

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Blessed Angela Salawa

Mar 12
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 12 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Blessed Angela Salawa’s Story (September 9, 1881 – March 12, 1922) Angela served Christ and Christ’s little ones with all her strength. Born in Siepraw, near Kraków, Poland, she was the 11th child of Bartlomiej and Ewa Salawa. In 1897, she moved to Kraków where her older sister Therese lived. Angela immediately began to gather together and instruct young women domestic workers. During World War I, she helped prisoners of war without regard for their nationality or religion. The writings of Teresa…

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Saint Leander of Seville

Mar 13
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 13 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint Leander of Seville’s Story (c. 534 – March 13, 600 or 601) The next time you recite the Nicene Creed at Mass, think of today’s saint. For it was Leander of Seville who, as bishop, introduced the practice in the sixth century. He saw it as a way to help reinforce the faith of his people and as an antidote against the heresy of Arianism, which denied the divinity of Christ. By the end of his life, Leander had…

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Saint Maximilian of Tebessa

Mar 14
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 14 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint Maximilian of Tebessa’s Story (274 – March 12, 295) We have an early, precious, almost unembellished account of the martyrdom of Saint Maximilian in modern-day Algeria. Brought before the proconsul Dion, Maximilian refused enlistment in the Roman army saying, “I cannot serve, I cannot do evil. I am a Christian.” Dion replied: “You must serve or die.” Maximilian: “I will never serve. You can cut off my head, but I will not be a soldier of this world, for…

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Saint Louise de Marillac

Mar 15
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 15 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint Louise de Marillac’s Story (August 12, 1591 – March 15, 1660) Born near Meux, France, Louise lost her mother when she was still a child, her beloved father when she was but 15. Her desire to become a nun was discouraged by her confessor, and a marriage was arranged. One son was born of this union. But Louise soon found herself nursing her beloved husband through a long illness that finally led to his death. Louise was fortunate to have…

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Saint Clement Mary Hofbauer

Mar 16
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 16 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint Clement Mary Hofbauer’s Story (December 26, 1751 – March 15, 1820) Clement might be called the second founder of the Redemptorists, as it was he who carried the congregation of Saint Alphonsus Liguori to the people north of the Alps. John, the name given him at Baptism, was born in Moravia into a poor family, the ninth of 12 children. Although he longed to be a priest, there was no money for studies, and he was apprenticed to a…

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Saint Patrick

Mar 17
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 17 of March, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint Patrick’s Story (c. 386 – 461) Legends about Patrick abound; but truth is best served by our seeing two solid qualities in him: He was humble and he was courageous. The determination to accept suffering and success with equal indifference guided the life of God’s instrument for winning most of Ireland for Christ. Details of his life are uncertain. Current research places his dates of birth and death a little later than earlier accounts. Patrick may have been born…

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Saint Cyril of Jerusalem

Mar 18
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem’s Story (c. 315 – March 18, 386) The crises that the Church faces today may seem minor when compared with the threat posed by the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ and almost overcame Christianity in the fourth century. Cyril was to be caught up in the controversy, accused of Arianism by Saint Jerome, and ultimately vindicated both by the men of his own time and by being declared a Doctor of the Church…

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Saint Joseph Husband of Mary

Mar 19
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Saint Joseph’s Story The Bible pays Joseph the highest compliment: he was a “just” man. The quality meant a lot more than faithfulness in paying debts. When the Bible speaks of God “justifying” someone, it means that God, the all-holy or “righteous” one, so transforms a person that the individual shares somehow in God’s own holiness, and hence it is really “right” for God to love him or her. In other words, God is not playing games, acting as if…

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Saint Salvator of Horta

Mar 20
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Salvator of Horta’s Story (1520 – March 18, 1567) A reputation for holiness does have some drawbacks. Public recognition can be a nuisance at times—as the confreres of Salvator found out. Salvator was born during Spain’s Golden Age. Art, politics, and wealth were flourishing. So was religion. Ignatius of Loyola founded the Society of Jesus in 1540. Salvator’s parents were poor. At the age of 21, he entered the Franciscans as a brother and was soon known for his…

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Blessed John of Parma

Mar 21
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Blessed John of Parma’s Story (1209–1289) The seventh general minister of the Franciscan Order, John was known for his attempts to bring back the earlier spirit of the Order after the death of Saint Francis of Assisi. He was born in Parma, Italy, in 1209. It was when he was a young philosophy professor known for his piety and learning that God called him to bid good-bye to the world he was used to and enter the new world of the…

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Saint Nicholas Owen

Mar 22
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Nicholas Owen’s Story (? – 1606) Nicholas, familiarly known as “Little John,” was small in stature but big in the esteem of his fellow Jesuits. Born at Oxford, this humble artisan saved the lives of many priests and laypersons in England during the penal times (1559-1829), when a series of statutes punished Catholics for the practice of their faith. Over a period of about 20 years, Nicholas used his skills to build secret hiding places for priests throughout the…

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Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo

Mar 23
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Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo’s Story (November 16, 1538 – March 23, 1606) Together with Rose of Lima, Turibius is the first known saint of the New World, serving the Lord in Peru, South America, for 26 years. Born in Spain and educated for the law, he became so brilliant a scholar that he was made professor of law at the University of Salamanca and eventually became chief judge of the Inquisition at Granada. He succeeded too well. But he was…

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Blessed Oscar Arnulfo Romero

Mar 24
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Blessed Oscar Romero

Blessed Oscar Romero’s Story (August 15, 1917  – March 24, 1980) The night before he was murdered while celebrating Mass, Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador said on the radio: “I would like to appeal in a special way to the men of the army, and in particular to the troops of the National Guard, the police, and the garrisons. Brothers, you belong to our own people. You kill your own brother peasants; and in the face of an order…

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Annunciation of the Lord

Mar 25
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The Story of the Annunciation of the Lord The feast of the Annunciation, now recognized as a solemnity, was first celebrated in the fourth or fifth century. Its central focus is the Incarnation: God has become one of us. From all eternity God had decided that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity should become human. Now, as Luke1:26-38 tells us, the decision is being realized. The God-Man embraces all humanity, indeed all creation, to bring it to God in one…

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Saint Catherine of Genoa

Mar 26
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Saint Catherine of Genoa’s story (1447 – September 15, 1510) Going to confession one day was the turning point of Catherine’s life. When Catherine was born, many Italian nobles were supporting Renaissance artists and writers. The needs of the poor and the sick were often overshadowed by a hunger for luxury and self-indulgence. Catherine’s parents were members of the nobility in Genoa. At 13, she attempted to become a nun but failed because of her age. At 16, she married…

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Lazarus

Mar 27
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Lazarus’ Story Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, the brother of Martha and Mary, was the one of whom the Jews said, “See how much he loved him.” In their sight, Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead. Legends abound about the life of Lazarus after the death and resurrection of Jesus. He is supposed to have left a written account of what he saw in the next world before he was called back to life. Some say he followed…

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Saint Catharine of Bologna

Mar 28
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Saint Catharine of Bologna’s Story (September 8, 1413 -March 9, 1463 ) Some Franciscan saints led fairly public lives; Catharine represents the saints who served the Lord in obscurity. Born in Bologna, Catharine was related to the nobility in Ferrara, and was educated at court there. She received a liberal education at the court and developed some interest and talent in painting. In later years as a Poor Clare, Catharine sometimes did manuscript illumination and also painted miniatures. At the age…

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Saint Ludovico of Casoria

Mar 29
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Ludovico of Casoria’s Story (March 11, 1814 – March 30, 1885) Born in Casoria, near Naples, Arcangelo Palmentieri was a cabinet-maker before entering the Friars Minor in 1832, taking the name Ludovico. After his ordination five years later, he taught chemistry, physics, and mathematics to younger members of his province for several years. In 1847, he had a mystical experience which he later described as a cleansing. After that, he dedicated his life to the poor and the infirm,…

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Saint Peter Regalado

Mar 30
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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
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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 2021

Saint Hugh of Grenoble

Apr 1
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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Saint Casilda

Apr 9
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Casilda’s Story (d. c. 1050) Some saints’ names are far more familiar to us than others, but even the lives of obscure holy persons teach us something. And so it is with Saint Casilda. Her father was a Muslim leader in Toledo, Spain, in the 10th century. Casilda was a devout Muslim but was kind to Christian prisoners. She became ill as a young woman but did not trust that any of the local Arab doctors could cure her. So she made a…

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Saint Magdalen of Canossa

Apr 10
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Magdalen of Canossa’s Story (March 1, 1774 – April 10, 1835) Wealth and privilege did nothing to prevent today’s saint from following her calling to serve Christ in the poor. Nor did the protests of her relatives, concerned that such work was beneath her. Born in northern Italy in 1774, Magdalen knew her mind—and spoke it. At age 15 she announced she wished to become a nun. After trying out her vocation with the cloistered Carmelites, she realized her desire…

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Saint Stanislaus

Apr 11
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Stanislaus’ Story (July 26, 1030 – April 11, 1079) Anyone who reads the history of Eastern Europe cannot help but chance on the name of Stanislaus, the saintly but tragic bishop of Kraków, patron of Poland. He is remembered with Saints Thomas More and Thomas Becket for vigorous opposition to the evils of an unjust government. Born in Szczepanow near Kraków on July 26, 1030, he was ordained a priest after being educated in the cathedral schools of Gniezno, then capital…

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Saint Teresa of Los Andes

Apr 12
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Teresa of Los Andes’ Story (July 13, 1900 – April 12, 1920) One needn’t live a long life to leave a deep imprint. Teresa of Los Andes is proof of that. As a young girl growing up in the early 1900’s in Santiago, Chile, Juana Fernandez read an autobiography of a French-born saint—Thérèse, popularly known as the Little Flower. The experience deepened her desire to serve God and clarified the path she would follow. At age 19 Juana became a Carmelite nun,…

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Saint Martin I

Apr 13
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Martin I’s Story (d. September 16, 655) When Martin I became pope in 649, Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine empire and the patriarch of Constantinople was the most influential Church leader in the eastern Christian world. The struggles that existed within the Church at that time were magnified by the close cooperation of emperor and patriarch. A teaching, strongly supported in the East, held that Christ had no human will. Twice, emperors had officially favored this position:…

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Blessed Peter Gonzalez

Apr 14
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Blessed Peter Gonzalez’s Story (1190 – April 15, 1246) Saint Paul had a conversion experience on the road to Damascus. Many years later, the same proved true for Peter Gonzalez, who triumphantly rode his horse into the Spanish city of Astorga in the 13thcentury to take up an important post at the cathedral. The animal stumbled and fell, leaving Peter in the mud and onlookers amused. Humbled, Peter reevaluated his motivations–his bishop-uncle had secured the cathedral post for him– and started…

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Blessed Caesar de Bus

Apr 15
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Blessed Caesar de Bus’ Story (February 3, 1544 – April 15, 1607) Like so many of us, Caesar de Bus struggled with the decision about what to do with his life. After completing his Jesuit education he had difficulty settling between a military and a literary career. He wrote some plays but ultimately settled for life in the army and at court. For a time, life was going rather smoothly for the engaging, well-to-do young Frenchman. He was confident he…

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Saint Bernadette Soubirous

Apr 16
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Bernadette Soubirous’s Story (January 7, 1844 – April 16, 1879) Bernadette Soubirous was born in 1844, the first child of an extremely poor miller in the town of Lourdes in southern France. The family was living in the basement of a dilapidated building when on February 11, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette in a cave above the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes. Bernadette, 14 years old, was known as a virtuous girl though a…

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Saint Benedict Joseph Labre

Apr 17
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Benedict Joseph Labre’s Story (March 25, 1748 – April 17, 1783) Benedict Joseph Labre was truly eccentric, one of God’s special little ones. Born in France and the eldest of 18 children, he studied under his uncle, a parish priest. Because of poor health and a lack of suitable academic preparation he was unsuccessful in his attempts to enter the religious life. Then, at age 16, a profound change took place. Benedict lost his desire to study and gave…

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Blessed James Oldo

Apr 18
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Blessed James Oldo’s Story (1364 – April 18, 1404) You’ve heard rags-to-riches stories. Today, we celebrate the reverse. James of Oldo was born into a well-to-do family near Milan in 1364. He married a woman who like him, appreciated the comforts that came with wealth. But an outbreak of the plague drove James, his wife, and their three children out of their home and into the countryside. Despite those precautions, two of his daughters died from the plague. James determined…

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Saint Gianna Beretta Molla

Apr 19
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St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Gianna Beretta Molla’s Story (October 4, 1922 – April 28, 1962) In less than 40 years, Gianna Beretta Molla became a pediatric physician, a wife, a mother and a saint! She was born in Magenta near Milano, the 10th of Alberto and Maria Beretta’s 13 children. An active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and a leader in the Catholic Action movement, Gianna also enjoyed skiing and mountain climbing. She earned degrees in medicine and surgery from…

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Saint Conrad of Parzham

Apr 20
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St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Conrad of Parzham’s Story (December 22, 1818 – April 21, 1894) Conrad spent most of his life as porter in Altoetting, Bavaria, letting people into the friary and indirectly encouraging them to let God into their lives. His parents, Bartholomew and Gertrude Birndorfer, lived near Parzham, Bavaria. In those days, this region was recovering from the Napoleonic wars. A lover of solitary prayer and a peacemaker as a young man, Conrad joined the Capuchins as a brother. He made…

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Saint Anselm

Apr 21
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An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 21 of April, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint Anselm’s Story (1033 – April 21, 1109) Indifferent toward religion as a young man, Anselm became one of the Church’s greatest theologians and leaders. He received the title “Father of Scholasticism” for his attempt to analyze and illumine the truths of faith through the aid of reason. At 15, Anselm wanted to enter a monastery, but was refused acceptance because of his father’s opposition. Twelve years later, after careless disinterest in religion and years of worldly living, he finally…

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Saint Adalbert of Prague

Apr 22
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Adalbert of Prague’s Story (956 – April 23, 997) Opposition to the Good News of Jesus did not discourage Adalbert, who is now remembered with great honor in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Germany. Born to a noble family in Bohemia, he received part of his education from Saint Adalbert of Magdeburg. At the age of 27, he was chosen as bishop of Prague. Those who resisted his program of clerical reform forced him into exile eight years later.…

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Saint George – Patron Saint of England

Apr 23
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint George’s Story (c. 280 –  April 23, 303) Saint George is the object of a vast amount of imagination. There is every reason to believe that he was a real martyr who suffered at Lydda in Palestine, probably before the time of Constantine. The Church adheres to his memory, but not to the legends surrounding his life. That he was willing to pay the supreme price to follow Christ is what the Church believes. And it is enough. The…

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Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen

Apr 24
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St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen’s Story (1577 – April 24, 1622) If a poor man needed some clothing, Fidelis would often give the man the clothes right off his back. Complete generosity to others characterized this saint’s life. Born in 1577, Mark Rey became a lawyer who constantly upheld the causes of the poor and oppressed people. Nicknamed “the poor man’s lawyer,” Rey soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues. He left his law career…

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Saint Mark

Apr 25
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St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom
SOD-0425-Saint Mark

Saint Mark’s Story (? – c. April 25, 68) Most of what we know about Mark comes directly from the New Testament. He is usually identified with the Mark of Acts 12:12. When St. Peter escaped from prison, he went to the home of Mark’s mother. Paul and Barnabas took him along on the first missionary journey, but for some reason Mark returned alone to Jerusalem. It is evident, from Paul’s refusal to let Mark accompany him on the second journey despite…

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Saint Pedro de San José Betancur

Apr 26
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St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Pedro de San José Betancur’s Story (March 19, 1626 – April 25, 1667) Central America claimed its first saint with the canonization of Pedro de San José Betancur. Known as the “St. Francis of the Americas,” Pedro de Betancur is the first saint to have worked and died in Guatemala. Pedro very much wanted to become a priest, but God had other plans for the young man born into a poor family on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Pedro…

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Saint Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort

Apr 27
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Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort’s Story (January 31, 1673 – April 28, 1716) Louis’s life is inseparable from his efforts to promote genuine devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus and mother of the Church. Totus tuus (“completely yours”) was Louis’s personal motto; Pope John Paul II chose it as his episcopal motto. Born in the Breton village of Montfort, close to Rennes, France, as an adult Louis identified himself by the place of his Baptism instead of his family name,…

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Saint Peter Chanel

Apr 28
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St Swithun’s Church, 105 Waverley Road
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO5 2PL United Kingdom

Saint Peter Chanel’s Story (1803 – April 28, 1841) Anyone who has worked in loneliness, with great adaptation required and with little apparent success, will find a kindred spirit in Peter Chanel. Born in France, Peter’s interest in the missions began in school, when he read letters missionaries to America sent back home. As a young priest, Peter revived a parish in a “bad” district by the simple method of showing great devotion to the sick. Wanting to be a…

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Saint Pius V

Apr 30
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 30 of April, repeating until 31st December 2030

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

Saint Pius V’s Story (January 17, 1504 – May 1, 1572) This is the pope whose job it was to implement the historic Council of Trent. If we think popes had difficulties in implementing Vatican Council II, Pius V had even greater problems after Trent four centuries earlier. During his papacy (1566-1572), Pius V was faced with the almost overwhelming responsibility of getting a shattered and scattered Church back on its feet. The family of God had been shaken by…

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