Julie Billiart

1751-1816 Feast Day April 8 Born in Picardy, in France, the pious Julie was allowed to make a vow of chastity at age 14 and did manual labor when her family suffered financial reversals. In her early 20s, she became paralyzed after an attempt on her father’s life; at 30 she was an invalid, dispensing […]

Blessed Michael Rua

1837-1910 Feast Day April 6 As a youth in Turin, Italy, Michael was drawn to the work and vision of St. John Bosco, his school’s chaplain. In 1854 he helped Don Bosco found the Salesian Congregation, dedicated to practical charity and inspired by St. Francis de Sales. After his ordination in 1860, Michael personally assisted […]

Vincent Ferrer

1350-1419 Feast Day April 5 Born in Valencia to an English father and Spanish mother, Vincent joined the Dominican friars in 1367 and became a noted preacher, making converts even among Jews and Muslims. After years of backing the Avignon papal claimants, Vincent withdrew his support, helping to end the papal schism that had divided […]

Isidore of Seville

c. 565 – 636 Feast Day April 4 This bishop’s extensive writings influenced church thinking for a millennium. As bishop of Seville, Spain, from about 600 until his death, he presided over two councils, promoted acceptance of the “filioque” clause of the Creed, and battled the Arian heresy. He wrote a history of the barbarian […]

Berthold

died c. 1195 Feast Day March 29 Not much is known about this hermit who is considered by some historians to be the founder of the order of Carmelite friars. Various legends had him born in Limoges, France, educated at the University of Paris, and participating in the Crusades in Turkey. What is known is […]

Francesco Faa di Bruno

1825-1888 Feast Day March 27 This aristocratic Piedmontese Italian abandoned a military career for mathematics. Following studies at the Sorbonne in Paris, he began teaching at Italy’s University of Turin and doing charitable work among domestic servants, female apprentices and unmarried mothers. At the urging of St. John Bosco and despite episcopal opposition, Francesco was […]