Clare of Assisi

1193 – 1253 Feast Date: August 11 Though 10 years younger than her townsman, Francis of Assisi, Clare was drawn to his radical message of serving God in abject poverty. Despite objections from her aristocratic family, who wanted her to marry, she gave up the world with Francis’ help and founded the Second Order of […]


1170-1221 FEAST August 8 As a theology student, this Spaniard sold his books to help others during a famine, and later held positions at the Osma Cathedral, where community life followed the Rule of St. Augustine. Dominic and his bishop went to southern France on a papal mission to fight the Albigensian heresy. He remained […]

Peter Faber (Favre)

1506 – 1546 FEAST August 1 A Savoyard shepherd who longed for education, Peter began studies in 1525 at Sainte-Barbe in Paris, where his roommates were Sts. Francis Xavier and Ignatius of Loyola. Peter was ordained in 1534, and celebrated the Mass at which the first seven Jesuits, including himself, took vows. After missions in […]


First Century FEAST July 29 Martha and her siblings, Mary and Lazarus, are Jesus’ friends in Bethany. In Luke 10:38-42, while Mary sits at Jesus’ feet, Martha is busy serving. When she complains to Jesus, he says: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. … Mary has chosen the better part and […]

Joachim and Anne

First Century FEAST July 26 Not mentioned in the Bible, Joachim and Anne are first named as the parents of Mary in the apocryphal Protoevangelium of James, which may date from the second century. In this story, they are old and childless, like the Old Testament Hannah, mother of Samuel, when angels deliver the news […]

James the Greater

First Century FEAST July 25 Jesus called James and John, the sons of Zebedee, to leave their livelihood as fishermen and follow him. Perhaps because of their zeal or temperament, Jesus called them “sons of thunder.” James was the first of the 12 to be martyred; he was beheaded in Jerusalem by order of Herod […]

Bridget of Sweden

1303-1373 FEAST July 23 Bridget, or Birgitta, married a Swedish nobleman and they had eight children, including St. Katherine of Vadstena. About 1335 Bridget was appointed chief lady-in-waiting at the Swedish court. After she was widowed in 1344, she founded the Order of the Most Holy Savior, known as Brigittines. Bridget spent much time in […]

Thomas the Apostle

First Century Feast Date: July 3 Named among the Twelve Apostles in all four Gospels, Thomas figured prominently in several stories in John. He said he was ready to die with Jesus, that he didn’t know where Jesus was going and so couldn’t follow, and famously doubted a post-Resurrection appearance until he himself saw the […]


died 545 Feast Date: June 3 The Catholic Clotilda persuaded her pagan husband, King Clovis of the Franks, to allow their children to be baptized and eventually witnessed his baptism in 496 in Reims, France. But her 34-year widowhood was marked by family fights over power. Clotilda took charge of the three sons of Clodomir, […]

Margaret Clitherow

c. 1553-1586 FEAST March 25 Born into a prosperous York Protestant family when Catholicism was forbidden, Margaret married wealthy Protestant John Clitherow, whose brother became a Catholic priest. Margaret soon became a Catholic and set up Mass centers in her home and a nearby inn. She was imprisoned three times for failing to attend Protestant […]

Lucy Filippini

1672-1732 FEAST March 25 Orphaned as a child, Lucy found a spiritual father in the bishop of Montefiascone and Corneto, Italy, who wanted to educate young people, especially young women. Working with him and Blessed Rose Venerini, Lucy helped form the Institute of the Maestre Pie and founded and maintained girls’ schools in that diocese […]

Nicholas Owen

1550-1606 FEAST March 22 St. Nicholas became a lay Jesuit brother in 1597. He served St. Edmund Campion and was once imprisoned for defending him against charges of treason. Later he was in the service of Henry Garnet, the Jesuit provincial, traveling with him, staying in the homes of recusants, where he constructed hiding holes […]


c. 389-461 FEAST March 17 The patron of Ireland, this bishop was born in Roman Britain, kidnapped at 16 by Irish raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland. He was a lonely shepherd for six years before escaping and returning home. But his dream of converting the Irish pagans propelled him to priestly studies in […]

Clement Mary Hofbauer

1751-1820 FEAST March 15 A baker, Czech-born Johannes Hofbauer, after a period of solitary living and wandering between Rome and Vienna, established the Redemptorists north of the Alps and is considered the order?s second founder. He was ordained a Redemptorist priest at age 34 and served in Poland for 20 years, until 1808, when Napoleon […]