Veronica

First Century FEAST July 12 Veronica does not appear in the Roman Martyrology, the church’s official list of feasts. According to legend, she was the woman who took pity on Jesus as he carried his cross, wiped his face with a cloth and was left with an image of the suffering Christ. Many such images, […]

Benedict

c. 480-550 FEAST July 11 What’s known about the father of Western monasticism is from the “Dialogues of (Pope) St. Gregory the Great.” Sent to Rome to study, 20-year-old Benedict shunned the city’s wickedness to take up solitary living in Subiaco. He stayed there for about 25 years, with disciples he organized into 12 small […]

Kateri Tekakwitha

1656-1680 Feast Date: July 14 At her canonization in 2012, Pope Benedict XVI prayed, “St. Kateri, protectress of Canada and the first Native American saint, we entrust to you the renewal of the faith in the First Nations and in all of North America!” The daughter of a Mohawk chief and Algonquin woman, Kateri was […]

Aloysius Gonzaga

1568 – 1591 Feast Date: June 21 Born to a noble Italian family, Aloysius served as a page in Spain and Italy. His father opposed a religious vocation, planning instead a military career for his oldest son. But Aloysius joined the Jesuits in Rome in 1585, taking his vows two years later. His health had […]

Boniface

c. 675 – 754 Feast Date: June 5 Boniface, the apostle of Germany, started out as an English monk, a popular teacher, preacher and writer who was ordained at 30. He compiled a Latin grammar and wrote many biblical instructions. But he felt called to missionary work, and in 716 landed in Friesland, now in […]

Isidore the Farmer

c. 1070-1130 FEAST May 15 A humble peasant born near Madrid, Spain, Isidore married and worked the same fields all his life. The couple was said to have lived celibately after their young son died. Always devout, Isidore visited church on his way t work, prayed while ploughing and made local pilgrimages. Legends associate him […]

Mary Mazzarello

1837-1881 FEAST May 14 An Italian peasant, Mary worked long hours in the fields and vineyards. She attended Mass frequently and joined a sodality whose members in 1860 were asked to nurse typhoid victims. Mary caught the fever and nearly died. Because of weakened health, she started a dressmaking business to employ local girls. This […]

Our Lady of Fatima

20th Century FEAST May 13 Mary appeared to three peasant children near Fatima, Portugal, six times between May 13 and October 13, 1917, and asked for prayers for world peace and an end to World War I, for sinners, and for the conversion of Russia. She entrusted the children with three secrets, regarding devotion to […]

Pancras

died circa 304 FEAST May 12 According to an early legend, the Roman martyr Pancras was a native of Syria or Phrygia (now Turkey) brought to Rome by an uncle after he was orphaned. They converted to Christianity there and were martyred during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian. Pancras reportedly was only 14, the likely […]

Francis di Girolamo

1642-1716 FEAST May 11 Already a priest in Naples, Italy, Francis entered the Society of Jesus at age 28. From 1676 until his death, this Jesuit missioner, who wanted to evangelize in Japan, served in Naples and the surrounding countryside. A renowned preacher, he was said to be “a lamb when he talks and a […]

John of Avila

1500-1569 FEAST May 10 Born near Toledo, Spain, John was sent by his wealthy parents to study law in Salamanca. But, renouncing such a career, he instead lived as a hermit for three years, and was ordained in 1525, after his parents had died. Though he hoped to be a missionary in Mexico, his archbishop […]

Domitian of Maastricht

died c. 560 FEAST May 7 French by birth, Domitian became the bishop of Maastricht, in the Netherlands, and had a prominent role at the synod of Orleans, France, which refuted heretical errors. He evangelized in the Meuse River area of Europe’s Low Countries, converting people and founding churches and hospitals. He prophesied a plentiful […]

Hilary of Arles

circa 400 – 449 FEAST May 5 This French aristocrat, a pagan holding high office in a local government, was converted to Catholicism by his relative, St. Honoratus, and became a monk at Lerins. An austere and strict monastic, Hilary succeeded Honoratus as bishop of Arles when he was just 29. As bishop, he preached […]

Florian

?-304 FEAST May 4 A martyr of the most violent of Roman persecutions, Florian was a Roman officer serving in Noricum, now part of Austria. Upon declaring his faith, he gave himself up to a Roman governor, was scourged, set afire and thrown in a river to drown. His body was recovered, buried and later […]