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 […]

Athanasius

295-373 FEAST May 2 This doctor of the church, famous for his understanding of and writing about the Incarnation, became bishop of his hometown, Alexandria, Egypt, when he was in his early 30s. As metropolitan patriarch for 45 years, he fought the heresy of Arius, a well educated Alexandrian priest; ran afoul of three emperors […]

Joseph the Worker

First Century FEAST May 1 Though his principal feast is March 19, St. Joseph also is honored for his labors as a carpenter in providing for his family’s needs in Nazareth. The carpentry trade in first-century Palestine covered building houses, which were mostly made of wood; by tradition, Jesus joined the family business. Throughout church […]

Pope Pius V

1504 – 1572 FEAST April 30 Antonio Ghislieri began life as a poor Italian shepherd, but became a leader in the Catholic Reformation. Ordained a Dominican in 1528, he taught theology and philosophy and served as novice master and prior. A fanatical Catholic, he was named local inquisitor, then bishop, cardinal and grand inquisitor in […]