Bernadette Soubirous

1844-1879 FEAST April 16 As a child in a poor French family in the Hautes-Pyrenees town of Lourdes, Bernadette suffered both asthma and cholera. Uneducated, she had not made her first Communion by 1858, the year she experienced 18 visions of a beautiful lady calling herself the Immaculate Conception and calling for penance and pilgrimage. […]

Pope Martin I

died 655 feast – April 13 Born in Todi and educated in Rome, this pious Italian priest was sent by Pope Theodore I as nuncio to Constantinople, where he encountered the Monothelite heresy claiming Jesus had only a divine will and was not truly human. When Martin followed Theodore as pope in 649, he convened […]

Mary Cleophas

first century Feast Day April 9 This Mary, wife of Cleophas and mother of James the Less and Joses, witnessed the Crucifixion, helped prepare Christ’s body for burial, and waited with Mary Magdalen until the tomb was sealed. When they returned and found the tomb empty on Easter, an angel announced, “He is risen.” While […]

Casilda

11th century Feast Day April 9 Born in central Spain, Casilda was the daughter of the emir of Toledo. Though a Muslim, she had a reputation for being kind to Christian prisoners. After she became sick, she went on a pilgrimage to the shrine of San Vicenzo de Briviesca, which was famous for its healing […]

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 […]