St. Augustine of Canterbury

St. Augustine of Canterbury Feast date: May 27 An Italian Benedictine monk who became the “Apostle of the English,” Saint Augustine of Canterbury is honored by the Catholic Church on May 27. Under the direction of Pope Saint Gregory the Great, Augustine founded the famous See of Canterbury and preached the Catholic faith to the country’s Anglo-Saxon pagans during the late sixth and early seventh centuries. He is not be confused with the earlier St. Augustine of Hippo, the famous author of the “Confessions” and “City of God.” Augustine’s date of birth cannot be established, nor are any details of…

St. Philip Neri

St. Philip Neri Feast date: May 26 Philip Neri was born in Florence, Italy, in 1515. At the age of 18, Philip was sent to his uncle, Romolo, a wealthy merchant at San Germano, a Neapolitan town near the base of Monte Cassino, to assist him in his business, and with the hope that he might inherit his uncle’s fortune. He gained Romolo’s confidence and affection, but soon after coming to San Germano Philip had a religious conversion. From then onward, he no longer cared for things of the world, and decided in 1533 to live in Rome. While in…

St. Bede the Venerable

St. Bede the Venerable Feast date: May 25 The Catholic Church will celebrate the feast of St. Bede on May 25. The English priest, monk, and scholar is sometimes known as “the Venerable Bede” for his combination of personal holiness and intellectual brilliance. Bede was born during 673 near the English town of Jarrow. His parents sent him at a young age to study at a monastery founded by a Benedictine abbot who would later be canonized in his own right as St. Benedict Biscop. The abbot’s extensive library may have sparked an early curiosity in the boy, who would…

Pope St. Gregory VII

Pope St. Gregory VII Feast date: May 25 On May 25 the Catholic Church celebrates Pope St. Gregory VII, who sought to reform the Church and secure its freedom against the intrusion of civil rulers during his 11th century pontificate. Born in the Italian region of Tuscany sometime between 1020 and 1025, the future Pope Gregory VII was originally named Hildebrand. His father Bonzio is thought to have been a carpenter or peasant farmer, while his mother’s name is unknown. His uncle Laurentius was abbot of a monastery in Rome. Sent to the school run by his uncle’s monastery, Hildebrand…

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi Feast date: May 25 On May 25, the Catholic Church celebrates Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, an Italian noblewoman of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries who became a Carmelite nun distinguished for her intense prayer life and devotion to frequent Holy Communion. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI marked the 400th anniversary of St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi’s death in a letter to the Archbishop of Florence, her birthplace. He described her as “a symbolic figure of a living love that recalls the essential mystical dimension of every Christian life.” “May the great mystic,” the…

Sts. Donatian and Rogatian

Sts. Donatian and Rogatian Feast date: May 24 Donatian and Rogatian were brothers who were martyred for their faith in the third century. Donatian was the first to convert to Christianity, becoming an ardent witness to the faith after receiving baptism.  His witness was said to be so inspiring that his brother, Rogatian, who had been indifferent at first, was moved by his example to convert. However, the persecution of Diocletian was heavily underway at this time. Both of the brothers were arrested before the bishop was able to baptize Rogatian. The brothers spent the night in jail together in…

St. Jane Antide Thouret

St. Jane Antide Thouret Feast date: May 23 On May 23 the universal Church celebrates the feast day of St. Jane Antide (Jeanne-Antide) Thouret, a Sister of Charity who worked tirelessly for the faith amidst persecution during the French Revolution. Jane was born in Sancey, France, in 1765 to a poor family. Her mother died when she was 16 years old. The Saint took on many family responsibilities until she joined the Vincentian Sisters in Paris at the age of 22, working among the sick in various hospitals. On 15 August 1797 she returned to France in Besançon where she…

St. Rita of Cascia

St. Rita of Cascia Feast date: May 22 On May 22, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Rita of Cascia, who the late John Paul II called “a disciple of the Crucified One” and an “expert in suffering.” Known in Spain as “La Santa de los impossibiles” (the saint of the impossible), St. Rita has become immensely popular throughout the centuries. She is invoked by people in all situations and stations of life, since she had embraced suffering with charity and wrongs with forgiveness in the many trials she experienced in her life: as a wife, widow, a…

St. Christopher Magallanes and Companions

St. Christopher Magallanes and Companions Feast date: May 21 “Long live Christ the King and the Virgin of Guadalupe!” This was the slogan of the “Cristero” uprising in the 1920’s against the anti-Catholic government of Mexico which had instituted and enforced laws against the Church in an absurd attempt to eradicate the Catholic faith in Mexico, even going so far as to ban all foreign clergy and the celebration of Mass in some regions. St. Christopher Magallanes, along with 21 other priests and three lay companions, were martyred between 1915 and 1937, by shooting or hanging, throughout eight Mexican states,…

St. Bernardine of Siena

St. Bernardine of Siena Feast date: May 20 The Catholic Church honors St. Bernardine of Siena on May 20. A Franciscan friar and preacher, St. Bernardine is known as “the Apostle of Italy” for his efforts to revive the country’s Catholic faith during the 15th century. Bernardine Albizeschi was born to upper-class parents in the Italian republic of Siena during 1380. Misfortune soon entered the boy’s life when he lost his mother at age three and his father four years later. His aunt Diana cared for him afterward, and taught him to seek consolation and security by trusting in God….

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