Saint Celestine V, Pope

Saint Celestine V, Pope Feast date: May 19 Celestine is a saint who will always be remembered for the unique manner in which he was elected Pope, for his spectacular incompetence in that office, and for the distinction of being the first pontiff ever to have resigned. Pietro di Murrone was born in born 1215 in the Neapolitan province of Moline to a poor family. He became a Benedictine monk at the age of seventeen and was eventually ordained priest at Rome. His love of solitude led him first into the wilderness of Monte Morone in the Abruzzi, whence his surname, and…

St. John I, Pope

St. John I, Pope Feast date: May 18 On May 18, the Catholic Church honors the first “Pope John” in its history. Saint John I was a martyr for the faith, imprisoned and starved to death by a heretical Germanic king during the sixth century. He was a friend of the renowned Christian philosopher Boethius, who died in a similar manner. Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians also honor Pope St. John I, on the same date as the Roman Catholic Church. The future Pope John I was born in Tuscany, and served as an archdeacon in the Church for…

St. Pascal Baylon

St. Pascal Baylon Feast date: May 17 Pascal was born at Torre-Hermosa, in the Kingdom of Aragon, on May 24, 1540. He was born on the Feast of Pentecost, which in Spain is called “the Pasch of the Holy Ghost”, which is why he received the name Pascal. He died at Villa Reale, May 15, 1592, on Whitsunday. His parents, Martin Baylon and Elizabeth Jubera, were virtuous peasants. The child began very early to display signs of that surpassing devotion towards the Holy Eucharist, which forms the salient feature of his character. From his seventh to his twenty-fourth year, he led the life of a…

Blessed Antonia Mesina

Blessed Antonia Mesina Feast date: May 17 Antonia Mesina was born into a poor family in a small town in Sardinia, Italy, in 1919. She was the second of 10 children and she had to leave school after only four years to help her bed-ridden mother who suffered from a heart condition tend to the house and the other children. Despite her heavy responsibilities at home, Antonia became a very active member of Catholic Action, an Italian Catholic organization for the laity, at the age of 10. When she was 16, she was attacked while out gathering wood after mass….

St. Andrew Bobola

St. Andrew Bobola Feast date: May 16 Andrew Bobola is a Polish-born martyr. He was born in Sandormir, Poland, in 1591 to a noble family. He was ordained a Jesuit in 1622 and three years later became a parish priest in Vilna, Lithuania, the town in which he had studied. He also served as superior of the Jesuit community for a time. He worked extensively with the sick and made and even stronger efforts to help them during a plague outbreak, but he is best known as a successful missionary to the Orthodox. He did this for almost 20 years, preaching along…

St. Simon Stock

St. Simon Stock Feast date: May 16 On May 16, the Catholic Church remembers Saint Simon Stock, a twelfth- and thirteenth-century Carmelite monk whose vision of the Virgin Mary is the source of the Brown Scapular devotion. Simon was born during 1165 in the English county of Kent. He is said to have been strongly devoted to God from his youth, to the point that he left home at age 12 to live in the forest as a hermit. Following the customs of the earliest monks, he lived on fruit and water and spent his time in prayer and meditation….

St. Isidore

St. Isidore Feast date: May 15 Isidore was born in 1070 in Madrid, Spain. His family was poor, and he labored as a farmer on the land owned by a rich man named John de Vergas. He was very pious and such a good worker that de Vergas allowed him to worship daily in the chapel on his property, and because of thes he was often accused by his fellow workers of neglecting his duties because he made prayer a higher priority. Isidore eventually married a woman named Mary, and together they had a son. However their son died while still very…

St. Matthias, Apostle

St. Matthias, Apostle Feast date: May 14 Matthias, whose name means “gift of God”,  was the disciple chosen to replace Judas as one of the twelve Apostles. The Acts of the Apostles state that he was also one of the 72 disciples that the Lord Jesus sent out to preach the good news. Matthias was with the Lord since His Baptism, and was “a witness to Christ’s Resurrection,” according to St. Peter in Acts. He remained with Jesus until His Ascension. According to various traditions, Matthias preached in Cappadocia, Jerusalem, the shores of the Caspian Sea (in modern day Turkey)…

Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima Feast date: May 13 May 13 is the anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady to three shepherd children in the small village of Fatima in Portugal in 1917.  She appeared six times to Lucia, 9, and her cousins Francisco, 8, and his sister Jacinta, 6, between May 13, 1917 and October 13, 1917. The story of Fatima begins in 1916, when, against the backdrop of the First World War which had introduced Europe to the most horrific and powerful forms of warfare yet seen, and a year before the Communist revolution would plunge Russia and…

Feast of the Ascension

Feast of the Ascension Feast date: May 12 The Feast of the Ascension is the fortieth day after Easter Sunday, which commemorates the Ascension of Christ into heaven, according to Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and Acts 1:2. In the Eastern Church this feast was known as analepsis, “the taking up”, and also as the episozomene, the salvation, denoting that by ascending into His glory, Christ completed the work of our redemption. The terms used in the West, ascensio and, occasionally, ascensa, signify that Christ was raised up by His own powers. Tradition designates Mount Olivet near Bethany as the place…