July 28, 2020

Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception is a very special saint. She is the first person of Indian origin to be recognized as a saint and is the first canonized saint of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, and Eastern Catholic Church (this means she was not part of the Latin Rite). She was born Anna Muttathupadathu on August 19, 1910 in Arpookara, a village within Kerala, India. As a child, her parents nicknamed her Annakkutty (“little Anna”). When Alphonsa was three, she... Read more

July 27, 2020

Titus Brandsma was born as Anno Sjoerd Brandsma to Titus Brandsma and Tjitsje Postman on February 23, 1881 in Bolsward, the Netherlands. His parents ran a small dairy farm and were very devout Catholics, even though they were the minority in the predominantly Calvinist region. Titus and all of his siblings (except one sister) ended up joining religious life. Titus began his secondary studies at age 11 at the Franciscan-run minor seminary for boys in Megen. It was at this... Read more

July 26, 2020

Bartolomea Capitanio was born on January 13, 1807 in Bergamo, Italy (at the time, northern Italy was controlled by Austria). She was the oldest of seven children, but all except one, Camilla, died as infants. Her mother educated the children with great guidance and deep faith. Her father, though, became an aggressive alcoholic. Her mother sent her to the convent of the Poor Clares in Lovere in 1818. Bartolomea wished to enter this order of nuns but her parents would... Read more

July 25, 2020

Magnericus was born in 522 AD in Trier, Germany but there is not much known about his early life. He was a Frankish bishop of Trier and one of the first bishops ever with a Germanic name. He was friends with St. Gregory of Tours and ordained St. Géry. Magnericus has been described as virtuous and charitable and an “ornament of bishops”. Magnericus was raised by  St. Nicetius and accompanied him into exile when he was banished (the King had... Read more

July 24, 2020

Maria Mercedes Prat was born on March 6, 1880 in Barcelona, Spain; the eldest of four children. As a child, she attended Mass every day! She was very studious in schoolwork and painting and excelled in sewing. In 1904, Maria Mercedes traveled to Tortosa to enter the Society of Saint Teresa of Jesus (the Teresian Sisters). She began her novitiate on August 27, 1904, vested in the habit on March 1, 1905, and made her profession of vows on March... Read more

July 23, 2020

John Cassian is probably the coolest person you didn’t know you knew. He is especially noted for his role in bringing the practices of Christian monasticism to the early medieval West. St. Benedict of Nursia praised some of John Cassian’s writing in his rule. Use of his formulation also became part of the Liturgy of the Hours! St. Alphonsus Ligouri, in his writing, cited Cassian’s recommendation to use this short prayer continually. Even the basic ideas put forth by St.... Read more

July 22, 2020

Joseph of Tiberias, venerated as Jospeh of Palestine, was a convert from Judaism. He was a contemporary of Emperor Constantine, a Rabbinical scholar, and member of the Sanhedrin. Joseph’s mentor in the Jewish faith was Hillel II. He claimed, while an envoy of the Sanhedrin, to have been cast into the river by the Jews of Cilicia for having been caught reading New Testament books, and to have escaped drowning only by a miracle. It is said that he was so... Read more

July 21, 2020

Julia was born in Troyes, France in the third century. She was taken captive by soldiers of Roman Emperor Aurelian and given over as a slave to Claudius. Through her teachings, Julia was able to convert Claudius to Christ. In 272, upon the orders of Emperor Aurelian, both Julia and Claudius were beheaded. Their relics were enshrined in the convent of Jouarre, near Meaux, France. That’s it, that’s all that’s known of her. I thought about skipping over her to find a... Read more

July 20, 2020

Margaret is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic, Western Rite Orthodox, Anglican, Eastern-Rite Orthodox, and Coptic Churches. That’s pretty incredible! It’s not terribly often that most of us agree on something. I love these saints that are almost universally celebrated whether Catholic or Orthodox or Coptic or otherwise. The saints are for all, Christ is for all, and these specific saints really help witness to that. Margaret, as is of course the case, is also pretty badass. According... Read more

July 19, 2020

Justa and Rufina were sisters born in 268 and 270 AD, respectively, near Seville, Spain. They were born into a poor Christian family but were extremely pious. They made earthenware pottery for a living and supported themselves and much of the city’s poor through this enterprise.  Legend of Justa and Rufina states that they refused to sell their goods for use in pagan ceremonies. Outraged, the pagan worshippers smashed all of their pottery. In retaliation, the sisters smashed a statue... Read more

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