January 8. Saint Angela of Foligno was a wife and mother who had little interest in the spiritual life until about the age 40. After her husband and children died, Saint Angela entered the Secular Franciscans living a life of prayer and service. Others were attracted to her way of life and they formed a religious community.
January 7. Saint Raymond of Peñafort was a lawyer who used his talents to both compile legislation for easy access and to write legal treatises on penance for the use of confessors. He was named the Archbishop of Tarragona, but resigned due to sickness within two years. He lived to be 100.
January 6. Saint André Bessette was orphaned at 12, and eventually worked in the United States during the Civil War. At 25, he became a Brother of the Holy Cross. Having a deep devotion to Saint Joseph from childhood, Saint André built the Oratory on Mount Royal in his honor. Although sickly most of his life, Saint André lived to be 92.
January 5. Saint John Neumann was the first member of his community, the Redemptorists, to profess vows in the United States. He did missionary work in Maryland, Virginia, and Ohio and became the bishop of Philadelphia. Noted for his humility and organizational skills, he helped form the Church in the new world.
January 4. Convert, wife, mother, widow, teacher, religious─Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton did it all. Yet, in many ways, she was an ordinary woman of her time who lived life in an extraordinary way. She has certainly had a powerful influence on women Religious and on the Catholic school system in the United States.
January 3. Saint Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians that Jesus’ name is above every other name. It is the name in which we are all saved. Devotion to the Most Holy Name of Jesus is deeply rooted in Christian history.
January 2. Saint Basil is the Father of Eastern monasticism—as Saint Benedict is for western monasticism. Besides being a good pastor, Saint Basil also lead the fight against Arianism, a heresy that denied the divinity of Christ.
January 1. One of the more theological feasts of Mary, this feast of her title "Mother of God" has a long history, and is rooted in the faith of the people. Viewing Mary as our mother has many meanings and ramifications, all of which enrich our faith and point us toward Jesus.
December 31. Saint Sylvester lived during the time of Constantine when the Church was coming out of hiding and becoming the Church of the empire. Little is known about him, but much is presumed.
December 30. Saint Egwin was a Benedictine monk who became the bishop of Worcester, England. He seems to have had a good reputation─except with the clergy; they found his reforms a bit too strict. He was exonerated by Rome, however, and he continued to function as the diocesan bishop.