May 3. Saints Philip and James share a feast day because their relics were brought to Rome together in early May. We know nothing more about either saint than what is found in the Scriptures. There we are told that they were apostles, and tradition has it that they were both martyred.
May 2. Saint Athanasius felt that spending his time and energy fighting for the truth of the doctrine of Christ’s divinity was worth it. He even endured five exiles to prove it. Through his writings and hard work, we today enjoy the truth of the Gospel in its fullness: Christ is both fully human and fully divine.
May 1. Pope Pius XII emphasized both Catholic devotion to Saint Joseph and the dignity of human labor when he created the celebration of Saint Joseph the Worker. Work, as our Church teaches, should always be for the good and benefit of humanity. Saint Joseph is our model and patron in our work endeavors.
April 30. Pope Saint Pius V, a Dominican, was the one responsible for the implementation of the results of the Council of Trent—no easy task. Refusing to remove his Dominican habit, he is also responsible for the tradition that popes wear white. His Dominican training and spirituality were great helps in his efforts to reform the Church.
April 29. Saint Catherine of Siena was a Third Order Dominican known for her contemplation and prayer—as well as her involvement in Church and civil affairs. During the time when there were two and three popes each claiming the papacy, Saint Catherine sided with Pope Urban VI. She was named a Doctor of the Church in 1970.
April 28. A Marist priest and the first martyr of the South Pacific, Saint Peter Chanel worked on the island of Futuna. Struggling and having little success in his evangelization efforts with the local people, Saint Peter eventually was awakened on April 28th and clubbed to death in his home. Within two years of his death, the whole island had become Catholic.
April 27. A diocesan priest with a great devotion to Mary, Saint Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort attracted many people to the faith by his preaching. He lived a life of notable poverty and simplicity. Saint Louis de Montfort encouraged daily communion at a time when it was not customary to receive the Eucharist frequently.
April 26. Saint Pedro de San José Betancur was a Secular Franciscan who founded a hospital, a shelter, and a school for the poor in Guatemala City. He also founded a religious congregation for men. Another congregation for women, inspired by his life, sprang up after his death. Saint Pedro supported his work by begging alms.
April 25. Most likely the first of the four Gospels, the Gospel of Saint Mark is brief and pointed. Saint Mark has one goal, to present Jesus as God’s crucified messiah, and he fulfills that goal concisely. Saint Mark’s Gospel seems to have been one of the sources used by Saints Matthew and Luke for their works.
April 24. Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen was known for his generosity and care for the poor throughout his life. Starting off as a lawyer, he became disenchanted and joined the Capuchins where he was known for his prayer and preaching. While traveling, he was attacked and killed.