July 12. Saints John Jones and John Wall were ordained diocesan priests who later joined the Franciscans. Living almost a century apart, these two saints shared a common characteristic—both ministered to the faithful during dangerous times for Catholics in England. Eventually arrested, they were martyred for the faith: one in 1598 and the other in 1679.
July 11. Saint Benedict is known as the Father of Western Monasticism due to his great influence on the shape and character of monastic life in the West. Living the life of a hermit, others witnessed his lifestyle and wanted to follow. He eventually organized these men and wrote a Rule governing their communal life. Noted for its moderation and hospitality, the Rule continues to nurture the Cistercians as well as the Benedictines of today.
July 10. A Capuchin Poor Clare, Saint Veronica Giuliani received the unique gift of the stigmata of Christ. Few people have been blessed with these marks; Saint Francis of Assisi was probably the most notable among them. Saint Veronica suffered misunderstandings because of the gift, but she endured through it all and was able to serve her community in several administrative roles.
July 9. Among the Chinese martyrs was a diocesan priest, Saint Augustine Zhao Rong, and his companions. Facing the strong anti-foreign and anti-Catholic feeling present in China at the time, these martyrs were caught up in a situation that, in many ways, had nothing to do with religion or the Church. But they stayed loyal to the Church and their people, and gave their lives in witness.
July 8. The 120 martyred in China, including Saint Gregory Grassi and Companions, were the victims of political maneuverings by other countries which sparked the anti-foreigner movement in China. These Franciscan men and women, along with lay men and women, gave their lives in service of the Chinese people. Caught up in the Boxer Uprising, they were martyred on various dates in 1900.
July 7. Franciscan friar Blessed Emmanuel Ruiz and his Companions were tortured and killed in 1860, for their faith. Little else is known about them, but the testimony of their lives speaks volumes.
July 6. Saint Maria Goretti has captured the love and affection of thousands of people because of the simplicity and purity of her life. Killed defending her chastity, Saint Maria Goretti posthumously witnessed the conversion of her murderer and his reconciliation with her family.
July 5. Saint Anthony Zaccaria lived only 36 years, but founded three religious communities, and contributed to the reformation of the Church. He insisted on various religious or devotional practices to renew the spiritual life of the clergy, religious, and laity.
July 4. Saint Elizabeth of Portugal did not have an easy life in spite of the fact that she was royalty. She spent her life seeking peace between herself and her unfaithful husband, and between many of her relatives. She had some success before retiring to a Poor Clare monastery where she died.
July 3. We don’t know a lot about Saint Thomas the Apostle, but tradition has it that he traveled to and preached the gospel in India, where he was eventually martyred. His name means “twin,” and due to his skepticism, he is also known as “Doubting Thomas.”