Saint Angela Merici was a courageous woman who saw a need and answered it even though society may not have been ready for her solution. Women teaching outside the convent, and what we call today a secular institute, were new forms of living and ministering which proved very beneficial to the Church.
Saint Thomas Aquinas is well known for his writings, especially the "Summa Theologica." But he was far more than a philosopher/theologian. He was a devout man who wrote beautiful prayers and hymns. Perhaps the best known is the "Pange Lingua."
Brother Juniper was a simple man who joined Saint Francis in the earliest days of the Order. While Saint Francis praised him and wished he had a “whole forest of such Junipers,” nevertheless, he could be exasperating for his generosity. Even saints can be frustrating.
Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska founded the Felician Sisters as a result of a conversion experience she had while convalescing from an illness. At the age of 44 she was forced to resign due to ill health. She lived however, into her '70s.
Inspired by Saint Francis de Sales, Saint John Bosco founded the Salesians to continue his work among boys. Then, joining forces with Mary Mazzarello, he helped found the Salesian Sisters. All this during a time when established religious communities in Italy were closing their doors.
Saint Ansgar was a Benedictine missionary who spent his life trying to convert northern Europe. It seems for every step he took forward, he ended up taking two backward. Yet, he didn’t seem to become discouraged. He kept his focus on serving the poor wherever he was.
Being an observant Jewish couple, it stands to reason that Mary and Joseph went to the Temple for Mary's purification—as prescribed by Mosaic Law—40 days after Jesus' birth. The blessing of candles and the procession of light were added to this feast, giving it the popular name “Candlemas.”
Popularly known as the saint who protects from ailments of the throat, Saint Blaise was a bishop and martyr of the fourth century. We know little else about him, except that he suffered persecution even after the Edict of Toleration was to have freed the Roman world for worship.
Saint Joseph of Leonissa was known for his austerity of life and single-minded commitment to preaching. Arrested and warned to change his ways, Joseph returned to his former behavior and was re-arrested and condemned to die. He escaped, however, and continued a life of preaching.