March 9. Saint Frances of Rome is a good example of what Vatican II hoped for—an active laity who take their baptismal call seriously. Although she lived centuries before the Council, her life shows that the call for an active, dedicated laity has been a part of the Church all along. Saint Frances is a good example of what are all called to today—and always.
March 10. A student of Saint John Bosco, Saint Dominic Savio organized a group of students to minister to boys who needed guidance and help. Due to illness, however, Dominic never fulfilled his dream of becoming a priest. He died at the age of 14.
March 11. A convert from Calvinism, Saint John Ogilvie joined the Jesuits and was ordained to the priesthood. Doing secret ministry in Scotland, Saint John was arrested and tortured for a number of days before being martyred on March 10, 1615. He became the first Scottish saint post-Reformation.
March 12. Blessed Angela Salawa was a maid for many years, and eventually became a Secular Franciscan who worked with wounded and sick soldiers during World War I. Abandoned by everyone before her death, she died on March 12, 1922.
March 13. Saint Leander of Seville was a Catholic bishop surrounded by Arians for much of his life. He fought hard to restore faith in the divinity of Christ, using the profession of the Nicene Creed as a tool.
March 14. Saint Maximilian, not to be confused with Saint Maximilian Kolbe who lived centuries later, refused military service and was martyred as a result. While other Christians did serve in the military, Saint Maximilian’s conscience said that he could not without compromising his faith. He set a high standard for all to follow.
March 15. Saint Louise de Marillac had an open heart for the poor. Along with Saint Vincent de Paul, she eventually formed what would become a religious order known as the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul. By the time of her death, the community had 40 houses in France.
March 16. Together Saint Clement Mary and his fellow Redemptorist Thaddeus, preached five sermons per day while working in Warsaw, Poland. But this didn’t seem to overtask Saint Clement Mary who eventually faced arrests, imprisonment, and exile. But he kept on going until his death at the age of 68.
March 17. We probably know more legends about Saint Patrick than facts. But from the amount of work he did, and by the after-effects of that work, we can understand what type of man he was. He tirelessly toiled to spread the Gospel, at times against formidable odds. But as often happens, the legends prove more interesting than the facts.
March 18. Life in the fourth century was anything but dull, as the life of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem proves. The Church was facing a major crisis and Saint Cyril was one of the men who worked through the controversies. Thanks to courageous men like him, we share the faith today.