What little we know about Saint Barnabas comes to us from Acts of the Apostles, where he plays a fairly big role in the expansion of the early Church. Closely associated with Saint Paul, he shared in several of Paul’s trips and difficulties.
Blessed Jolenta of Poland and her husband assisted many from their means. Once widowed, and with two of her three daughters married, Blessed Jolenta and her third daughter entered the Poor Clares. She eventually became an abbess.
An Augustinian monk who was inspired by the martyrdom of Franciscan missionaries, Saint Anthony of Padua joined the Franciscans hoping to be a missionary. But God had other plans for him. He became one of the outstanding philosopher/theologians of the Order.
Saint Albert Chmielowski was a talented painter and a Secular Franciscan. In mid-life, he founded the Brothers of the Third Order of Saint Francis, Servants to the Poor, who worked with the poor and homeless. Known also as the Albertine Brothers, this community was renowned for depending completely on alms.
Enduring a seriously dysfunctional marriage and being left a widow, Saint Marguerite d’Youville did not give in to despair. Rather, she founded the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, the “Grey Nuns,” rescued a failing hospital, and cared for the sick. Not even the destruction of the hospital by fire drove her to despair.
Known for his long hours of prayer and notable ability to communicate, John Francis Regis served the people of France during a “dry” period, when the faith and the Church seemed in decline. He conducted missions to counteract the malaise. He succeeded in converting many people and bringing others back to the faith.
At a time when rigorist ideas were rampant in the seminaries of Italy, Saint Joseph Cafasso proved to be a moderate, leading the students to the best of Catholic thought without going to extremes. He also encouraged them to join the Secular Franciscans and develop a love for the Eucharist.
Saint Romuald had the strange experience of being uncomfortably holy and asked to leave a monastery. When he tried to become a missionary, he was repeatedly hindered by an illness. Next he was falsely accused and excommunicated for a few months. But he didn’t give up.