A man of humble background, and wanting to maintain a simple lifestyle, Saint Pius X endured the trappings of the papacy as best he could. Known for encouraging frequent reception of Holy Communion, and concerned about world affairs, he led the Church in holiness and grace.
The notion of a queen is somewhat foreign to American ears, but this feast of Mary recognizes her role in the Kingdom of her Son, Jesus. If Jesus is king, Mary is certainly queen. And the title—or its surrogate—goes back centuries in the Church, as Mary has been praised for her position in salvation history and among the people of God.
A member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic, Saint Rose of Lima lived a life of penance and devotion to the poor at home under the disapproving eyes of her parents. They wanted her to marry, but Saint Rose felt another calling. While her lifestyle raised some eyebrows, at her death the city of Lima recognized her sanctity.
We know nothing about Saint Bartholomew except that he was one of the original twelve apostles. If he is the man called Nathanael, then we know he is from Cana in Galilee—but that still doesn’t tell us much. But knowing that he gave his life in the service of the faith is enough.
Saint Louis of France took his position seriously as both king and Christian. A true son of the Church, Louis worked for peace and reconciliation within his kingdom and beyond. He was generous with his wealth and his time. He was named a patron of the Secular Franciscans.
Saint Joseph Calasanz dedicated his life to poor children. He gathered teachers to help him, and eventually organized the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools--also known as the Piarists or Scolopi. But his work was not without opposition, as some objected to the education of the poor.
Saint Augustine is a giant in many ways. He had a powerful and forceful personality which he used both before and after his conversion. He had a passion for whatever he did, and this showed up in his theological teachings.
Canonized in 2009, Saint Jeanne Jugan had a history of helping the elderly and the poor. She founded the Little Sisters of the Poor to help her with her work, and by the time of her death the community numbered 2400 women.