Saint Thomas was from Castile in Spain and received his surname from the town where he was raised. After joining the Augustinian friars at Salamanca, he became prior and then provincial of the friars. He sent the first Augustinian friars to the New World.
Saint Cyprian played an important role in the development of Christian thought and practice in the early Church. He was a noted speaker who became a Christian as an adult. He was ordained a priest within two years of his conversion, and was then chosen to be bishop of Carthage.
This feast is a counterpart to the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus: both have the possibility of uniting people easily divided on other matters. Mary encourages us to cooperate with Jesus in building a peace based on justice.
Saint John Chrysostom, the great preacher of Antioch, was the victim of his own success. Called to be a bishop, this simple monk found himself embroiled in the workings of the empire. He, however, managed to stay focused on the needs of the Church.
The principal biblical references to Mary’s sorrows are Simeon’s prediction about a sword piercing Mary’s soul, and Jesus’ words from the cross to Mary and to the beloved disciple. The two passages are brought together as prediction and fulfillment.
Cornelius was elected pope “by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of most of the clergy, by the vote of the people, with the consent of aged priests and of good men” after a 14 month vacancy in the papacy.
Saint Robert Bellarmine was ordained in 1570 during a period when the study of theology was in a weakened state. He dedicated his time and energy to the study of Church history, the Fathers of the Church, and to Scripture, in order to organize Church teaching to face the attacks of the Protestant Reformers.
Joseph of Cupertino is most famous for levitating during prayer. After a short career with the Capuchins, he joined the Conventual Franciscans. Following a brief assignment caring for the friary mule, Joseph began his studies for the priesthood.
Little is known about the life of Januarius. Legend has it that he and his companions were thrown to the bears in the amphitheater of Pozzuoli, but the animals failed to attack them. They were then beheaded, and Januarius' blood ultimately brought to Naples.