The son of Irish immigrants, Blessed Michael McGivney saw a need for Catholics to come together to assist widows and orphans who were often left destitute. That organization became the Knights of Columbus.
Faced with persecution and possible death, Blessed Miguel Pro returned to his native Mexico after his ordination to minister to the people of God. Within a couple of years, he was arrested on trumped-up charges and executed.
This Polish Conventual Franciscan served in the military, but felt the call to the vowed religious life. Rafal was known for his simple and candid sermons, for his generosity, as well as for his ministry in the confessional. People of all levels of society were drawn to the self-sacrificing way he lived out his religious profession and priestly ministry.
Blessed Raymond Lull, a Secular Franciscan, spent his life supporting the study of languages necessary for successful work in the missions. It wasn’t until late in life that he saw any fruition of his labors, when language chairs were established in several universities.
Blessed Solanus Casey became one of Detroit’s best-known priests, even though he was not allowed to preach formally or to hear confessions. Difficulties with studies led to his being limited in some areas of ministry, but he certainly shone in others. This well-beloved friar is a modern day example of humility and perseverance.
Blessed Stanley Rother grew up in Oklahoma on his parents' farm in what could be described as a normal environment. Life changed radically for him when he was ordained a priest in 1963, and again in 1968, when he volunteered for the missions in Guatemala. But the final change came when civil war reached his parish in 1980. He was assassinated on July 28, 1981.
Blessed Pope Urban V was a simple man who never wanted to be pope. He was quite content to remain in his Benedictine monastery. But when called to serve the Church, Blessed Urban did so with great devotion and wisdom.
Born in London, Blessed William Carter was a printer who got in trouble for printing Catholic material during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Eventually brought to trial, he was convicted and hanged, drawn, and quartered on January 11, 1584.