January 6. Saint André Bessette was orphaned at 12, and eventually worked in the United States during the Civil War. At 25, he became a Brother of the Holy Cross. Having a deep devotion to Saint Joseph from childhood, Saint André built the Oratory on Mount Royal in his honor. Although sickly most of his life, Saint André lived to be 92.
November 30. Saint Andrew was Saint Peter’s brother, and was called by Jesus along with Peter. We know very little about Andrew except that he too was a fisherman, and a disciple of Saint John the Baptist.
November 24. Saint Andrew Dung-Lac was one of the 117 people martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. While members of this group were beatified on four different occasions between 1900 and 1951, all were canonized by Pope John Paul II.
January 27. Saint Angela Merici was a courageous woman who saw a need and answered it even though society may not have been ready for her solution. Women teaching and, what we call today, a secular institute were new forms of living and ministering which proved very beneficial to the Church.
January 8. Saint Angela of Foligno was a wife and mother who had little interest in the spiritual life until about the age 40. After her husband and children died, Saint Angela entered the Secular Franciscans living a life of prayer and service.
April 21. Perhaps best known in philosophical circles for his rational proof of the existence of God, Saint Anselm was a great theologian as well. A Benedictine monk and scholar, Saint Anselm earned the title “Father of Scholasticism,” a school of philosophy/theology prominent in the middle ages, especially among Catholic philosophers and theologians.
February 1. Saint Ansgar was a Benedictine missionary who spent his life trying to convert northern Europe. It seems for every step he took forward, he ended up taking two backward. Yet, he didn’t seem to become discouraged. He kept his focus on serving the poor wherever he was.
October 24. Anthony Claret was a missionary, religious founder, social reformer, queen’s chaplain, writer and publisher, archbishop and refugee. He was a Spaniard whose work took him to the Canary Islands, Cuba, Madrid, Paris, and to the First Vatican Council.
June 13. 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.