Saint Aloysius Gonzaga was a precocious child who had a spiritual awakening at the age of 7. As a young adult, and after a prolonged battle with his father, he entered the Jesuits where he had to learn to live and maneuver within community, and give up some of his independent ways of doing things. Aloysius helped nurse patients of the plague which he caught and from which he died.
Made famous by his own holy life and featured in the movie "A Man for All Seasons," Saint Thomas More is the patron of those in the legal profession. Husband, father, chancellor, and lawyer, Thomas More was reluctantly martyred by King Henry VIII in 1535.
Saint John Fisher’s name is usually associated with Saint Thomas More and their difficulty with King Henry VIII. A bishop and cardinal, John Fisher refused to agree with Henry’s divorce and remarriage, as well as the idea that the king, rather than the pope, was the head of the Church in England. He was imprisoned and eventually martyred.
Saint John the Baptist is one of the few saints who have two feast days. Today we celebrate his birth, which Saint Luke narrates in his Gospel. There Luke draws a parallel between the births of Jesus and John, pointing out the important role in the history of salvation that John the Baptist would play.
Blessed Jutta of Thuringia, a noble woman with children, became a widow at a young age. She used her means to provide for the children, but once they were grown, she disposed of her wealth, became a Secular Franciscan, and lived a life of austerity.
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.
Saint Cyril of Alexandria was instrumental in the Church’s doctrinal statement that there is one person but two natures in Christ. The practical implication of this teaching is that we believe that Jesus is truly God and truly human. This definition was the source of much controversy in the early Church.
While we know little about the birth and death of Saint Irenaeus, we know that his life’s work of fighting Gnosticism had a tremendous influence on the theology of the Church. A man of learning and high passions, Saint Irenaeus refuted the Gnostic claims of “secret” knowledge, and supported the teachings of the Apostles and Scripture.
We celebrate two great saints today, Saints Peter and Paul. Saint Peter is often considered the Apostle to the Jews and Saint Paul to the Gentiles (based, most probably, on his extensive travels among the Gentiles). Together they witnessed to the budding of Christianity, and both laid down their lives for the faith.