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.
April 22. Saint Adalbert of Prague received his name from his mentor, Saint Adalbert of Magdeburg. Ordained a bishop early in life, Adalbert of Prague became a faithful defender and preacher of the faith. In return for his faithfulness Saint Adalbert received criticism, exile, and martyrdom.
April 23. Slayer of dragons, rescuer of a king’s daughter, and other legends seem to cling to Saint George. What we do know for sure is that he was willing to shed his blood for the faith. Even though the details may be sparse, the fact of his courage and holiness is enough.
April 24. Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen was known for his generosity and care for the poor throughout his life. Starting off as a lawyer, he became disenchanted and joined the Capuchins where he was known for his prayer and preaching. While traveling, he was attacked and killed.
April 25. Most likely the first of the four Gospels, the Gospel of Saint Mark is brief and pointed. Saint Mark has one goal, to present Jesus as God’s crucified messiah, and he fulfills that goal concisely. Saint Mark’s Gospel seems to have been one of the sources used by Saints Matthew and Luke for their works.
April 26. Saint Pedro de San José Betancur was a Secular Franciscan who founded a hospital, a shelter, and a school for the poor in Guatemala City. He also founded a religious congregation for men. Another congregation for women, inspired by his life, sprang up after his death. Saint Pedro supported his work by begging alms.
April 27. A diocesan priest with a great devotion to Mary, Saint Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort attracted many people to the faith by his preaching. He lived a life of notable poverty and simplicity. Saint Louis de Montfort encouraged daily communion at a time when it was not customary to receive the Eucharist frequently.
April 28. A Marist priest and the first martyr of the South Pacific, Saint Peter Chanel worked on the island of Futuna. Struggling and having little success in his evangelization efforts with the local people, Saint Peter eventually was awakened on April 28th and clubbed to death in his home. Within two years of his death, the whole island had become Catholic.
April 29. Saint Catherine of Siena was a Third Order Dominican known for her contemplation and prayer—as well as her involvement in Church and civil affairs. During the time when there were two and three popes each claiming the papacy, Saint Catherine sided with Pope Urban VI. She was named a Doctor of the Church in 1970.
April 30. Pope Saint Pius V, a Dominican, was the one responsible for the implementation of the results of the Council of Trent—no easy task. Refusing to remove his Dominican habit, he is also responsible for the tradition that popes wear white. His Dominican training and spirituality were great helps in his efforts to reform the Church.