June 6. Saint Norbert founded the order with the most difficult name to pronounce and spell—Praemonstratensians. Perhaps that’s why they go by the name of Norbertines. But this order was anything but hard to appreciate when it comes to the work they did. They were very effective in converting heretics and reconciling enemies.
June 7. Blessed Franz Jägerstätter, a married man with children, refused to serve in Hitler’s army and was arrested and executed as a result. Not condemning fellow Catholics who did serve, Blessed Franz felt he had to follow his conscience and resist.
June 8. Saint William of York, also Saint William fitzHerbert, faced great obstacles as Archbishop of York just trying to take hold of his diocese. His ordination as bishop was refused, then it was performed by another bishop but then not recognized by Rome, and then, when he finally took over his diocese, he died within a few months.
June 9. Saint Ephrem was ordained a deacon, but refused ordination to the priesthood. He was a teacher, defender of the faith, and a prolific writer. He refuted many heresies of his day, often through the lyrics of hymns that he wrote.
June 10. Blessed Joachima was a wife, mother, widow, and founder of the Carmelite Sisters of Charity. Used to taking care of others, she experienced total dependency on others toward the end of her life.
June 11. What little we know about Saint Barnabas comes to us from Acts of the Apostles, where he plays a fairly big role in the expansion of the early Church. Closely associated with Saint Paul, he shared in several of Paul’s trips and difficulties.
June 12. Blessed Jolenta of Poland and her husband assisted many from their means. Once widowed, and with two of her three daughters married, Blessed Yolenta and her third daughter entered the Poor Clares. She eventually became an abbess.
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.
June 14. Saint Albert Chmielowski was a talented painter and a Secular Franciscan. In mid-life, he founded the Brothers of the Third Order of Saint Francis, Servants to the Poor, who worked with the poor and homeless. Known also as the Albertine Brothers, this community was renowned for depending completely on alms.
June 15. Enduring a seriously dysfunctional marriage and being left a widow, Saint Marguerite d’Youville did not give in to despair. Rather, she founded the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, the “Grey Nuns,” rescued a failing hospital, and cared for the sick. Not even the destruction of the hospital by fire drove her to despair.