March 21. Blessed John of Parma lived at a crucial time in the Franciscan Order and the Church. Saint Francis’ followers were in need of reorganization and the Church was in schism. Blessed John helped with both issues.
March 22. Saint Nicholas Owen was a creative builder who helped the persecuted Catholic priests of England find hiding places. Because of his important work, the fact that he joined the Jesuits was held secret. Arrested a final time in 1606, Saint Nicholas Owen was tortured and killed.
March 23. Prominent in the history of the Catholic Church in Peru, Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo supported the rights of the native people. He was nominated Archbishop of Lima, Peru, by King Philip II of Spain. Not even a priest at the time, Saint Turibius protested the assignment, but to no avail. He was ordained a bishop and sent to Peru.
March 24. Already considered a saint by the people of El Salvador and elsewhere, Blessed Oscar Romero was recognized as a martyr for the faith in 2015. The time when he was Archbishop of San Salvador was a period of civil unrest and great government-sponsored violence. The voice of the Gospel, Blessed Oscar Romero spoke out for justice.
March 25. Some people consider today the feast of the Incarnation of Jesus--instead of Christmas--since it is today that we celebrate the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity becoming flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary. However, one of the main emphases of this feast is the "fiat" by which Mary agreed to become the Mother of God. Let it be.
March 26. Saint Catherine of Genoa wanted to be a nun, but was rejected due to her youth. Instead she married, converted her husband to a life of virtue, and together they cared for the poor. The Lord sometimes has other—and better—plans for us.
March 27. Almost nothing is known about Lazarus of Bethany, who plays an important role in the Gospel of Saint John. There we are told that he was a personal friend of Jesus. Many legends exist about Lazarus’ later life.
March 28. The obscurity of the Poor Clare life seems somewhat expected, yet Saint Catharine of Bologna was well known for her holiness. Even in the quiet Poor Clare life, nuns can be examples for the whole Church.
March 29. The first part of Saint Ludovico of Casoria’s life was somewhat “ordinary,” but not the second. Having had what he called a mystical experience, he began establishing institutions for all kinds of people in need. He even founded two religious communities.
March 30. Living right on the edge of some unsettling social and ecclesial changes, Saint Peter Regalado chose to turn to poverty and simplicity to find his path to God. Leading a small band of friars, he strove to live Franciscan poverty and penance more fully.