January 29. Servant of God Brother Juniper was a simple man who joined Saint Francis in the earliest days of the Order. While Saint Francis praised him and wished he had a “whole forest of such Junipers,” nevertheless, he could be exasperating for his generosity. Even saints can be frustrating.
January 30. Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska founded the Felician Sisters as a result of a conversion experience she had while convalescing from an illness. At the age of 44 she was forced to resign due to ill health. She lived, however, into her 70s.
January 31. Inspired by Saint Francis de Sales, Saint John Bosco founded the Salesians to continue his work among boys. Then, joining forces with Mary Mazzarello, he helped found the Salesian Sisters. All this during a time when established religious communities in Italy were closing their doors. But Saint John Bosco was different; he was a poor man who truly cared for the poor, and people saw that.
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.
February 2. Being an observant Jewish couple, it stands to reason that Mary and Joseph went to the Temple for Mary's purification--as prescribed by Mosaic Law--40 days after Jesus' birth. The blessing of candles and the procession of light were added to this feast, giving it the popular name “Candlemas.”
February 3. Popularly known as the saint who protects from ailments of the throat, Saint Blaise was a bishop and martyr of the fourth century. We know little else about him, except that he suffered persecution, even after the Edict of Toleration was to have freed the Roman world for worship.
February 4. Saint Joseph of Leonissa was known for his austerity of life and single-minded commitment to preaching. Arrested and warned to change his ways, Saint Joseph returned to his former behavior and was re-arrested and condemned to die. He escaped, however, and continued a life of preaching.
February 5. One of the four virgin martyrs celebrated in the Catholic calendar of saints, Saint Agatha was arrested during the persecution of Decius in 251. Tortured for her beauty and tempted to violate her chastity, Agatha was eventually martyred.
February 6. A Jesuit Brother and native of Japan, Saint Paul Miki was crucified, along with 25 other Catholics, for preaching his belief in Jesus. Proving that the faith is lived and died for in many lands, the Japanese martyrs take their place along with men and women of many nations.
February 7. Saint Colette is known as a reformer of the Poor Clares. Known as the Colettine Poor Clares, these nuns follow a more primitive rule of Saint Clare and are known for their austerity.