May 5. Saint Paul counsels against taking advantage of the youth of a person in authority. That advice applies well for Saint Hilary of Arles who was ordained a bishop at age 29. He suffered because of his young age, but managed to be an effective prelate before his death at age 49. He also set a good example for his diocese by living simply and working hard.
May 6. Two almost unknown martyrs courageously witnessed to the world many years ago about their faith. Saints Marian and James were martyred in the 3rd century, yet their deaths still speak to the Church today.
May 7. The death of a fiancé can be traumatic, and Saint Rose Venerini responded by joining a convent. That is not where God was calling her, however. She returned home to care for her widowed mother and eventually became a teacher, a career at which she thrived. Rose also gathered others to expand her ministry.
May 8. Have you ever felt like running away from your job? Saint Peter of Tarentaise “disappeared” from his diocese to an abbey where he quietly prayed for about a year. Called back to ministry, Peter performed his duties to his diocese well, focusing his energies on the poor.
May 9. Saint John of Avila had some pretty impressive friends—Saints Francis Borgia, Ignatius of Loyola, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila--to name just a few. These saints, along with Saint John, were all part of a reform of the Church in Spain. Little did they know at the time the holiness of their group.
May 10. Saint Damien de Veuster became so well known for his work among the lepers in Hawaii that Moloka’i almost became his surname. Dedicating his life to those suffering from Hansen's disease, Damien made the world aware of their plight. He succumbed to the disease and died in 1889.
May 11. Saint Ignatius of Laconi spent 40 years begging for the friars. He endeared himself to the local people and inspired them by his virtue. If it hadn’t been for an accident, Ignatius might never have become a Capuchin friar.
May 12. Today we celebrate two praetorian soldiers who are reputed to have left their posts to become Christians. Little else is known about them, but devotion to them dates back to the fourth century.
May 13. Like the apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes, this appearance was not given to Church officials, but to children. Through them, Mary requested that the Church spread devotion to the rosary to all the faithful.
May 14. The Acts of the Apostles records that Saint Matthias was selected by the early Church to replace Judas Iscariot in the ranks of the apostles. We know little more about him except that he was a witness to Jesus from his baptism to his ascension.