Brother Juniper and the Beggar | Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

Servant of God Brother Juniper

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.

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Mother Angela | Felician Sisters of North America | Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

Blessed Mary Angela Truszkowska

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.

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Statue of Don Bosco at St. John Bosco Parish Church, Taipei, Taiwan | photo by Bernard Gagnon

Saint John Bosco

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.

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St. Ansgarius (Ansgar von Bremen) | Friedrich Wilhelm Graupenstein

Saint Ansgar

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.

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Saint Bernard Church, Burkettsville, OH | transept, the Presentation of the Lord | photo by Nheyob

Presentation of the Lord

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.”

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Orta - Basilica San Giulio, Piedmont | Detail of a fresco showing Saint Catherine of Alexandria surrounded by Saints Sebastian, Rochus, James the Greater and Blaise | photo by Wolfgang Sauber

Saint Blaise

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.

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Saint Fidelis of Sigmarigen and Saint Joseph of Leonessa | Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Saint Joseph of Leonissa

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.

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Saint Agatha with her breasts on a charger | Ink drawing | Tommaso Minardi (Caution: link contains graphic content.)

Saint Agatha

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.

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Martyrdom of Paul Miki S.J., Jacob Kisai S.J., John Goto S.J. and P. Petrus Battista in Japan in 1596 | Engraving after A. van Diepenbeec

Saint Paul Miki and Companions

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.

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Statue of Saint Colette of Corbie, along the road between Corbie and Albert, France | photo by Paul Hermans

Saint Colette

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.

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