March 2. Saint Agnes of Bohemia, also known as Saint Agnes of Prague, never married, but had a number of nobles interested in her as a possible wife. Preferring the religious life, Saint Agnes joined the Poor Clares, but not until after she had built a hospital and a friary for the local Friars. She lived the Poor Clare life for 45 years.
March 3. Saint Katharine Drexel founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament to minister primarily to Native and African Americans in the United States. She used much of her inherited wealth to support both the sisters and the ministry. She entered religious life as a Sister of Mercy before founding her new community which opened its first foundation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1894.
March 4. While Saint Casimir was born into a noble family, and was himself in line to be king, he opted instead for a life of prayer, and as a youth vowed perpetual chastity. Opposed by his family, Saint Casimir held fast to his ideals until his early death at the age of 25. In his native land and elsewhere, he is considered an example of perseverance.
March 5. Saint John Joseph of the Cross entered the Franciscan community at the age of 16. A humble man, he was asked to serve his community in a number of leadership roles, including provincial minister. Yet he retained his simplicity throughout and retired to the quiet service of confessor.
March 6. Saint Mary Ann of Jesus of Paredes was a Secular Franciscan who lived a life of quiet prayer and penance. She established a clinic where she helped to nurse plague patients, but seems to have succumbed to the disease herself.
March 7. The Church faced persecutions early on in its history. Saints Perpetua and Felicity are two well-known names among the martyrs. While we don’t know much about them, we do have Saint Perpetua’s diary that gives a few facts about their last days.
March 8. Saint John of God’s life story is proof of the possibility of conversion and change with the grace of our merciful God. The first part of his life was not very praiseworthy, but once he turned to God and asked for mercy, he became the saint that we know.
March 9. Saint Frances of Rome is a good example of what Vatican II hoped for—an active laity who take their baptismal call seriously. Although she lived centuries before the Council, her life shows that the call for an active, dedicated laity has been a part of the Church all along. Saint Frances is a good example of what are all called to today—and always.
March 10. A student of Saint John Bosco, Saint Dominic Savio organized a group of students to minister to boys who needed guidance and help. Due to illness, however, Dominic never fulfilled his dream of becoming a priest. He died at the age of 14.
March 11. A convert from Calvinism, Saint John Ogilvie joined the Jesuits and was ordained to the priesthood. Doing secret ministry in Scotland, Saint John was arrested and tortured for a number of days before being martyred on March 10, 1615. He became the first Scottish saint post-Reformation.