April 9. Saint Casilda grew up as a Muslim. Facing a serious illness as a young woman, she journeyed to a shrine in Spain where she was cured. As a result, she embraced Christianity.
April 10. Saint Magdalen of Canossa worked in hospitals and among the poor, opened her home as a lodging for girls, started a school, and founded two religious communities. She accomplished all of this without the support of her family.
April 11. Saint Stanislaus, the bishop of Kraków, was martyred for denouncing political and social corruption. He became the patron saint of Poland, and remains a popular saint throughout Eastern Europe.
April 12. A long life is not necessary for holiness, as Saint Teresa of Los Andes proves. Not quite 20 years old when she died, she left a legacy rich in virtue—rich enough for her to be considered a saint.
April 13. Pope Saint Martin I is considered a martyr for the faith even though he was not killed outright. He witnessed to the true faith by his consistent and constant teaching, which resulted in physical and mental torture.
April 14. Blessed Peter Gonzalez had a bad experience while riding a horse that changed the course of his life. He became a Dominican, was ordained a priest, and worked in the court of King Ferdinand III.
April 15. Blessed Caesar de Bus decided on becoming a priest after having had a very negative experience in the military. He was a successful priest and worked primarily among the needy, teaching catechetics.
April 16. Saint Bernadette was a poor, uneducated peasant girl who no one would believe had seen apparitions of the Blessed Mother. But Mary had appeared to her, and Lourdes has become a popular shrine of devotion to Mary, the Immaculate Conception, and of healing.
April 17. Saint Benedict Joseph Labre lived a poor life in the ruins of the Colosseum. To the uneducated eye, he appeared to be a pitiable figure, but the people of Rome saw him as a saint. He was known as the beggar of Rome.
April 18. Blessed James Oldo was a wealthy married man who shared the “good life” with his wife. Circumstances, however, changed his attitude and he began to see the futility of his lifestyle. He and his wife became Secular Franciscans and, upon her death, Blessed James became a priest.