February 28. Some people would call Blessed Daniel Brottier "lucky." But in the eyes of faith, God’s providence and desire for Blessed Daniel to do great things in his kingdom is what protected him in some very dangerous situations. Blessed Daniel cooperated with that providence and became an example to all.
July 7. Franciscan friar Blessed Emmanuel Ruiz and his Companions were tortured and killed in 1860, for their faith. Little else is known about them, but the testimony of their lives speaks volumes.
October 12. Francis Xavier Seelos was born in Bavaria. He studied in Munich before coming to the United States to serve the German-speaking immigrants. He remained here his entire adult life serving both his parishioners and fellow Redemptorists.
June 7. Blessed Franz Jaegerstaetter, a married man with children, refused to serve in Hitler’s army and was arrested and executed as a result. Not condemning fellow Catholics who did serve, Blessed Franz felt he had to follow his conscience and resist.
September 7. Blessed Frédéric Ozanam proved to be a leader who helped others help the poor. He also formed a newspaper to push the cause of justice. In 1833, he founded the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, which continues to the present day.
December 16. Blessed Honoratus was born in 1829 and died in 1916. A Capuchin Franciscan, he founded many religious congregations for lay people, and wrote many volumes of sermons and ascetical theology. A true son of the Church, he showed many signs of humility, including accepting his removal from all leadership roles in the communities he had founded.
December 22. Blessed Jacopone da Todi’s life changed radically when his wife died in an accident at a local tournament. Turning from his self-indulgent life, he eventually became a Franciscan friar, but life was not easy even then. Jacopone is most known for writing the beautiful hymn, "Stabat Mater," in the later years of his life.
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.
June 10. Blessed Joachima was a wife, mother, widow, and founder of the Carmelite Sisters of Charity. Used to taking care of others, she experienced total dependency on others toward the end of her life.
November 8. Blessed John Duns Scotus was one of the most influential Franciscans in the worlds of philosophy and theology. He is probably best known for his defense of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Scotus served on the faculties of both Oxford University and the University of Paris.