March 17. We probably know more legends about Saint Patrick than facts. But from the amount of work he did, and by the after-effects of that work, we can understand what type of man he was. He tirelessly toiled to spread the Gospel, at times against formidable odds. But as often happens, the legends prove more interesting than the facts.
March 18. Life in the fourth century was anything but dull, as the life of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem proves. The Church was facing a major crisis and Saint Cyril was one of the men who worked through the controversies. Thanks to courageous men like him, we share the faith today.
March 19. We know very little about Saint Joseph, except that he was the husband of Mary and foster-father of Jesus. Scripture calls him a just man and points out a few incidences in which he showed virtuous behavior. After he and Mary found Jesus in the Temple, Saint Joseph is not mentioned again.
March 20. Well aware of a person’s need to be in right relationship with God and others, Saint Salvator of Horta encouraged people seeking healing to go to confession and to receive Holy Communion. Good advice for all.
March 21. Blessed John of Parma lived at a crucial time in the Franciscan Order and the Church. Saint Francis’ followers were in need of reorganization and the Church was in schism. Blessed John helped with both issues.
March 22. Saint Nicholas Owen was a creative builder who helped the persecuted Catholic priests of England find hiding places. Because of his important work, the fact that he joined the Jesuits was held secret. Arrested a final time in 1606, Saint Nicholas Owen was tortured and killed.
March 23. Prominent in the history of the Catholic Church in Peru, Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo supported the rights of the native people. He was nominated Archbishop of Lima, Peru, by King Philip II of Spain. Not even a priest at the time, Saint Turibius protested the assignment, but to no avail. He was ordained a bishop and sent to Peru.
March 24. Already considered a saint by the people of El Salvador and elsewhere, Blessed Oscar Romero was recognized as a martyr for the faith in 2015. The time when he was Archbishop of San Salvador was a period of civil unrest and great government-sponsored violence. The voice of the Gospel, Blessed Oscar Romero spoke out for justice.
March 25. Some people consider today the feast of the Incarnation of Jesus--instead of Christmas--since it is today that we celebrate the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity becoming flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary. However, one of the main emphases of this feast is the "fiat" by which Mary agreed to become the Mother of God. Let it be.
March 26. Saint Catherine of Genoa wanted to be a nun, but was rejected due to her youth. Instead she married, converted her husband to a life of virtue, and together they cared for the poor. The Lord sometimes has other—and better—plans for us.