All of us who share the Christian faith have been called by Christ. It's not because of our virtues, but because the Lord loves us and we need Him.
January 13. Saint Hilary of Poitiers was converted to Christianity through his reading of the Sacred Scriptures. A married man, he was chosen as Bishop of Poitiers in France where he arduously fought Arianism. As a result, he was sent into exile, but returned home to Poitiers before he died.
January 14. Saint Gregory Nazianzen paid a huge price for his faith. In conflict with the Emperor, Valens, who defended the Arians, Saint Gregory worked hard to defend the Catholic faith. Toward the end of his life, Saint Gregory gained some peace and quiet as he gardened and wrote religious poetry.
January 15. Saint Paul the Hermit first experienced life in the dessert at about age 15 during the persecution of Decius. The life must have agreed with him, because he is reported to have lived about 112 years. Little else is known about him, but there are legends.
January 16. Saint Francis considered Saints Berard and his Companions as true Friars Minor because they were willing to lay their lives on the line for the faith. Such heroic virtue inspired Saint Anthony to join the Franciscans. Those who give their lives for the faith today, have also inspired others in the faith for often the faith grows by the blood of martyrs.
January 17. Saint Anthony was a solitary ascetic who practiced great mortification yet drew many people to himself. He responded by founding an early form of monastic life. He lived until age 105.
January 18. Like many people, Saint Charles of Sezze thought he knew what God wanted him to do with his life, only to find out that he was mistaken. Instead of going to India as a missionary, Saint Charles settled in Rome where he cooked and cared for the friary and friary chapel. While being simple, Saint Charles was no simpleton as is obvious from his life story.
January 19. Be careful of birds landing on your head. That happened to Saint Fabian, and it was taken as a sign that he should be elected pope. So he was. And he served for 14 years until he was martyred in 250.
January 20. In art, Saint Sebastian is often depicted as standing near or strapped to a pole riddled with arrows. Indeed, he was executed by archers, but didn’t actually die. Later he was beaten to death with clubs. Little else is known about this third century martyr.
January 21. Like other young martyrs, the death of Saint Agnes reminds us that length of years is not a requirement for a holy life. Little is known about Saint Agnes other than that she was a martyr..