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.
April 19. Saint Gianna Beretta Molla was a wife, mother, and pediatrician. During her last pregnancy Saint Gianna was found to have a noncancerous uterine fibroid. While she allowed the doctors to remove the tumor, she made sure that her pregnancy was protected. Saint Gianna Molla died of complications shortly after her daughter’s birth.
April 20. Saint Conrad of Parzham served as friary porter for 41 years. Anyone who came to the friary in Altoetting would have met Saint Conrad as he greeted them at the door. Such a role may not sound like much, but Saint Conrad turned it into a true ministry of love and service.
April 21. Perhaps best known in philosophical circles for his rational proof of the existence of God, Saint Anselm was a great theologian as well. A Benedictine monk and scholar, Saint Anselm earned the title “Father of Scholasticism,” a school of philosophy/theology prominent in the middle ages, especially among Catholic philosophers and theologians.
April 22. Saint Adalbert of Prague received his name from his mentor, Saint Adalbert of Magdeburg. Ordained a bishop early in life, Adalbert of Prague became a faithful defender and preacher of the faith. In return for his faithfulness Saint Adalbert received criticism, exile, and martyrdom.
April 23. Slayer of dragons, rescuer of a king’s daughter, and other legends seem to cling to Saint George. What we do know for sure is that he was willing to shed his blood for the faith. Even though the details may be sparse, the fact of his courage and holiness is enough.
April 24. Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen was known for his generosity and care for the poor throughout his life. Starting off as a lawyer, he became disenchanted and joined the Capuchins where he was known for his prayer and preaching. While traveling, he was attacked and killed.
April 25. Most likely the first of the four Gospels, the Gospel of Saint Mark is brief and pointed. Saint Mark has one goal, to present Jesus as God’s crucified messiah, and he fulfills that goal concisely. Saint Mark’s Gospel seems to have been one of the sources used by Saints Matthew and Luke for their works.
April 26. Saint Pedro de San José Betancur was a Secular Franciscan who founded a hospital, a shelter, and a school for the poor in Guatemala City. He also founded a religious congregation for men. Another congregation for women, inspired by his life, sprang up after his death. Saint Pedro supported his work by begging alms.