August 27. Perhaps Saint Monica is best known as the mother of Saint Augustine—a pretty noble label. But Saint Monica was also the mother of two other children, and is known as a woman of great prayer. We know that she prayed for the conversion of her son, and her prayers were heard. She also prayed for and obtained the conversion of her husband and mother-in-law.
August 28. Saint Augustine is a giant in many ways. He had a powerful and forceful personality which he used both before and after his conversion. He had a passion for whatever he did, and this showed up in his theological teachings. Yet he also was a man of great love, as is evident in his sermons to his priests. And he had a deep love for the Lord.
August 29. The martyrdom of John the Baptist is one of the most gruesome stories in the New Testament. Yet it is the story of the victory of faith and loyalty over cowardice and hate. A king makes a careless promise and does not have the courage or integrity to do the right thing when his jealous wife takes advantage. This is one of those blunt stories of what living faithfully is all about.
August 30. Canonized in 2009, Saint Jeanne Jugan had a history of helping the elderly and the poor. She founded the Little Sisters of the Poor to help her with her work, and by the time of her death they numbered 2,400. Her life included a few obstacles, but Saint Jeanne was a woman of determination and vision and she got it done.
August 31. We know little about Saints Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus except what we find in scripture. We do know that they were Jewish men of some standing who were not afraid to express their respect for Jesus. Each in his own way played a role in the life of Jesus that required courage and showed some understanding of who Jesus was.
September 1. One of the 14 Holy Helpers of Germany, Saint Giles was a popular saint in Germany, England, and elsewhere. While we know little about him, his wide popularity attests to his holiness.
September 2. Victims of the French Revolution, these blesseds witnessed to their faith by refusing to take a civil oath which amounted to a denial of the faith. On a single day in Paris, 185 people were martyred.
September 3. Saint Gregory became pope at the age of 50. In his new role, he had much to do both within and outside the Church. Gregory proved to be a capable shepherd, addressing many ecclesial and civil issues with a firm, steady resolve.
September 4. Saint Rose achieved sainthood in only 18 years of life. She had shown a great desire for prayer early in life, and joined the Secular Franciscan at the age of 10. Rose preached in the streets and was very generous to the poor.
September 5. Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta was born in Albania, but is known for her work in India. A member of the Sisters of Loreto, she felt a call to live among the poor. While working with the poorest of the poor in India, she founded the Missionaries of Charity who continue her work.