February 20. Two young children who died early in life, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, gained the attention of the Church and world when Mary appeared to them at Fatima. Without being martyred, they became witnesses and messengers of God’s goodness.
July 26. We believe that Jesus is truly God and truly human, and this feast of his grandparents is a testimony to our faith. While the names of Joachim and Anne may be legendary, we know that Jesus had grandparents, the parents of Mary (as well as those of Saint Joseph). Our God truly became human and lives among us.
July 12. Saints John Jones and John Wall were both ordained diocesan priests who later joined the Franciscans. Living almost a century apart, these two saints shared a common characteristic—both ministered to the faithful during dangerous times for Catholics in England. Eventually arrested, they were both martyred for the faith: one in 1598 and the other in 1679.
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 25. Frustrated in their attempts to enter Religious Life, Louis Martin and Zélie Guerin married and had nine children. Their youngest child, who entered a Carmelite convent at 15, became Saint Thérese of the Child Jesus, affectionately known as the Little Flower.
June 2. We know very little about these two martyrs, but Saints Marcellinus and Peter are mentioned in the First Eucharistic Prayer of the Roman liturgy. They made the ultimate sacrifice for the faith and are remembered by the faithful for that reason.
May 6. Two almost unknown martyrs courageously witnessed to the world many years ago about their faith. Saints Marian and James were martyred in the 3rd century, yet their deaths still speak to the Church today.
September 29. Angels appear frequently in Scripture, but only Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael are named. Each of these archangels performs a different mission in Scripture: Michael protects; Gabriel announces; Raphael guides.
May 12. Today we celebrate two praetorian soldiers who are reputed to have left their posts to become Christians. Little else is known about them, but devotion to them dates back to the fourth century.
March 7. The Church faced persecutions early on in its history. Saints Perpetua and Felicity are two well-known names among the martyrs. While we don’t know much about them, we do have Saint Perpetua’s diary that gives a few facts about their last days.