Mary and Child with Saints Felicity and Perpetua (Sacra Conversazione) | Anonymous

Saints Perpetua and Felicity

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.

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Detail of reredos | Polytych by Maestà | Wikimedia

Saints Philip and James

May 3. Saints Philip and James share a feast day because their relics were brought to Rome together in early May. We know nothing more about either saint than what is found in the Scriptures. There we are told that they were apostles, and tradition has it that they were both martyred.

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Image: Photo of Il Tempio Civico della Beata Vergine Incoronata | photo by Giovanni Novara

Saints Pontian and Hippolytus

August 13. Today we celebrate two men who were at odds most of their lives. Saint Pontian was a pope who abdicated his office when he was sent into exile. Saint Hippolytus had himself elected an anti-pope and opposed not only Saint Pontian, but others as well. Eventually, these two were exiled together where they reconciled and became good friends.

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San Simón | Jusepe de Ribera ; Saint Jude Thaddeus | Georges de La Tour

Saints Simon and Jude

October 28. Legend has it that Saints Simon and Jude traveled to Persia together where they were both martyred. This may explain why they share the same feast day. Saint Simon is usually referred to as "the Zealot,” and Saint Jude, also known as Thaddeus, is often considered the brother of Saint James the Lesser.

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The Martyrdom of Saint Timothy | Anonymous (Byzantine Empire)

Saints Timothy and Titus

January 26. Saint Timothy and Titus were trusted friends and co-workers with Saint Paul through many of his trials. He eventually set both up as heads of local Churches and encouraged them as would a father. Saint Paul seems to have truly relished their support and friendship.

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Brother Juniper and the Beggar | Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

Servant of God Brother Juniper

January 29. Servant of God Brother Juniper was a simple man who joined Saint Francis in the earliest days of the Order. While Saint Francis praised him and wished he had a “whole forest of such Junipers,” nevertheless, he could be exasperating for his generosity. Even saints can be frustrating.

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Seven Founders of the Servite Order | Rosselli Matteo

Seven Founders of the Servite Order

February 17. Rather than just talk about the problems of the day, the Seven Founders of the Servite Order did something about it─they consciously left all and formed a new religious congregation to address the issues. They put their money where their mouths were.

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Evening of All Saints' Day at Malmi Cemetery, Helsinki, Finland | photo by Jori Samonen | flickr

Solemnity of All Saints

November 1. While many saints have a specific feast day on which we celebrate their lives and work, the vast majority of the saints of heaven do not. Today we celebrate all of those men, women, and children who have gone before us and on whose shoulders we stand in our faith.

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The Virgin and Child with Saints Peter and Paul | Girolamo Figino

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

June 29. We celebrate two great saints today, Saints Peter and Paul. Saint Peter is often considered the Apostle to the Jews and Saint Paul to the gentiles (based, most probably, on his extensive travels among the gentiles). Together they witnessed to the budding of Christianity, and both laid down their lives for the faith.

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Detail | Ceiling of the Assumption of Mary in Santa Maria Immacolata a via Veneto, Rome | photo by Livioandronico

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

August 15. The doctrine of the Assumption of Mary is recent: 1950. But the belief among the faithful that Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven at the time of her death dates to the early Church. Mary is also the summation of all Christians—what happened to her, will happen to us. Thus, she is the testimony of our own resurrection at the end of time.

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