August 12. Saint Jane Frances de Chantal was a wife and the mother of six. When her husband was killed, Saint Jane took a vow not to remarry and sought to join a religious community. She was dissuaded by her spiritual director, Saint Francis de Sales. Eventually, she and two others founded a community intended for those who could not join the established congregations. They wanted to actively engage in the works of mercy, but social circumstances forced them to live a cloistered life.
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.
August 14. Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, a Conventual Franciscan, is best known for volunteering to take the place of a condemned prisoner in the death camp. But he also worked tirelessly for the spiritual welfare of people through a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother. His whole life seemed to revolve around Mary as the path to God.
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.
August 16. Saint Stephen was both a king and a Christian. So, he embodied both the civil and the religious aspects of life in his person. Saint Stephen expressed those aspects in the best way he knew how according to his culture and period of history. He serves as proof that the faith is definitely rooted in the persons who believe.
February 29. Saint Oswald knew people in high places─his uncle was the archbishop of Canterbury. But even though he received “favors” from his uncle, he humbly served and gained holiness.