January 17. Saint Anthony was a solitary ascetic who practiced great mortification yet drew many people to himself. He responded by founding an early form of monastic life. He lived until age 105.
January 18. Like many people, Saint Charles of Sezze thought he knew what God wanted him to do with his life, only to find out that he was mistaken. Instead of going to India as a missionary, Saint Charles settled in Rome where he cooked and cared for the friary and friary chapel. While being simple, Saint Charles was no simpleton as is obvious from his life story.
January 19. Be careful of birds landing on your head. That happened to Saint Fabian, and it was taken as a sign that he should be elected pope. So he was. And he served for 14 years until he was martyred in 250.
January 20. In art, Saint Sebastian is often depicted as standing near or strapped to a pole riddled with arrows. Indeed, he was executed by archers, but didn’t actually die. Later he was beaten to death with clubs. Little else is known about this third century martyr.
January 21. Like other young martyrs, the death of Saint Agnes reminds us that length of years is not a requirement for a holy life. Little is known about Saint Agnes other than that she was a martyr..
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.