June 13. An Augustinian monk who was inspired by the martyrdom of Franciscan missionaries, Saint Anthony of Padua joined the Franciscans hoping to be a missionary. But God had other plans for him. He became one of the outstanding philosopher/theologians of the Order.
June 14. Saint Albert Chmielowski was a talented painter and a Secular Franciscan. In mid-life, he founded the Brothers of the Third Order of Saint Francis, Servants to the Poor, who worked with the poor and homeless. Known also as the Albertine Brothers, this community was renowned for depending completely on alms.
June 15. Enduring a seriously dysfunctional marriage and being left a widow, Saint Marguerite d’Youville did not give in to despair. Rather, she founded the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, the “Grey Nuns,” rescued a failing hospital, and cared for the sick. Not even the destruction of the hospital by fire drove her to despair.
June 16. Known for his long hours of prayer and notable ability to communicate, Saint John Francis Regis served the people of France during a “dry” period, when the faith and the Church seemed in decline. He conducted missions to counteract the malaise. He succeeded in converting many people and bringing others back to the faith.
June 17. At a time when rigorist ideas were rampant in the seminaries of Italy, Saint Joseph Cafasso proved to be a moderate, leading the students to the best of Catholic thought without going to extremes. He also encouraged them to join the Secular Franciscans and develop a love for the Eucharist.
June 18. Perhaps no one has done more to address the issue of alcoholism than Venerable Matt Talbot. An active alcoholic himself, he designed a program of support that has helped millions. Many are thankful.
June 19. Saint Romuald had the strange experience of being uncomfortably holy and asked to leave a monastery. When he tried to become a missionary, he was repeatedly hindered by an illness. Next he was falsely accused and excommunicated for a few months. But he didn’t give up.
June 20. Saint Paulinus was a married priest and bishop. In his day, marriage was not an impediment to the priesthood. Though married for many years, Saint Paulinus and his wife were childless. When they finally were blessed with a son, he lived but a few weeks.
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.