May 4. Little biographical data is available for Blessed Michael Giedroyc, but we do know that he was physically handicapped and that this caused him great suffering during his lifetime. But, despite his difficulties, Blessed Michael coped well, due in part to his rich spiritual life.
November 23. Faced with persecution and possible death, Blessed Miguel Pro returned to his native Mexico after his ordination to minister to the people of God. Within a couple of years, he was arrested on trumped-up charges and executed.
March 24. Already considered a saint by the people of El Salvador and elsewhere, Blessed Oscar Romero was recognized as a martyr for the faith in 2015. The time when he was Archbishop of San Salvador was a period of civil unrest and great government-sponsored violence. The voice of the Gospel, Blessed Oscar Romero spoke out for justice.
September 26. Blessed Pope Paul VI helped prepare for the Second Vatican Council, and was the one to complete it after the death of his predecessor, Pope Saint John XXIII. In 1965, he instituted the Synod of Bishops and spoke to the United Nations General Assembly during a visit to New York City.
April 14. Blessed Peter Gonzalez had a bad experience while riding a horse that changed the course of his life. He became a Dominican, was ordained a priest, and worked in the court of King Ferdinand III.
December 19. Blessed Pope Urban V was a simple man who never wanted to be pope. He was quite content to remain in his Benedictine monastery. But, when called to serve the Church, Blessed Urban did so with great devotion and wisdom.
December 2. This Polish Conventual Franciscan served in the military, but felt the call to the vowed religious life. Rafal was known for his simple and candid sermons, for his generosity, as well as for his ministry in the confessional. People of all levels of society were drawn to the self-sacrificing way he lived out his religious profession and priestly ministry. He also played the harp, lute, and mandolin to accompany liturgical singing.
June 26. Blessed Raymond Lull, a Secular Franciscan, spent his life supporting the study of languages necessary for successful work in the missions. It wasn’t until late in life that he saw any fruition of his labors, when language chairs were established in several universities.
February 25. Some saints have a rather full life spread over a couple of vocations. Saint Sebastian of Aparicio is such a saint having been married twice before becoming a Franciscan.
November 5. Blessed Solanus Casey became one of Detroit’s best-known priests, even though he was not allowed to preach formally or to hear confessions. Difficulties with studies led to his being limited in some areas of ministry, but he certainly shone in others. The well-beloved friar is a modern day example of humility and perseverance.