April 5. We presently have two living Popes, but they are not both contending for the papacy. That was not the case in the lifetime of Saint Vincent Ferrer. The two contenders both claimed to be the authentic pope, and this went on for almost 40 years. For most of his life Saint Vincent “backed” the anti-pope.
April 6. The story of Saint Crescentia Hoess is a twist on the story of rags to riches. Born into material poverty, she eventually rose to true spiritual wealth. But not without many obstacles, including a number of physical ailments.
April 7. Probably best known as the patron of many Christian Brothers’ schools, Saint John Baptist de la Salle originally had no intention of working with youth or founding a religious community. He saw himself as a comfortable diocesan priest. But God had other plans, and Saint John responded wholeheartedly.
April 8. Saint Julie Billiart spent many years suffering from incapacitating ailments, but she never lost her drive to work for the Kingdom of God. Her desire to educate led her to help found the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.
April 9. Saint Casilda grew up as a Muslim. Facing a serious illness as a young woman, she journeyed to a shrine in Spain where she was cured. As a result, she embraced Christianity.
April 10. Saint Magdalen of Canossa worked in hospitals and among the poor, opened her home as a lodging for girls, started a school, and founded two religious communities. She accomplished all of this without the support of her family.
April 11. Saint Stanislaus, the bishop of Kraków, was martyred for denouncing political and social corruption. He became the patron saint of Poland, and remains a popular saint throughout Eastern Europe.
April 12. A long life is not necessary for holiness, as Saint Teresa of Los Andes proves. Not quite 20 years old when she died, she left a legacy rich in virtue—rich enough for her to be considered a saint.
April 13. Pope Saint Martin I is considered a martyr for the faith even though he was not killed outright. He witnessed to the true faith by his consistent and constant teaching, which resulted in physical and mental torture.
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.