c. 422-c. 500 Feast Date: January 3 Genevieve took the veil of a dedicated virgin at 15, living with her parents in Nanterre and with her godmother in Paris. As she gained fame for a life of prayer, good works and miracles, opposition to her grew. However, she was defended by Bishop Germanus and helped […]


First Century FEAST December 26 Christianity’s first martyr was probably a Greek Jew. Stephen’s story is recounted in the Acts of the Apostles. He was among the first seven deacons chosen to serve the Hellenist Christian community in Jerusalem. But the wonders he worked rattled local Jewish leaders. Witnesses at his trial before the Sanhedrin […]

Gelasius I

d. 496 FEAST November 21 St. Gelasius became pope in 492. Immediately he faced several difficult problems. He had to deal with several Arian kings who ruled in the West. And Italy was at war with the Ostrogoths. Gelasius’s rigid approach to the Acacian heresy (a derivative of Monophysitism which held that Jesus was only […]

Gertrude the Great

1256-1302 FEAST November 16 Born in Germany’s Thuringia state, this virgin was entrusted at the age of 5 to the Cistercian nuns at Saxony’s Helfta Abbey, where she was educated and became a nun. At 25, she had a mystical “conversion” and thereafter lived a contemplative life. Her experiences are included in “Revelations of Gertrude […]

Blessed John Duns Scotus

1265-1308 FEAST November 8 Born in Duns, Scotland, John was ordained a Franciscan priest in 1291. He studied in Paris, Oxford and Cambridge, and through his writings and teaching at the University of Paris became the preeminent English-speaking philosopher-theologian of his age. His Franciscan minister-general wrote of his “most subtle genius,” which led to the […]


ca. 912 FEAST November 6 After Demetrian’s young wife died after three months of marriage, he entered a monastery on Cyprus dedicated to St. Anthony. There he was ordained a priest and ultimately served as abbot for four decades. When Demetrian was chosen bishop of Khytri, he fled to a cave. But a friend persuaded […]

Clare of Assisi

1193 – 1253 Feast Date: August 11 Though 10 years younger than her townsman, Francis of Assisi, Clare was drawn to his radical message of serving God in abject poverty. Despite objections from her aristocratic family, who wanted her to marry, she gave up the world with Francis’ help and founded the Second Order of […]