First Century FEAST July 29 Martha and her siblings, Mary and Lazarus, are Jesus’ friends in Bethany. In Luke 10:38-42, while Mary sits at Jesus’ feet, Martha is busy serving. When she complains to Jesus, he says: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. … Mary has chosen the better part and […]

Joachim and Anne

First Century FEAST July 26 Not mentioned in the Bible, Joachim and Anne are first named as the parents of Mary in the apocryphal Protoevangelium of James, which may date from the second century. In this story, they are old and childless, like the Old Testament Hannah, mother of Samuel, when angels deliver the news […]

James the Greater

First Century FEAST July 25 Jesus called James and John, the sons of Zebedee, to leave their livelihood as fishermen and follow him. Perhaps because of their zeal or temperament, Jesus called them “sons of thunder.” James was the first of the 12 to be martyred; he was beheaded in Jerusalem by order of Herod […]

Bridget of Sweden

1303-1373 FEAST July 23 Bridget, or Birgitta, married a Swedish nobleman and they had eight children, including St. Katherine of Vadstena. About 1335 Bridget was appointed chief lady-in-waiting at the Swedish court. After she was widowed in 1344, she founded the Order of the Most Holy Savior, known as Brigittines. Bridget spent much time in […]

Thomas the Apostle

First Century Feast Date: July 3 Named among the Twelve Apostles in all four Gospels, Thomas figured prominently in several stories in John. He said he was ready to die with Jesus, that he didn’t know where Jesus was going and so couldn’t follow, and famously doubted a post-Resurrection appearance until he himself saw the […]


died 545 Feast Date: June 3 The Catholic Clotilda persuaded her pagan husband, King Clovis of the Franks, to allow their children to be baptized and eventually witnessed his baptism in 496 in Reims, France. But her 34-year widowhood was marked by family fights over power. Clotilda took charge of the three sons of Clodomir, […]

Margaret Clitherow

c. 1553-1586 FEAST March 25 Born into a prosperous York Protestant family when Catholicism was forbidden, Margaret married wealthy Protestant John Clitherow, whose brother became a Catholic priest. Margaret soon became a Catholic and set up Mass centers in her home and a nearby inn. She was imprisoned three times for failing to attend Protestant […]

Lucy Filippini

1672-1732 FEAST March 25 Orphaned as a child, Lucy found a spiritual father in the bishop of Montefiascone and Corneto, Italy, who wanted to educate young people, especially young women. Working with him and Blessed Rose Venerini, Lucy helped form the Institute of the Maestre Pie and founded and maintained girls’ schools in that diocese […]

Nicholas Owen

1550-1606 FEAST March 22 St. Nicholas became a lay Jesuit brother in 1597. He served St. Edmund Campion and was once imprisoned for defending him against charges of treason. Later he was in the service of Henry Garnet, the Jesuit provincial, traveling with him, staying in the homes of recusants, where he constructed hiding holes […]


c. 389-461 FEAST March 17 The patron of Ireland, this bishop was born in Roman Britain, kidnapped at 16 by Irish raiders and sold into slavery in Ireland. He was a lonely shepherd for six years before escaping and returning home. But his dream of converting the Irish pagans propelled him to priestly studies in […]

Clement Mary Hofbauer

1751-1820 FEAST March 15 A baker, Czech-born Johannes Hofbauer, after a period of solitary living and wandering between Rome and Vienna, established the Redemptorists north of the Alps and is considered the order?s second founder. He was ordained a Redemptorist priest at age 34 and served in Poland for 20 years, until 1808, when Napoleon […]

Luigi Orione

1872 – 1940 FEAST March 12 The founder of The Little Work of Divine Providence, which encompasses two active and two contemplative religious orders for men and women as well as a lay movement, was born in Italy’s Piedmont. After early sojourns with Franciscans and Salesians, he entered the seminary of the Diocese of Tortona […]

Blessed Daniel Brottier

1876-1936 Feast Date: February 28 Daniel was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Blois, France, in 1899, then taught school for three years. But the foreign missions beckoned. He joined the Congregation of the Holy Spirit and served eight years in West Africa. For health reasons he returned to France, where he raised money […]