Saint Angela Merici

    During the  Catholic Reformation which was a period of renewal in the Church, the seeds of which had been scattered well before the onset of Luther's heresy, Angela Merici (1474-1540), founder of  the Ursulines, consecrated her life to educating girls to follow the ways of God.

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    Saints Timothy and Titus

    Since the revision of the General Roman Calendar of 1969, the Church commemorates on the same day the holy Bishops Timothy and Titus, favourite disciples of Saint Paul and recipients of three 'pastoral' letters, so called because they instruct to the two pastors regarding the duties of those who lead a Christian community.

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    Conversion of Saint Paul

    The feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul reminds us of the fruits produced by the acceptance of grace, capable of radically transforming one of the most active persecutors of the early Church into the greatest announcer of the Gospel to the Gentiles.

    Saint Francis de Sales

    An inspired writer, preacher, spiritual guide for several saints, Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) combined gentleness with an enthusiasm for truth, as Pius XI recalled in the encyclical Rerum Omnium Perturbationem of 1923, for the benefit of "those Catholics who as journalists and writers expound, spread, and defend the doctrines of the Church."

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    Saint Ildephonsus

    Saint Ildephonsus (607-667) is renowned for a number of writings, which famously include a valuable treatise on the perpetual virginity of Mary; he is even better known for his encounter with the Virgin, also recognised by the Muslims during their ruling of Spain.

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    Saint Vincent, martyr

    Vincent went to heaven on January 22nd, 304 (or 305). He is considered the first martyr in Valencia, a city which, according to Lorenzo Riber, was then little evangelised and highly pagan.

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    Saint Agnes

    "Virginity merits praise not because it is found in martyrs, but because it forms martyrs", wrote Saint Ambrose (340-397) in De Virginibus, speaking of Agnes, the Roman girl killed for her Christian faith when she was barely 13, and whose martyrdom made a profound impression on the Christian community, giving rise to a fervent popular piety.

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    Saint Sebastian

    The ancient cult of Saint Sebastian is first documented in the Depositio martyrum of 336, a calendar with the days of the martyrs' burials used in the Church of Rome, under the date of January 20th.

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    Saint Macarius the Great

    Monks used to call him the "Lamp of the Desert" not only because of his virtues but because his face shone in the dark. Monikers apart, Saint Macarius the Great (c. 300-390), a disciple of Saint Anthony the Abbot, was certainly among the Egyptian Fathers who most contributed to the spread of monasticism.

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    Saint Margaret of Hungary

    Saint Margaret came from an extraordinary family. Her aunt was the famous Saint Elizabeth († 1231), sister of Béla IV of Hungary, Margaret's father (1242-1271). Blessed Yolanda and Saint Kinga of Poland were her elder sisters, while her mother was Maria Laskarina, daughter of the Byzantine emperor Theodore I Laskaris.

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    Saint Anthony the Abbot

    A sure help for spiritual combat are the teachings of Anthony the Abbot (251-356), a great saint who, despite endeavouring to live a secluded life, actually became the founder of Christian monasticism, the first Desert Father around whom groups of monks gathered to consecrate themselves to God.

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    Franciscan proto-martyrs

    Saint Francis had sent them to announce the Gospel to Muslims in Spain and Morocco. The friars Berard, Otho, Peter, Accursius and Adjutus received the blessing from Francis on the day of Pentecost and started their journey towards Spain, when the actual Reconquista was still far away (it took place only in 1492).

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