The Seven Holy Founders

    Saint Juliana of Nicomedia

    Saint Juliana (ca. 285-305) came from Nicomedia, the capital of the Eastern Roman empire under Diocletian (Maximian was ruling over the West). Juliana was a victim of the Great Persecution (303-305).

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    Saint Claude de la Colombière

    "I will send you a faithful servant of mine and perfect friend," Jesus had promised Margaret Mary Alacoque, then going through a difficult time because the authenticity of her visions of the Sacred Heart was not believed. That God-sent friend was Claude de la Colombière (1641-1682), superior of the Jesuit house in Paray-le-Monial from 1675.

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    Saints Cyril and Methodius

    On the same day as Saint Valentine, bishop of Terni, martyred in Rome, the Church celebrates the feast of the brothers Cyril and Methodius, evangelisers of the Slavic peoples and proclaimed patrons of Europe by John Paul II with the apostolic letter Egregiae Virtutis (31st December 1980).

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    Saints Fusca and Maura, martyrs

    According to the most renowned Passio, Fusca was born into a pagan family of Ravenna. When she was about 15, she became interested in the Christian faith. She confided her desire to learn more about Christianity to Maura, her affectionate nurse, who encouraged her.

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    Saint Benedict of Aniane

    He was among the protagonists of the Carolingian Renaissance, defended orthodoxy and contributed to spreading the Rule of Saint Benedict of Nursia throughout the Holy Roman Empire

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    Our Lady of Lourdes

    On February 11, 1858, at the Massabielle cave in Lourdes, the Blessed Virgin appeared to the 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous, an illiterate peasant, poor and sickly, who on that day had gone to collect wood along the gravel bank of the Gave de Pau. It was the first of a series of eighteen Marian apparitions, which would end on July 16th.

    Saint Scholastica

    St. Benedict's sister is invoked against storms and lightning because of the famous miracle narrated in the Dialogues of Saint Gregory the Great (540-604), where she also appears to have managed to keep her beloved brother in check.

    Saint Apollonia

    The Ecclesiastical History by Eusebius of Caesarea (265-340) reports the contents of a letter from Saint Dionysius of Alexandria (190-265) to Bishop Fabius of Antioch, where the martyrdom of Saint Apollonia is described as a consequence of the preaching of a fortune-teller who had incited the pagan crowds of Alexandria to persecute Christians.

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    Saint Josephine Bakhita

    In the encyclical Spe Salvi, Benedict XVI draws on the life of Josephine Bakhita for a meditation on hope, a theological virtue that had entered powerfully in the life of the Sudanese Saint thanks to the knowledge of the true God.

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    Saint John of Triora

    John of Triora (1760-1816) was one of the missionaries who proclaimed Christ in China without yielding to compromise, to the point of sacrificing their lives. He was canonised by John Paul II on October 1st, 2000, together with 119 other martyrs (beatified at different times and whose leader in the Martyrology is Augustine Zhao Rong) killed in China between 1648 and 1930.

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    Holy Martyrs of Nagasaki

    By postponing their liturgical memory by one day, to avoid the coincidence with that of Saint Agatha, the Church today remembers the martyrdom that took place on February 5th, 1597 on a hill near Nagasaki, where 26 crucified Christians glorified Christ to their last breath.

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