The life story of Saint Wenceslas (907-935) is a tangled web. Son of the Duke of Bohemia, he lived in a land where Christianity was beginning to spread thanks to the evangelization of the Slavic peoples initiated a few decades earlier by Saints Cyril and Methodius.
In Europe torn apart by the spread of Protestantism, Saint Vincent de Paul (c. 1576-1660) was one of the most shining examples of charity working through the Church, so solicitous in helping the poorest and so brilliant that his legacy lives on thanks to the institutes he founded.
His favourite passage from the Gospel was taken from the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God” (Mt 5:9). Thus, when at the age of 17, Carlo Antonio Divini (1653-1721) joined the Franciscans of the friary of Forano, it was natural for him to choose Pacificus as his religious name.
First publican, then apostle and evangelist, and finally saint. Matthew, whom Luke and Mark also call Levi, describes the radical turning point in his life in this way: “And as Jesus passed forth from thence, He saw a man named Matthew, sitting in the customhouse. And He said unto him, ‘Follow Me.’ And he rose and followed Him” (Mt 9:9).
“Since we cannot find any means of changing the minds of Christians, it is imperative that they die in order to destroy the germ of their madness”. This was the edict of King Sunjo in 1802, which ratified the persecutions that had already been taking place since the end of the 18th century. Their blood has not been fruitless. In 1886 religious freedom was granted.
Januarius was Bishop of Benevento. Traces of his veneration exist in several ancient sources. His martyrdom took place at the beginning of the 4th century, during Diocletian's persecutions. The invocation that the faithful have been repeating for centuries in Naples relates to the phenomenon of the liquefaction of the blood of the glorious martyr.
That the gift of infused science exists can be ascertained by reading about Saint Joseph of Cupertino (1603-1663), who yet called himself Brother Donkey. Even more than for his infused science, he became known for his levitations, which he would have liked to conceal.
Author of ascetic, pastoral and theological works that earned him the title of Doctor of the Church, Saint Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) was one of the most erudite men of his time, a strenuous defender of Catholic orthodoxy after the divisions caused by the Protestant Reformation.