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.
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.
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.
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.
Gilbert of Sempringham (c. 1083-1189), founder of the only religious order that was entirely English, was the son of a wealthy feudal lord of Norman origin, who had settled in England as a result of William the Conqueror's victorious military campaign and rise to the throne.