Founder of churches and monasteries, St Cedda (†664) carried out fundamental work in the complex historical and religious framework of 7th century Britain. At the time, the revival of paganism - following the Anglo-Saxon invasion that had begun two centuries earlier - made a new evangelisation necessary.
The founder of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Religious of Mary Immaculate, St. Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870), was the fifth of 11 children. He was born to profoundly Christian parents who baptized him on December 25th (two days after his birth), with the name of Anthony Adjutor John.
“The greatest gift that my Immaculate Heart has obtained from the Heart of Jesus”, Our Lady said about St John Paul II during one of her apparitions in Civitavecchia. That message is an admirable synthesis of the life of Karol Wojtyla (1920-2005) and his 26 ½ years of pontificate, marked by a deep bond with the heavenly Mother.
Her unparalleled love for the Catechism, her sacrifices for the sick, her suffering offered with joy to God for His saving plan: the splendour of Saint Maria Bertilla Boscardin (1888-1922) is equal to the humility with which she lived every day on earth.
“It is an excellent and most holy thing to think about the Passion of the Saviour and meditate on it. This is the means to arrive at union with God”, taught St Paul of the Cross (1694-1775), who one day found himself mystically dressed in a black habit with a white cross on his chest and the name of Jesus in white letters.
A learned Syrian doctor from Antioch, he was a disciple and collaborator of Paul, who mentions him in three of his letters. To Saint Luke (c. 9-93) we owe the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, whose place is not random in the design of Divine Providence.
“The Christian is not the result of persuasion, but of power. When he is hated by the world, he is beloved of God”, wrote St Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35-107), converted by St John the Evangelist and second successor of St Peter at the head of the Antiochian Church.
We shall never know how many souls owe their salvation to the gifts communicated by God through Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690), propagator of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the practice of the First Fridays of the month.