St. Simon Stock: Saint of the Day for Saturday, May 16, 2020

Although little is known about Simon Stock’s early life, legend has it that the name Stock, meaning “tree trunk,” derives from the fact that, beginning at age twelve, he lived as a hermit in a hollow tree trunk of an oak tree. It is also believed that, as a young man, he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where he joined a group of Carmelites with whom he later returned to Europe. Simon Stock founded many Carmelite Communities, especially in University towns such as Cambridge, …

St. Dymphna: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 15, 2020

Dymphna was born in Ireland sometime in the seventh century to a pagan father and devout Christian mother. When she was fourteen, she consecrated herself to Christ and took a vow of chastity. Soon afterward, her mother died and her father – who had loved his wife deeply – began to suffer a rapid deterioration of his mental stability.

So unhinged was Dymphna’s father, Damon, that the King’s counselors suggested he remarry. Though he was still grieving for his wife, he agreed to remarry if a …

St. Matthias: Saint of the Day for Thursday, May 14, 2020

How does one qualify to be an apostle? The first act of the apostles after the Ascension of Jesus was to find a replacement for Judas. With all the questions, doubts, and dangers facing them, they chose to focus their attention on finding a twelfth apostle. Why was this important? Twelve was a very important number to the Chosen People: twelve was the number of the twelve tribes of Israel. If the new Israel was to come from the disciples of Jesus, a twelfth apostle was needed. But Jesus …

St. John the Silent: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Bishop of Colonia in Palestine and a hermit. Born in Nicopolis, Armenia, he established a monastery at the age of eighteen. Appointed a bishop at the age of twenty-eight, he spent nine years in his office before retiring to Jerusalem to embrace the eremitical life. Through a vision, he found his way to the monastery, or laura, of St. Sabas, asking to be walled up and living for seventy-five years as a silent recluse.

Sts. Nereus & Achilleus: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, May 12, 2020

So often we hear people or even ourselves excuse an action by saying “I was only following orders.” But for Nereus and Achilleus this excuse could not stand in the face of the cross. Everything we know from authority about the two first- century martyrs comes from a testimony written by Pope St. Damasus in the fourth century and inscribed on a memorial tablet that commemorates their lives. But even this commentary comes 300 years after they died. Damasus tells us that Nereus …

St. Damien of Molokai: Saint of the Day for Sunday, May 10, 2020

The man who would become St. Damien of Molokai, was born in rural Belgium, on January 3, 1840. His name was Jozef De Veuster, and he was the youngest of seven children. Growing up on the farm, Jozef was prepared to take over for his family, but he did not want the responsibility. Instead, he wanted to follow his older brother and two sisters who took religious vows.

Jozef attended school until the age of 13 when his help was needed on the family farm full-time. He aided his family until he was …

St. Pachomius: Saint of the Day for Saturday, May 09, 2020

St. Pachomius was born about 292 in the Upeer Thebaid in Egypt and was inducted into the Emperor’s army as a twenty-year-old. The great kindness of Christians at Thebes toward the soldiers became embedded in his mind and led to his conversion after his discharge. After being baptized, he became a disciple of an anchorite, Palemon, and took the habit. The two of them led a life of extreme austerity and total dedication to God; they combined manual labor with unceasing prayer both day and night. …

St. Peter of Tarantaise: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 08, 2020

Cistercian archbishop. Peter was born near Vienne, in Dauphine, France, and joined the Cistercian Order at Bonneveaux at the age of twenty with his two brothers and father. Known for his piety, at age thirty he was sent to serve as the first abbot of Tamie, in the Tarantaise Mountains, between Geneva and Savoy. There he built a hospice for travelers. In 1142, he was named the archbishop of Tarantaise against his wishes, and he devoted much energy to reforming the diocese, purging the clergy of …

St. Rose Venerini: Saint of the Day for Thursday, May 07, 2020

Blessed Rose was born at Viterbo in 1656, the daughter of Godfrey Venerini, a physician. Upon the death of a young man who had been paying court to her, she entered a convent, but after a few months had to return home to look after her widowed mother. Rose use to gather the women and girls of the neighborhood to say the rosary together in the evenings, and when she found how ignorant many of them were of their religion, she began to instruct them. She was directed by Father Ignatius Martinelli, …

St. Dominic Savio: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Dominic Savio was born on April 2, 1842 in the village of Riva in northern Italy. His father was a blacksmith and his mother a seamstress. He had nine brothers and sisters. His family was poor but hardworking. They were devout and pious Catholics.

When he was just two years old, Dominic’s family returned to their native village of Castlenuovo d’Asti, (Today, Castlenuovo Don Bosco) near the birthplace of John Bosco. Bosco would himself later be canonized as a Saint by the Church and became a …