Archive for January, 2014

St. ApolloFeastday: January 26

Patron of widows
347 – 404

Saint Paula was born in Rome of a noble family on May 5, 347. She married Toxotius, and the couple had five children – Toxotius, Blesilla, Paulina, Eustochium, and Rufina. They were regarded as an ideal married couple. After the death of her husband in 379, she renounced the world, lived in the greatest austerity, and devoted herself to helping the poor.

She met St. Jerome in 382 through St. Epiphanius and Paulinus of Antioch and was closely associated with Jerome in his work while he was in Rome. The death of her daughter Blesilla in 384 left her heartbroken, and in 385 she left Rome with Eustochium, traveled to the Holy Land with Jerome, and a year later settled in Bethlehem under his spiritual direction.

She and Eustochium built a hospice, a monastery, and a convent, which Paula governed. She became Jerome’s closest confidante and assistant, taking care of him and helping him in his biblical work, build numerous churches, which were to cause her financial difficulties in her old age, and died at Bethlehem on January 26.

She is the patroness of widows. Her feast day is January 26.


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St. ApolloFeastday: January 25

Died: 395

From catholic.org
Saint Apollo was an Egyptian hermit, founder, and miracle worker. He was born in Egypt and spent forty years in the desert region around Thebes.

He then established a community of monks in Hermopol, Egypt, ultimately numbering five hundred, and became their abbot.

Saint Apollo was eighty years old when he made this foundation. He was noted for his miracles.

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St. HenryFeastday: January 19

Patron of the Catholic Cathedral of Helsinki
Died: 1156

From catholic.org

Saint Henry was consecrated bishop of Uppsala, Sweden in 1152. When Sweden’s king, Saint Eric, embarked upon a crusade against the pagan pirates of Finland, Henry accompanied him. Eric was victorious, and Henry remained in Finland to exercise his zeal for the conversion of the Finns to Christianity.

A convert who resented a penance that Henry imposed upon him after the convert had committed murder turned his wrath upon the bishop himself, slaughtering him.

Saint Henry has been venerated as the patron saint of Finland, where from 1300 until 1720 his body rested in the cathedral of Turku.

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St. Margaret of HungaryFeastday: January 18

1242 – 1271

Saint Margaret’s life is a perfect example to show us that rich people can also go to heaven opposing he common myth that it’s difficult for the rich to enter heaven since they can’t part with their wealth.

St. Margaret was the daughter of King Bela IV. She became a Dominican novice at twelve in a royal convent built on an island in the Danube.

Although she was a princess among nuns who were of noble descent, she objected to any special treatment and went out of her way to perform the most menial tasks and the most exacting labors on behalf of the squalid poor and most advanced hospital cases.

The extend of her labors and fasting and hours of prayer brought on the fatigue of which she died on January 18. Her feast day is January 18th.

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St. Aelred of RievaulxFeastday: January 12

Patron of bladder stone sufferers
1110 – 1167

Early life:
St. Aelred of Rievaulx (1109-1167) was the son of Eilaf, a Saxon priest. He was educated at Roxburgh, the ancient Scottish capital, where he was known for his intellectual talents.

Adult life:
As a child, Saint Aelred prophesied the death of a bad archbishop of York. When St. Aelred finished his schooling, he became the steward to King David of Scotland. He left his job in 1133 to join the Cistercian community at Rievaulx. He was the first abbot of Rievaulx’s daughterhouse in Revesby, Lincolnshire, but he returned to Rievaulx in 1147 to be abbot.

Last years and death:
During the last ten years of his life, his health deteriorated, and he suffered from gout and a bad cough.

His works:
St. Aelred wrote his most famous work, The Mirror of Charity, at the request of Bernard of Clairvaux. On Spiritual Friendship is a Christianized version of Cicero’s De amicitia. St. Aelred also penned lives of St. Ninian and of Edward the Confessor, in addition to a rule for recluses and a genealogy of the kings of England. His correspondence and his work on St. Cuthbert have been lost.

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Feastday: January 11

726 – 802

From catholic.org

St. Paulinus was born near Friuli, Italy, to a family of farmers and grew up as a farmer. Although being born in a farmer family, he was given an excellent education and earned a reputation for erudition and scholarship.

In 774, he was summoned to the court of Charlemagne and became a favorite of the Carolingian ruler. In 776 he was sent back to Italy and, against his will, was appointed Patriarch of Aquileia.

He represented Charlemagne at various Church Councils, wrote against and denounced the heresy of Adoptionism, and sent missionaries to attempt the evangelization of the Avars. He also preached in the regions of Styria and Carinthia, was a talented poet, and was the author of a treatise on Christian perfection for the duke of Friuli.

He died on January 11.

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Feastday: January 5

Saint Roger (Ruggiero da Todi) received the habit from St. Francis of Assisi in 1236 and was appointed spiritual director of Blessed Philippa Mareri’s Community at Rieti by St. Francis.

St. Roger died at Todi, shortly after Philippa’s death, on January 5, and his cult was confirmed by Pope Benedict XIV.

His feast day is January 5.

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