ALL POSTS IN: FEBRUARY



Brigid and her mother were said to have been slaves in fifth-century Ireland; her father was believed to have been an Irish chieftain. As a young girl, one of Brigid’s responsibilities was to care for the dairy farm on the property. After Brigid milked the cows, she gave the milk away to the poor. She gave the needy the eggs she collected from the hens and churned cream into butter to share with the hungry.


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Maria Domenica Mantovani was born in 1862 in a small Italian village. Two things were always important to Maria: her love for God and her desire to help others. Her parish priest, Blessed Giuseppe Nascimbeni, encouraged her to teach religion classes to younger children, visit the sick, and join in parish activities. Maria asked our Blessed Mother Mary to guide her in all that she did.


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Blaise lived so long ago that we know nothing about his early life. We do know that he was a both a doctor and a bishop in the area that is today either Armenia or Turkey. In the beginning of the fourth century, Christians were being persecuted by the Romans. The Roman Emperor believed that arresting and punishing important leaders like Blaise would prevent other people from becoming followers of Christ.


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During the first three centuries of the Church, Rome persecuted Christians. Roman emperors sent out letters and told Roman governors to force Christians to deny their God.


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Paul was born in Japan, the son of a Japanese military leader. He joined the Jesuits in 1580 and became known as a famous preacher. Nine years before his martyrdom, the Japanese emperor had ordered all Christians out of Japan. He feared that Paul Miki and his companions (two Jesuit priests, six Franciscan priests, 17 lay people, including catechists, a doctor, cook, carpenter, and a translator, and three altar boys) would take over the country. Paul and his friends remained to continue God’s work. Soon thereafter they were arrested and sentenced to death in December of 1596.


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Pius IX was the Holy Father of the Catholic Church longer than any other pope, from 1846 to 1878. It was a difficult time to be the leader of the Church because of political conflicts between nations and religious arguments about the Church’s place in the world. No matter what kinds of problems the pope and the Church faced, Pius IX always turned to God for help and direction.


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John was born in France in 1160. His parents were wealthy and sent him away to school so that he could receive the best education. He used the money his parents sent him to help the poor. He spent his free time performing other works of charity and paid visits to the local hospital to tend the sick.


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In 1869, a little girl was born in Sudan in Africa. As a child she was kidnapped into slavery. This experience was so frightening that she could not even remember her name. So, her kidnappers named her Bakhita.  The name Bakhita means “fortunate.”


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Way back in 480, twins were born in Nursia, Italy. Their parents educated Scholastica and Benedict. Together they learned about their world and about God. Together they played and prayed and worked.


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TAGS: Italy, Martyr, Saint

Valentine was a priest in the early Church. He was also a doctor. He helped people when they were sick, and he taught his Christian community in Rome how to follow Jesus. His example of always acting with love inspired many people to join the Church.


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