ALL POSTS IN: MAY



In May of 1429, a young woman clothed in white armor rode her horse onto the battlefield at Orleans. Behind her marched hundreds of French soldiers. Following her battle cry, they defeated the English and won great victories for France during the Hundred Years’ War.


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Margaret Pole was born in England in 1473 and was the niece of two English kings. Another king arranged for Margaret to marry Sir Reginald Pole, a friend of the royal family. They had a happy marriage.


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Augustine is sometimes called the “Apostle of England.” In the year 596, Father Augustine left his quiet life as the prior of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Andrew in Rome to lead a group of monks to preach the Gospel and bring Christianity to the people of England.


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In the Mass on St. Philip Neri’s feast day, we pray, “Lord, keep us always cheerful in our work for the glory of your name and the good of our neighbor” (Sacramentary, page 638). Philip was known for his cheerfulness and sense of humor. He used these gifts to serve God and to help others to grow in their faith.


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Bede, or Venerable Bede as he is sometimes called, lived from about the year 673 until 735 in England. But his writings were so great that people still study them today. He was born very close to the monastery in Northumberland where he spent much of his life. His name comes from the Old English word for prayer, so it is possible that his parents always intended for him to enter a monastery. He was sent there at the age of seven to be educated.


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In the year 1020, a boy named Hildebrand Bonizi was born in Tuscany, Italy. He was educated for the priesthood in Rome and was chosen by Pope Gregory VI to be his personal chaplain. After the pope died, Hildebrand entered a monastery to pray and study. But within three years, he was called back to Rome to be an advisor to the newly elected Pope Leo IX. In all, he counseled seven popes. Then he himself was elected Holy Father in 1073 at the demand of priests and the people. He chose the name Gregory VII.


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Rita was born in a small village near Cascia, Italy, in 1381. Her parents had waited many years for a child, and they gave thanks to God for Rita’s birth. As a child, Rita often visited the nuns at the Augustinian convent in town and hoped to be able to join them one day. Rita’s parents had other plans for her. It was the custom in Rita’s time for parents to arrange marriages for their children.


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Charles Joseph Eugene de Mazenod’s childhood taught him that money cannot solve all problems. Although his family was wealthy, they were forced to flee France during the French Revolution, leaving all of their possessions behind. It was 1790, and Charles was just 8 years old. His father had been a politician but was forced to become a tradesman in Italy, where they had sought refuge, and the family was very poor. They moved from city to city, making it difficult for Charles to have a good education, other than what was provided by one priest in Venice.


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Cristóbal Magallanes was born in 1869 in the Archdiocese of Guadalajara. His parents, Rafael Magallanes and Clara Jara, were poor farmers and devout Catholics. Growing up on a farm, young Cristóbal worked as a shepherd but felt called to look after human “sheep.” At the age of 19 he entered the seminary and was ordained a priest when he was 30.


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Verena Bütler had a very happy childhood in Switzerland. She loved nature and learning. When she made her First Communion in 1860 at the age of 11, her family was pleased by her strong commitment to her faith and spirituality.


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