Athanasius of Alexandria

Feast Day: May 2
Canonized: Pre-Congregation

When we talk about St. Athanasius, we use two important words–“orthodoxy” and “heresy.” Orthodoxy means right belief. Heresy means false belief.

Athanasius was born in about 297 AD in Alexandria, Egypt. When he grew up, he became the bishop there. Then he spent the rest of his life defending one true belief of the Church–the divinity of...
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José María Rubio y Peralta

Feast Day: May 2 (memorial); May 4 (Proper Calendar of the Society of Jesus)
Canonized: May 4, 2003
Beatified: October 6, 1985
Venerated: January 12, 1984

Born in 1864 and raised in a large farm family in Spain, José entered the seminary in 1876 when he was only 12 years old. After ordination in 1887, he worked as a parish priest and was a professor at the...
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Philip the Apostle

Feast Day: May 3 (Roman Catholic Church)
Feast Day: Nov 17 (Armenian Church) Nov 18 (Coptic Church)
Canonized: Pre-Congregation

Philip and James were both Apostles, chosen by Jesus to follow him and to continue his work of building the Kingdom of God. We celebrate their feast on the same day because, although they died at different times and in different...
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James the Less, Apostle

Feast Day: May 3
Canonization: Pre-Congregation

James was given the nickname “the Less” so that he would not be confused with the other Apostle named James, whose feast we celebrate on July 25. We believe that it means that he was younger than the other St. James, who was called “the Greater.” James the Less was the son of Alphaeus. His mother stood at the Cross with Mary on the day Jesus was...
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Edmund Rice

Feast Day:  May 5
Venerated: April 2, 1993


Can you imagine what it would be like if it were a crime for children to go school? That was the law in Ireland when Edmund Rice, who was born in 1762, grew up. The people of Ireland were harshly ruled at that time by the British, who believed that if the Irish were uneducated, they would be easier to rule.

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Dominic Savio

Feast Day: May 6
Canonized: June 12, 1954
Beatified: March 5, 1950
Venerated: July 11, 1933

It isn’t always easy to be different from others, but Dominic, who was born in 1842, was different. Even as a young boy, he had great faith. His parents taught him how important it was for him to put Jesus first in his life. They had one other goal for Dominic. They wanted him to learn to read and write,...
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Damien de Veuster

Feast Day: May 10
Canonized: October 11, 2009
Beatified: June 3, 1995
Venerated: July 7, 1977

Damien was born Joseph de Veuster in Tremelo, Belgium, in 1840. When he was only 13 he had to quit school to work on the family farm. At age 19, he joined the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. As a member of this religious community, he took the name...
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Julian of Norwich

Feast Day: May 13
Venerated: Popular Devotion

In the 14th century, a number of English men and women withdrew from the world. They lived alone as hermits or anchorites. Their hermitage, or cell, was a small room attached to a local church. Each room had two windows. One pierced the church wall. Through this window, the anchorite received communion. Through the second...
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Matthias the Apostle

Feast Day: May 14 (Roman Catholic)
Canonized: Pre-Congregation

If you were running for election, what qualifications would you have to offer to voters? Why should they elect you?

The Apostles faced the same questions. After Jesus returned to his Father in heaven, St. Peter spoke to a gathering of about 120 of Jesus’ disciples. He said they needed to elect an Apostle to replace...
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Isidore the Farmer

Feast Day: May 15
Canonized: March 12, 1622
Beatified: May 2, 1619

The other farmhands thought Isidore was lazy and caused them extra work. Like them, Isidore was a day laborer on a wealthy estate in Madrid, Spain, about a thousand years ago. Because Isidore took time to go to Mass before coming to work, the other farmers thought they were doing...
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