Saint Cecilia probably lived in the second or third century, and tradition says she died about 177 AD.
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Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi was born in 1880 in Italy. He went to school to become a lawyer. By the time he retired, he was the attorney general of Italy. He was friends with many political leaders. After World War II he worked to rebuild Italy.

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TAGS: Italy, Saint, Stations

Leonard was born in 1676 in Port Maurice, on the cost of northern Italy. His father was a ship captain. Because he was a gifted student, he was sent to Rome when he was 13 to live with his uncle while attending the Jesuits’ Roman College. His family wanted him to become a doctor, but after completing his studies, Leonard decided to become a Franciscan friar. He hoped he could become a missionary to China.

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God gave many talents to Saint Ambrose. He used them to keep the Church true to God's Word. In 340 AD, Ambrose was born in Trier, one of Germany's oldest cities. His father served there as an important Roman soldier. When he grew up, Ambrose became a lawyer and was the governor of Milan in Italy.

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Lucy lived so long ago that many details of her life are unknown to us. We do know that she came from the island of Sicily and that she died in the year 304. We have proof that she was beloved by the early Christians because her name is prayed in the first Eucharistic Prayer at Mass.

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TAGS: Italy, Pope, Saint

Born in Rome toward the end of the third century, Pope Sylvester was the leader of the Catholic Church at a great turning point in the Church’s history. For the first time in nearly 300 years, Christians were freed from the threat of persecution. The powerful emperor, Constantine, had given Christians the right to practice their faith openly. Constantine even made Sunday a weekly holiday.

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TAGS: Italy, Priest, Saint

Vincenzo Romano was born into a poor family in June of 1751. Despite this, he was able to study. He was impacted by the life and teachings of Saint Alphonsus Liguori, and he developed a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. In 1775, he was ordained a priest.
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TAGS: Italy, Priest, Saint

FrancescoSpinelli-180x300-2.jpgFeast Day: February 6
Canonized: October 14, 2018
Beatified: June 21, 1992
Venerated: March 3, 1990


Francesco Spinelli was born in Milan, Italy, on April 14, 1853. As a child, he would join his mother in visiting and helping the poor and the needy of Milan. He entertained other children by putting on puppet shows.

Francesco studied for the priesthood in Bergamo, Italy, and was ordained a priest in 1875. It was later in 1875 that he had a vision of women perpetually adoring the Blessed Sacrament. He was faithful to the duties of his ministry, teaching in the seminary during the day and running evening classes for the poor by night. In 1882, he helped found a religious order that dedicated itself to the Eucharist and to Eucharistic adoration. But this effort failed, and Father Spinelli left Bergamo greatly saddened by what had happened.

He moved to Cremona, Italy, and in 1892 he founded the Sisters Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament. They were given diocesan approval in 1897. This order continues its ministry of adoring and praying before the Blessed Sacrament throughout the world.

Father Spinelli died on February 6, 1913.  On the path to sainthood, he was known for the way he lived the Theological and the Cardinal Virtues. On October 14, 2018, Pope Francis declared him a saint of the Church.


Continuing the Conversation . . .

Primary Grades: Saint Francesco Spinelli used a talent he had—putting on puppet shows—to entertain other children.

Invite the children to name talents they have and ways they can use their talents to bring joy to others.


Intermediate Grades: Saint Francesco Spinelli’s first efforts to found a religious order dedicated to the Eucharist failed.

                                                                 His second attempt to do so succeeded.

Share an age-appropriate example of a time when your first efforts at something failed, and how that experience made you feel. Then invite the young people to quietly reflect on a time when their first efforts at something failed, and how they felt. Invite volunteers to share what we can learn about handling failure from Saint Francesco Spinelli’s life story.


Junior High: On the path to sainthood, Francesco Spinelli was known for the way he lived the Theological and the Cardinal Virtues.

Review with the students the Theological Virtues and their meanings. Invite volunteers to name ways that Saint Francesco Spinelli lived these virtues, and how his life story can encourage young people to live these virtues too.


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TAGS: Saint, Italy

NuncioSulprizio-200x300.jpgFeast Day: May 5
Canonized: October 14, 2018
Beatified: December 1, 1963
Venerated: July 21, 1891


Nunzio Sulprizio was born on April 13, 1817, in Pescara, Italy. His father died when Nunzio was only three years old. Nunzio’s mother remarried, but his stepfather paid no attention to him. Still, Nunzio faithfully attended Mass, prayed, and studied the lives of the saints. Their stories helped him learn how to live a holy, faith-filled life.

When his mother died, Nunzio was sent to live with his grandmother. She encouraged Nunzio to remain strong in his faith. But she, too, soon died, and Nunzio was sent to live with and to work for his Uncle Domenico. His uncle was a cruel man who did not see to Nunzio’s physical comfort or health and who overworked him. Domenico would beat or curse Nunzio if his work was unsatisfactory. Eventually Nunzio became very ill. He offered his pain and suffering to God.

In time, another uncle introduced him to a fellow soldier who provided for Nunzio’s care and for his needs. Nunzio made some progress, but the pain persisted, and he eventually died from his injuries. He was nineteen years old.

On his path to sainthood, Saint Nunzio Sulprizio was known for his gentleness, holiness, and patience. On October 14, 2018—during the Synod of Bishops on Youth—Pope Francis named him a saint of the Church.  

Continuing the Conversation . . .


Primary Grades: When Saint Nunzio Sulprizio was ill, he found that sitting in a stream of cool water would help to clean his wounds. While he sat in the stream he would pray the Rosary.

Invite the children to talk about their favorite places to pray and their favorite prayers to pray. Invite them to draw themselves praying in their favorite places.


Intermediate Grades: Saint Nunzio Sulprizio learned how to live a holy and faith-filled life by reading the stories of the saints.

Divide the class into small groups. Assign each group one unit of their religion textbooks. Instruct each group to identify the saints whose stories are told in that unit, and what they can learn about holiness and faith from the stories of those saints. After enough discussion time has been given, invite each group to share its thoughts with the class.


Junior High: Saint Nunzio Sulprizio was known for his gentleness, holiness, and patience.

Invite each young person to journal about three things he or she is known for. Encourage the young people to then write their responses to these questions:  Are these the things I want to be known for? If not, what changes do I need to make in my life?

Assure the young people that they will not be asked to share what they have written with the group.

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TAGS: Italy, Pope, Saint


Feast Day: September 26
Canonized: October 14, 2018
Beatified: October 19, 2014
Venerated: December 20, 2012

As a child, Giovanni Battista Montini was often ill. He could not do many of the things that other children his age could do, but he loved to study and read. After he finished high school, he studied for the priesthood and was ordained in 1920.

Father Montini went on to hold a variety of important positions in the Church. In 1953, he was named archbishop of Milan. There he fought for the rights of workers and worked to improve relationships among all the Christian traditions. In 1958, he was named a cardinal of the Catholic Church.

When Pope John XXIII died in 1963, Archbishop Montini was elected pope. He took the name Pope Paul VI. Pope Paul VI promised to continue the work begun by Pope John XXIII. He saw to it that the decisions of Vatican II were carried out. He traveled to five continents, making him the first pope in 150 years to leave Italy.

Pope Paul VI also continued to work to improve relationships with other Christian traditions. In 1964, he traveled to the Holy Land and met with Patriarch Athenagoras I of Constantinople, in an effort to mend relations with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Later that year, he traveled to India, and in 1965 he traveled to the United States and addressed the United Nations.

In 1968, Pope Paul VI wrote an encyclical titled Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life). In this document, Pope Paul VI instructed Catholics on the importance of welcoming children into their families and on respecting human life.

Pope Paul VI died on August 6, 1978. On October 14, 2018, Pope Francis named him a saint of the Church.


Continuing the Conversation . . .

Primary Grades: As a child, Pope Paul VI could not do many of the things other children his age could do. But he loved to study and read.

Invite the children to name books they love to read and subjects they love to study. Then invite them to draw pictures of themselves doing something they wish they could do. Ask volunteers to share their drawings with the class.


Intermediate Grades: Throughout his life, Pope Paul VI held many important positions in the Church.

Invite the young people to name persons they see serving your parish community and the ways those persons are doing so. Ask the young people how they themselves are serving the Church now, and how they see themselves serving the Church in five, ten, or twenty years.


Junior High: Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life) focused on respect for human life.

Draw a large timeline on a length of mural paper or shelf paper. Mark the timeline in five-year increments, from 0 to 80 or from 0 to 100. Post the timeline, and invite the young people to write in the appropriate time segments practical ways to respect human life. For example, in the 0-5 year segment young people might write: “Provide healthy food for infants” or “Begin to teach young children to read.” In the 75-80 year segment young people might write: “Provide transportation for an elderly relative or neighbor” or “Shovel the walks of an elderly neighbor.”

If possible, leave up the timeline so the young people can continue to add to it throughout the coming week.


Related Resources

Connecting to Blest Are We Faith in Action
The Story of Jesus
Feasts and Seasons (Flourish)       

Connecting to Blest Are We Faith in Word
The Story of Jesus
Feasts and Seasons: Holy People

Connection to Be My Disciples
Christ in the Liturgy, Chapter 1



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