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On December 1, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     St. Agericus of Verdun (French, bishop, died at about age 67 in 588)

     St. Agnofleta (French, nun, 7th Century)

     St. Ananias of Arbela (Persian, early martyr)

     St. Ansanus the Baptizer, of Rome ["Apostle of Siena"] (Italian, martyred in 304)

     Bl. Anthony Bonfadini of Ferrara [Antonio] (Italian, Franciscan  missionary, died at about age 82 in 1482 [beatified 1901])

     St. Candres of Maestricht (Belgian, bishop, 5th Century)

     St. Castritian of Milan (Italian, bishop for 42 years, d. 137)

     Bl. Charles of Jesus de Foucauld of Strasbourg [baptized Charles-Eugene] (French, aristocrat, orphan, soldier and geographer in North Africa, pilgrim to Holy Land, Trappist  monk in Syria, diocesan priest in France, missionary in Morocco, founded Union of Brothers and Sisters of the Sacred Heart, killed [shot] by Moslems at age 58 in Algeria in 1916 [beatified 2005])

     Bl. Christian of Perugia [Cristiano] (Italian, disciple of St. Dominic, 13th Century)

     St. Constantian of Javron (French, abbot, d. 570)

     Sts. Diodorus, Marianus, and companions, of Rome (Italian, martyred by starving [buried in catacombs] in 283)

     Sts. Edmund Campion of London, Alexander Briant of Somerset, and Ralph Sherwin of Rodsley (English, convert and two returned apostates, priests [two Jesuits, one diocesan], martyred [drawn, hanged, and quartered] under Elizabeth I in 1581 [beatified 1886, canonized 1970]) [Approximate ages at death: 41, 25, and 31]

     St. Eligius of Chaptelet (French, master metalsmith, bishop of Noyon-Tournai, died at about age 72 in 660)

     St. Evasius of Asti (Italian, bishop, martyred c. 362)

     St. Florentius of Amboise (French, layman, 6th Century)

     St. Grwst (Welsh, 7th Century)

     Bl. John Garbella of Mosso Santa Maria [Giovanni] (Italian, professor of law, Dominican master general, papal legate, died in France at about age 78 in 1283 [beatified 1903])

     Bl. John Beche of Colchester [alias Thomas Marshall] (English, Oxford doctor of divinity, Benedictine  abbot, martyred [drawn, hanged, and quartered] under Henry VIII in 1539 [beatified 1895])

     Bl. John van Ruysbroeck of Brussels [Jan] (Belgian, Augustinian  prior, mystical writer, died at about age 88 in 1381 [beatified 1908])

     St. Leontius of Fréjus (French, bishop, c. 432)

     Sts. Lucius, Rogatus, Cassian, and Candida, of Rome (Italian, early martyrs)

     Sts. Martinus and Declan (Irish, missionaries to Germany, 8th Century)

     Bl. Mary Clare Galvão Meixa de Moura Telles of Amadora [Maria Clara] (Portuguese, founded Congregation of the Franciscan Hospitallers of the Immaculate Conception, died at age 56 in 1899 [beatified 2011])


     Bl. Mary Clementine of Wamba [Marie-Clémentine] [pre-baptismal name: Anuarite Nengapeta, baptized Alphonsine (no surname)] (Congolese, convert from paganism at age 5, religious of Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family, martyred [stabbed and shot] defending her virginity at age 24 in 1964 [beatified 1985])

     Bl. Mary Rose of Jesus Pellesi of Morano di Prignano sulla Secchia [Maria Rosa di Gesu] [baptized Bruna] (Italian, religious of the Congregation of Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Christ, died at age 65 in 1972 [beatified 2007])

     St. Nahum of Elkosh (Israelite, prophet, author of Old Testament book, c. 660 BC)

     St. Natalia of Nicomedia (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], widow [witnessed husband Adrian's martyrdom], c. 311)

     St. Olympiades of Rome (Italian, nobleman, martyred in 303)

     St. Proculus of Narni (Italian, bishop, martyred by barbarians c. 542)

     Bl. Ralph Ashley (English, Jesuit brother, tortured [racked] and martyred [drawn, hanged, and quartered] under James I in 1606 [beatified 1929])

     Bl. Richard Langley of Ousethorpe (English, layman, martyred [hanged] under Elizabeth I in 1586 [beatified 1929])

     St. Simon of Cyrene (from North Africa [modern Libya], helped Jesus carry his cross on Good Friday, 1st Century)

     St. Thomas Garnet of Southwark (English, Jesuit  priest, martyred [drawn, hanged, and quartered] at about age 34 under James I in 1608 [beatified 1929, canonized 1970])

     St. Tudwal of Tréguier (Welsh, monk in Wales, missionary in Spain, bishop in France, c. 564)

     St. Ursicinus of Brescia (Italian, bishop, d. 347)

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On December 2, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     St. Aurelia of Rome (Italian, virgin, martyred by beating c. 256)

     St. Chromatius of Aquileia (Italian, priest, friend of Sts. Ambrose, John Chrysostom, and Jerome, scriptural commentator, d. 407)

     Sts. Eusebius, Marcellus, Maximus, Adria, Paulina, Neon, and Maria Martana, of Rome (Italian ... priest, deacon, and others ... martyred c. 256)

     St. Habakkuk [also known as Habacuc] (Judean, prophet, author of Old Testament book, 6th Century B.C.)

     St. Hippolytus of Rome (Italian, martyred by scourging c. 256)

     Bl. John Amero of Baeza [Juan] (Spanish, Dominican brother, d. 1566)

     Bl. Liduina Meneguzzi of Giarre [baptized Elisa Angela] (Italian, daughter of farmers, virgin, religious of Institute of the Sisters of St. Francis de Sales, hospital nurse in Ethiopia, died [cancer] at age 40 in 1941 [beatified 2002])

     Bl. Maria Angela Astorch of Barcelona [“Mystic of the Breviary”] (Spanish, Poor Clare  abbess, died at age 72 in 1665 [beatified 1982])

     St. Oderisio of Marsi (Italian, nobleman, Benedictine  abbot, cardinal, poet, d. 1105)

     St. Paulina of Rome (Italian, virgin, tortured and martyred c. 256)

     St. Pontian of Rome (martyred c. 259)

     Bl. Raphael Chylinski of Poznan [Rafal] [baptized Melchior] (Polish, cavalry officer, Franciscan  parish priest, died at age 47 in 1741 [beatified 1991])

     St. Silvanus of Constantinople (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], monk, bishop of Troas, c. 450)

     St. Vivian of Rome [also known as Bibiana] (Italian, virgin, martyred by flogging c. 361)

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On December 3, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

     St. Francis do Yasu y Javier [better known as Francis Xavier] [Francisco] ["Apostle to the Far East"] (Basque [Spanish], nobleman, priest, first Jesuit  missionary [India, East Indies, Japan], baptized 40,000+, had genuine gift of tongues, miracle worker [healed sick, raised dead, calmed storms], died on an island off the coast of China at age 46 in 1552 [beatified 1619, canonized 1622])

 

 

     St. Anthemius of Poitiers (French, bishop, martyred by Moslems in 8th Century)

     St. Bernard of Toulouse (French, Dominican  friar, tortured and martyred [sawn in half] by Albigensian heretics in 1320)

     St. Birinus (French, bishop of Genoa in Italy, missionary and bishop of Dorchester in Britain, died at about age 50 in 650)

     St. Cassian of Tangiers (Moroccan, court stenographer, martyred in 298)

     Sts. Claudius, Hilaria, Jason, Maurus, and companions, of Rome (Italian, military officer, wife, sons, and seventy soldiers, martyred [some by drowning] in 283)

     Bl. Edward Coleman of Suffolk (English, duchess's secretary, martyred under Charles II in 1678 [beatified 1929])

     Bl. John Nepomucene von Tschiderer zu Gleifheim of Bolzano [Johann Nepomuk] (Austrian, bishop of Bressanone in Italy, bishop of Innsbruck in Austria, died at age 83 in 1860 [beatified 1995])

     Bl. Ladislaus Bukowinski of Berdichev [Wladyslaw] (Ukrainian, priest in Soviet Kazakhstan, died at age 69 in 1974 [beatified 2016])


     St. Lucius (British, chieftain, missionary in Switzerland, c. 200)

     Bl. Lucy the Chaste [Lucie] (French, Dominican  tertiary in Spain, d. 1420)

     St. Mirocles of Milan (Italian, bishop, c. 318)

     St. Sola of Eichstatt (British, Benedictine  abbot in Germany, d. 794)

     Blessed Trappist and Cistercian Martyrs of Spain [also known as Bl. Julian Heredia Zubia and Companions] (Spanish, 16 Trappist  men [6 priests, 5 brothers, 2 novices, 2 postulants, 1 cleric] and 2 Cisterican  nuns, martyred during Civil War in 1936 [beatified 2015])

----- Bl. Alvaro González López of Noceda del Bierzo (cleric, died at age 21)

----- Bl. Emeric Martín Rubio of Espinosa de Villagonzalo [Emérico] [baptized Marcelino] (novice, died at age 23)

----- Bl. Eulogius Álvarez López of Quintana de Fuseros [Eulogio] (brother, died at age 20)

----- Bl. Ezekiel Álvaro de la Fuente of Espinosa de Cerrato [Ezequiel] (brother, died at age 19)

----- Bl. Francis de la Vega González of Noceda de Bierzo [Francisco] [baptized Ángel] (brother, died at age 67)

----- Bl. Francis Delgado González of Citores del Páramo [Francisco] [baptized Antonio (Anthony)] (postulant, died at age 21)

----- Bl. Francis Pastor Garrido of Valencia [Francisco] [baptized Vicente (Vincent)] (priest, died at age 31)

----- Bl. Herminio García Pampliega of Villagonzalo Pedernales [baptized Eugenio (Eugene)] (priest, died at age 33)

----- Bl. Hyacinth García Chicote of Támara de Campos [Jacinto] [baptized Eustaquio (Eustace)] (brother, died at age 45)

----- Bl. John the Baptist Ferris Llopis of Algemesí [Juan Bautista] (priest, died at age 31)

----- Bl. Joseph Camí y Camí of Aitona [Josep] (diocesan priest, Trappist  postulant, died at age 28)

----- Bl. Julián Heredia Zubia of Larrea [baptized Pio (Pius)] (priest, died at age 61)

----- Bl. Leander Gómez Gil of Hontomin [Leandro] (brother, died at age 21)

----- Bl. Mark García Rodríguez of Villaviciosa de San Miguel [Marcos] [baptized Amadeo] (priest, died at age 30)

----- Bl. Mary of Health Baldoví Trull of Algemesí [María de la Salud] [baptized María Micaela] (nun, died at age 67)

----- Bl. Robustian Mata Ubierna of Celadilla Sotobrín [Robustiano] [baptized Bienvenido (Welcome)] (novice, died at age 28)

----- Bl. Ursula Medes Ferris of Algemesí [baptized María Natividad] (nun, died at age 55)

----- Bl. Valerian Rodríguez García of Villaviciosa de San Miguel [Valeriano] (priest, died at age 30)

     St. Veranus (Irish, brother of nine saints, hermit, 8th Century)

     St. Zephaniah ben Cushi [also known as Sophonias] (Judean, Old Testament prophet, 7th Century B.C.)

 

[From letters to St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, from St. Francis Xavier:]

     "I bathed in the sacred waters all the children who had not yet been baptized. ... The older children would not let me say my Divine Office or eat or sleep until I taught them one prayer or another. Then I began to understand: 'The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'

     "Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians. I wish the university students would work as hard at converting these people as they do at their books, and so settle their account with God for their learning and the talents entrusted to them. This thought would certainly stir most of them to meditate on spiritual realities, to listen actively to what God is saying to them. They would forget their own desires, their human affairs, and give themselves over entirely to God's will and his choice.  They would cry out with all their heart: 'Lord, here I am! What do you want me to do?' Send me anywhere you like -- even to India!"

--------------------

 


On December 4, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

     St. John
of Damascus [often called John Damascene] ["Doctor of Christian Art"] (Syrian, financial officer of Moslem ruler, defender of art vs. iconoclasts, priest, theologian, orator [called Chrysorrhoas = Golden Stream], last Greek Church Father, first Christian Aristotelean, Doctor of the Church, died at about age 73 in 749)


     St. Ada
of Le Mans (French, abbess, 7th Century)

     Bl. Adolph Kolping of Kerpen [Adolf] (German, diocesan priest, died at age 52 in 1865 [beatified 1991])

     St. Bernard degli Uberti of Florence [Bernardo] (Italian, Benedictine  abbot, cardinal bishop of Parma, papal legate, d. 1133)

     St. Cyran of Brenne (French, hermit, 7th Century)

     St. Felix of Milan (Italian, bishop of Bologna, d. 429)

     Bl. Francis Galvez of Utiel [Francisco], Bl. Jerome de Angelis of Castrogiovanni [Girolamo], and Bl. Simon Yempo of Nozo (Spanish / Sicilian / Japanese ... Franciscan  missionary priest / Jesuit  missionary priest / lay catechist [a converted Buddhist monk] in Japan ... martyred by burning in 1623 [beatified 1867]) [Bl. Jerome died at about age 55.]

     St. John Calabria of Verona [Giovanni] (Italian, impoverished and fatherless, priest, founded Congregation of the Poor Servants of Divine Providence, founded Poor Sister Servants of Divine Providence, died at age 81 in 1954 [beatified 1988, canonized 1999])

     St. Maruthas of Maiferkat (Mesopotamian [Iraqi], teacher in Syria and Persia, bishop, composer of hymns, c. 415)

     St. Melitus of Pontus (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], bishop, c. 295)

     St. Osmund of Séez (French, count [part of Norman invasion force of 1066], chancellor of England, bishop of Salisbury, d. 1099 [canonized 1456])

[Excerpt from an "Exposition of the orthodox faith" by St. John of Damascus:]

     "The saints must be honored as friends of Christ and children and heirs of God, as John the theologian and evangelist says: 'But as many as received him, he gave them the power to be made the sons of God....' Let us carefully observe the manner of life of all the apostles, martyrs, ascetics and just men who announced the coming of the Lord. And let us emulate their faith, charity, hope, zeal, life, patience under suffering, and perseverance unto death, so that we may also share their crowns of glory."

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On December 5, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     St. Anastasius (early martyr)

     St. Aper of LaChambre (French, priest, hermit, 7th Century)

     Bl. Bartholomew Fanti of Mantua Bartolomeo] (Italian, Carmelite  priest, healer, died at about age 85 in 1495 [beatified 1909])

     St. Basilissa of Ochren (German, Benedictine  abbess, d. 780)

     St. Bassus of Nice (bishop in France, martyred [nailed to a board] in 250)

     St. Cawrdaf of Brecknock (Welsh, chieftain, monk, 6th Century)

     St. Christina of Markgate (English, hermitess, abbess, embroiderer for pope, visionary, died at about age 63 in 1160)

     St. Crispina of Thagura (Numidian [from what is now Tunisia], married woman and mother, martyred by beheading in 304)

     St. Dalmatius of Monza (Italian, bishop of Pavia, martyred in 304)

     St. Firminus of Verdun (French, bishop, 6th Century)

     St. Galgano Guidotti of Chiusdino (Italian, hermit, died at about age 33 in 1181 [canonized 1185])

     St. Gerald of Cahors (French, Benedictine  monk in France and Spain, archbishop in Portugal, d. 1109)

     St. Gerbold of Bayeux (French, Benedictine  abbot, bishop, c. 690)

     Sts. Gratus, Julius, Felix, Potamia, and companions, of Thagura (African, martyred in 302)

     St. John Almond of Allerton (English, priest, martyred [drawn, hanged, quartered] under James I at about age 35 in 1612 [beatified 1929, canonized 1970])

     Bl. John Gradenigo of Venice [Giovanni] (Italian, nobleman, Benedictine hermit, d. 1025)

     St. John the Wonder Worker of Polybotum (Phrygian [from part of what is now Turkey], bishop, c. 750)

     St. Justinian of Ramsey (French, nobleman, priest, hermit on island off Wales, martyred in 6th/7th Century)

     Bl. Narcissus Putz of Sierakow [Narcyz] (Polish, diocesan priest, martyred by Nazis at Dachau [Germany] at age 65 in 1942 [beatified 1999])

     St. Nicetius of Auvergne (French, abbot, bishop of Trier, c. 566)

     St. Pelinus of Confinium (Italian, martyred in 361)

     Bl. Philip Rinaldi of Lu Monferrato [Filippo] (Italian, Salesian  priest, died at age 75 in 1931 [beatified 1990])

     St. Sabbas of Motalala (Cappadocian [from part of what is now Turkey], hermit, religious superior, d. 532)

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On December 6, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

     St. Nicholas
of Patara (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], abbot, bishop of Myra, c. 346)


     St. Abraham
of Emesa (Syrian, abbot in Bithynia [part of what is now Turkey], bishop of Kratia, hermit, died in Palestine at about age 84 c. 558)

     Sts. Aemilianus, Tertus, Dativa, Dionysia, Majoricus, Leontia, and Boniface (African ... a physician, a monk, two women (sisters), a small son of St. Dionysia, and fellow Christians ... martyred [flayed, burned, beaten] by Arian heretics in 484)

     St. Asella of Rome (Italian, virgin, leader of religious community, c. 406)

     St. Gerard of Soigny (French, Benedictine  abbot, d. 1109)

     St. Gertrude the Elder of Hamaye (French, widow, abbess, d. 649)

     St. Isserninus (Irish, bishop, 5th Century)

     Bl. John Scheffler of Camin [János] (Romanian, Bishop of Satu Mare, imprisoned by Communists, martyred [burned by boiled water] at age 65 in 1952 [beatified 2011])


     St. Peter Pascual of Valencia [Pedro] (Spanish, Mercedarian  priest, tutor to king of Aragon, bishop of Jaén, opposed Islamic doctrine and hostage-taking, martyred [beheaded] by Moslems at about age 73 in 1300)

     St. Polychronius (priest, martyred by Arian heretics in 4th Century)

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On December 7, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

     St. Ambrose of Milan (Roman born in Germany, nobleman, poet, orator, governor of Milan, archbishop [chosen while yet a catechumen!], Doctor of the Church, teacher of St. Augustine, died at about age 56 in 397)


     St. Anianas
of Chartres (French, bishop, 5th Century)

     St. Humbert of Igny (French, Benedictine  abbot, d. 1148)

     St. Mary Joseph Rossello of Albisola Marina [Maria Giuseppe] [baptized Benedetta] (Italian, sickly and poor child, Franciscan  tertiary, foundress and superior of Institute of the Daughters of Mercy, died at age 69 in 1880 [beatified 1939, canonized 1949])

     Sts. Polycarp and Theodore of Antioch (Syrian? early martyrs)

     St. Servus (North African, tortured and martyred by Arian heretics in 484)

     St. Victor of Piacenza (Italian, bishop, d. 375)

[From St. Ambrose, the "Honey-Tongued Doctor":]

     "To avoid dissensions we should be ever on our guard, more especially with those who drive us to argue with them, with those who vex and irritate us, and who say things likely to excite us to anger. When we find ourselves in company with quarrelsome, eccentric individuals, people who openly and unblushingly say the most shocking things, difficult to put up with, we should take refuge in silence, and the wisest plan is not to reply to people whose behavior is so preposterous. Those who insult us and treat us contumeliously are anxious for a spiteful and sarcastic reply: the silence we then affect disheartens them, and they cannot avoid showing their vexation; they do all they can to provoke us and to elicit a reply, but the best way to baffle them is to say nothing, refuse to argue with them, and to leave them to chew the cud of their hasty anger. This method of bringing down their pride disarms them, and shows them plainly that we slight and despise them."

     "No one heals himself by wounding another."

     "Our own evil inclinations are far more dangerous than any external enemies."

     "The Church of the Lord is built upon the rock of the Apostles among so many dangers in the world; it therefore remains unmoved. The Church's foundation is unshakable and firm against assaults of the raging sea. Waves lash at the Church but do not shatter it. Although the elements of this world constantly beat upon the Church with crashing sounds, the Church possesses the safest harbor of salvation for all in distress."

     "He who reads much and understands much, receives his fill.  He who is full, refreshes others. ... [L]et your words be rivers, clean and limpid, so that you may charm the ears of people. And by the grace of your words win them over to follow your leadership. ... [L]et the meaning of your words shine forth, let understanding blaze out. Let no word escape your lips in vain or be uttered without depth of meaning."

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On December 8, we members of the Catholic Church family celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

     We also honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     Bl. Aloysius Liguba of Winow [Alojzy] (Polish, Divine Word  Missionaries  priest, martyred by Nazis at Dachau [Germany] at age 44 in 1942 [beatified 1999])

     St. Eucharius of Trier (German, bishop, 1st Century)

     Pope St. Eutychian of Etruria (Italian, elected to papacy in 275, reigned until death in 283)

     St. Gunthildis of Wimborne (British, Benedictine  abbess in Germany, c. 748)

     Bl. Jane of Cáceres [Juana] (Spanish, Cistercian  abbess, martyred in 1383)

     St. Macarius of Alexandria (Egyptian, early martyr)

     St. Patapius (Egyptian, hermit near Constantinople, 7th Century)

     St. Romaric of Remiremont (French, nobleman, widower, abbot for 30 years, d. 653)

-----------------------

 


On December 9, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

     St. Juan Diego of Tlayacac [Aztec name: Cuauhtlatoatzin (Talking Eagle)] (Mexican [Chichimecan], layman baptized at about age 50, widower, visionary of Our Lady of Guadalupe in 1531, died at about age 73 in 1548 [beatified 1990, canonized 2002]) [On U.S. "particular calendar"]

 

 

     Sts. Abibus, Hipparchus, James, Lollian, Paragnus, Philotheus, and Romanus ["Holy Martyrs of Samosata"] (Syrian, converts, refused to perform pagan rite, martyred by crucifixion in 297)

     St. Balda of Jouarre (French, abbess, 7th Century)

     Sts. Bassian, Peter, Primitivus, Successus, and companions (North African, early martyrs)

     Bl. Bernard Mary of Jesus Silvestrelli of Rome [Bernardo Maria di Gesu] [baptized Cesare (Caesar)] (Italian, Passionist  priest and superior general, died at age 80 in 1911 [beatified 1988])

     St. Budoc of Dol (Irish, abbot, bishop in France)

     St. Cyprian of Perigord (French, hermit, 7th Century)

     St. Gorgonia of Cappadocia (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], daughter of two saints, sister of two saints [including Gregory of Nazianzen], wife, mother of three, c. 375)

     St. Julian of Apamea (Syrian, bishop, 3rd Century)

     St. Leocadia of Toledo (Spanish, slave, c. 303)

     St. Peter Fourier of Mirecourt [Pierre] (French, Augustinian  priest, founder of Daughters of Our Lady, died at about age 75 in 1640 [beatified 1730, canonized 1897])

     St. Proculus of Verona (Italian, bishop, c. 320)

     St. Restitutus of Carthage (North African, bishop, early martyr)

     St. Syrus of Pavia (Italian, bishop, early martyr)

     St. Valerie of Limoges (French, early martyr)

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On December 10, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     Bl. Brian Lacey of Yorkshire and Bl. Sidney Hodgson (English, laymen who hid priests, tortured and martyred [drawn, hanged, and quartered] under Elizabeth I in 1591 [beatified 1929])

     Sts. Carpophorus and Abundius (Italian or Spanish, priest and deacon, martyred in 300)

     St. Deusdedit of Brescia (Italian, bishop, c. 700)

     St. Edmund Gennings of Lichfield [or Genings/Jennings] (English, adolescent convert, priest, martyred under Elizabeth I at about age 24 in 1591 [beatified 1929, canonized 1970])

     Sts. Eulalia and Julia of Merida (Spanish, tortured and martyred by burning c. 304) [St. Eulalia died at about age 14.]

     St. Eustace White of Louth (English, priest, martyred under Elizabeth I in 1591 [beatified 1929, canonized 1970])

     St. Florentius of Carracedo (Spanish, Benedictine  abbot, d. 1156)

     St. Gemellus of Ancyra (Galatian [from part of what is now Turkey], martyred by crucifixion in 362)

     Pope St. Gregory III (Syrian, priest in Rome, elected to papacy in 731, battled iconoclasm, fostered missionary work, reigned until death in 741)

     St. Guitmarus of Normandy (French, abbot, c. 750)

     Sts. Hermogenes, Mennas, and Eugraphus, of Alexandria (Egyptian, martyred by beheading c. 312)

     St. Hildemar of Beauvais (French, Benedictine  monk, bishop, c. 840)

     Bl. John Mason of Kendal (English, servant, martyred [drawn, hanged, quartered] under Elizabeth I in 1591 [beatified 1929])

     St. John Roberts of Trawsfynydd (Welsh, Benedictine  priest in Spain, martyred in England [drawn, hanged, quartered] under James I at about age 33 in 1610 [beatified 1929, canonized 1970]) [On Welsh "particular calendar"]

     St. Lucerius of Maurienne (Italian, Benedictine  abbot in France, d. 739)

     Bl. Mark Anthony Durando of Mondovi [Marcantonio] (Italian, Vincentian  priest, founded Institute of the Sisters of Jesus the Nazarene, died at age 79 in 1880 [beatified 2002])

     St. Mercurius and companions, of Lentini (soldiers in Sicily, martyred by beheading in 300)

     Pope St. Miltiades (African, elected to papacy in 311, reigned until death in 314)

     St. Peter Truong Van Duong of Ke So [Phero] (Vietnamese, catechist, martyred by strangling at about age 30 in 1838)

     Bl. Peter Tecelano of Campi [Pietro] (Italian, comb maker, widower, Franciscan  friar, nurse, mystic, d. 1287 [beatified 1802])

     St. Polydore Plasden of London (English, priest, martyred [drawn, hanged, and quartered] under Elizabeth I at about age 28 in 1591 [beatified 1929, canonized 1970])

     Bl. Sebastian Montanol (Spanish, Dominican  missionary in Mexico, martyred [?] in 1616)

     St. Swithun Wells of Bambridge (English, married man, teacher, martyred under Elizabeth I at about age 55 in 1591 [beatified 1929, canonized 1970])

     St. Thomas of Farfa (French, Benedictine  monk, hermit in Italy, d. 720)

     Bl. Thomas Somers of Skelsmergh [alias Wilson] (English, schoolmaster, priest, martyred [drawn, hanged, quartered] under James I in 1610 [beatified 1929])

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On December 11, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

     Pope St. Damasus I of Rome (Italian, elected to papacy in 366, opposed Arianism and other heresies, commissioned the work [Vulgate, commentaries] of St. Jerome, published the scriptural canon, reigned until death at about age 78 in 384)


     Bl. Arthur
Bell of Temple Broughton (English, Franciscan  priest, martyred under Charles I at age 53 in 1643 [beatified 1987])

     St. Barsabas and companions (Persian, abbot and 12 monks, martyred in 342)

     Bl. Casimir Sykulski of Konskie [Kazimierz] (Polish, diocesan priest, martyred by Nazis at Auschwitz [Poland] at age 58 in 1942 [beatified 1999])

     St. Cian (Welsh, hermit, 6th Century)

     St. Daniel the Stylite of Maratha (Syrian, monk from age 12, priest, counselor to emperor and patriarch, preacher and healer, pillar-dwelling hermit for 33 years near Constantinople, died at about age 84 in 493)

     St. Fidweten of Redon (Benedictine  monk in France, d. 888)

     Sts. Fuscian, Gentian, and Victoricus (two missionaries and a convert in France, tortured and martyred by beheading in 287)

     Bl. Martin of St. Nicholas Lumbreras of Zaragoza [Martin de San Nicolas] and Bl. Melchior of St. Augustine Sanchez of Granada [Melchor de San Agustin] (Spanish, Augustinian  friars, missionaries in Japan, martyred at about ages 40 and 33 in 1632 [beatified 1989])

     St. Mary of Jesus Pidal y Chico de Guzman of Madrid [María de Jesús] [baptized María Maravillas] (Spanish, Discalced Carmelite  nun, died at age 83 in 1974 [beatified 1998, canonized 2003])

     St. Pens (Welsh)

     Sts. Pontian, Trason, and Praetextatus of Rome (Italian, martyred in 302)

     St. Sabinus of Piacenza (Italian, friend of St. Ambrose, bishop, envoy of Pope St. Damasus, d. 420)

     Bl. Ugolino Magalotti of Camerino (Italian, Franciscan  tertiary, hermit, d. 1373 [beatified 1856])

[From the Decree of St. Damasus (in "The Faith of the Early Fathers" by William A. Jurgens)]

     The arrangement of the names of Christ ... is manifold:

     Lord, because He is Spirit;

     Word, because He is God;

     Son, because He is the only-begotten son of the Father;

     Man, because He was born of the Virgin;

     Priest, because He offered Himself as a sacrifice;

     Shepherd, because He is a guardian ...

     Mountain, because He is strong;

     Way, because there is a straight path through Him to life;

     Lamb, because He suffered;

     Corner-Stone, because instruction is His;

     Teacher, because He demonstrates how to live;

     Sun, because He is the illuminator;

     Truth, because He is from the Father;

     Life, because He is the creator;

     Bread, because He is flesh;

     Samaritan, because He is the merciful protector;

     Christ, because He is anointed;

     Jesus, because He is a mediator;

     Vine, because we are redeemed by His blood;

     Lion, because he is king;

     Rock, because He is firm;

     Flower, because He is the chosen one;

     Prophet, because He has revealed what is to come.

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On December 12, we members of the Catholic Church family celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  We also honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

     St. Jane Frances de Chantal of Dijon [Jeanne-Françoise] [nee Fremiot] (French, baroness, mother of four, widow at age 28, founded Order of the Visitation of Our Lady, died at age 59 in 1641 [beatified 1751, canonized 1767]) {This memorial is transferred to August 18 in the Americas, because of today's Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe}

 

 

     St. Abra of Poitiers (French, daughter of St. Hilary, virgin, died at about age 18 in 4th Century)

     St. Agatha of Wimborne (British, Benedictine  nun, missionary in Germany, d. 790)

     Sts. Alexander, Ammonaria (2), Dionysia, Epimachus, and Mercuria (2), of Alexandria (Egyptians?, martyred c. 250)

     Pope Bl. Callistus II of Quingey [Calixte] [baptized Guy] (French, nobleman, cardinal archbishop of Vienne for over 30 years, elected to papacy in 1119, presided over Lateran Council I, reigned until death in 1124)

     St. Colman of Glendalough (Irish, abbot, d. 659)

     St. Columba of Terryglass (Irish, abbot, d. 552)

     St. Conrad of Offida [Corrado] (Italian, Franciscan  friar, cook, preacher, d. 1306)

     Sts. Constantius, Crescentius, Justin, and Maxentius, of Trier (German? martyred c. 287)

     St. Corentius of Plomodiern (French, hermit, bishop of Quimper, c. 490)

     St. Edburga of Minster-in-Thanet (British, princess, calligrapher, Benedictine  abbess, d. 751)

     St. Finian of Clonard ["Teacher of the Irish Saints"] (Irish, monk, founder of monasteries, died at about age 80 c. 552) [On Irish "particular calendar"]

     St. Gregory of Terracina (Italian, Benedictine  monk, c.570)

     Sts. Hermogenes, Donatus, and companions (martyred by exposure)

     Bl. Jerome Ranuzzi of Sant'Angelo [Girolamo] ["Angel of Good Counsel"] (Italian, Servite  priest, died at about age 56 c. 1466 [beatified 1775])

     Bl. Pius Bartosik of Kokanin [baptized Ludwik (Louis)] (Polish, Franciscan  priest, martyred by Nazis at Auschwitz [Poland] at age 32 in 1941 [beatified 1999])

     Bl. Thomas Holland of Sutton [alias Sanderson, alias Hammond] (English, Jesuit  priest, martyred [drawn, hanged, quartered] under Charles I at about age 42 in 1642 [beatified 1929])

     St. Vicelin of Hemeln (German, schoolteacher, missionary to Wends and Slavs, bishop, died in France at about age 66 in 1154)
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On December 13, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

     St. Lucy of Syracuse (Sicilian, virgin, martyred by the sword at about age 21 in 304)


     Bl. Anthony
Grassi of Fermo [Antonio] ["Angel of Peace"] (Italian, Oratorian  priest, died at age 79 in 1671 [beatified 1900])

     St. Aubert of Arras (French, bishop, c. 669)

     Bl. Bartholomew of Tuscany [Bartolomeo] (Italian, Franciscan  tertiary, priest, leper, d. 1300)

     St. Einhildis of Niedermunster (French, Benedictine  abbess, 8th Century)

     St. Elizabeth Rose of Chelles [Elisabeth] (French, nun, hermitess, c. 1130)

     St. Jodocus of Runiacum (Breton [French], king, hermit, c. 668 [incorruptible])

     Bl. John Marinoni of Venice [Giovanni] (Italian, priest, died at about age 72 in 1562 [beatified 1762])

 

     Bl. Mary Magdalen of the Passion Starace of Castellammare di Stabia [Maria Maddalena della Passione] [baptized Costanza (Constance)] (Italian, foundress of the Congregation of the Compassionist Sisters, Servants of Mary, died [pneumonia] at age 76 in 1921 [beatified 2007])

     St. Odilia of Oberheim (German, born blind, healed at baptism [age 12], abbess, died at about age 60 in 720)

     St. Roswinda of Hohenburg (French, Benedictine  nun, 8th Century)

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On December 14, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

     St. John of the Cross de Yepes of Fontiveros [Juan de la Cruz] ["Doctor of Mystical Theology"] (Spanish, priest, reformer of Discalced Carmelites, mystical writer, Doctor of the Church, died at age 49 in 1591 [beatified 1675, canonized 1726])


     Sts. Abundius and Justus (early martyrs by the sword)

     St. Agnellus of Abtini (Italian, abbot, d. 596))

     St. Bartholomew Buonpedoni of San Germiniano (Italian, servant to Benedictines, Franciscan  tertiary, village priest, leper, died at about 82 in 1310)

     Sts. Drusus, Theodore, and Zosimus (Syrian, early martyr)

     Sts. Fingar, Phiala, and companions, of Hoyle (Irish, martyred in 5th Century)

     Sts. Heron, Arsenius, and Isidore, of Alexandria (Egyptian, martyred by burning in 250)

     St. John Bread-and-Water of Sangramenia [Juan "Pan y Agua"] (Spanish, Cistercian brother, fasted on bread and water his entire adult life, c. 1150)

     St. Matronianus of Milan (Milanese, hermit, 4th Century)

     Sts. Nicasius, Eutropia, Jucundus, and Florentius, of Rheims (French ... bishop, his sister, lector, deacon ... martyred [beheaded] by barbarians c. 451)

     Bl. Nicholas Factor of Valencia [Nicolás] (Spanish, Franciscan  friar, itinerant preacher, died at about age 62 in 1582 [beatified 1786]) [commemorated by some on the 23rd]

     St. Nimatullah Kassab al-Hardini [i.e., of Hardin] [baptized Youssef (Joseph)] (Lebanese, Maronite priest, died at age 50 in 1858 [beatified 1998, canonized 2004])

     St. Pompeius of Pavia (Italian, bishop, c. 290)

     St. Spyridon of Termithus (shepherd, monk at Mt. Carmel, bishop on Cyprus, died at about age 74 in 344 [incorruptible])

     St. Venantius Fortunatus of Treviso [full name: Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus] (Italian, spiritual counselor of nuns, prolific poet and writer of hymns, bishop of Poitiers in France, died at about age 70 c. 605)

     St. Viator of Bergamo (Italian, bishop, c. 378)

[From St. John of the Cross:]

     "If you do not learn to deny yourself, you can make no progress in perfection."

     "In detachment, the spirit finds quiet and repose for coveting nothing. Nothing wearies it by elation, and nothing oppresses it by dejection, because it stands in the center of its own humility."

     "The Lord measures our perfection neither by the multitude nor the magnitude of our deeds, but by the manner in which we perform them."

     "I wish I could persuade spiritual persons that the way of perfection does not consist in many devices, nor in much cogitation, but in denying themselves completely and yielding themselves to suffer everything for the love of Christ.

     "Live in the world as if only God and your soul were in it; then your heart will never be made captive by any earthly thing."

     "O you souls who wish to go on with so much safety and consolation, if you knew how pleasing to God is suffering, and how much it helps in acquiring other good things, you would never seek consolation in  anything; but you would rather look upon it as a great happiness to bear the Cross of the Lord."

     "Though holy doctors have uncovered many mysteries and wonders, and devout souls have understood them in this earthly condition of ours, yet the greater part still remains to be unfolded by them, and even to be understood by them."

     "We must then dig deeply in Christ. He is like a rich mine with many pockets containing treasures:  however deep we dig, we will never find their end or their limit. Indeed, in every pocket new seams of fresh riches are discovered on all sides. For this reason the apostle Paul said of Christ, 'In him are hidden all the treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God.' The soul cannot enter into these treasures, nor attain them, unless it first crosses into and enters the thicket of suffering, enduring interior and exterior labors, and unless it first receives from God very many blessings in the intellect and in the senses, and has undergone long spiritual training."

     "In giving us His Son, His only Word, He spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word -- and He has  no more  to say ... because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son."

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On December 15, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     St. Adalbero (French, Benedictine  monk, bishop of Verdun, bishop of Metz, d. 1005)

     Bl. Charles Steeb of Tubingen [Karl] (German, convert from Lutheranism in Italy, priest, co-founded Institute of the Sisters of Mercy, died at about age 81 in 1856 [beatified 1975])

     Blessed Martyrs of Dirna (Europeans serving in Bosnia, five virgins, religious of the Sisters of Divine Charity, martyred [stabbed to death] at ages 29 to 76 in 1941 [beatified 2011]) [More about the martyrs:]

----- Bl. Mary Antonia Fabjan of Malo Lipje [Marija Antonija] [baptized Josefa] (Slovenian, died at age 34)

----- Bl. Mary Berchmans Leidenix of Enzersdorf an der Fischa [Marija Berchmana] [baptized Karoline Anna (Caroline Ann)] (Austrian, died at age 76)

----- Bl. Mary Bernadette Banja of Veliki Grdjevac [Marija Bernadeta] [baptized Terezija (Teresa)] (Croatian, died at age 29)

----- Bl. Mary Julia Ivanisevic of Odinjak [Marija Jula] [baptized Kata (Catherine)] (Croatian, mother superior, died at age 48)

----- Bl. Mary of the Cross Bojanc of Smarjeta [Marija Krizina] [baptized Josefa] (Slovenian, died at age 56)

     St. Florentius of Bangor(Irish, abbot, 7th Century)

     Sts. Irenaeus, Anthony, Theodore, Saturninus, Victor, and 17 companions, of Rome (Italian, martyred c. 258)

     St. John the Barefoot of Rennes [Jean-Discalceat] (French, stone mason, Franciscan  priest, died at about age 69 in 1349)

     St. Julia of Arezzo (Italian, Camaldolese  nun)

     Bl. Mary Frances Schervier of Aachen [Maria Franziska] (German, foundress of Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis, nursed U.S. Civil War wounded, cured of asthma at Lourdes, died at age 57 in 1876 [beatified 1974])

     St. Mary of the Crucifix di Rosa of Brescia [Maria Crocifisa] [baptized Paola Francesca Maria (Paula Frances Mary)] (Italian, noblewoman, virgin, co-foundress of Handmaids of Charity, served the needy for 25 years, died at age 42 in 1855 [beatified 1940, canonized 1954])

     St. Maximinus of Micy (French, abbot, d. 520)

     St. Nino of Bodbe ["Apostle of Georgia"] (female slave, c. 320)

     St. Paul of Latros (Turkish, Byzantine hermit, d. 956)

     St. Silvia of Constantinople (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], fighter of heresies, c. 420)

     St. Urbicus of Bordeaux (French, hermit, died in Spain c. 805)

     St. Valerian of Abbenza (African, bishop, martyred [exposed to elements] by Arian heretics at about age 80 in 457)

     St. Virginia Bracelli of Genoa [nee Centurione] (Italian, widow, co-founded Congregation of Daughters of Mount Calvary, died at age 64 in 1651 [beatified 1985, canonized 2003])

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On December 16, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     St. Adelaide of Burgundy (French, princess, wife of a king and emperor, died at about age 68 in 999 [canonized 1097])

     St. Ado of Sens (French, Benedictine  monk, archbishop of Vienne, d. 875)

     St. Albina of Caesarea(Palestinian, virgin, martyred c. 250)

     St. Eusebius of Vercelli (Sardinian [Italian], bishop, fought Arianism, d. 371)

     St. Haggai [also called Aggaeus] (Israelite, Old Testament prophet, c. 516 B.C.)

     Bl. Honorat Kozminski of Biala Podlaska [baptized Waclaw (Wenceslaus)] (Polish, Capuchin  friar, founded several religious congregations, died at age 87 in 1916 [beatified 1988]) [commemorated by some on October 13]

     St. Irenion of Gaza (Palestinian, bishop, d. 389)

     St. Judicael of Domnonia (French, Breton king, abdicated to become a monk, d. 658)

     Bl. Mary of the Angels Fontanella of Baldinero [Maria degli Angeli] (Italian, Carmelite  prioress, visionary, died at age 56 in 1717 [beatified 1865])

     St. Raynald de Bar of Citeaux (French, Cistercian  abbot, d. 1151)

     Bl. Sebastian Maggi of Brescia (Italian, Dominican  superior, died at about age 82 in 1496 [beatified 1760] [incorruptible])

     Blessed Martyrs of Thailand (Siamese [Thai], seven people [two women religious, four laywomen, one layman], martyred [shot] by Buddhists in 1940 [beatified 1989])
----- Bl. Agatha
Phutta of Kengpho (died at about age 59)
----- Bl. Agnes
Phila of Ban Nahi (religious of Congregation of the Lovers of the Cross, died at age 31)
----- Bl. Bibiana Khampai of Songkhon (died at age 15)
----- Bl. Cecilia
Butsi of Songkhon (died at age 16)
----- Bl. Lucia
Khambang of Viengkhuk (religious of Congregation of the Lovers of the Cross, died at age 23)
----- Bl. Maria Phon of Songkhon (died at age 14)
----- Bl. Philip
Sipong Onphitak of Nongsëng (catechist, died at age 33)

     Sts. Valentine, Concordius, Navalis, and Agricola (Italian, martyred c. 305)

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On December 17, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     St. Begga of Ardenne (French, widow, abbess, d. 693)

     St. Briarch of Brittany (Welsh, abbot in France, d. 627)

     St. Eigil of Fulda (probably German, Benedictine  abbot, d. 822)

     Sts. Florian, Calanicus, and 58 companions, of Beit Jibrin (Palestinian, martyred by Moslems in 638)

     Bl. Hyacinth Mary Cormier of Orléans [Hyacinth-Marie] (French, Dominican  friar, died at age 84 in 1916 [beatified 1994])

     St. Joseph Manyanet y Vives of Tremp [José] (Spanish, priest, founded Congregation of the Sons of the Holy Family and the Sons of the Nazareth Family, died at about age 68 in 1901 [beatified 1984, canonized 2004])

     Bl. Matilda of the Sacred Heart Téllez Robles of Robledillo de la Vera [Matilde del Sagrado Corazón] (Spanish, founded Congregation of the Daughters of Mary, Mother of the Church, died at age 61 in 1902 [beatified 2004])

     St. Maxentiolus of Cunault (probably French, abbot, 5th Century)

     St. Olympias of Constantinople (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], noblewoman, widow, d. 408)

     St. Sturmi of Fulda ["Apostle of the Saxons"] (Bavarian, missionary priest, first German Benedictine  abbot, d. 779 [canonized 1139])

     St. Tydecho (Welsh, 6th Century)

     St. Wivina of Oisy (Belgian, virgin, hermitess, abbess, c. 1170)

     Bl. Yolanda of Vianden [Yolande] (French, noblewoman, Dominican  nun, d. 1283)

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On December 18, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     Sts. Adjutor, Victurus, Victor, Victorinus, Quartus, and 30 companions (Northwest African, early martyrs)

     St. Augustine Nguyen Van Moi of Phu Trang (Vietnamese, laborer, Dominican  tertiary, refused to trample crucifix, strangled at about age 33 in 1839 [beatified 1900, canonized 1988])

     St. Auxentius of Mopsuestia (Cilician [from part of what is now Turkey], emperor's guard, bishop, c. 321)

     St. Bodagisil (French, abbot, d. 588)

     St. Desideratus of Fontenelle (French, Benedictine  monk, c. 700)

     St. Flannan of Killaloe (Irish, missionary monk, bishop, daily prayed the psalter [all 150 psalms], 7th Century) [On Irish "particular calendar"]

     St. Gatian of Tours (French, bishop, c. 337)

     St. Malachi of Sapha [also known as Malachias] (Israelite, prophet, writer of Old Testament book, 5th Century B.C.)

     St. Mawnan of Cornwall (British?)

     St. Moysetes (African, martyred c. 250)

     Bl. Nemesia Valle of Aosta [baptized Giulia (Julia)] (Italian, member of Sisters of Charity, teacher, novice mistress for 500 women, superior at age 40, died at age 69 in 1916 [beatified 2004])

     St. Paul Nguyen Van My of Ke Non [Phaolo] (Vietnamese, layman, martyred by strangling at about age 40 in 1838 [beatified 1900, canonized 1988])

     Sts. Peter Truong Van Duong of Ke So [Phero] and Peter Vu Van Truat of Ke Thiec [Phero] (Vietnamese, catechists, martyred by strangling at about ages 30 and 22 in 1838 [beatified 1900, canonized 1988])

     Sts. Quintus, Simplicius, and companions (African, martyred c. 255)

     Sts. Rufus and Zosimus of Antioch (Syrian? martyred [thrown to wild beasts] in Rome c. 107)

     St. Samthann of Clonbroney (Irish, nun, d. 739)

     Sts. Theotimus and Basilian of Laodicea (Syrian, early martyrs)

     St. Winebald of Wessex (British, son of King St. Richard, missionary, Benedictine  abbot, d. 761 in Germany)

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On December 19, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     Pope St. Anastasius I of Rome (Italian, elected to papacy in 399, reigned until death in 402)

     St. Avitus of Micy [also called Adjutus] (abbot)

     St. Bernard Paleara of Teramo [Bernardo] (Italian, Benedictine  monk, bishop, d. 1122)

     Bl. Cecilia of Ferrara (Italian, married woman, Dominican  nun, d. 1511)

     Sts. Cyriacus, Paulillus, Secundus, Anastasius, Syndimius, and companions, of Nicomedia (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], martyred in 303)

     Sts. Darius, Zosimus, Paul, and Secundus, of Nicaea (from Asia Minor, early martyrs)

     Sts. Dominic Bui Van Uy of Tien Mon [Daminh], Francis Xavier Ha Trong Mau of Ke Rieng [Phanxico Xavie], Stephen Nguyen Van Vinh of Phu Trang [Stephano], and Thomas Nguyen Van De of Bo Trang [Toma] (Vietnamese, three catechists and a tailor, Dominican tertiaries, martyred by strangling at about ages 38/49/25/29 in 1839 [beatified 1900, canonized 1988])

     St. Fausta of Sirmium (from what is now Croatia, mother of St. Anastasia, widow, 3rd Century)

     St. Gregory of Auxerre (French, bishop, died at about age 85 c. 540)

     Bl. Macarius of Würzburg (Scottish or Irish, Benedictine  abbot in Germany, d. 1153)

     St. Manirus (Scottish, early missionary)

     Bl. Mary Eve of Providence Noiszewska of Osaniszki [Maria Ewa od Opatrznosci] [baptized Bogumila] and Bl. Mary Martha of Jesus Wolowska of Lublin [Maria Marta od Jezusa] [baptized Kazimiera] (Polish born in Lithuania, Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Immaculatian  sister, martyred by Nazis at Gora Pietralewicka at ages 57 and 63 in 1942 [beatified 1999])

     Sts. Meuris and Thea of Gaza (Palestinian, virgins, martyred c. 307)

     St. Nemesius of Alexandria (Egyptian, martyred by burning in 250)

     St. Ribert of Saint-Oyend (French, Benedictine  abbot, c. 790)

     St. Samthana of Meath (Irish, abbess, 6th Century)

     St. Timothy (African, deacon, martyred by burning c. 250)

     Pope Bl. Urban V de Grimoard of Grisac [baptized Guillaume (William)] (French, university teacher, Benedictine  abbot, papal legate, elected to papacy in 1362, reigned until death in Avignon [France] at about age 60 in 1370 [beatified 1870])

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On December 20, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     Sts. Ammon, Zeno, Ptolemy, Ingen, and Theophilus, of Alexandria (Egyptian, soldiers, martyred by beheading in 249)

     Bl. Anthony Durcovici of Bad Deutsch-Altenburg [Anton] (Austro-Hungarian, Bishop of Iasi in Romania, martyred by Communists [exposure in winter] at age 63 in 1951 [beatified 2014])


     St. Dominic of Brescia (Italian, bishop, c. 612)

     St. Dominic of Cañas [better known as Dominic of Silos] [Domingo] (Spanish, peasant, shepherd, Benedictine  abbot, died at about age 73 in 1073)

     St. Fachanan of Kilfenora (Irish, c. 6th Century) [On Irish "particular calendar"]

     Bl. Gonzalo of Silos (Spanish, Benedictine  monk with St. Dominic of Silos, 11th Century)

     Sts. Eugene and Macarius (Arabian, priests, martyred by the sword in 362)

     St. Julius of Gelduba (Greek, early martyr)

     Sts. Liberatus and Bajulus (early martyrs)

     St. Malou of Hautvillers (French, priest)

     Bl. Michael Piaszczynski of Lomza [Michal] (Polish, diocesan priest, martyred by Nazis at Sachsenhausen [Germany] at age 55 in 1940 [beatified 1999])

     Bl. Peter de la Cadireta of Moya [Pedro] (Spanish, inquisitor, Dominican  prior, martyred [stoned] by Albigensian heretics in 1277)

     Bl. Peter Massalenus of Othoca [Pietro] (Sardinian [Italian], Camaldolese  monk, mystic, died at about age 78 in 1453)

     St. Peter Truong Van Thi of Ke So [Phero] (Vietnamese, diocesan priest, martyred by beheading at about age 76 in 1839 [beatified 1900, canonized 1988])

     St. Philogonius of Antioch (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], lawyer, widower, patriarch [bishop], opposed Arianism, d. 324)

     St. Ursicinus of Cahors (French, abbot, bishop, c. 535)

     St. Ursicinus of St-Ursanne (Irish, missionary and abbot in Switzerland, c. 625)

     Bl. Vincent Dominic Romano of Torre del Greco [Vincenzo Domenico] (Italian, village priest, cared for orphans, died at age 80 in 1831 [beatified 1963])

     Pope St. Zephyrinus of Rome (Italian, elected to papacy in 199, reigned until death by martyrdom in 217)

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On December 21, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

     St. Peter Canisius of Nijmegen [Peter Kanis] ["Second Apostle of Germany"] (Dutch, Jesuit  priest, companion of St. Ignatius Loyola, writer of famous catechism, teacher, founder of colleges, leader of "counter-reformation," addressed Council of Trent on Eucharist, Doctor of the Church, died in Switzerland at age 76 in 1597 [beatified 1864, canonized 1925])


     Bl. Adrian and 27 companions (Dalmatian [from what is now Croatia], Dominican  missionary priest and others, martyred by Moslems in 13th Century)

     St. Anastasius the Younger of Antioch (Syrian, patriarch [bishop], martyred in 609)

     St. Baudacarius of Bobbio (Italian, Benedictine  monk, d. 650)

     St. Beornwald of Bampton (British, priest, 8th Century)

     St. Glycerius of Nicomedia (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], cleric, martyred by burning in 303)

     St. Honoratus of Toulouse (Spanish, bishop, 3rd Century)

     Sts. John and Festus (Italian, early martyrs)

     St. John Vincent of Ravenna [Giovanni Vincenzo] (Italian, Benedictine  monk, hermit, bishop, d. 1012)

     St. Micah of Moresheth [also known as Michaeas] (Judean, prophet, author of Old Testament book, 8th Century B.C.)

     Bl. Peter Friedhofen of Weitersburg (German, founded Congregation of the Brothers of Charity of Mary, Help of Christians, died at age 41 in 1860 [beatified 1985])

     St. Severinus of Trier(German, bishop, c. 300)

     Sts. Themistocles and Dioscorus of Myra (Lycian [from part of what is now Turkey], shepherds, martyred by beheading in 253)

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On December 22, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     St. Abban of New Ross (Irish, founder of abbey, missionary)

     Bl. Adam of Loccum (German, Cistercian  priest, c. 1210)

     St. Amaswinthus of Málaga (Spanish, abbot, d. 982)

     St. Chaeremon and companions, of Nilopolis, and St. Ischyrion of Alexandria (Egyptian ... bishop and flock, and procurator ... martyred c. 250)

     Sts. Demetrius, Honoratus, and Florus, of Ostia (Italian, early martyrs)

     St. Flavian of Acquapendente (Italian, prefect later enslaved, martyred in 362)

     Bl. Giacopone Benedetti of Todi (Italian, nobleman, lawyer, widower, Franciscan brother, writer of hymns, died at about age 76 in 1306) [commemorated by some on the 25th]

     St. Hunger of Utrecht (Dutch, bishop, d. 866 in Germany)

     Bl. Jutta of Spanheim (German, teacher of children [including St. Hildegard of Bingen], hermitess, Benedictine  abbess, died at about age 46 in 1136)

     Bl. Marianus MacRobartaigh of Donegal [baptized Muirdach] (Irish, Benedictine  abbot, d. 1096 in Germany)

     St. Zeno of Nicomedia (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], soldier, martyred by beheading in 303)

[Here is Bl. Giacopone
of Todi's most famous hymn (in English translation):]

 

     Stabat Mater

At the cross her station keeping,   Stood the mournful Mother weeping,   Close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,  All His bitter anguish bearing,  Now at length the sword had passed.

Oh, how sad and sore distressed     Was that Mother highly blest     Of the sole-begotten One!

Christ above in torment hangs;     She beneath beholds the pangs     Of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,     Whelmed in miseries so deep     Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain     From partaking in her pain,     In that Mother's pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,     She beheld her tender child     All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of His own nation,     Saw Him hang in desolation,     Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love!     Touch my spirit from above;     Make my heart with thine accord.

Make me feel as thou hast felt;     Make my soul to glow and melt     With the love of Christ our Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through;     In my heart each wound renew     Of my Savior crucified.

Let me share with thee His pain,     Who for all my sins was slain,     Who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,     Mourning Him who mourned for me,     All the days that I may live.

By the cross with thee to stay,     There with thee to weep and pray,     Is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins best,     Listen to my fond request     Let me share thy grief divine.

Let me, to my latest breath,     In my body bear the death     Of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,     Steep my soul till it hath swooned     In His very blood away.

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,     Lest in flames I burn and die,     In His awful Judgment day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,     Be Thy Mother my defense,     Be Thy cross my victory.

While my body here decays,     May my soul Thy goodness praise,     Safe in Paradise with Thee.

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On December 23, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

     St. John of Kanty [Jan] [also called "John Cantius"] (Polish, parish priest, university professor of Scripture, miracle worker, died at age 83 in 1473 [beatified 1676, canonized 1767])

 

 

     St. Anthony of St. Anne Galvão de Franca of Guaratingueta [Antonio Sant' Anna] (Brazilian, Franciscan  priest, died at about age 83 in 1822 [beatified 1998, canonized 2007])

     St. Besa (Egyptian, abbot, 5th Century)

     King St. Dagobert II of Austrasia (German, son of a saint, father of two saints, martyred in 679)

     St. Frithbert of Hexham (British, Benedictine  monk, bishop for 34 years, d. 766)

     Bl. Hartmann of Polling (Austrian, bishop of Brixen, died at about age 74 in 1164 [beatified 1784])

     Bl. Helen Guerra of Lucca [Elena] (Italian, foundress of Handmaids of the Holy Spirit  [missionary sisters], died at about age 79 in 1914 [beatified 1959])

     Bl. Hermann of Scheda (German, convert from Judaism, Norbertine  abbot, c. 1200)

     Bl. John Cirita of Tononca [Juan] (Spanish, Benedictine  monk in Portugal, c. 1164)

     St. Mazota of Abernethy (Irish, abbess in Scotland, 8th Century)

     Sts. Migdonius and Mardonius, of Rome (Italian, imperial officials, martyred [one burnt, one drowned] in 303)

     St. Servulus the Paralyzed of Rome (Italian, beggar, c. 590)

     Sts. Theodulus, Saturninus, Euporus, Gelasius, Eunician, Zeticus, Cleomenes, Agathopus, Basilides, and Evaristus (Cretan, martyred in 250)

     Bl. Thorlac Thorhallsson of Skalholt (Icelandic, abbot, bishop, died at about age 60 in 1193 [beatified 1198])

     St. Vintila of Orense (Spanish, Benedictine hermit, d. 890)

[From St. John of Kanty:]

"Fight all error, but do it with good humor, patience, kindness, and love. Harshness will damage your own soul and spoil the best cause." 

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On December 24, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     Sts. Adam and Eve of Eden (first parents of the human race)

     Sts. Adela of Pfalzel and Irmina of Oehren (German, sister princesses, widows, Benedictine  abbesses, d. 735 and c. 716)

     Bl. Alberic of Gladbach (German, Benedictine  monk, 10th Century)

     Bl. Bartholomew Mary dal Monte of Bologna [Bartolomeo Maria] (Italian, diocesan priest, founded Pious Work of Missions, died at age 52 in 1778 [beatified 1997])

     St. Bruno of Ottobeuren (Bavarian, Benedictine brother, c. 1050)

     St. Caran (Scottish, missionary bishop, d. 669)

     St. Delphinus of Bordeaux (French, bishop, d. 404)

     Sts. Emiliana and Tarsilla, of Rome (Italian, aunts of St. Gregory the Great, abbess and virgin, died c.550 and c. 581)

     St. Euthymius of Nicomedia (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], martyred in 303)

     Forty Holy Maiden Martyrs of Antioch (from Asia Minor, virgins, martyred in 250)

     St. Gregory of Spoleto (Italian, priest, martyred c. 304)

     Sts. Lucian, Metrobius, Paul, Zenobius, Theotimus, and Drusus, of Tripoli (North African [Libyan], early martyrs)

     St. Mochua of Timahoe (Irish, soldier, monk, c. 657)

     St. Paula Elizabeth Cerioli of Soncino [Paola Elizabetta] [baptized Costanza Honorata (Constance ...)] (Italian, noblewoman, mother of four, widow, co-founded Sisters of the Holy Family of Bergamo  to care for orphan girls, died at age 49 in 1865 [beatified 1950, canonized 2004])

     St. Venerandus of Auvergne (French, bishop of Clermont for 38 years, d. 423)

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On December 25, we members of the Catholic Church family celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

We also honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     St. Adalsindis of Hamay (French, daughter of two saints and sister of another, Benedictine  nun, c. 715)

     St. Alburga of Wilton (British, widow, Benedictine  nun, d. 810)

     St. Anastasia of Sirmium (Italian, matron, named in Eucharistic Prayer I, martyred in what is now Serbia c. 304)

     St. Eugenia of Rome (Italian, noblewoman, martyred probably by beheading c. 258)

     St. Fulk of Genoa (French, Cistercian  abbot, bishop of Toulouse, helped St. Dominic found his order, died at about age 76 in 1231)

     St. Matthew of Rheims [Mathieu] (French, Benedictine  prior, cardinal archbishop of Albano, papal legate, d. 1134)

     Bl. Michael Nakajima of Machiai (Japanese, associate of Jesuit  missionaries, martyred [scalded in hot springs] at about age 45 in 1628 [beatified 1867])

     Bl. Nera of Siena (Italian, Dominican  tertiary, nurse, died at about age 57 in 1287)

     Holy Martyrs of Nicomedia (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], thousands martyred [burned in basilica when gathered for worship] in 303)

     St. Romulus of Berry (French, priest, c. 700)

[Why does the Church have saints' feast days on Christmas?]

     The most common (but not the only) factor that the Church uses to choose a day on which to commemorate a saint is to consider the day of the saint's death.  This is sometimes called the saint's "birthday into eternal life."  The only "saints" and "blesseds" whose birthdays into "earthly life" are celebrated are Our Lady and St. John the Baptist.  I do not know on which day of the year the above-listed saints died, but I would have to guess that at least some of them died on December 25.  Perhaps, however, for one or more of them, the Nativity was a feast of particular importance -- and the Church took note of this fact by linking the saint forever with Christmas Day.

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On December 26, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

     St. Stephen ["Protomartyr"] (Israelite, one of the first seven deacons ... the first Catholic martyr [if we place St. John the Baptist and the Holy Innocents in a special category], stoned by a group of Jews led by Saul of Tarsus [St. Paul] c. 35)


     St. Amaethlu
of Anglesey (Welsh, hermit, 6th Century)

     St. Archelaus of Kashkar (Mesopotamian [from what is now Iraq], bishop, opposed Manicheism, c. 278)

     St. Christina of Markgate (English, Benedictine hermit, d. 1160)

     Bl. Daniel of Villiers (French, Cistercian  monk, 12th Century)

     Pope St. Dionysius (Greek? priest in Rome, elected to papacy in 259, reigned until [natural] death in 269) [All prior popes were probably or certainly martyred.]

     Bl. Margaret of Hohenfels [Margareta] (German, Benedictine  prioress, c. 1150)

     St. Marinus of Rome (Italian, layman, tortured and martyred by beheading in 283)

     St. Noël Chabanel of Saugues (French, Jesuit  priest, missionary to Huron Indians, martyred in Canada at age 36 in 1649 [beatified 1925, canonized 1930])

     Bl. Paganus of Lecco (Italian, Dominican  friar for 50 years, martyred by heretics in 1274)

     Bl. Secondo Pollo of Caresanablot (Italian, diocesan priest, military chaplain, died [shot in battle] at age 33 in 1941 [beatified 1998])

     St. Tathai of Caerwent (Irish, hermit, founder of monastic schools, miracle worker, died in Wales in 6th Century)

     St. Theodore of Rome (Italian, sacristan at Basilica of St. Peter, 6th Century)

     St. Vincentia Mary Lopez y Vicuña of Cascante [Vicenta María] (Spanish, foundress of Daughters of Mary Immaculate for Domestic Service [to aid oppressed servant girls], died at age 49 in 1896 [beatified 1950, canonized 1975])

     St. Zeno of Gaza (Egyptian, bishop, c. 400)

     Pope St. Zosimus (Greek, elected to papacy in March of 417, reigned until death in December of 418)

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On December 27, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

     St. John son of Zebedee of Galilee [Yohanan bar Zebedi] [also called John the Evangelist, John the Divine, John the Theologian, the "Beloved Disciple," and one of the "Sons of Thunder"] (Israelite, apostle of Jesus, witness at Calvary, guardian of Our Lady, virgin, author of fourth gospel, author of three epistles and the Book of Revelation, exile on Patmos, died probably in Ephesus [in what is now Turkey] c. 101 [last apostle to die, only non-martyr])


     Bl. Adelaide
of Tennenbach [Adelheidis] (German, Cistercian  nun, d. 1273)

     Bl. Bonaventure Tolomei of Siena [Bonaventura] [baptized Giovanni (John)] (Italian, Dominican  friar, cared for plague victims, d. 1348)

     St. Fabiola of Rome (Italian, wealthy widow, cared for sick poor, d. 399)

 

     Bl. Francis Spoto of Raffadali [Francesco] (Italian, priest of Congregation of Missionary Servants of the Poor, missionary in Africa, martyred [savagely beaten] in Democratic Republic of Congo at age 40 in 1964 [beatified 2007])

     Bl. Hesso of Beinwil (German, Benedictine  abbot, d. 1133)

     St. John Stone of Canterbury (English, erudite theologian, Augustinian  friar, martyred [drawn, hanged, quartered] under Henry VIII in 1539 [beatified 1886, canonized 1970])

     St. Maximus of Alexandria (Egyptian, bishop, d. 282)

     St. Nicarete of Constantinople (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], virgin, c. 405)

     Bl. Odoardo Focherini of Carpi [Italian, husband, father of seven, insurance agent, journalist, saved over one hundred Jews during World War II, martyred by Nazis in Hersbrück death camp [Germany] at age 37 in 1944 [beatified 2013])

     Bl. Sara Salkahazi of Kassa [of Kosice] (Hungarian born in Slovakia, journalist writing against fascism, member of Sisters of Social Service, worked in Hungary/Slovakia/Ukraine/Romania, helped shelter hundreds of Jews from Nazis, martyred [shot] in Hungary at age 45 in 1945 [beatified 2006])

     Sts. Theodore and Theophanes of Kerak ["The Graptoi" (i.e., branded)] (Moabite [from part of what is now Jordan], biological brothers, monks in Jerusalem [later priest and archbishop of Nicaea], tortured and branded by iconoclasts, died [Theodore being martyred] in what is now Turkey at about ages 66 and 70 c. 841 and 845)

     Bl. Walto of Wessobrünn [also known as Balto] (Bavarian, Benedictine  abbot, miracle worker, died at about age 66 in 1156)

[In Greek, the following text was cut by iconoclasts, over a two-day period, into the foreheads of the brothers Graptoi]:

     "These men have appeared at Jerusalem as vessels full of the iniquity of superstitious error, and were driven thence for their crimes. Having fled to Constantinople, they forsook not their impiety. Wherefore they have been banished from thence and thus stigmatized on their faces."

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On December 28, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

     Holy Innocents of Bethlehem (Israelites, boys under age of two [number unknown -- estimated at 5 to 25], martyred by the sword at the order of Herod "the Great" no later than 2 A.D.)


     Sts. Agapes, Indes, Domna, and Theophila,
of Nicomedia (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], martyred in 303)

     St. Anthony of Lérins (Pannonian [Hungarian], monk in Bavaria, hermit in Italy, died in France at about age 52 c. 520)

     St. Caesarius of Arabissus (Armenian, martyred by burning in 309)

     St. Catherine Volpicelli of Naples [Caterina] (Italian, virgin, founded Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, died at age 55 in 1894 [beatified 2001, canonized 2009])

     Sts. Castor, Victor, and Rogatian (African, early martyrs)

     St. Domnio of Rome (Italian, priest, praised by Sts. Jerome and Augustine, 4th Century)

     Sts. Eutychius and Domitian, of Galatia (from Asia Minor, priest and deacon, martyred)

     St. Gowan of Glamorgan (Welsh, queen, 5th Century)

     St. Maughold of Man [also known as Morgan, "Apostle of the Isle of Man"] (Irish? pirate converted by St. Patrick, bishop, c. 488)

     Bl. Otto of Heidelberg (Bavarian, Benedictine hermit, d. 1344)

     Sts. Romulus and Conindrus (Irish, bishops on Isle of Man, c. 450)

     St. Troadius of Pontus (from Asia Minor, martyred by crucifixion in 250)

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On December 29, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

     St. Thomas a Becket of London (English, civil and canon lawyer, chancellor to King Henry II, archbishop of Canterbury, martyred [by king's knights' swords] at about age 52 in 1170 [canonized 1173]) [His feast was removed from calendar by Henry VIII, who destroyed his shrine (a major pilgrimage site) and burned his relics.]


     St. Aileran
of Clonard (Irish, monastic superior, wrote theological treatises and lives of saints, d. 664)

     St. Albert of Gambron (French, hermit, Benedictine  abbot, 7th Century)

     Sts. Callistus, Felix, and Boniface, of Rome (early martyrs)

     St. David of Bethlehem (Israelite, shepherd, war hero, king of Judah and Israel, adulterer, murderer, penitent, prophet, psalmist, c. 970 BC)

     Sts. Dominic, Victor, Primian, Lybosus, Saturninus, Crescentius, Secundus, and Honoratus (African, early martyrs)

     St. Ebrulf of Bayeux (Norman [French], courtier, hermit, abbot, died at about age 80 in 706)

     St. Girald of Fontenelle (French, Benedictine  abbot, d. 1031)

     St. Marcellus Akimetes of Apamea ["akimetes" means "righteous"] (Syrian, abbot, died near Constantinople c. 485)

     St. Trophimus of Arles (Italian, bishop in France, c. 280)

     St. Trophimus of Ephesus (missionary with St. Paul, 1st Century)

     Bl. William Howard of Arundel (English, baron, diplomat, martyred by beheading at age 66 under Charles II in 1680 [beatified 1929])

[From a letter by Saint Thomas a Becket:]

     "For our sake Christ offered himself to the Father upon the altar for the cross. He now looks down from heaven on our actions and secret thoughts, and one day he will give each of us the reward his deeds deserve. ... The harvest is good and one reaper or even several would not suffice to gather all of it into the granary of the Lord. Yet the diocese of Rome remains the head of all the churches and the source of Catholic teaching. Of this there can be no doubt. Everyone knows that the keys of the kingdom of heaven were given to Peter. Upon his faith and teaching the whole fabric of the Church will continue to be built until we all reach full maturity in Christ and attain to unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God.

     "Of course many are needed to plant and many to water now that the faith has spread so far and the population has become so great. Nevertheless, no matter who plants or waters, God gives no harvest unless what he plants is the faith of Peter, and unless he himself assents to Peter's teaching. All important questions that arise among God's people are referred to the judgment of Peter in the person for the Roman Pontiff. Under him the ministers of Mother Church exercise the powers committed to them, each in his own sphere of responsibility.

     "Remember then how our fathers worked out their salvation; remember the sufferings through which the Church has grown, and the storms the ship of Peter has weathered because it has Christ on board. Remember how the crown was attained by those whose sufferings gave new radiance to their faith. The whole company of saints bears witness to the unfailing truth that without real effort no one wins the crown."

 

[A person unofficially honored by some as "blessed" today is Peter de Montboissier of Auvergne (French, Benedictine  abbot, died at about age 64 in 1156).  Peter reluctantly accepted his election as abbot of the famous Benedictine abbey of Cluny, France, at the age of 30. He reportedly "accepted the 'bondage of authority' though he would have preferred the 'liberty of obedience.'" As abbot, he led (for 34 years) 400 monks at Cluny and had influence over monks in 2,000 other houses in Europe and Asia.]

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On December 30, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

 

     St. Anysia of Salonika (Greek, virgin, martyred by the sword in 304)

     St. Anysius of Salonika (Greek, bishop, c. 410)

     Sts. Appian, Donatus, Honorius, Mansuetus, Severus, and four companions, of Alexandria (Egyptian, martyred by heretics c. 483)

     St. Egwin of Worcester (British, nobleman, Benedictine  monk, bishop, d. 717)

     St. Eugene of Milan (Italian, bishop)

     Bl. Eugenia Ravasco of Milan (Italian, virgin, founded Congregation of the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, died 5 days before her 56th birthday in 1900 [beatified 2003])

     St. John Alcober Figuero of Gerona [Juan] (Spanish, Dominican  missionary priest, martyred by strangling in China at age 54 in 1748 [beatified 1893, canonized 2000])

     Bl. John Mary Boccardo of Testona de Moncalieri [Giovanni Maria] (Italian, diocesan priest, founded Congregation of the Poor Daughters of St. Cajetan, died at age 65 in 1913 [beatified 1998])

     St. Liberius of Ravenna (Italian, bishop, c. 200)

     Bl. Matthia dei Nazzarei of Metalica (Italian, Benedictine [later, Poor Clare ] abbess for 40 years, d. 1213 [beatified 1756])

     St. Ralph of Vaucelles (English, Cistercian  abbot in France, d. 1152)

     St. Raniero of Aquila (Italian, bishop, d. 1077)

     Sts. Sabinus, Exuperantius, Marcellus, and Venustian, of Spoleto (Italian ... bishop, two deacons, layman ... martyred in 303)

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On December 31, we members of the Catholic Church family honor, in a special way, the following friends of God -- "saints" and "blesseds" whose souls are now in heaven:

 

     Pope St. Sylvester I of Rome (Italian, priest, elected to papacy in 314, pope during reign of Emperor Constantine and First Nicene Council, reigned until death in 335)

 

 

     St. Barbatian of Ravenna (from Asia Minor [now called Turkey], monastic superior in Italy and counselor to the emperor, 5th Century)

     St. Columba of Sens (Spanish, virgin, martyred by beheading in France at about age 16 in 273)

     Sts. Donata, Paulina, Rustica, Nominanda, Serotina, Hilaria, and companions, of Rome (early martyrs)

     St. Hermes of Rome (Italian, exorcist, martyred c. 270)

     Bl. Josephine Nicoli of Casatisma [Giuseppina] (Italian, religious sister of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul,  caretaker and catechist of the poor, died [tuberculosis] at age 61 in 1924 [beatified 2008])

     St. Marius of Burgundy (French, bishop of Avenches in Switzerland, died at about age 64 in 594)

     St. Melanie the Younger of Rome (Italian, noblewoman, widow, patron of St. Augustine, friend of St. Jerome, died in Jerusalem at about age 56 in 439)

     St. Offa of Benevento (Italian, Benedictine  abbess, c. 1070)

     Bl. Peter of Subiaco [Pietro] (Italian, Benedictine  abbot, tortured [blinded] and martyred in 1003)

     Sts. Sabinian and Potentian of Sens (French, bishops, martyred c. 300)

     Sts. Stephen, Pontian, Attalus, Fabian, Cornelius, Flos, Quintian, Minervinus, and Simplician, of Catania (Sicilian, early martyrs)

     Bl. Walembert of Cambrai [also known as Garembert] (Belgian, hermit, Augustinian  abbot, died at about age 57 in 1141)

     Bl. Wisinto of Kremsmünster (Austrian, Benedictine  priest, c. 1250)

     St. Zoticus of Constantinople (Roman, priest in Asia Minor, cared for poor and orphans, opposed Arianism, martyred [dragged by a wild ass] c. 350)

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