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Daily Lists of "Saints" (proclaimed or canonized) and
"Blesseds" (beatified) of the Catholic Church.
Good day, and thank you for visiting! Welcome to this site.
May God reward you for your interest in His closest friends.
Here we can pray a unique "Litany of the Saints" each day of the year.
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The format of entries on the lists of Saints and Blesseds.
Special information about British martyrs.
When did Christians begin celebrating Saints' feasts?
Links to major Internet sites about Saints and Blesseds
The days of commemoration that I am giving in these lists are those observed by almost all Latin (Western) Catholics -- i.e, by those who make up about 98% of the members of the Catholic Church. Many of the saints that I will list have alternate days of commemoration on one or more of the Eastern Catholic Churches'' liturgical calendars. In the West, a small group of Latin Catholics -- those who use the 1962 Missal -- has permission to follow the pre-1969 liturgical calendar; therefore, they sometimes observe different days of commemoration.
Why are so many saints listed on each day, when usually only one is remembered at Mass (or sometimes none)?
I believe that there are several thousand saints and blesseds officially "recognized" by the Catholic Church. Each one of them has at least one special day of the year that is linked to his/her commemoration. And that is why there are usually between five and twenty people (sometimes even hundreds) mentioned on these daily lists.
But of these thousands of holy people, only a relatively small number of prominent ones -- saints to which the Church wants us to pay special attention -- are on what is called the "universal liturgical calendar" used by most Western Catholics. The word "universal" refers to the fact that these saints are named on church calendars printed throughout the world, and priests everywhere are encouraged to celebrate Mass in memory of them.
In addition to the "universal calendar," though, each regional or national conference of bishops creates (with Vatican approval) a local calendar on which it names certain saints and blesseds that have a special significance in that area -- such as Saint Kateri Tekakwitha in the U.S. and Canada. And so, priests in a given country have special encouragement to celebrate Mass in memory of the saints on both the universal and the local calendar. In fact, there are cases when the Church goes beyond "encouragement" and requires certain saints to be commemorated at Mass. Their special days are called obligatory [as opposed to optional] memorials, feasts, or solemnities.
On each of this online calendar's pages, the saints of the universal and U.S. local calendar (if there are any commemorated) can be found at the top, separated by an extra blank line from the rest of the saints of the day. There is a special notation identifying those that are from the U.S. local calendar. Visitors from other nations are welcome to post replies in which they mention special celebrations from their local churches' calendars.
Besides the universal and local calendars, there are special calendars used by certain religious orders/congregations (e.g., the Franciscans), who have the pope''s permission to celebrate Mass in memory of various lesser known saints and blesseds who once were members.
Throughout the year, there are days on which there is no saint listed on the universal calendar nor on the local calendar. On days like this, a priest, for a good reason, may celebrate Mass in memory of any of the less well-known saints/blessed whose "feast day" it is.
In the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, it is a liturgical regulation, decided by Pope Paul VI (and probably by many popes before him), that a priest should celebrate Mass in honor of not more than one of the saints whose feast it is. (The exception, of course, is when two or more saints are linked together on purpose -- such as Peter/Paul, Simon/Jude, St. Paul Chong Hasang and companions, etc..) The Mass has special "proper" prayers that are read by the priest at three points (after the penitential rite, just before the Eucharistic prayer, and after Communion), and those prayers specifically mention just one saint (or 'companion' saints). So, if the priest wanted to commemorate more than two or three or ten unrelated saints/blesseds on the same day, he would have to read all the prayers for all of them. Of course, this is not permitted, because it would be distracting, confusing, time-consuming, etc..
Though commemorating saints' feasts at Mass is important, the
Church wants us to keep our focus less on the saint(s) of the day than on the
sacrifice of Calvary that is presented anew to God the Father during the Mass.
Unfortunately, some priests take this desire of the Church too far in the other
direction. They almost never celebrate Mass in memory of saints, skipping all
the "optional memorials" and even skipping some obligatory
memorials! Let us, who love the saints
so much and look to them as heroes and role models, pray for these priests.
The following information is about the format of entries in these lists of saints and blesseds:
Very often, an entry is quite simple, consisting merely of
(a) title [St./Sts. or Bl.]
(c) nationality, if known
(d) one or more biographical facts, if known
(e) year/era of death, if known
An example of a fairly simple entry, taken from the October 1 list
Sts. Aizan and Sazan (Abyssinian [Ethiopian], chieftains, martyred c. 400)
Other entries, however, can be much longer and more complex. An example of a longer, complex entry can also be found on the October 1 list:
St. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face Martin of Alençon [Thérèse-de-l'Enfant-Jésus et de la Sainte-Face] [baptized Marie-Thérèse-Françoise (Mary Therese Frances)] [also called “The Little Flower” and “St. Therese of Lisieux”] (French, Carmelite nun, autobiographer, follower of "The Little Way," Doctor of the Church, died at age 24 in 1897 [beatified 1923, canonized 1925])
In this case, the elements of the entry are:
(b) "name in religion," i.e., name adopted/assigned in a convent/monastery/abbey, given in English and in the native language, if applicable, in brackets:
Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face ... [Thérèse-de-l'Enfant-Jésus et de la Sainte-Face]
(Note: In the case of a female saint .. if she was not married, this will usually be her parents' last name ... but if she was married, this will usually be her husband's last name. In the latter case, I would add another bracketed element [nee _____] to show her parents' last name.)
(d) city of birth:
(Note: When the birthplace is unknown, I will list the place of death or of notable work, if I know it.)
(e) name(s) conferred through Baptism and Confirmation, in the case of a man or woman religious, given in the native language and in English, if applicable, in parentheses:
baptized Marie-Thérèse-Françoise (Mary Therese Frances)
(Note: When the person did not have a "name in religion," these names appear at position "b," right after the title, though in the opposite sequence -- English first, native language in parentheses.)
(f) nicknames or other popular appellations:
also called "The Little Flower" and "St. Therese of Lisieux"
(h) biographical item(s):
Carmelite nun, autobiographer, follower of "The Little Way," Doctor of the Church
(i) death-related item(s) -- e.g., whether martyred, at what age, in what year:
died at age 24 in 1897
(j) year of beatification:
(k) year of canonization:
Throughout this "calendar," you will come across references to saintly men who were martyred by the British between 1525 and 1750. [See, for example, Bl. Edward Waterson in the January 7 list.] Many of these martyrs are said to have been "hanged, drawn, and quartered" -- but nowadays few people know what those words mean. If you would like to know, then please read the following, which is from an Internet site about capital punishment in Great Britain. [WARNING: This is not for the squeamish or the young.]
"Hanging, drawing, and
quartering ... was the ultimate punishment available in English law for men who
had been convicted of high treason. Women were [usually] burned at the stake
instead, for the sake of decency. It should properly be called 'drawing,
hanging, and quartering,' as the condemned were 'drawn' to the place of
execution on a hurdle (similar to a piece of fencing made from thin branches
interwoven to form a panel.)* They were tied to hurdles, which were dragged by
horses. Once at the place of execution, the prisoners were 'hanged' [by being
pulled up] (i.e. without a 'drop,' to ensure that the neck was not broken), but
were cut down whilst still conscious. Their private parts were cut off and
their abdomens were slit open. Their intestines were removed and burned before
their eyes. Their other organs were then torn out, and finally their heads were
cut off, and their bodies were divided into four 'quarters.' The head and
quarters were parboiled (to prevent them rotting too quickly) and then
displayed upon the city gates as a grim warning to all. At some point in this
agonising process the prisoner inevitably died of strangling and/or hemorrhage
and/or shock and damage to vital organs, but it often took a long time to
happen. It has to be one of the most sadistic forms of execution ever invented
... In the 1500s, a total of 105 Catholic martyrs were hanged, drawn, and
quartered at Tyburn in London for what amounted to 'spiritual treason' (failing
to recognise the official religion of the day). ... Hanging, drawing, and
quartering remained the lawful punishment for treason until it was abolished in
* [That is why I use the phrase, "drawn, hanged, and quartered," in these lists of saints and blesseds.]
I was once asked, "When did Christians begin celebrating saints' feasts? When did weekday Masses begin?"
The old Catholic Encyclopedia (c. 1915) gives us the following nuggets of information in reply:
(1) Saint "Justin himself [c. 150 A.D.] seems to be aware only of the Sunday celebration, but Tertullian [c. 200 A.D.] adds the fast days on Wednesday and Friday and the anniversaries of the martyrs ... . As Tertullian calls the whole paschal season (until Pentcost) 'one long feast,' we may conclude with some justice that during this period the faithful not only communicated daily, but were also present at the Eucharistic Liturgy."
(2) "St Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386) describes the liturgy of the Mass of his day as follows ... 'After the spritual Sacrifice, the unbloody service is completed; we pray to God, over this sacrifice of propitiation for the universal peace of the churches, for the proper guidance of the world, for the emperor, soldiers and companions, for the infirm and the sick, for those stricken with trouble, and in general for all in need of help we pray and offer up this sacrifice. We then commemorate the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, that God may, at their prayers and intercessions graciously accept our supplication. We afterwards pray for the dead ... since we believe that it will be of the greatest advantage, if we in the sight of the holy and most awesome Victim discharge our prayers for them. The Christ, who was slain for our sins, we sacrifice to propitiate the merciful God for those who are gone before and for ourselves.'
"This beautiful passage, which reads like a modern prayer-book, is of interest in more than one connection. It proves in the first place that Christian antiquity recognized the offering up of the Mass for the deceased, exactly as the Church today recognizes requiem Masses -- a fact which is confirmed by other independent witnesses, e.g. Tertullian ..., Cyprian ..., and Augustine .... In the second place, it informs us that our so-called Masses of the Saints also had their prototype among the primitive Christians, and for this view we likewise find other testimonies -- e.g. Tertullian ... and Cyprian ... By a Saint's Mass is meant, not the offering up of the Sacrifice of the Mass to a saint, which would be impossible without most shameful idolatry, but a sacrifice, which, while offered to God alone, on the one hand thanks Him for the triumphal coronation of the saints, and on the other aims at procuring for us the saint's efficacious intercession with God."
(3) "Prototypes and starting-points for the oldest ecclesiastical feasts are the Jewish solemnities of Easter [i.e., Passover] and Pentecost. Together with the weekly Lord's Day, they remained the only universal Christian feasts down to the third century ([according to] Tertullian [and] ... Origen ...). Two feasts of Our Lord (Epiphany, Christmas) were added in the fourth century; then came the feasts of the Apostles and martyrs, in particular provinces; later on also those of some confessors (St. Martin, St. Gregory); in the sixth and seventh centuries feasts of the Blessed Virgin were added. ... In the course of centuries the ecclesiastical calendar expanded considerably, because in earlier ages every bishop had a right to establish new feasts. Later on a reduction of feasts took place ..."
Here is a list of major Internet sites about saints and blesseds, though there are at least hundreds (probably thousands) of minor sites too. These and others can be consulted for more detailed information about many of the people whose souls are now in heaven:
Patron Saints Indexes (Terry H. Jones)
a. information about thousands of saints and blesseds, listed in alphabetical order at
b. information listed in liturgical calendar order at
c. information listed according to "patronage" at
d. much more, accessible via home page at
Saints and Angels Site (Catholic Online)
a. information about thousands of saints and blesseds, via alphabetical tabs at
b. information listed in liturgical calendar order, via monthly links at
Santoral (Church Forum)
Information, in Spanish, about hundreds of saints and blesseds, via alphabetical links at
[NOTE: Please scroll to the bottom of the above page to get to a series of A-to-Z "buttons" to click, to reach the names that are of special interest to you.]
Short Biographies of Saints and Blesseds of the Catholic Church
Treasure trove of information and pictures (photos/paintings), in Norwegian language, at http://www.katolsk.no/biografier/historisk/helgener
[At the above-linked site, use (1) "search engine" box and button below "Søk i personbiografier" or (2) tabs to select names alphabetically or (3) tabs to select by date within month. Speakers of English can understand some of the text and enjoy the pictures. For lists of people beatified or canonized by popes, going back to 1592, please visit this page:
Scores of articles about various saints at
List of saints on liturgical calendar of 1962 Missal (still used licitly by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and other Catholic groups) at
Fairfield University's "Jesuit Family Album" (in English) ... and the Holy See's related page (in Italian)
Information about saints, blesseds, and other Jesuit notables at
Monastery of Christ in the Desert's Saint of the Day
Information about one or more saints from yesterday, today, tomorrow, etc., at
Holy Martyrs of Vietnam Catholic Church, Arlington, Virginia
Information about each of the martyrs, in the Vietnamese language, at
Martyrs Beatified and Canonized by Pope John Paul II (1981 - 2003) at Vatican's Internet site
Names, information, and many pictures (photos/paintings) in Italian at
Monastère du Magnificat in Quebec province, Canada --
Information provided in French, English, Spanish -- and listed in liturgical calendar order at
Catholic Information Network "Saints, Marytrs, and Other Holy Persons"
Brief biographies (and links to longer works) about a few hundred people at
http://www.cin.org/saintsa.html and http://www.cin.org/saints.html
Articles about many saints, etc., via alphabetical indexes that start at
The Work of God ... and Hagiography Circle
A multitude of links to miscellaneous Internet sites about saints, blesseds, and potential candidates for sainthood -- at ...
(Note: If you have any corrections to report, please e-mail them to the address composed of the following elements:
["at" sign (@)]
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