1/23 St Blaise

Today, January 23, we celebrate the life and works of St Blaise, Patron of Throat Illness and Wild Animals. St Blaise, though not much is known of him, was born to a rich and noble family that raised him in the Catholic faith. It was because of this that he followed his faith into becoming a Bishop. Shortly after he received this honor, though, a new persecution of Catholics arose and he was told by God to go and hide in the hills for those that were searching for those like him were sure to find him where he was. St Blaise obeyed God’s will and went into the mountains.

However, in time, these men that had been searching for those like him found their way into the mountains, trying to find those that might have escaped and were hiding. They came upon a cave with wild animals surrounding it, each one sick. St Blaise was among them, healing their illness and was unafraid that they were wild animals that could strike and kill him at any moment. The men captured him and took him away, planning to sentence him for being a man of faith, especially when they realized he was a Bishop. This did nothing to take away from St Blaise’s faith and he stood strong. They tried starving him, yet a woman that he had helped in the past came into the prison with food hidden and gave it to him, keeping him alive. He was martyred some time later.

God Bless him and may we all stay strong in our faith and follow God’s will as St Blaise did, even if it leads us to strange places. God always has a plan for us. It is for us to trust His will.

1/22 St Joan de Lestonnac

Today, January 22, we celebrate the life and works of St Joan de Lestonnac, Patron of abuse victims, people rejected by religious orders, widows. Born in Bordeaux, France, she married a wonderful man at the age of seventeen. They had four beautiful children before he suddenly died. She didn’t falter in her duties to her children and ensured that they were all raised and found a productive life. It was only then that she entered into the Cistercian monastery at Toulouse. However, that moment was short lived because her health began to decline. This caused her to leave the monastery, but she had every intention of continuing her work for God.

Returning to Bordeaux, she had a few other girls join her as novices. Together they worked to help the victims of the plague that struck the area at the time. They didn’t worry about their own health, but focused on what was important at the time. They also spent their time fighting against heresy that was trying to filter its way through the land. In the end, they received their habit from the Archbishop of Bordeaux and the Congregation of the Religious of Notre Dame of Bordeaux was born.

God Bless her and may we also not let one door closing be the end of the journey we have been set on.

1/21 St Brigid of Ireland

Today, January 21, we celebrate the life and works of St Brigid of Ireland. St Brigid was born in Faughart, Louth, Ireland into a Catholic family that had actually been baptized by St Patrick, someone that St Brigid would grow to be close friends with in the future. Born into a family built on God and love, she knew at a young age that she wanted to dedicate her life to Christ and only to him. She took the veil in her youth from St Macaille at Croghan. There she settled in with seven other girls like herself who had taken the veil and promised themselves, body and soul, to God. It lasted for quite some time before she followed St Mel of Armagh to Meath. It was there that she continued her life for Christ by finding a double monastery in Kildaire and was abbess of the convent.

This place developed fully into a place of learning and a religious center for those in the land. She spent much of her time there finding other ways to reach the people including finding a school for the arts. The manuscripts that were created there were some of the most famed through out the world. St Brigid was a woman that was filled with the love for Christ. She thrived on charity and compassion and wanted nothing more than to share that joy with others in any form that she could.

God Bless her and may we also seek out to find and please God in our lives, spreading his love and works throughout the world as best we can.

1/20 St John Bosco

Today, January 20, we celebrate the life and works of St John Bosco. St John had been having dreams since a very young age, but he never took them seriously. After all, they were just dreams. Pope Pius IX met him while he was working with neglected boys and heard of these dreams. He didn’t like that St John didn’t take them seriously because he saw them as God’s hand and will leading in St John’s life. He had him write them down from that moment on in great detail, viewing them to be inspiration for St John and others in their lives.

In his dreams he was placed in charge of others that were unruly and fighting. A man with a face of light would appear to him and tell him that he was to lead them, that he was to befriend them with gentleness and kindness, that he would have to do this through acquiring knowledge and obedience. This didn’t sound good to the boy who saw what he was being told to do as impossible. However, as he watched the man with the face of light interact with those children that were fighting, he saw them gentle like lambs around him. This gave him inspiration to do the same. His dreams, when he told others at the age of nine about them, was met with skepticism.

This dream though, and those to follow, led him to the life he led as an adult in taking care of those child that were neglected and leading them with that kindness that he had seen the man with the face of light have. He led them to fulfilled and faithful lives that had God at the core. He didn’t stop or let anything distract him because he knew that this was where God wanted him. He still continued to spread his dreams to others, but his main focus was always those boys that he had been told to care for.

God Bless him and may we also follow the path that God lays out before us regardless of those that don’t believe it to be true.

1/19 St Aleaunie

Today, January 19, we celebrate the life and works of St Aleaunie, patron of Burgos, Spain. Born in Laudun, Poitou, France, St Aleaunie chose to dedicate his life towards the military and doing his duty for his country. He was proud of his life as a soldier and worked hard in that role. During his time as a soldier, he took a journey to Rome where he met a man that would change his life. St Robert spread God’s word to the soldier and converted him to a religious life. This choice would, of course, change his life.

Queen Constance of Castile was one of those that were highly impressed by his holiness and invited him to her castle in Burgos, Spain. Her husband, King Alfonso IV then had a monastery built for him there to have him stay. He became the new abbot of this place and worked hard to bring the Lord to the people of Burgos, Spain. He wanted to share with them what had changed his life and change their lives as well. He wanted them to understand just what it was that was waiting for them out there and come to feel God’s love in their lives as well. However, war broke out and St Aleaunie used the skills he had obtained during his time as a soldier to join King Alfonso IV in battle.

God Bless him and may we also have such joy to spread God’s love and words to others in our lives.

1/18 St Dallan

Today, January 18, we celebrate the life and works of St Dallan. Born in Connaught, he was a man that valued knowledge and learning more than anything. He wanted to know all that he could about everything, but religion especially. He became a great scholar who through all of his studies became blind. He became a poet and tried to use words to give others hope and spread information about God to the masses. He wrote one certain poem in honor of St Columbia which was published after St Columbia’s death and was called Ambra Choluim Kille. According to the legends surrounding St Dallan, his sight was restored after this poem was published.

He was martyred out at sea by pirates. They tried to ensure that he wouldn’t be found, but miraculously he was and was properly buried. He was a man that wanted others to know all that he did and crave to learn more from what the world and God had to offer them. He is a man that many should want to emulate.

God Bless him and may he be an example to us all to use our talents and passions to further the glory of God.

1/17 Blessed Amadeus of Lausanne

Today, January 17, we celebrate the life and works of Blessed Amadeus of Lausanne. Bl Amadeus was born of a royal family and was the son of Bl. Amadeus of Clermont. He was a man that knew what he wanted and went after it. In this instance, it involved him going into the church and working hard to bring happiness and God’s love to the people. He grew up educated at Bonnevaux and then at Cluny, following in his father’s footsteps in many ways. His life led to him going into service in the household of King Henry V. It was while he was there that he became a Cistercian.

He worked hard in that role too, becoming the abbot of Ilautecombe Savoy and then the bishop of Lausanne just five years after that in 1144. He did much in his time in these roles to help others and wanted nothing more than to bring glory to God and show others the path that would lead them to Heaven. He was a man of passion and desire when it came to God and spreading His work to others.

God Bless him and may we also live our lives for the glory of God and spreading His word and love to others.

1/16 St Angela Merici

Today, January 16, we celebrate the life and works of St Angela Merici. St Angela was a woman that was asked by Pope Clement VII to lead a religious order of nursing sisters, but she told him no. You see, Angela had just returned from a trip to the Holy Land and when she had gone there, she fell ill and lost her sight. Even so, she continued her pilgrimage without seeing, instead seeing with her heart. When she returned, her eye sight returned and it only gave her all the more vigor and drive to help those that were about her.

Her focus was on the girls about her home town that were uneducated and living such poor lives because of this. She would gather others like herself, those that believed in God and wanted to follow His call, and head out into the streets of her home town to gather the women together and teach them. She had been doing this for countless years before the Pope offered her such an honor, but his request seemed to give her the drive to make things a bit more formal than they had been before. Though they never became a religious order in her lifetime, Angela’s Company of Saint Ursula did get recognized.

God Bless her and may we also not turn a blind eye to those in need or to the call of God.

1/15 St Elizabeth Ann Seton

Today, January 15, we celebrate the life and works of St Elizabeth Ann Seton. St Elizabeth was the first American to be canonized by the church. St Elizabeth didn’t lead a normal life. It was simple, true, but it was filled with much heartbreak and suffering. She was an avid reader as a child and read anything that she could get her hands on, including the Bible. In a sense, there was one area of her life that she was lucky in and that was love. She married the man that she was deeply in love with, Will Seton. For a year or so, life seemed perfect. She had nothing to worry about and was blissful in her new marriage. It seemed to only bring her closer to God.

However, that came to an end with the death of Will’s father. With his father’s death, they became the caregivers of his seven half brothers and sisters as well as the owners of his father’s import business. It was a tough few years and he eventually had to file for bankruptcy. With all of this, his health was failing him as well. So he and St Elizabeth went to Italy where he eventually passed away. Her one conciliation in this was that he had found the Lord before this happened. Knowing that he was in a better place, she turned herself over to her religion completely.

St Elizabeth was known for being kind, courteous, witty, patient, and having a good sense about her. These were things that she took with her when she focused all of her attention on her religion. She had friends in Italy help her to learn more about Catholicism and showed her the truth. She took these lessons with her to Baltimore, Maryland where she opened a school. She used all that she had learned to help others starting the first free Catholic school for others to attend.

God Bless her and the work that she did to bring Him to the lives of others. May she inspire us to do like works.

1/14 St Peter Thomas

Today, January 14, we celebrate the life and works of St Peter Thomas. Born in Gascony, France, he knew at a young age that he was going to be doing more with his life than others. While still young, he joined the Carmelites. It took time, but he began to work his way up in the organization and eventually even became the procurator of the Carmelites. It was then that he moved the headquarters of this organization to Avignon where he gained papal attention because of his great skills in preaching and his way with words.

This gained him position further than the Carmelites. He became papal diplomat in Genoa, Milan, and Venice. He was appointed bishop in Patti, Lipari, and Coron. He was also archbishop of Candia and appointed titular patriarch of Constantinople. He was a man that took his relationship with God seriously and saw that it was his duty to spread God’s word to others.

God Bless him and may we all spread God’s love and word to the world in every manner that we can.

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