1st - SS. Julius & Aaron, Martyrs, c.304. Martyred at Caerlon, in Wales as mentioned by both Gildas & Bede. Dedications to them in & around Caerlon.
- John & Henry Venn, Priests, 1813 & 1873. The father was one of the founders of the Church Missionary Society in 1797, whilst his son devoted his life working for it.
2nd - SS. Processus & Martinian, Martyrs, c. 1stC. Tradition has it they were wardens of Peter & Paul & were baptised by the Peter. Publicly venerated in Rome from at least the 4thC. Buried in the cemetery of Damasus & a church built over their tomb. Relics translated to St. Peter's.
3rd - St. Thomas, Apostle. Left us that remarkable exclamation of faith, "My Lord and My God" after his initial doubt of the Resurrection. Tradition has it that he took the Gospel to India, where even to this day there is a Thomist Church.
4th - St. Elizabeth of Portugal, Queen & Francisican tertiary, 1336. After her husband's death whom she nursed devotedly in sickness retired to the monastery she had built, and lived a life of great simplicity, not unlike Elizabeth of Portugal. After her death, many miracles occurred at her tomb.
- St. Andrews of Crete, Monk & Bishop, 740. After a short lapse into monotheism, he became a prolific preacher & hymnographer. Some of these are still sung in the Byzantine liturgy. Appointed archbishop of Crete after running an orphanage and an old men's hospital in Constantinople.
5th - St. Antony Zaccari, founder of the Barnabite Order, 1539. This order of priests was bound by vows "to regenerate and revive the love of divine worship & a properly Christian way of life by frequent preaching and faithful ministry of the sacraments." Worked at Milan & Vicenzia.
6th - St. Maria Goretti, 20thC. Martyr. Born into a poor family she assisted her mother in domestic duties, When she was only 12 she preferred to be stabbed than to be raped. She forgave him as she lay dying. Year after when released Serenelli begged forgiveness from her mother. Togther they knelt sise by side to receice the Host. He was present at her canonization in 1950 and referred to Maria as "my little saint".
7th - St. Hedda of Wincehster, Bishop, 705. Educated at Whitby & consecrated by Theodore in 676 to be the first bishop of the West Saxons residing at Winchester instead of Dorchester founded by Birinius whose relics were translated by Hedda to Winchester.
8th - St. Grimbald, Monk & Scholar, 901. Assisted Alfred with translations of Latin Works in OE. Rather than become archbishop of Cantaur as Alfred wanted, he became Dean of the New Minster at Winchester. Probably responsible for bringing 9th Ms. of Prudentius to England.
9th - St. Veronica Giuliani, Religious, 1717. At first a Capuchin nun where she experienced mystical union with Christ in his Passion leading to the stigmata, the thorns appeared on her forehead. Mistress of novices for 34 years, and elected abbess a year before her death during which she not only improved the spiritual life of the community but also installed piped water. Left behind her spiritual diary.
10th - St. Alexander, Martyr, 2nd C. One of a group of martyrs later called the Seven Brothers. Buried in the Jordani cemetery on the Salarian Way. Name added to Roman Canon by Symmachus early 6thC.
11th - St. Benedict, Abbot, c. 550. Is known as the Father of Western monasticism, and as the Benedictines had such an influence on moulding the shape of Europe he is also regarded as the Patron of Europe. The Rule he wrote for his monks at Monte Cassino was quickly adopted in Europe as it gave a healthy balance of prayer, work and rest. His motto has also been adopted, laborare est orare, i.e. "to work is to pray".
12th - St. John Gualbert, Founder & Abbot of the Vallombrosian monks, 1073. After forgiving his brother's murderer set up his monastery at Vallombrosa, 20 miles east of Florence where the monk observed the St. Benedict's rule in silence and poverty. To give choir monks more time in prayer, he introduced lay brothers for manual work. Was involved in current reform movements of his day. Had a reputation for prophecy, healing and feeding the hungry.
13th - St. Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor, 1024. Main political aim was to unify German Empire. After being crowned Emperor in 1014, founded the see of Bamburg where he built both the cathedral and monastery. Promoted Cluniac reform.
14th - St. Camillus de Lelis, Founder of the Ministers of the Sick, 1614. After losing everything in gambling, underwent a conversion. In association with Philip Neri founded in 1585 a congregation of male nurses who bound themselves them together to serve the plague-stricken, the sick and prisoners. Founded hospitals in Rome & Naples. A pioneer in insisting in fresh air, suitable diets and isolation of infectious patients.
- The Anniversary of the beginning of the Oxford Movement, marked by the Assize Sermon on National Apostasy in the University Church, Oxford on this day 1832 by John Keble. It began a revitalising of the English Church in worship and teaching that soon spread to other parts of the Anglican Communion.
15th - St. Swithin, Bishop c.862. Bishop of Winchester & trusted adviser of King Egbert. A bishop of great simplicity & holiness. Commanded that his body to be buried outside the cathedral, but when the new cathedral was built his bones were translated on this day, 971 to a shrine within, despite the dire warning that to move his bones would result in terrible storms. Hence the adage that if it rains on St. Within's day, it will for 40 days after.
- Bonaventure, doctor, 1274. Reorganised the Franciscan order, and became one of its greatest theologians, often opposing the Dominican, Thomas Aquinas. He is known as Doctor Devotus as his writings and sermons always expressed love as the companion to learning.
16th - St. Osmund, Bishop, 1099. Bishop of Salisbury and completed the cathedral at Old Sarum. Said to have compiled the Sarum Use, the Rite used mostly in the English Church until the Reformation. A holy man, but also a scholar and a good administrator. His bones were translated to the new cathedral of Salisbury on this day, 1457.
17th - Scillium Martyrs, 180. Scillium is somewhere in N. Africa as St. Augustine preached three sermons in their honour in the basilica over their tomb. When questioned about their belief, by Roman authorities they insisted they were Christian, and were beheaded as a result.
18th - St. Edburga of Winchester, Religious, 960. Educated in the abbey of St. Mary founded by her father Edward the Elder. Remained there as a nun. Known for her gentleness and humility. Dying young, a considerable cult followed.
-Elizabeth Ferard, Deaconness & Religious, 1883. On this day in 1862 she was ordained a deaconess and then went on to found a community. Hence she had a dual vocation of deaconess and religious. Worked mostly in the poor parts of London.
19th - SS. Gregory of Nyssa & Macrina, Bishop & Spiritual Leader, 394 & 379. Macrina was the spiritual inspiration and influence on her brothers. When both Macrina & Basil died in 379, Gregory was deeply affected, out of which grew a profound spirituality. Macrina was a remarkable woman who converted the household into semi-monastic living, which in time attracted others to join them.
20th - St.Margaret of Antioch, Martyr. c. 303. Died during the persecutions under Diocletian. It is said her preaching before her death converted many to the Faith
- Bartolomé de las Casas, Monk & Missionary, 1566. Known as the apostle to the Indies. Consecrated bp. of Mexico and spent his life championing the poor in a time of greed by Church & State.
21st - St. Laurence of Brindisi, Monk, 1619. A Franciscan at 16. His extraordinary gift of learning languages led him to be appointed by Clement VIII in work for the conversion of Jews. Sent from Rome to establish the Capuchin reform in Germany and elsewhere. Has left behind numerous sermons, commentary on Genesis abd controversial works against Luther.
22nd - St. Mary Magdalen "Apostle to the Apostles" as she bore the news of the resurrection to the disciples on that first Easter morn. Was the leader of the faithful band of women who followed their Lord to Calvary and then to the tomb.
23rd - St. Briget of Sweden, Abbess of Vadstena. Founder of the Brigettine Order. 1373. Along with Catherine of Siena is co-patroness of Europe.
24th - St. Thomas à Kempis, 1471, Religious and Spiritual writer. Universally known through his Of the Imitiation of Christ. Next to the Bible it has been the most treasured Christian manual. "To meditate on the life of Jesus should therefore be our chief study."
25th - ST. JAMES, Apostle & Martyr. One of the inner group of our Lord's disciples. First apostle to be martyred. Tradition has it, his bones were buried at Compostela, Spain, which for centuries has been one of the most popular shrines for pilgrims.
- St. Christopher. Bearer of the Christ-Child
26th - SS. Anne & Joachim parents of our dear Lady. The Church keeps this day to emphasise God's plan from the beginning to send His Son into the world.
27th - St. Pantaleon, Martyr c. 305. Raised a Christian by his mother, Eubula, but lapsed into paganism. Reconciled to the church when he was a successful Physician. When persecutions broke out under Diocletian in Nicomdedia was betrayed, and thus arrested, tortured & finally beheaded. In The East he is venerated as a great martyr & wonder worker.
- ECUSA William Reed Huntington, 1909, Priest. Never a bishop, but one of most influential priests of ECUSA. Worked tirelessly for Christian unity, and formulated the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilaterial, which was adopted by Lambeth Conference of 1888.
- Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop & Teacher, 1901. A foremost biblical scholar. Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge before his consecration as bishop of Durham. Westcott House in Cambridge keep alive his memory.
28th - St. Samson, Bishop, 565. Reformed Irish monastery, journeyed to Cornwall where such centres as Padstowe, St. Kew, Southill witness to his missionary endeavours. Settled in Brittany, founding the monastery of Dol, and one at Pental in Normandy. Wonderful example of the wandering Celtic monk-bishop.
- The archangel Uriel . The name means "fire of God" "flame of God" or "light of God". In the book of Enoch he is referred to as "one of the holy angels, who is over the world and over Tartarus ... the leader of them all.
29th - SS. Martha & Mary. Together with their brother Lazarus were intimate friends of our Lord who visited their home in Bethany on more than one occasion.
30th - William Wilberforce Social Reformer. Worked tirelessly for the abolition of slavery which transpired just before his death in 1833.
- Peter Chrysologus- Bp. & Dr. 450. Famous for his preaching in Ravenna on Scripture and Liturgical Year.
31st - Ignatius of Loyola- priest 1556. Founded the Society of Jesus, of which its main mission was education. Remembered to-day mostly for Spiritual Exercises, derived from his own conversion experience.