Calendar of the Saints

  • January 05


    Simeon Stylites

    One of the more fascinating saints in history, St. Simeon was legendary for his self-inflicted punishments. He is said to have constricted his waist with a rope so tightly that he almost died. He was tireless in his pursuit of virtue and faith. He once tied himself to a rope at the top of a mountain and abstained from food every Lent. But his most famous accomplishment, indeed what he is named for, is dwelling on top a six-foot-wide pillar for thirty-seven years. This pillar went from nine feet high, to eighteen, to thirty-three, and finally ended up at fifty-four feet high when Simeon died on it at the age of sixty-nine in AD 459. - read more
  • January 09


    Emily Balch

    Emily Greene Balch (1867-1961) grew up in a prosperous family, graduated from Bryn Mawr in 1889 and eventually worked as a professor of economics and sociology at Wellesley College. She worked with Jane Addams at Hull House in Chicago and cared deeply about people in poverty. - read more
  • January 11


    Brother Lawrence

    Before he entered a Carmelite monastery when he was middle-aged, Nicholas Herman (1611-1691) had been a soldier and servant and a hermit seeking God. Once he became Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, this humble man spent forty years in conversation with God. - read more
  • January 14


    Macrina the Elder

    Macrina the Elder lived in third-century Cappadocia (present-day Turkey). In her youth she was influenced by St. Gregory the Wonderworker, who established Christianity about 250 A.D. Macrina the Elder (so called to distinguish her from her granddaughter, Macrina the Younger) and her husband fled to the hills during Emperor Galerius' persecution of Christians in the fourth century and hid there for seven difficult years. During a later persecution their property was seized and they lived in poverty. Through it all, the couple remained faithful to the religion that was new to their area. - read more
  • January 17


    Anthony of Egypt

    When St. Anthony was twenty years old, his parents died and left him a sprawling estate and a younger sister to care for. This he did, until one Sunday he heard Matthew 19:21 spoken at Mass. Upon hearing the words "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me" (NRSV), Anthony decided to take the words of Jesus literally. He sold the estate and gave the money to the needy, and entrusted the care of his sister to a convent. He then went off to pursue this perfection. - read more
  • January 17


    Ana Maria "Eugenia" Castillo Rivas

    As "Comandante Eugenia," Ana Maria Castillo Rivas worked within the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) to free her country from death squads. Eugenia married another revolutionary, Javier, in 1977 and gave birth to a daughter, Ana Patricia, in 1979. Her family life took place within the context of hiding, revolution, giving herself wholeheartedly to the dream of a new society in El Salvador. - read more
  • January 18



    In the first century, Priscilla (Prisca) and her husband, Aquila, were Corinthian Jews who became Paul's disciples. Because Paul and Aquila were both tentmakers, they met when Paul arrived in Corinth from Athens. It's not clear whether they were converted to Christianity by Paul or had already given their lives to Christ. Either way, Priscilla soon became a leader of the early church in her own right. - read more
  • January 21



    Agnes was young and beautiful. She was also, more importantly, a Roman Christian during Diocletian's persecution against Jesus' followers. When the girl refused the advances of numerous suitors, charges of being Christian were brought against her. When at her trial she refused to offer worship of pagan gods, the judge threatened her with various forms of torture. Agnes remained true to her faith. - read more
  • January 23


    Satako Kitahara

    Satako Kitahara was born in Tokyo in 1929 to a wealthy family. After her early education she worked in an aircraft factory during World War II but suffered from tuberculosis. In 1949 Satako graduated from Pharmaceutical College. That year, Satako entered a Catholic church and felt drawn to a statue of the Virgin Mary. After learning about Christianity, she was baptized. - read more
  • January 24


    Francis de Sales

    Francis de Sales (1567-1622), bishop of Geneva, leader of the Catholic Reformation, cofounder of the Visitation Order, and influential spiritual writer. - read more
  • January 25


    Corazon Aquino

    Corazon (Cory) Aquino (1933- 2009) grew up on a sugarcane plantation north of Manila. A devout Catholic, she was educated in the United States and returned to the Philippines, where she married Benigno Ninoy Aquino, Jr., a young politician. They had five children. Ninoy became governor, then senator, but when President Marcos declared martial law, Corazon's husband was arrested, sentenced to death, and sent into exile. - read more
  • January 28


    Prudence Crandall

    Prudence Crandall was born in Rhode Island in 1803, raised Quaker, and educated at a Society of Friends school. In 1831 she opened a private girls school in Canterbury, Connecticut. The school thrived until Crandall admitted Sarah Harris, a twenty-year old African-American woman who wanted to be a teacher. The community was appalled and parents twithdrew their white daughters from the school. - read more
  • January 28


    Thomas Aquinas

    St. Thomas Aquinas was born around AD 1225, and was made to join the Benedictine friars of Monte Casino when he was just five years old. In 1244, Thomas decided that he was more attracted to the life of the Dominican monks, and joined the order, much to the dismay of his family. The Dominicans in Thomas' day were looked down upon as beggars, and his family tried many different times to break Thomas of his attraction to the Dominican lifestyle. But Thomas' resolve was unswerving. - read more
  • January 30



    | Meet Other Saints | Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in 1869 in India. When he was thirteen he married Kasturbai, age ten. They had four sons together before Gandhi took a vow of chastity; the two were life partners until her death in 1944. In 1888 Gandhi went to England to study law. After he received his degree he spent the next twenty years in South Africa where the stark realities of racism caused him to develop his theory of non-violent resistance to evil. - read more
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