Calendar of the Saints

February 2020

  • February 01


    Brigid of Ireland

    Brigid was born in the middle of the fifth century in eastern Ireland. Saint Patrick himself baptized her and after becoming Christian, she established a monastery at Kildare which housed both women and men, and was known for its hospitality. As abbess, Brigid was a strong leader; there is some evidence that she became powerful enough that she was ordained bishop. - read more
  • February 03


    Aelred of Rievaulx

    Aelred of Rievaulx (ca. 1110-67), Cistercian monk, spiritual writer. Aelred was raised in a foster home, the court of King David of Scotland. There he gained popularity and success but became restless and dissatisfied. At the age of twenty-four he left the court abruptly and offered himself at the gate of Rievaulx, a Cistercian monastery, to become a monk. He quickly rose in responsibility, first as novice master and later as leader of a group of monks that started a new monastery. - read more
  • February 03


    Mother Mary Lange

    Mother Mary Lange founded the first religious order for women of African heritage. She was born in Cuba of San Domingan parents and made her way to the United States in the early 1800s, settling in Baltimore where she found a large community of French-speaking Dominican Catholics. As a well-educated woman, Elizabeth recognized the needs of other immigrants and soon opened a school for black children in her home. This was despite the fact that she was a Black woman, pre-Emancipation Proclamation, in a state where it was against the law to teach Black people. - read more
  • February 04


    Manche Masemola

    Manche Masemola was born in the Transvaal of South Africa in 1913 into a family whose village practiced animism. The girl had no opportunity for education until a Christian priest established a mission near her home in 1919. Despite her parents' objections, Manche attended worship services and religion classes. Manche's parents feared that the Christian faith would take her away from their traditional religious practices, and beat her every time she attended the mission. "I shall be baptized with my own blood," the girl predicted. Her mother took away her clothes so she couldn't go to the mission; Manche ran away, naked. - read more
  • February 04


    Rabanus Maurus

    Rabanus Maurus was born to noble parents in Mainz, Germany circa 776 and was educated under Alcuin at Tours. He learned Hebrew, Greek, and Syriac. Maurus took religious vows with the Benedictine monastery of Fulda in 801. After theological studies, Maurus became a teacher at Fulda and eventually took over as headmaster of the monastic school. In 822 he was named Abbott and completed the monastery buildings. - read more
  • February 09


    Margaret Gaffney Haughery

    Margaret Gaffney Haughery (1813-1882) was born in Ireland and came with her parents to Baltimore in 1818. When she was nine, Margaret's parents died of yellow fever; she was taken in by neighbors. After work as a domestic, Margaret married Charles Haughery and moved to New Orleans. A year later, Charles and their infant died. - read more
  • February 13


    Catherine dei Ricci

    Alessandra Lucrezia Romola was born in Florence, Italy in 1522. Her stepmother noticed the girl's unusual piety and helped her develop her prayer life. When Alessandra entered the Dominican Convent of San Vincenzio in 1535 she took the name of Catherine. - read more
  • February 14



    There are at least fifty Christian martyrs named Valentinus (Valentine). The most likely candidate for the original saint was a priest named Valentine who helped other Christians who were being persecuted by Claudius II in third century Rome. Some say this Valentine was arrested because he refused to follow a royal decree not to perform weddings for soldiers. Whatever the actual reason Valentine was arrested, while he was imprisoned, he performed a miracle to restore sight to the jailer's daughter. The jailer converted to Christianity. - read more
  • February 16


    Martin Luther

    Martin Luther (1483-1546), monk, professor, reformer, musician, biblical translator, theologian. His biblical rediscovery of God's grace in Jesus Christ inspired and ignited the sixteenth-century Reformation in the Western Church. His writings, translated into English, fill over fifty volumes. Luther was born in Eisleben, Germany. - read more
  • February 20


    Jacinta Marto, Francisco Marto, and Lucia dos Santos

    Jacinta Marto (1910-1920), Francisco Marto (1908-1919) and Lucia dos Santos (1907-2005) were the three Portuguese children to whom Our Lady of Fatima appeared. Jacinta was six, her brother, Francisco, eight, and their cousin, Lucia was seven when they saw visions of an angel in 1916 who urged them to pray, do penance for their sins, and try to convert other people. The next year the three children received the first of six monthly visits from Our Lady of Fatima, who echoed the angel's requests. All three of the children were changed by these experiences. They had received Catholic catechism and practiced their faith before; after their mystical communion with Our Lady they committed themselves to piety and penance. Because many people did not believe their story, the children suffered public censure, beatings, and imprisonment. - read more
  • February 21


    Eric Liddell

    In 1902 Eric Liddell was born in China to Scottish missionary parents. He was educated in England, was a rugby standout, and earned the nickname “the Flying Scotsman.” As a young evangelist he drew large crowds because of his athletic fame. - read more
  • February 23



    Polycarp lived between 70 and 155 A.D., and was a disciple of St. John so he heard firsthand accounts of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. He embraced Christianity at a young age. Polycarp became one of the most important Christian leaders of the early church as Bishop of Smyrna. He was one of the first Christians whose writing (Letter to the Philippians) survives. - read more
  • February 27


    Gabriel Francis Possenti

    Like his namesake, St. Francis, Francesco (Francis) Possenti was born in Assisi, Italy into a wealthy family. As a youth he was known as a party-goer, clothes horse, and good dancer. His nickname was "The Ladies' Man." He excelled at horsemanship and was a good marksman. During a childhood illness he pledged his life to God if he were healed, but didn't make good on that promise until he joined the Passionist Brothers. He was given the name of Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. Possenti is best known for the time he disarmed a band of mercenary soldiers who were pillaging the village of Isola and saved the village. - read more
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