Saints’ of the Week

Saints celebrated this week

S. Francis de Sales – 24th January

Francis de Sales was born in 1567 and was Bishop of Geneva at the time of Calvin. His father was Francois de Boisy and his mother Francoise de Sionnz. He was the first of twelve children, and as such enjoyed an education in La Roche and Annecy. As Bishop he strove for the renewal of the faith and his personal example, as well as his many writings and practical works, led people to a true understanding of the Christian life. His ‘Introduction to the Devout Life’ was a classic of spiritual direction and is still read to this day. He died on 28 December 1622 in Lyon and was beatified in 1661 by Pope Alexander VII, who then canonized him in 1665. St Francis de Sales is buried at the basilica of the Visitation, Annecy. Many miracles have been reported at his shrine. The relic of his heart was kept at Lyon, whence during the French Revolution it was moved to Venice, where it is venerated today.

S. Timothy – 26th January

Timothy was a first-century Christian bishop who died about AD 80. He was a disciple and co-worker of S. Paul and accompanied him on his travels. He was put in charge of the Church at Ephesus. Timothy is first mentioned in the Bible at the time of Paul’s second visit to Lystra where he probably resided and where it seems he was converted during Paul’s first visit to that place.

S. Titus – 26th January

Titus was another disciple and co-worker of S. Paul. He was Paul’s messenger to various Christian communities where dispute arose and was put in charge of the Church in Crete. The last notice of him is in 2 Timothy 4:10, where he appears with Paul at Rome during his second imprisonment. From Rome he was sent into Dalmatia, no doubt on some important missionary errand. The New Testament does not record his death.

S. Angela Merici – 27th January

S. Angela Merici was born at Desenzano, near Brecia about 1740. Young Merici was very distressed when her sister suddenly died without receiving the last sacraments. She joined the Third Order of St. Francis, and increased her prayers to God so her sister’s soul could rest in peace. Legend says that she was satisfied by a vision of her sister in the company of the saints in heaven. In 1535 she founded the Institute of the Ursulines who were devoted to the education of poor girls as Christians, and to the missions. She died in 1540, was beatified in 1768, by Clement XIII, and canonized in 1807, by Pius VII.

S. Thomas Aquinas – 28th January

Thomas Aquinas was born in 1225 at his father Count Landulf’s castle of Roccasecca in the kingdom of Naples, in the present-day Regione Lazio. At the age of five, Aquinas began his early education at the monastery. When he was 16, he went to the University of Naples, where he studied for six years. In 1244 he entered the Dominican Order and continued his studies in Paris and Cologne. His outstanding writings and teachings in theology, philosophy and scripture were founded on a life of prayer and faith. He died in 1274 at the Cistercian monastery of Fossa Nuova after a lingering illness of seven weeks. Only Augustine has had an equal influence on the theological thought and language of the Western Catholic church. In his Encyclical of August 4, 1879, Pope Leo XIII stated that Aquinas’s theology was a definitive exposition of Catholic doctrine. In 1880, Aquinas was declared patron of all Catholic educational establishments.

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