Blessed are They

Monthly List

January 2022

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St. Mary, Mother of God
All Day
Born: n/a Died: n/a Feast: January 1 Patron saint of: all humanity Miriam was a young Jewish woman, most likely between the ages of 12 and 14, when she is first introduced in the gospels. Considering the short life expectancy and the fact that the ancient world was thoroughly patriarchal, it is not surpris , ...
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J. R. R. Tolkien
All Day
Born: January 3, 1892 Died: September 2, 1973 There are still many people who do not realize Tolkien was Catholic. They know him only as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. But this is because Tolkien seeks to work on us in more subtle ways. Tolkien in a letter dated December 2, 1953 writes: , ...
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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
All Day
Born: August 28, 1774 Died: January 4, 1821 Feast day: January 4 Patron saint of: Catholic Schools; seafarers; widows; Shreveport, Louisiana; the State of Maryland Poet Phyllis McGinley writes about an “American brand of holiness” when talking about saints in the 1950s and ’60s. I love this phrase:&nb , ...
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St. John Neumann
All Day
Born: March 28, 1811 Died:  January 5, 1860 Feast day: January 5 Patron saint of: Catholic education John Neumann immigrated to the United States from the present-day Czech Republic in 1836, and was ordained a priest shortly thereafter. Driven by a strong sense of ministerial zeal and a desire for com , ...
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St. André Bessette
All Day
Born: August 9, 1845 Died: January 6, 1937 Feast day: January 6 Patron saint of: family caregivers After being rejected from the University of Notre Dame my senior year of high school, I was determined to do whatever necessary to eventually transfer to my dream school. After spending a wonderful freshman y , ...
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Pope Gregory XIII
All Day
Born: January 7, 1502 Died: April 10, 1585 Born Ugo Boncompagni in the early 16th century in Northern Italy, Pope Gregory XIII was a scholar, professor of law, and trusted legal advisor to church leadership during the Council of Trent. He became a priest late in life and was eventually elected pope in 1572 follo , ...
St. Angela of Foligno
All Day
Born: approximately 1248 Died: January 4, 1309 Feast day: January 7 Patron saint of: those afflicted by sexual temptation, widows St. Angela of Foligno was a well-off wife and mother in central Italy before she became one of the great medieval mystics of the late 13th century. In her early 40s, Angela had , ...
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St. Josemaría Escrivá
All Day
Born: January 9, 1902 Died: June 26, 1975 Feast day: June 26 Patron saint of: Opus Dei, people with diabetes St. Josemaría Escrivá, an esteemed Spanish priest and religious leader of the mid-20th century, is best known for founding Opus Dei, a lay spiritual organization within the Catholic Church that beli , ...
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St. Gregory of Nyssa
All Day
Born: 335 Died:  395 Feast day: January 10 The town of Nyssa (which no longer exists) is famous primarily because it was the see of St. Gregory. As bishop of Nyssa (present day Cappadocia, Turkey), St. Gregory was famous for his orthodoxy and steadfast adherence to the gospel in the face of the heresies , ...
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Bl. Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung
All Day
Born: January 31, 1895 Died: January 12, 1944 Feast day: January 12 Patron saint of: Thailand Bl. Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung was the first martyred priest in Thailand. Born in 1895 as one of six children in a Christian-converted family, Nicholas entered the seminary at age 13. Throughout his years as a pr , ...
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Bl. Veronica of Milan
All Day
Born: c. 1445 Died:  January 13, 1497 Feast day: January 13 Patron saint of: Binasco, Italy Veronica grew up in Binasco, a small village outside of Milan, where she grew up in a poor peasant family and tried unsuccessfully to teach herself to read. The miracle of her catechesis occurred through vision , ...
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Blessed Peter Donders
All Day
Born: October 27, 1809 Died: January 14, 1887 Born in Tilburg, Holland in 1089, Peter Donders always dreamed of being a priest. Working factory jobs to provide for his family, however, meant that Peter could not receive the necessary education. While he was originally rejected by the Franciscans, Jesuits , ...
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Martin Luther King Jr.
All Day
Born: January 15, 1929 Died: April 4, 1968 At Marquette University I teach a course on Martin Luther King’s ethics and faith. I face two obstacles when teaching about King. The first is that we are too acquainted with him. We know so much about him that we think there is little left for his life to teach us. The , ...
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St. Joseph Vaz
All Day
Born: April 21, 1651 Died:  January 16, 1711 Feast day: January 16 To say that St. Joseph Vaz was born in interesting times would be a vast understatement. Born in Portuguese-occupied India to a Catholic family, he spent his formative years studying philosophy and theology, and was ordained a priest in 1675. , ...
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Bl. Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi
All Day
Born: September 1903 Died:  January 20, 1964 Feast day: January 20 Patron saint of: Nigerian priests At a time when many of the Catholic clergy ministering on the continent of Africa were European missionaries, native Nigerian Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi felt a call to the priesthood. His entering sem , ...
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St. Agnes of Rome
All Day
Born: 291 AD Died:  304 AD Feast day: January 21 Patron saint of: young girls; chastity; rape survivors; Girl Scouts Agnes was a beautiful young woman in the early years of Christianity in Rome, refusing suitors with the response that her only spouse would be Christ. Because Christians were persecuted duri , ...
St. John Yi Yun-il
All Day
Born: 1822 Died: January 21, 1867 Feast day: January 21 One of 103 Korean martyrs canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1984, John Yi Yun-il was a father, farmer, and catechist who lived in Korea during the 19th century. During this time of rampant Christian persecution in Korea, John remained committed to hi , ...
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Chiara Lubich
All Day
Born: January 22, 1920 Died: March 14, 2008 I had the good fortune to meet Chiara Lubich in 1978 when I became a member of the Focolare Movement. I was beginning my career in interreligious dialogue and knew that Lubich had won the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in 1977 in part due to her work in inter , ...
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St. Marianne Cope
All Day
Born: January 23, 1838 Died: August 9, 1918 Feast: January 23 Patron of: lepers, outcasts, those with HIV/AIDS Mother Marianne shunned publicity and thus is not as well known as Father Damien, whose own leprosy brought him prominence whether he wanted it or not. The former provincial of the Sisters of the , ...
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St. Titus
All Day
Born: 1st century C.E. Died: 96 or 107 C.E. Feast day: January 26 Patron saint of: Crete, the United States Army Chaplain Corps Titus was one of Paul’s colleagues who we read about several times in the Pauline epistles of the New Testament. While the epistles imply he sometimes journeyed with Paul, he was , ...
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St. Angela Merici
All Day
Born: March 21, 1474 Died:  January 27, 1540 Feast day: January 27 Patron saint of: sickness, disability, grieving the loss of parents In early young adulthood, Angela Merici joined the Third Order of Saint Francis as a consecrated virgin. When a family crisis called her back to her hometown, Angela d , ...
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St. Thomas Aquinas
All Day
Born: 1225 Died:  March 7, 1274 Feast day: January 28 Patron saint of: academics, against storms, theologians, philosophers, scholars, students St. Thomas Aquinas is one of the most famous saints of the church. A prolific author, an erudite theologian, and a Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas is , ...
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St. John Bosco
All Day
Born: August 16, 1815 Died: January 31, 1888 Feast: January 31 Patron of: editors, publishers, schoolchildren, young people, magicians, juvenile delinquents John Bosco grew up poor, but whenever he had an extra penny, he would go to the circuses and fairs that came to his town. He watched in rapt attention , ...
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