Saint of the Month

St. Joan of Arc, patron saint of France

Feast Day: May 30

Thanks to movies, books and popular legend, St. Joan of Arc seems more familiar than many saints because we have seen her depicted as a male soldier, wearing military armor. But did you know that this courageous peasant girl from the 15th century, who helped drive the English from French territory during their long-running war, never had any military training? Did you know she never learned how to read or write? And in spite of no formal religious training, Joan of Arc was able to speak eloquently about theology and her faith at her trial.

Saint María Josefa of the Heart of Jesus

Feast Day - March 20

Saint María Josefa felt called to religious life at a young age growing up in nineteenth-century Spain, initially believing she was called to join a monastery and live a contemplative life. But when she was just 18, María realized she had a vocation to a more active religious calling. She originally joined the Institute of the Servants of Mary, but soon discovered her call was more specific, and she needed to focus on the sick in both hospitals and in their homes.

St. Virginia Centurione Bracelli

Virginia Centurione, born into a noble family in Genoa, Italy, in 1587, was forced into marriage at a young age, despite her wish to live a religious life. She had two daughters, Leila and Isabella. But her husband died when she was just 20 years old, which allowed her to devote her life to abandoned children and the needs of the elderly, the sick and the poor. Because of war in the region in 1624-25, many in her city were orphaned, hungry and unable to find work. St. Virginia was canonized in 2003 by St.

St. Charles Borromeo, A tireless reformer

Feast Day: November 4

Born amidst the turmoil of the Protestant Reformation and troubled sixteenth-century Italy, Charles Borromeo set his sights on reform from a young age, and helped to reinvigorate the Church during the Counter-Reformation. Born into a wealthy and powerful family in northern Italy in 1538, he joined the ranks of the clergy at age 12. While preparing for a career in the Church, Charles was given the income from a rich Benedictine abbey by an uncle, and he insisted that all funds not used for his education be given to the poor.

St. Faustina - Secretary of Divine Mercy

Born Helena Kowalska in the small Polish town of Lodz, St. Faustina was one of 10 children in a family struggling to survive during World War I. Because her parents needed her to help support the family, she received only three years of education. At age 20, she answered Christ’s call and entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. While at the convent, the Lord spoke to her and told her that she was to be an apostle of his mercy. Despite her lack of schooling, she wrote several notebooks under the guidance of Christ that contained profound theological insights.

Lily of the Mohawks, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Feast Day July 14

Tekakwitha, born in 1656 to a Christian Algonquin mother and Mohawk father, embraced a life of gentle service to others from an early age. She and her family contracted smallpox when she was a child; she was scarred from the disease and lost her family to it. Although her uncle took her in, he treated Tekakwitha as a slave. She found solace, however, in listening to the “blackrobes,” or Jesuit missionaries who visited her village, and would meditate often on their teachings.

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