A Catholic Monthly Magazine

February Saints


Saint Paul Miki (d 1597)

Paul was a member of the noble Miki family, a samurai clan of Harima Province, Japan. He was educated by the Jesuits in their missionary seminary and joined the Society of Jesus in 1580. Famous as a preacher and evangelist, Paul was arrested by the officials of the taiko of Japan. He and twenty-five companions were taken to a hill just outside of Nagasaki. There they were allowed to make their confession to two Jesuits before being bound to crosses by cords and chains around their arms and legs and with an iron collar round their necks. When the crosses were raised, each martyr was pierced in the abdomen with two lances. Their blood and garments were treasured by their fellow Christians and miracles were ascribed to them.

Saint Paul, teach us to be faithful even in the face of death.

(Encyclopedia of the Saints, Matthew, Margaret & Stephen Bunson.1998 Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, Indiana)

Saint2ABlessed Michal Sopocko (1888- 1975)

Throughout history, saints have been known to assist other saints in their quest for holiness and perfection.

Michal Sopoko was born in 1888 in Nowosady, then under Imperial Russia, which persecuted the Catholic Church as well as both the Polish and Lithuanian people within its territories. This was the environment in which the young Michal matured. Motivated by a desire for unconditional service to God, the Church and humanity, he entered the major seminary in Vilnius, and was ordained in 1914.

For four years, Father Michal worked as a parochial vicar in Taboryszki, opening two mission churches and several schools. Warned that he may be arrested, he left for Warsaw, where he became a military chaplain for the Polish army. During this time he studied for and obtained a doctorate in theology and graduated from the National Pedagogical Institute.

In 1927, he was appointed spiritual director of the major seminary, and also taught theology at Stefan Batory University. Eventually, at his request, he was released both from the chaplaincy and the seminary duties to dedicate himself entirely to theological pursuits.

One of the most significant events of Father Sopoko’s life occurred when, in 1933, he became spiritual director of Sister, now Saint, Faustina Kowalska, and he continued to assist her till her death in 1938. As her confessor, he undertook a thorough evaluation of her mystical experiences concerning devotion to the Divine Mercy.

This devotion became a life-giving inspiration for Father Michal. With his assistance, and under the direction of Sister Faustina, the first portrait of Jesus as the Divine Mercy was painted. He wrote extensively on the subject of the Divine Mercy and, despite the Second World War and the German occupation of his country, he persisted in his efforts to promote the devotion. Filled with zeal, he constantly helped those who were oppressed and threatened with extermination, including many Jews. Although he managed to avoid arrest and imprisonment, he was forced in 1942 to go into hiding and remained so for two years. During this time, however, he played a major role in establishing Sister Faustina’s Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Mercy.

In 1947, Father Michal was asked by the Bishop to come to Bialystok, where he accepted a position as professor in the Archdiocesan major seminary teaching pedagogy, catechetics, homiletics, pastoral theology and spirituality. In addition, he worked tirelessly to obtain official approval from the Church authorities for the devotion of the Divine Mercy. He died in 1975 and was buried in the parish cemetery at Bialystok.

Blessed Michal, help us always to believe totally in the Divine Mercy.

(Source: Internet – various)

Saint3Blessed Angela of Foligno (1248-1309)

Born in Foligno, Italy in 1248, Angela married and had several children. Wealthy, she entered fully into the social events in the city until 1285 when she had a vision, which inspired her to give up her worldly life and become a member of the Franciscan Third Order. When her husband died, she gave away her possessions and started a community of tertiaries devoted to the care of the needy.

Her visions, which were recorded by her confessor, demonstrated a mature mystical union with Christ and the gift of revelation. She died in 1309, and many miracles have been recorded at her tomb in Foligno.

Blessed Angela, obtain for us the insight to see our worldly ways for what they are.   

(Encyclopedia of the Saints, Matthew, Margaret & Stephen Bunson.1998 Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, Indiana)


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