A Catholic Monthly Magazine

January Saints

saint4Saint Joseph Mary Tomasi (1649-1713)

Joseph was born into a noble family in Licata, Sicily. He was destined to inherit the title Grandee of Spain but his heart was elsewhere. His family, although wealthy, was pious, and the boy was taught Christian principles along with classical and modern languages. Even from his youth, he aspired to be small in the kingdom of God and to serve only the King of heaven.

Having renounced his very rich patrimony, he was admitted into the Order of Clerics Regular Theatine, making his religious profession at Palermo in 1666. In childhood, he had been attracted to the liturgy of the church and now he delighted in the Gregorian chant, the psalms, the sacred languages of Latin and Greek. On completion of his studies, he was ordained priest in Rome in 1673.

For forty years he remained in the same house, immersing himself in study of biblical languages, the ancient documents of the church, and the liturgy. Named General Consultor of his Order by his confrères, he quickly renounced the appointment and returned to the obscurity he desired.

He was an example of profound humility, mortification and sacrifice; of faithful observance, meekness, poverty, piety and filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He helped the poor while at the same time serving the Roman Curia in many ways. Pope Clement XI named him cardinal, which Father Joseph accepted only through the express order of the Pope. As a cardinal, he changed none of his previous rule of life. He chose the poor, the weak, the lame and persons with various physical handicaps as helpers in his home.

His special love for the liturgy led him to promote, even in his own time, the present day form of the Liturgy of the Hours, the distinction and use of the Missal and the Lectionary in the celebration of the Eucharist, the use of the vernacular language, and the more intimate and personal participation of the people in the sacred liturgy.

After only seven months as a cardinal, Joseph was struck by a violent form of pneumonia and died on 1 January 1713.

Saint Joseph, help us not to be enthralled by worldly possessions.

(Source: Internet – various)

saint5Blessed Angela of Foligno (1248-1309)

Angela was born at Foligno in Umbria, of a rich family. Married at an early age, she loved the world and its pleasures and, worse still, forgetful of her dignity and duties as wife and mother, fell into sin and led a disorderly life. But God, having in His mercy inspired her with a deep sorrow for her sins, led her little by little to the height of perfection and to the understanding of the deepest mysteries.

Some time after her conversion, Angela took the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis. In due time, the fame of her sanctity gathered around her a number of Tertiaries, men and women, who strove under her direction to advance in holiness. Later she established a community of Sisters at Foligno who added to the Rule of the Third Order the three vows of religion, without, however, binding themselves to enclosure, so that they might devote their time to works of charity. Angela died on 4 January 1309, surrounded by her spiritual children.

Blessed Angela, teach us to turn away from sin and towards God.

(Source: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01482a.htm)

saint6Saint Margaret of Hungary (1242-1271)

Margaret was born in Klis Fortress in the Kingdom of Croatia, the eighth and last daughter of the royal couple. During the Mongol invasion of Hungary (1241–42), her parents vowed that if Hungary was liberated from the Mongols, they would dedicate the child to religion.

The four-year-old Margaret was entrusted by her parents to the Dominican monastery at Veszprém in 1245. Six years later she was transferred to the Monastery of the Blessed Virgin founded by her parents on Nyulak Szigete (Rabbit Island) near Buda. She spent the rest of her life there, dedicating herself to religion and opposing all attempts of her father to arrange a political marriage for her with King Ottokar II of Bohemia. She appears to have taken solemn vows when she was eighteen years old.

According to the legend, Margaret chastised herself from early childhood, wore an iron girdle, hairshirts and shoes spiked with nails. She later also performed the dirtiest tasks in the monastery. She died in 1271.

Saint Margaret, obtain for us a true spirit of penance.

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_of_Hungary_(saint))

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