"The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin."
Today the Catholic Church celebrates the memory of St. Ambrose, the brilliant Bishop of Milan who influenced St. Augustine's conversion and was named a Doctor of the Church. Like Augustine himself, the older Ambrose, born around 340, was a highly educated man who sought to harmonize Greek and Roman intellectual culture with the Catholic faith.
On Dec. 6, the faithful commemorate a bishop in the early church who was known for generosity and love of children. Born in Lycia in Asia Minor around the late third or fourth century, St. Nicholas of Myra is more than just the inspiration for the modern day Santa.
St. Gerald was an English monk, and the bishop of Mayo. The date of his birth is unknown, however we do know that after the Synod of Whitby in 664, he followed St. Colman to Ireland, and settled in Innisboffin, in 668.
Catholics remember and celebrate the life of the great Arab Church Father St. John of Damascus on Dec. 4.
The earliest mention in authentic historical authority of St. Bibiana, a Roman female martyr, occurs in the "Liber Pontificalis" where in the biography of Pope Simplicius (468-483) it is stated that this pope "consecrated a basilica of the holy martyr Bibiana, which contained her body".
On Nov. 30, Catholics worldwide celebrate the feast of St. Andrew, apostle and martyr. A fisherman from Bethsaida and brother of Simon Peter, St. Andrew is said to have spread Christianity in Russia and Asia minor after Pentecost in the first century. He was crucified by the Romans in Greece on an X-shaped cross, which is now his distinctive symbol as well as the symbol of Scotland, of which he is the patron.
On November 28, the Church honors St. Catherine Labouré, the humble Daughter of Charity to whom Mary appeared, requesting that the Miraculous Medal be stamped so that all who wear it would receive great graces.
St. Francesco (Francis) Antonio Fasani was born as Giovanneillo in Lucera, Italy in 1681, the son of Giuseppe Fasani and Isabella Della Monaca. He entered the Conventual Franciscans in 1695 and took the names of St. Francis and St. Anthony.
St. Leonard was born on December 20, 1676 in Porto Maurizio, Italy. He was given the name Paul Jerome Casanova by his father, Domenico Casanova, a sea captain, and his mother, Anna Maria Benza.
Catholics and other Christians around the world celebrate today, Nov. 25, the memorial of St. Catherine of Alexandria, a revered martyr of the fourth century.
During his papacy, Pope John Paul II canonized a group of 117 martyrs who died for the Roman Catholic Faith in Vietnam during the nineteenth century.
Born in Guadalupe on January 13, 1891, Miguel Pro Juarez was one of 11 children. Miguel was, from an early age, intensely spiritual and equally intense in his mischievousness, frequently exasperating his family with his humor and practical jokes.
St. Cecilia's family was one of the principle families of Rome. According to the cultural custom of the time, Cecilia's family betrothed her to a pagan nobleman named Valerian despite St. Cecelia's consecration to God.
The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated annually on November 21st, commemorates the presentation of the Blessed Virgin as a child by her parents in the Temple in Jerusalem.
Saint Bernward served as the thirteenth Bishop of Hildesheim, Germany during the middle of the tenth century. His grandfather was Athelbero, Count Palatine of Saxony. After having lost his parents, Bernward was sent to live with his uncle Volkmar, who was the Bishop of Utrecht.
Saint Raphael was born in 1835 as Joseph, son of Andrew and Josepha Kalinowski in present day Lithuania. Saint Raphael felt a call to the priesthood early in his life, but decided to complete his education. He studied zoology, chemistry, agriculture, and apiculture at the Institute of Agronomy in Hory Horki, Russia, and at the Academy of Military Engineering in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
St. Rose was born into a family with wealth and political connections August 29, 1769 in Grenoble, France. Her father, Pierre Francois Duchesne, was a lawyer, businessman, and prominent civic leader in Grenoble, while her mother, Rose Perier, was a member of a leading family from the Dauphine region.
Saint Peter’s Basilica was originally built in 323 by the emperor Constantine. The basilica was constructed over the tomb of Peter the Apostle, the Church’s first Pope.
On Nov. 17, the Catholic Church celebrates the life and example of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, a medieval noblewoman who responded to personal tragedy by embracing St. Francis' ideals of poverty and service. A patron of secular Franciscans, she is especially beloved to Germans, as well as the faithful of her native Hungary.