The great apostle was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin. He surpassed all his peers in zeal for the Jewish law and their traditions, which he thought to be the cause of God, became one of the most fierce enemies and persecutors of Christians. He was one of the conspirators in the martyrdom of St. Stephen.
Jan. 24 marks the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writers and Christian unity whose role as a priest and bishop helped bring thousands of Protestants back to the Catholic Church.
St. Ildephonsus was the Archbishop of Toledo, and died 23 January, 667.
St. Vincent was Deacon of Saragossa, and a martyr under Diocletian in 304. This most renowned martyr of Spain is represented in the dalmatic of a deacon, and has as emblems a cross, a raven, a grate, or a fire-pile.
On Jan. 21, the Roman Catholic Church honors the virgin and martyr St. Agnes, who suffered death for her consecration to Christ.
Sebastian was the son of a wealthy Roman family. He was educated in Milan and became an officer of the imperial Roman army, and Captain of the Guard.
Saint Canutus, King of Denmark, succeeded his elder brother Harold on the throne of Denmark in the year 1080. He began his reign by a successful war against the enemies of the state, and by planting the faith in the conquered provinces.
Saint Charles was born John Charles Marchioni in Sezze, Italy on October 19, 1613. His family was extremely pious. They lived in a rural area and as a child Saint Charles worked as a shepherd.
On his Jan. 17 feast day, both Eastern and Western Catholics celebrate the life and legacy of St. Anthony of Egypt, the founder of Christian monasticism whose radical approach to discipleship permanently impacted the Church.
Nothing of Marcellus' life before his papacy has survived the centuries. He became Pope at the end of the persecutions of Diocletian in aound 308-309. The persecutions had disrupted the Church so much that there had been a gap of over a year with no Pope. Once he was elected, he faced several challenges, including reconsituting the clergy, which had been decimated and whose remnant had practiced their vocation only covertly and with the expectation of martyrdom.
On Jan. 15, the Catholic Church remembers Saint Paul of Thebes, whose life of solitude and penance gave inspiration to the monastic movement during its early years.
Originally Prince Rastko Nemanjic, he was the first Patriarch of Serbia (1219-1233) and is an important Saint in the Serbian Orthodox Church.
On January 13, Catholics celebrate St. Hilary of Poitiers, a fourth-century philosopher whose studies made him a champion of Orthodox Trinitarian theology during one of the most difficult periods of Church history. He protected the Church and its members by brilliantly defending the sacred humanity of Jesus while also defeating Arianism which denied Christ's placement within the Trinity.
On Jan. 12, Roman Catholics remember Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys, who not only founded a religious congregation, but was also instrumental in establishing the Canadian city of Montreal.
Born to a pious family in 423 A.D., Theodosius began his studies at an early age, and became a lector while still an adolescent. The example of Abraham led him to leave home in order to properly follow God. He met Saint Simeon Stylites in Antioch, and Simeon recognized him as a holy man and leader, and invited Theodosius onto his pillar for prayer, blessing, and advice.
The son of two saints, Basil and Emmilia, young Gregory was raised by his older brother, St. Basil the Great, and his sister, Macrina, in modern-day Turkey. Gregory's success in his studies suggested great things were ahead for him.
The famous Abbot of St. Augustine's in Canterbury, was likely born in Libya Cyrenaica, North Africa.
St. Apollinaris was one of the first great martyrs of the church. He was made Bishop of Ravenna by St. Peter. The miracles he conducted in Ravenna soon attracted official attention, for they and his preaching won many converts to the faith. However, at the same time, his words and works brought upon the fury of the pagan people who beat Apollinaris cruelly on several occasions.
Saint Raymond of Penafort, a Dominican priest who worked to aid Christian captives during the era of the Crusades and also helped organize the Church’s legal code, will be celebrated liturgically on Jan. 7.
The Epiphany of Our Lord is the Christian feast observed on Jan. 6, 2016. The word “epiphany” comes from the Greek epiphainen, a verb that means "to shine upon," "to manifest," or “to make known.”