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Sts. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions (17th-20th centuries)

Between 1648 and 1930, 87 Chinese-born Catholics and 33 non-Chinese-born Catholics, mostly priests and women religious, were martyred by Chinese authorities. Many died during the Boxer Rebellion, in which Chinese citizens afraid of Catholic influence murdered thousands of Christians. The …

Sts. Gregory Grassi and Companions (d.1900)

In the late 1800s, Russia, France, Britain and Germany forced China to relinquish large portions of its territory. This heightened already powerful xenophobic elements in Chinese culture and resulted in an intense hatred of foreigners. Among others, missionaries became targets …

Saint Odo of Urgell (d.1122)

Saint Odo of Urgell was born into a noble family in Barcelona, Spain. He was a soldier in his early years, but gave his position up when he felt called to religious life. Odo was selected as Bishop of Urgell, …

Saint Maria Goretti (1890-1902)

Saint Maria Goretti was fatally wounded while fending off a rapist at the age of 12. She was born in Italy to a peasant family that was too poor to send the children to school. Maria never had the chance …

Saint Anthony Zaccaria (1502-1539)

Saint Anthony Zaccaria was born in Italy to a wealthy family. His father died when he was only two, and his mother, then only 18 years old, dedicated her life to raising and religiously educating her only son, Anthony. While …

Saint Elizabeth of Portugal (1271-1336)

Saint Elizabeth, born in 1271, is usually pictured with a dove or an olive branch in her hand, both symbols of peace. Elizabeth was the daughter of the king of Aragon. As a young person, she learned self-discipline and acquired …

Saint Thomas the Apostle (1st century)

Saint Thomas was one of Jesus' Twelve Apostles. He is perhaps most known for the following remark: “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into …

Saint Oliver Plunkett (1629-1681)

Saint Oliver Plunkett was born in Ireland in 1629 and educated for the priesthood in Rome. Ordained in 1654, Saint Oliver remained in Rome for a few years, working with the poor and teaching. He was then appointed as Archbishop …

Saint Gall (550-646)

Saint Gall was a well-known Irish missionary and a friend of Saint Columban. He was taught by Saints Columban and Comgall, and was one of the 12 who went with Saint Columban to proclaim the Good News in France. He …

Saint Bertrand of Le Mans (d.623)

Saint Bertrand was the Archdeacon of Paris and worked at the city's Cathedral School. He was later appointed Bishop of Le Mans, France. Bertrand was celebrated for the generosity and kindness that he showed to the poor. He established a …

Saint Peter (1st century)

Simon Peter came from obscurity to become one of our greatest saints and our first pope. He came from the village of Bethsaida, in the outback region of Galilee. He and his brother Andrew were humble fishermen when Jesus called …

Saint Irenaeus (c.130-c.202)

Saint Irenaeus was a second-century bishop in what is now Lyons, France. As a prolific writer, he was a key figure in the many controversies that developed as the early Church sought to clarify her Trinitarian faith. His most famous …

Saint Cyril of Alexandria (c.376-444)

Saint Cyril of Alexandria was born around 376 in Egypt. His uncle was the powerful Patriarch of Alexandria. Cyril received an unparalleled education in grammar, rhetoric and theology. After his uncle's death, Cyril became the Patriarch, or Pope, of Alexandria, …

Saint Anthelm (1107-1178)

Saint Anthlem was a priest who got entangled in Church politics. He pursued positions of authority to increase his own power, not to serve his people more effectively. When he visited the Carthusians, his views on what power meant changed, …

Saint William of Vercelli (1085-1142)

Saint William of Vercelli was orphaned as a baby and brought up by relatives. He decided to devote his life to God after he completed a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain at the age of 14. He lived …

Saint Rumold (d.775)

Saint Rumold was a monk in Ireland who was later appointed a bishop of Rome. He was martyred by two men whom he had criticized for their unrepentant sinful ways. Some remember Rumold as a bishop of Dublin and the …

Saint John Fisher (1469-1535)

Saint John Fisher was an academic who was associated with the intellectuals and politicians of his time. He acted as chancellor at the University of Cambridge in England and was elected bishop. John's scholarly background helped mold him into a …

Saint Thomas More (1478-1535)

Saint Thomas More is perhaps the most famous English saint because of the play and subsequent movie based on his life, A Man for All Seasons. Thomas More was an educated man who was also deeply religious. He considered becoming …

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591)

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga was born to a wealthy Italian family in the late 1500s. Inspired by the lives of the saints and his love of prayer, Aloysius gave up a life of luxury and comfort to join the Society of …

Saint John of Pulsano (d.1139)

Saint John of Pulsano joined the Benedictines, but was disliked by his brothers because of his rigid severity and discipline. They thought that John was trying to outdo them or make them look bad to others. John left his monastery …

Saint Romuald (c.951-1027)

Saint Romuald felt a calling deep in his heart to live virtuously, but ignored the call in his youth. He spent many years devoted to the world and its pleasures. However, his life changed forever when he witnessed his father …

Saint Elizabeth of Schonau (c.1130-1164)

Saint Elizabeth of Schonau was brought up in a Benedictine monastery from the age of 12. She saw the monastery as her home and took her vows. Elizabeth was gifted with visions, prayerful ecstasies and prophecies, and she waged a …

Saint Teresa of Portugal (d.1250)

Saint Teresa was the daughter of the king of Portugal. She married her cousin and they lived happily, with the blessing of many children. After several years, their marriage was proclaimed invalid because the two were so closely related and …

Saint Lutgardis (1182-1246)

Saint Lutgardis never wanted to enter a convent. However, her supposed vocation in life of marriage and children changed when her dowry was lost in a bad business deal. Since her parents didn't think they could marry her off without …

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