February 2012 Saints

Some heroes to imitate and intercessors to call on during February.  Chock full of links (all the underlined words) to learn more if you care to.  Add your favorites to your calendar and do something special to remember them and pray with them on their feast days.  It’s not an exhaustive list, but a great place to start.

  • 2/1 St. Brigid of Ireland – (453-523)  Nun, Virgin.  Heard St. Patrick preach.  Asked God to take away her beauty until her final vows, which He granted.  Name means “fiery arrow”.   Patron of many things (click here and scroll down for a litst)  including newborns, midwives, scholars, travelers, nuns, poets, blacksmiths, and chicken farmers.  “I would like a great lake of beer for the King of Kings. 
I would like to be watching Heaven’s family drinking it through all eternity.”
  • 2/2 Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple aka Candlemas – Commemorates the purification of St. Mary after giving birth according to Mosaic law, and the presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:22-38)  Candles are blessed on this day to commemorate Simeon’s words that Christ is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32).
  • 2/3 St. Blaise – (d.c.316)  Bishop, Martyr. Often associated with throat health because of a story of his helping a boy with a fish bone stuck in his throat.  Patron of healthy throats, construction workers, veterinarians, and animals.
  • 2/5 St. Agatha – (d.c.250) Virgin, Martyr – Tortured for being a Christian, she had her breasts crushed and cut off.  Eventually she was martyred by being rolled across live coals.  Patron of torture victims, against breast diseases, and against volcanic eruptions.  “Jesus Christ, Lord of all, you see my heart, you know my desires. Possess all that I am. I am your sheep: make me worthy to overcome the devil.”
  • 2/6 St. Paul Miki et al – (1562-1597)  One of the Martyrs of Nagasaki.  Japanese Jesuit, convert.  Crucified with 25 other Franciscans, Jesuits, and converts.  Gave his last sermon from the cross.
  • 2/8 St. Josephine Bakhita – (1868-1947)  Sudanese slave, Nun, Virgin.  “We find a shining advocate of genuine emancipation. The history of her life inspires not passive acceptance but the firm resolve to work effectively to free girls and women from oppression and violence, and to return them to their dignity in the full exercise of their rights.” (Bl. Pope John Paul II at her canonization).  Her story is also related at the beginning of Pope Benedict XVI’s Encyclical on Hope, Spe Salvi, as an example of life lived in hope.
  • 2/10 St. Scholastica – (480-543)  Virgin. Twin sister of St. Benedict and foundress of  a religious community for women.  Rumor has it she once prayed up a fierce thunder-storm to keep her brother around for some deep spiritual conversation.  Patron of nuns and against storms.
  • 2/11 Our Lady of Lourdes – (1858)  The “Immaculate Conception” appeared to a French peasant girl, St. Bernadette Soubirous, just over 150 years ago on February 11th.  She appeared a total of 18 times to St. Bernadette and a miraculous spring still flows at this place, one of the most famous of pilgrimage destinations today. Thousands of miracles are claimed, at least 67 are thoroughly documented!
  • 2/13 St. Catherine de Ricci – (1522-1590)  Dominican Nun, Mystic, Stigmatist.  Familiar with her Guardian Angel.  Corresponded with St. Charles Borromeo, Pope St. Pius V, and St. Philip Neri.  Patron of sick people.
  • 2/14 St. Valentine – (d.c.269)  Priest, Martyr.  Imprisoned for giving aid to martyrs and eventually beaten and beheaded.  Patron of lovers, beekeepers, against epilepsy and the plague.  Check out the origins of Valentines Day as a feast for lovers.
  • 2/14 Sts. Cyril & Methodius – (Cyril 827-869, Methodius 826-885)  Monk (Cyril) & Bishop (Methodius), Brothers, Apostles of the Slavs.  Patrons of ecumenism and unity of Eastern and Western Churches.
  • 2/17 Seven Servites – (1233)  Seven Saints who received a vision of Our Lady, who instructed them to found the Order of the Servants of Mary (Servites).  The Servites venerate in a special way the Seven Sorrows of Out Lady.
  • 2/20  Bl. Jacinta & Francisco Marto – (Jacinta 1910-1920, Francisco 1908-1919) Visionaries of Fatima, siblings.  Sr. Lucia, their cousin and third visionary, died only in 2005 and her cause is on the path to canonization.  Check out a ton of resources on Fatima right here on SaintMakers.  And click here for Bl. Pope John Paul II’s Beatification Homily for them on May 13, 2000.
  • 2/21 St. Peter Damian – (1007-1072)  Benedictine Monk, Bishop, Cardinal, Doctor of the Church.  Tried to restore discipline among priests and religious who were becoming more worldly.
  • 2/22 Ash Wednesday – Marks the beginning of Lent (40 days of penance and preparation for Easter, not counting Sundays).  Day of fasting and abstinence.  Check out these articles to prepare for Lent this year: Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, Principles and Guidelines (Concerning Lent), Penitential Practices for Today’s Catholics (USCCB)
  • 2/23 St. Polycarp – (c.69-c.155)  Bishop, Martyr.  Disciple of St. John the Apostle, Apostolic Father of the Church, friend of St. Ignatius of Antioch. The anti-Christian Romans tried to burn him alive, but the flames wouldn’t hurt him.  Finally he was killed by a dagger.  Patron against dysentery and earache.
  • 2/25 St. Ethelbert of Kent – (552-616)  Not very well known, but… hey, cool name!  He also brought many English into the Church.  He was the king of Kent, England and was converted by St. Augustine of Canterbury (Apostle to the English).
  • 2/28 Pope St. Hilary – (315-368)  46th Pope , “guardian of Church unity.”  But wait a minute!  Didn’t we just celebrate St. Hilary mid-January?  Different St. Hilary… that was the Church Father who lived 100 years earlier in Poitiers (in modern day France).  There are many other saints by the same name.


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