This April, we have a busy season of liturgical events. From the conclusion of Lent to Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Easter, and the Octave of Easter, the entire Easter season is filled with solemn liturgies, commemorations, and celebrations. Through it all, we are called to grow in our relationship with the Lord. When every Sunday seems to be celebrating or commemorating something different, I often find myself turning to the saints for some consistency and routine.
Saints to Prepare us for Holy Week
This week, we celebrate three saints who can help us prepare for Holy Week. Today, we celebrate the 14th century Dominican St. Vincent Ferrer. He was a gifted intellectual who discerned God’s call for him to be a missionary and ultimately became known for his missionary work all throughout Europe. St. Vincent Ferrer incorporated his intellectual gifts into missionary work for the good of the universal Church. Yesterday, we celebrated another gifted intellectual in the history of the Church: St. Isidore of Seville. St. Isidore is known for his writings which helped spread the faith even long after he had died. On Thursday, we will celebrate St. John Baptist de la Salle. He is known for his educational reforms which included the founding of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Through prayer and discernment, he recognized the need for education reform which included having trained lay teachers. He devoted his life to increasing the access to education for those who normally would not get such opportunities. We can look to all three of these saints to help us prepare for Holy Week by allowing the Lord to work in our lives using the gifts He gave us.
On April 28th, we will celebrate three saints who have left a great impact on the Church: St. Louis de Montfort, St. Peter Chanel, and St. Gianna Molla. St. Louis de Montfort was alive from the late 1600s to the early 1700s. Even though he died when he was only 43 years old, many of his writings form the basis of much of Mariology (the study of Mary) today. St. Peter Chanel was a 19th century Marist who was a missionary on the Polynesian island of Futuna. After four years of tireless work helping the islanders with daily life, Peter Chanel was martyred when the chief’s son converted to Catholicism. After his martyrdom, many of the islanders eventually converted to Catholicism, including the chief himself. Now the island (as well most of Oceania) has a strong devotion to St. Peter Chanel. Lastly, we will celebrate the 20th century saint, St. Gianna Molla on April 28th. St. Gianna Molla was an Italian pediatrician who refused an abortion and hysterectomy despite her life-threatening pregnancy and eventually died after giving birth. She is known for following the teachings of the faith while serving as a doctor and is a model for Catholics practicing medicine today.
As we enter this liturgically busy April, let us look to the saints we celebrate this month for inspiration in following God’s will throughout our lives using the gifts He has given us.
To learn more about the saints, visit our Catholic Feast Days Website by clicking here.
To view a calendar of the feast days in April, and each month, click here.
For more Lenten and Easter resources, please click here.