This May, we have the joy of spending the whole month in the Easter season. We begin this month not far removed from Easter Sunday and end the month by celebrating the Ascension. Some parishes will also start a Pentecost Novena leading up to Pentecost on June 5th. One quirk of celebrating the saints is that when their feast day falls on a Sunday, we typically don’t get to celebrate them at Mass and learn about their lives. This May, there are three outstanding saints whose feasts fall on the three Sundays leading up to Pentecost.
St. Isidore the Farmer
The feast of the 11th and 12th century saint, Isidore the Farmer, is celebrated on May 15th. I find the life of St. Isidore the Farmer incredibly inspiring. St. Isidore was not a priest or member of the clergy. Rather, he was a pious farmer who was devoted to his work and also attended daily Mass. Through his commitment to farming and to the Eucharist, he was able to make a difference in his community and become a role model for other farmers. In today’s world, I sometimes find it hard to work in a more secular field while I have friends who work for the Church. I think of the example of saints like St. Isidore the Farmer who lived out their faith in their work and this witness inspires me hundreds of years later. As we prepare for Pentecost, let us pray for the intercession of St. Isidore the Farmer in living out our faith throughout our daily work.
St. Rita of Cascia
A week later, on May 22nd, we celebrate the feast of St. Rita of Cascia. St. Rita was a 15th century married Italian woman who eventually became an Augustinian nun. She is known as the patron saint of marital problems because of the way she gracefully handled her difficult marriage and her husband’s death by a feuding family. After her husband’s death, she cared for her sons and eventually became an Augustinian nun who devoted herself to praying for peace in the community of Cascia. Along with St. Jude, she is also known as a patron saint of lost and impossible causes. As we continue to prepare for Pentecost, let us pray for the intercession of St. Rita of Cascia in any challenges that may be holding us back from growing in our relationship with the Risen Christ.
Pope St. Paul VI
On May 29th we celebrate the feast of Pope St. Paul VI, one of the most recently canonized saints. Pope St. Paul VI continued the Second Vatican Council after the death of Pope John XXIII and helped implement many of the decisions and reforms that came from the Council. Many of these decisions were incredibly challenging, but Paul VI was able to navigate the situation and is highly respected for his ability to lead the Church in difficult times. Paul VI also helped grow ecumenical relations with Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches—a model which continued into the papacies of his successors. As we continue to prepare for Pentecost, let us pray for the intercession of Pope St. Paul VI in making difficult decisions that ultimately will help us grow closer to God and to our neighbor.
To learn more about the saints, visit our Catholic Feast Days Website by clicking here.
To view a calendar of the feast days in May, and each month, click here.