As we start 2022, the lives of the saints can be an inspiration for us in our faith journey this year. Today we celebrate St. André Bessette and tomorrow we celebrate St. Raymond of Penyafort. While they lived two very different lives, they help show us that there is a unique path to holiness for each of us. On January 17th we will celebrate St. Anthony who is known as the founder of modern-day monasticism in the 4th century. Then, at the end of the month we will celebrate St. Marianne Cope and St. Angela Merici, both female religious whose lives we can look to this new year.
Saints We Celebrate Today and Tomorrow
Today, January 6th, we celebrate the feast of St. André Bessette. Brother André was a brother in the Congregation of the Holy Cross in the 19th and 20th century in Canada. He had a great devotion to St. Joseph which led him to recommend devotion to St. Joseph to those who were sick. This led to Brother André’s reputation as a miracle worker. Even as his reputation grew, he remained devoted to St. Joseph and made sure he was the center of his ministry. Tomorrow we will celebrate the feast of St. Raymond of Penyafort. St. Raymond is known for his work compiling canon laws and he is known as the patron saint of canon lawyers. Both of these saints came to know Christ in radically different ways and had very different life paths, but they both lived their lives for Christ. I find their feast days back-to-back particularly inspirational that Christ has a unique path to holiness for each of us.
St. Anthony the Great
St. Anthony the Great lived in Egypt in the 3rd and 4th centuries and is known as the father of monasticism. Last year, I had to read the Life of Anthony written by St. Athanasius. It is the source for most of what we know about St. Anthony and helped spread St. Anthony’s life to other monks. Even though I had to read it for class, I found my own faith being strengthen by this ancient text. What particularly stood out to me in the text was that even though St. Anthony wanted to be a monk and removed from earthly distractions, he recognized where God was calling him and followed His will. Many of the stories for the Life of Anthony have helped me grow in my own faith and realize that even when I sometimes want to be far removed from a situation, we ultimately need to listen for God’s will for us. I encourage you to prayerfully read through the Life of Anthony this new year.
Inspirational Female Religious
On January 23rd we will celebrate the feast of St. Marianne Cope. She is known for working with St. Damien in the leper colony at Molokai. Even though working with leprosy suffers could be dangerous, St. Marianne Cope led her religious community to helping the king of Hawaii with Molokai. She took on the challenge and devoted her life to caring for leprosy sufferers, recognizing that they were not defined by their illness. Her courage and dedication can be an inspiration to us this new year.
Then, on January 27th we will celebrate St. Angela Merici. She founded the Company of St. Ursula which became a religious community that was focused on the education of young girls. Like St. Marianne Cope many centuries after her, St. Angela Merici had the courage and dedication to found this community and focus on girls’ education even at a time when this was not very common. Let us pray for the intercession of both of these saints for the same courage and dedication they showed throughout their lives.
In the beginning of this new year, let us pray for the intercession of these and all the saints to help us grow in our relationship with God and to follow His will.
To learn more about the saints, visit our Catholic Feast Days Website by clicking here.
To view a calendar of the feast days in January, and each month, click here.