On the Center’s Feast Day Website, March is the month with the least number of feast days, 11 in total. But, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t a range of saints and life experiences represented this month. Two of the saints in March are perhaps some of the most well-known saints: St. Patrick and St. Joseph. Also this month, we will celebrate a famous American saint, St. Katharine Drexel, an influential Peruvian, St. Turibius of Mogrovejo, and one of my favorite saints, the Salvadoran St. Oscar Romero.
St. Katharine Drexel
St. Katharine Drexel was born in 1858 in Philadelphia. She was born into a wealthy family and inherited a large sum of money after her father died. Katharine and her sisters wanted to help Native Americans and African Americans with the money they inherited. In a private meeting with the pope, he recommended that Katharine become a sister to carry out the work she wanted to do. Doing this, however, would require Katharine to leave the affluent social circles of Philadelphia. She decided that she was being called to religious life and founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. To this day, the Sisters founded by Katharine continue to work for the education of Native Americans and African Americans across the United States. I find St. Katharine Drexel’s life particularly admirable because of the courage it must have taken to step into the unknown of founding a religious community even though she had such security in the wealth of her inheritance.
St. Turibius of Mogrovejo
The feast of St. Turibius of Mogrovejo is celebrated on the day of his death, March 23rd. He became archbishop of Lima, Peru in 1580, moving from his native Spain to Peru to be the archbishop. While he was archbishop, he focused on evangelization throughout his diocese. This included many, many baptisms, including baptizing eventual saints Rose of Lima and Martin de Porres. Turibius also focused on incorporating the indigenous languages into the work of the priests throughout the diocese. Personally, I think St. Turibius’ wisdom and understanding carries many lessons for us today. His ability to go into an unknown place and work with the local community can be a model for our efforts in the New Evangelization. Let us not forget the local community and culture of where we might minister, but collaborate with the culture and community.
St. Oscar Romero
One of my favorite saints is St. Oscar Romero. I did not know much about the life of St. Oscar Romero until I visited El Salvador in 2019. While I was in El Salvador, I got to visit his tomb as well as the chapel where he was celebrating Mass when he was killed. Romero was named the archbishop of San Salvador in 1977 because he was considered a safe, non-divisive choice in the country that had extreme political unrest. However, Romero saw the extreme suffering of the people of El Salvador and devoted himself as archbishop to speak out against the injustices faced by Salvadorans. He knew that doing this put his own life in extreme danger, but he was willing to do so to help Salvadorans. In 1980, after only 3 years as archbishop, Romero was shot and killed while celebrating Mass. Today, Romero is one of the most well-known and respected Salvadorans. Whether you know a lot or nothing at all about St. Oscar Romero, I encourage you to read more about his life, especially the homilies and speeches he gave to all of the people of El Salvador.
This March, let us learn more about the lives of St. Katharine Drexel, St. Turibius of Mogrovejo, and St. Oscar Romero and ask for their intercession in our lives and in the life of the Church.
To learn more about the saints, visit our Catholic Feast Days Website by clicking here.
To view a calendar of the feast days in March, and each month, click here.