Week at a glance
calendar of saints
Wednesday January 20th ~ Saint Fabian
Thursday January 21st ~ Saint Agnes
Friday January 22nd ~ Saint Vincent
Saturday January 23rd ~
St. Stephen's Catholic Parish - Olds, Alberta
Sunday January 24th ~ 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Saint Francis de Sales
Monday January 25th ~ Conversion of Saint Paul
Tuesday January 26th ~ Saints Timothy & Titus
Wednesday January 27th ~ Saint Angela Merici
Thursday January 28th ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas
Friday January 29th ~
Saturday January 30th ~
St. Stephen's Catholic Parish - Olds, Alberta
Sunday January 31st ~ 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Saint John Bosco
The monthly prayer intention of pope francis
Prayer Intention for Evangelization:
May the Lord give us the grace to live in full fellowship with our brothers and sisters of other religions, praying for one another, open to all.
From Living with Christ
January 20 ~ Saint Fabian
Fabian succeeded Saint Anterus as pope in 236. The historian Eusebius describes Fabian's election as pope: Fabian was a layman and a stranger in Rome at the time of the election. When a dove settled upon his head, those around him were reminded of the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his baptism. The event was seen as divine intervention. Fabian was chosen pope and reigned for 14 years. He was martyred during a persecution in 250. Saint Cyprian records that Fabian was an "incomparable man." His tombstone can still be seen in the catacomb of Saint Callixtus in Rome.
January 20 ~ Saint Sebastian
We know only that Sebastian was martyred in Rome, probably in the 3rd century, and buried along the Appian Way, in the catacombs. Saint Ambrose writes that Sebastian came from Milan, where he has been venerated since the 4th century. The Acts of Saint Sebastian was written in the 5th century and is, for the most part, fictitious. Not until the late mediaeval period was Sebastian pictured pierced with arrows or holding an arrow. In May 2010 Benedict XVI entrusted newly sworn-in Swiss Guards to the intersession of the Virgin Mary and to their patron saints. Sebastian is a patron saint of the pope's Swiss Guard. He is also the patron saint of athletes and soldiers.
January 22 ~ Saint Vincent
The first Spanish martyr, Vincent was a deacon in Saragossa, Spain, in the 3rd century. Deacons were responsible for the local church's works of charity and mercy - most often the only form of organized relief - and preaching was often part of this work. Vincent excelled in his duties and became known to the hostile Roman authorities. He was arrested with his bishop, tortured, imprisoned and killed in 304. He is a patron of wine producers, sailors and brickmakers.
January 24 ~ Saint Francis de Sales
A leader of the Catholic Reformation, Francis was born in France in 1567. His family insisted he study law rather than enter the seminary. After obtaining doctorates in both canon and civil law by the age of 24, Francis chose religious life instead. His family eventually became reconciled to his choice and he was ordained in 1593. Appointed bishop of Geneva in 1602, Francis reorganized the diocese, reformed religious education, established a seminary and founded schools. He lived a life of austerity and simplicity, sharing with the poor. Wise and intelligent, he emphasized both the loving kindness of God and the human capacity for love. Francis was beatified the year he died, 1622 - the first formal beatification to take place in St Peter's - and canonized in 1665. He is the patron saint of writers and journalists, and of the deaf.
January 25 ~ Conversion of Saint Paul
The conversion of Paul was a turning point in the history of the early Church. Saul, as Paul was first known, was a tentmaker from Tarsus who zealously persecuted the followers of Christ. While travelling on the road to Damascus, he was struck down amidst a blinding light from heaven. According to the accounts in Acts of the Apostles (9.1-22; 22.3-16; 26.12-18), a voice asked, "Saul, Saul, why to you persecute me?" Following the instructions he was given, Saul headed into Damascus and began proclaiming Jesus. Threatened with death for his actions, Paul escaped the city by being lowered in a basket over the city wall. Paul's zeal for the risen Jesus led him to become a passionate follower and later a teacher of the nations. The letters, or epistles, of Paul offer us a window into the early Church.
January 26 ~ Saint Timothy & Saint Titus
These two men were disciples of Saint Paul, and Paul's letters to them are found in the New Testament. Timothy was a close friend of Paul, working with Paul in his ministry, including serving time in prison alongside his mentor. Eventually, Timothy was consecrated as the bishop of Ephesus. He was stoned to death in 67 AD for denouncing pagan worship. Paul named Titus bishop of Crete. He is said to have delighted in the innate goodness of others, and drew people to him for his kindness. Titus is said to have died of old age. Timothy is the patron saint of stomach and intestinal disorders, while Titus is the patron saint of Crete.
January 27 ~ Saint Angela Merici
Angela Merici is recognized as the founder of the Ursulines. Born in 1474 near Brescia, Italy, she and her sister were orphaned as teens. When Angela's sister Giana Maria, died suddenly, Angela became a Franciscan tertiary, praying fervently for the repose of her sister's soul. When Angela became aware of the need for education for girls, she and several friends began to teach girls in their homes in the hope of improving social conditions. Angela inspired others in the work of education. Together they formed a religious association. Most of the consecrated women continued to live with their families, with no solemn vows, habit, enclosure or community life, although they did meet for instruction and worship. Angela died in 1540. In 1544, the Company of Saint Ursula was officially recognized by Pope Paul III. She is a patron saint of those who have lost parents, who are sick, and who are physically challenged.
January 28 ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas
Saint Thomas Aquinas had one of the greatest minds in the history of the Church. He was born near Aquino, Italy, about 1225. From an early age he posed questions of great theological depth; his family sent him at the age of five to be educated by the Benedictines in Monte Cassino. While his family was pious, they did not approve when 19-year-old Thomas joined the newly formed Dominicans, going so far as to imprison Thomas in the family castle. Once released, he studied in Italy and Germany, where, ironically, some of his classmates named this great thinker "the dumb ox, " a name which prompted his teacher, Albert the Great, to proclaim: "We call him the dumb ox, but in his teaching he will one day produce such a bellowing that it will be heard throughout the world." With Albert, he developed the theological Scholastic method, which dominated Catholic teaching for centuries. A prodigious writer, his most famous work is the Summa Theologica, one of the greatest examples of the theological thought ever composed. Many of his hymn texts, such as Pange lingua, Tantum ergo and Adore te devote, are still used today. A man of towering intellect, Thomas was also a humble mystic. He died in 1274, was canonized in 1323, and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1567. In 1880, he was proclaimed a patron saint of universities and schools.
January 31 ~ Saint John Bosco
Known to many as Don Bosco, this patron saint of youth was born in Piedmont, Italy, in 1815. Raised in poverty, John was ordained in Turin in 1841. After witnessing the circumstances of boys living in a local prison, he resolved to devote himself to working among disadvantaged boys - children living on the street, juvenile delinquents, and any child who was suffering because of disadvantage. He formed the Salesian Society, named after Francis de Sales, and began educating boys of the poor and working classes, holding evening classes in factories, in fields or wherever there was a need. John believed in equipping boys for life in the world and trade schools soon formed a large part of Salesian training. A progressive thinker, he abhorred all punishment, believing that by removing youth from temptation, treating them with dignity and kindness, and enriching them with skills, they could be led to more productive lives. His rule was, "Not with blows, but with charity and gentleness must you draw these friends to the path of virtue." With the help of Saint Mary Mazzarello, he also established the Salesian Sisters to do similar work among girls. John Bosco died in 1888 and was canonized in 1934.