Saints of the Week

S. Bernard – 20th August


Bernard was born near Dijon in 1090 and was a French abbot and the primary builder of the reforming Cistercian monastic order – an order that he had entered at the age of 22.  He became the Abbot of Clairvaux and, although he longed for the solitary life, he travelled widely throughout France, Germany and Italy trying to reconcile the divisions of the Church of the time.  His writings include many works on the spiritual life and theology.  He died in August 1153 and was canonised in 1174.

S. Pius X, Pope – 21st August


He was born in 1835 at Riese in the province of Venice, the second of ten children, and became Patriach of Venice in 1893 and Pope in 1903 – the 257th Pope of the Catholic Church.  He reigned until 1914 and was the first Pope since Pius V to be canonised.  In his life he aimed to ‘restore all things in Christ’ and exhorted people to take part in the liturgy, and encouraged frequent communion.  Having suffered a heart attack in 1913, he lived in ill health thereafter and died in 1914.  He was canonised in 1954.

S. Rose of Lima – 23rd August


S. Rose was born in 1586 and was the first Catholic Saint of the Americas.  She gave her entire life to prayer and entered the Third Order of St. Dominic.  Her life was one of penance and contemplation, offering herself for the salvation of the Indian people.  She died, at the age of thirty one in 1617 and was canonised in 1671 by Pope Clement X.

S. Bartholomew – 24th August


Bartholomew was born in Galilee and was one of the twelve Apostles.  He is probably to be identified with Nathaniel, whom Philip called to follow Jesus.  According to tradition he preached the Gospel in India and was martyred there.

S Louis – 25th August


Louis was born in 1214 and became King of France in 1226, reigning until 1270.  He belonged to the Third Order of S. Francis and led a life governed by penance, prayer, and love and service to the poor.  He had eleven children and was regarded as a just and considerate ruler.  During his second crusade he died, probably from dysentry, at Tunis on August 25th 1270.  He was canonised in 1297 and is the only French monarch ever to be made a Saint.

S. Joseph Calasanz – 25th August


He was born in 1556 at the castle of Calasanz near Peralta de la Sal, Aragon, in what is now Spain. His parents, Don Pedro Calasanza and Donna Maria Gaston, gave him, the youngest of five children, a good education at home and then at the school of Peralta.  He was ordained when in his thirties and went to Rome in 1592.  Thereafter he gave his life to the education of young people and founded the first free school there.  Others joined him in his work , which was carried on by a religious congregation and spread throughout Italy and on to Germany.  Jealousy and intrigue made his life very difficult and his Institute was suppressed by the Pope in 1646.  After his death however, it was resurrected.  He was canonised in 1767     

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