Saints of the Week

Our Lady of Lourdes – 11th February

 

The appearance of the Immaculate Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 near Lourdes in France was a call to penance and prayer.  The pilgrimage site is visited by millions of Catholics each year.

S. Cyril - 14th February

 

Cyril was the brother of S. Methodius and was born in Salonika about 825.  He is best known today for his work in Christianising the Slavs and, with his brother Saint Methodius, is credited with devising the Glagolithic and rarely also with devising the Cyrillic alphabet.  Cyril fell ill late in 868, retired to a monastery and after fifty days of illness died on February 14, 869. The Translatio asserts that he was made a bishop before his death, but there is little credible evidence for this.  Cyril was canonized as a saint by the eastern Church, with the Roman Catholic Church canonizing him separately in 1880 along with Methodius. The two brothers are known as the "Apostles of the Slavs" and are still highly regarded by Catholics and Orthodox Christians.

S. Methodius - 14th February

 

The brother of S. Cyril, Methodius was a Byzantine Greek scholar, archbishop of Great Moravia, and the main translator of the Bible into Old Church Slavonic using the Glagolitic alphabet created by his brother.  Early in his life Methodius was the abbot of the Greek monastery of Polychron in Constantinople, and later as a bishop, spent many years preaching the gospel in Hungary, despite resistance and hostility.  He died in 885 in Czechoslovakia.  He and his brother are Patron Saints of Europe.

S. Valentine - 14th February

 

Little is known of S. Valentine except that he was buried at the Via Flaminia north of Rome on February 14th. 

The Seven Holy Founders of the Order of Servites – 17th February

 

These were seven laymen of the city of Florence - Buonfiglio dei Monaldi (Bonfilius), Giovanni di Buonagiunta (Bonajuncta), Bartolomeo degli Amidei (Amideus), Ricovero dei Lippi-Ugguccioni (Hugh), Benedetto dell' Antella (Manettus), Gherardino di Sostegno (Sosteneus), and Alessio de' Falconieri (Alexius). They belonged to seven patrician families of that city, and had early formed a confraternity of laymen, known as the Laudesi, or Praisers of Mary. While engaged in the exercises of the confraternity on the feast of the Assumption, 1233, the Blessed Virgin appeared to them, advised them to withdraw from the world and devote themselves entirely to eternal things.  They subsequently renounced the world and lived as hermits on Monte Senario about twelve miles from Florence.  They had a particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and spent themselves in the care of others and in preaching throughout Tuscany.  The Order of Servites was founded from those who came to follow them.

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