Saints of the Day Saints and biographies from the Catholic calendar. This site is copyright © 2017 Universalis Publishing Limited. Universalis Publishing Ltd http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml http://universalis.com/static/bin/icon80.png 2017-10-18T06:47:37Z http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20171015.0 2017-10-14T19:00:00Z 2017-10-18T06:47:37Z In other years: St Teresa of Ávila (1515 - 1582)
Celebrated: 15 Oct (worldwide)
She was born in Ávila in Spain and entered the Carmelite convent there at the age of 20, not because of any great attraction to the religious life but because it seemed the most sensible thing to do. At this time Carmelite convents were comfortable places. One was well looked after, had as much contact with the outside world as one wanted, and could keep one’s own possessions. With time, and despite ill-health, she made great progress in contemplative prayer and had a number of mystical experiences, which she treated with great suspicion since she felt that she was not nearly holy enough to be accorded them by God.
Teresa’s prayer life led her to seek a more perfect life, and in 1562, in the face of much opposition, she founded a convent of Discalced Carmelite nuns in Ávila. “Discalced” (“shoeless”) signified their devotion to poverty. The rest of her life is a story of the establishment of more and more Discalced Carmelite convents in the face of intense opposition from the unreformed Carmelites but help coming from the highest levels at the same time. Thus in 1566 the General of the Carmelite Order approved Teresa’s original foundation and permitted her to make new ones. In 1575 the chapter of the Order decided to dissolve them all, and for the next five years every effort was made to destroy Teresa’s reforms and many of her followers (including St John of the Cross) were imprisoned and cruelly treated.
At length, in 1580, and with the support of King Philip II, the Discalced Carmelites were made independent and St Teresa was able to found more new convents. She died, worn out by her efforts, on 15 October 1582.
St Teresa is an outstanding example of how the contemplative life can well up and overflow into action. In addition to all this, she wrote much on the subject of contemplative prayer and her writings are still standard works today. She was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI in 1970.
A favourite story about St Teresa illustrates the intimate relationship that the saints have with God. When she was on one of her innumerable journeys across Spain, her horse threw her as she was crossing a river. Soaked to the skin she looked up to heaven and said, “If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few of them!” We should bring everything to God in our prayers, even our reproaches. For a reproach, in the end, is simply our way of offering up to God our incomprehension of what he is giving us.
See the articles in Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20171016.0 2017-10-15T19:00:00Z 2017-10-18T06:47:37Z Saint Hedwig (c.1174 - 1243)
Celebrated: 16 Oct (worldwide, Ireland, Poland, Wales)
20 Oct (Canada)

She was born in Bavaria and married the Duke of Silesia, by whom she had seven children. She lived a devout life, succouring the poor and the sick, for whom she built hostels. On the death of her husband in 1238 she entered the monastery of Trebnitz, where she died in 1243.
See also the article in Wikipedia.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20171016.1 2017-10-15T19:00:00Z 2017-10-18T06:47:37Z St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647 - 1690)
Celebrated: 16 Oct (worldwide, Ireland, Wales)
14 Oct (Poland)
20 Oct (Canada)

She joined the Visitation Sisters at Paray-le-Monial. She made rapid progress along the way of perfection and was given mystical visions as a result of which she worked hard to institute devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Church.
See the article in the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20171016.2 2017-10-15T19:00:00Z 2017-10-18T06:47:37Z Saint Marguerite d'Youville (1701 - 1771)
Celebrated: 16 Oct (Canada)
She was born at Varennes, near Montréal in Canada. She was married and had two children. In 1738, a widow, she formed a lay group dedicated to charity, with four other women, and took simple vows. This grew into the Order of Sisters of Charity of the Hôpital Général of Montréal, the “Grey Nuns.” She was the first native-born Canadian to be canonized.
See the biography on the Vatican web site.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20171016.3 2017-10-15T19:00:00Z 2017-10-18T06:47:37Z St Richard Gwyn (c.1537-1584)
Celebrated: 16 Oct (Wales)
Richard Gwyn (alias White) was born at Llanilloes, Montgomeryshire, about 1537; and was executed at Wrexham, Denbighshire, 15 October, 1584. He studied at St John’s College, Cambridge, until 1562, when he became a schoolmaster, first at Overton in Flintshire, then at Wrexham and other places, acquiring considerable reputation as a Welsh scholar. He had six children by his wife Catherine, three of whom survived him. For a time he conformed to the new religion, but was reconciled to the Catholic Church when priests first came back to Wales. Owing to his refusal to attend church (recusancy) he was arrested more than once, and in 1579 he was imprisoned in Ruthin gaol, where he was offered liberty if he would conform. In 1580 he was transferred to Wrexham, where he suffered much persecution, being forcibly carried to the Church of England service, and being frequently taken to court at different assizes to be continually questioned, but was never freed from prison; he was removed to the Council of the Marches, and later in the year suffered torture at Bewdley and Bridgenorth before being sent back to Wrexham. There he remained a prisoner till the Autumn Assizes, when he was brought to trial on 9 October, found guilty of treason and sentenced to be executed. Again his life was offered him on condition that he acknowledge the queen as supreme head of the Church. His wife and one of their children were brought to the courtroom and warned not to follow his example. She retorted that she would gladly die alongside her husband; she was sure, she said, that the judges could find enough evidence to convict her if they spent a little more money. She consoled and encouraged her husband to the last. He suffered on 15 October 1584. On the scaffold he stated that he recognised Elizabeth as his lawful queen but could not accept her as head of the Church in England. See also the article in Wikipedia.

DK

http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20171016.4 2017-10-15T19:00:00Z 2017-10-18T06:47:37Z Saint Gall (- 646/650)
Celebrated: 16 Oct (Ireland)
He was one of the twelve disciples who accompanied St Columbanus to Gaul, and established themselves with him at Luxeuil. Gall followed Columbanus on his voyage on the Rhine to Bregenz in 610, but he separated from him in 612, when Columbanus left for Italy. He remained in Swabia, where, with several companions, he led the life of a hermit, in a wilderness to the west of Bregenz, near the source of the river Steinach. After his death a church of St Gall was erected there, which by the middle of the eighth century had grown into the famous Abbey of St Gall.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20171017.0 2017-10-16T19:00:00Z 2017-10-18T06:47:37Z St Ignatius of Antioch (- 107)
Celebrated: 17 Oct (worldwide)
He was the second bishop of Antioch after St Peter (the first being Evodius). He was arrested (some writers believe that he must have been denounced by a fellow-Christian), condemned to death, and transported to Rome to be thrown to the wild beasts in the arena. In one of his letters he describes the soldiers who were escorting him as being like “ten leopards, who when they are kindly treated only behave worse.”
In the course of his journey he wrote seven letters to various churches, in which he dealt wisely and deeply with Christ, the organisation of the Church, and the Christian life. They are important documents for the early history of the Church, and they also reveal a deeply holy man who accepts his fate and begs the Christians in Rome not to try to deprive him of the crown of martyrdom.
He was martyred in 107 and his feast was already being celebrated on this day in fourth-century Antioch.
See the articles in Wikipedia and the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
http://universalis.com/atomabout.xml#20171018.0 2017-10-17T19:00:00Z 2017-10-18T06:47:37Z Saint Luke, Evangelist
Celebrated: 18 Oct (worldwide)
He was a Greek doctor who converted to Christianity. He was a companion of the Apostle Paul, and wrote his Gospel in accordance with Paul’s teaching. He also wrote the Acts of the Apostles, which narrates the early history of the Church up to Paul’s first stay in Rome. As a Greek, he takes care to explain to Gentile readers Jewish customs and the meaning of Hebrew words.