Six Franciscan friars accepted from St. Francis of Assisi an assignment to go to Morocco. They were to announce Christianity to the Muslims. Friars Berard, Peter, Adjutus, Accursio and Odo traveled by ship in 1219. Morocco is in the northwest corner of Africa and the journey was long and dangerous. The group arrived at Seville, Spain. They started preaching immediately, on streets and in public squares. People treated them as if they were crazy and had them arrested. To save themselves from being sent back home, the friars declared they wanted to see the sultan. So the governor of Seville sent them to Morocco.
St. Paul the Hermit was reportedly born in Egypt, where he was orphaned by age 15. During the persecution of Decius he fled in a cave in the desert. He went on to live in that cave for the next 90 years. Thought to have been about 112 when he died, Paul is known as the "First Hermit."
Saint Felix of Nola (3rd cen.) was a Syrian who had been a Roman soldier. After being imprisoned, an Angel freed him so he could assist the ailing Bishop St. Maximus. St. Felix hid St. Maximus from soldiers in a vacant building. When the two were safely inside, a spider quickly spun a web over the door, fooling the imperial forces into thinking it was long abandoned, and they left without finding the Christians.
Saint Hilary of Poiters, Doctor of the Church ( 315-368) was a leader in the Church in the fight against Arianism in the fourth century. He spent the later years of his life writing. He was also noted for composing many hymns. He was held in highest regard, even during his time, as a Latin writer of the highest rank. St. Augustine of Hippo already was referring to him as "the illustrious doctor of the churches."
St. Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620 - 1700) Marguerite established a school for Indian girls in Montreal. At the age of 69, she walked from Montreal to Quebec in response to the bishop’s request to establish a community of her sisters in that city. By the time she died, she was referred to as the “Mother of the Colony.” Marguerite was canonized in 1982.
Pope Saint Hyginus was bishop of Rome from about 138 to about 140. He was born in Athens, Greece at an unknown date. The Liber Pontificalis also relates that this pope organized the hierarchy and established the order of ecclesiastical precedence (Hic clerum composuit et distribuit gradus). Eusebius claims that Hyginus's pontificate lasted four years.
St. Gregory of Nyssa (b.335 - d. 394) The son of two saints, Basil and Emmilia, young Gregory was raised by his older brother, St. Basil the Great, and his sister, Macrina, in modern-day Turkey. Indeed, St. Gregory of Nyssa is seen not simply as a pillar of orthodoxy but as one of the great contributors to the mystical tradition in Christian spirituality and to monasticism itself.
"Christ is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light. Christ is baptized; let us also go down with him, and rise with him. Jesus rises from the waters; the world rises with him. The heavens like Paradise with its flaming sword, closed by Adam for himself and his descendants, are rent open. The Spirit comes to him as to an equal, bearing witness to his Godhead.
St. Raymond of Penafort, Patron Saint of Canonists (c.1180-1275). Born in Spain, St. Raymond was a relative of the King of Aragon. From childhood he had a tender love and devotion to the Blessed Mother. He finished his studies at an early age, and became a famous teacher. He then gave up all his honors and entered the Order of the Dominicans.