St. Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. Since he was caught marrying Christian couples and aiding any Christians who were being persecuted under Emperor Claudius in Rome [when helping them was considered a crime], Valentinus was arrested and imprisoned. When he refused to renounce his faith he was beaten with clubs, and afterwards, beheaded on February 14, about the year 270.
Pope St. Simplicius reigned when the last of the western Roman Emperors fell in 476 a.d.. He defended the action of the Council of Chalcedon against the Eutychian heresy, labored to help the people of Italy against the marauding raids of barbarian invaders. He worked to maintain the authority of Rome in the West.
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Saint Edith Stein) (1891-1942), was a German Catholic philosopher and nun. Born into an observant Jewish family, she became an atheist by her teenage years, but converted to Christianity in 1922. In 1942 she was arrested and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where she died in the gas chamber. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1998. She is one of the six patron saints of Europe.
All three Synoptic Gospels tell the story of the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-9; Luke 9:28-36). With remarkable agreement, all three place the event shortly after Peter’s confession of faith that Jesus is the Messiah and Jesus’ first prediction of his passion and death. Peter’s eagerness to erect tents or booths on the spot suggests it occurred during the Jewish weeklong, fall Feast of Booths.
Pope St. Hormisdas (r.514-523) was born at Frosinone in the Roman Campagna. Married before ordination, he had a son, Silverius, who also became pope. As a deacon, Hormisdas had staunchly backed St. Symmachus in his trouble with the antipope Lawrence and the pro-Byzantine faction. Elected with difficulty, St. Hormisdas began his career of peace with victory by receiving back into the Church the last die-hards of the Laurentian schism.
In Nazareth there lived a rich and pious couple, Joachim and Anne. They were childless. When on a feast day Joachim presented himself to offer sacrifice in the temple, he was repulsed by a certain Ruben, under the pretext that men without offspring were unworthy to be admitted. Whereupon Joachim, bowed down with grief, did not return home, but went into the mountains to make his plaint to God in solitude.
The most important church in the city of Rome dedicated to Our Lady is the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, erected around the year 352, during the reign of Pope Liberius. (352-366) According to legend, a member of an aristocratic family, John and his wife were childless and prayed that the Blessed Mother might designate an heir to bequeath their wealth. They were favored with a dream in which Our Lady appeared to them on the night of August 4-5. She requested that they build a church in her honor on the Esquiline hill and the sign to accompany this dream is that the exact location would be marked out in snow.
He was one of the seventy-two disciples of our Lord, and was put in competition with St. Matthias to succeed the traitor Judas in the apostleship. St. Chrysostom remarks that St. Joseph was not displeased, but rejoiced in the Lord to see the preference given to St. Matthias. After the dispersion of the disciples he preached the gospel to many nations; and among other miracles, drank poison without receiving any hurt, as Papias, and from him Eusebius, testify. This saint, from his extraordinary piety, was surnamed the Just.