Saint Romuald, whose aim was to restore the primitive rule to the Order of Saint Benedict, succeeded in founding some hundred monasteries in both Italy and France, and he filled the solitudes with hermitages. The principal monastery was that at Camaldoli, a wild, deserted region, where he built a church, surrounded by a number of separate cells for the solitaries who lived under his rule; his disciples were thus called Camaldolese. For five years the fervent founder was tormented by furious attacks by the demon. He repulsed him, saying, “O enemy! Driven out of heaven, you come to the desert? Depart, ugly serpent, already you have what is due you.” And the shamed adversary would leave him. Saint Romuald’s father, Sergius, was moved by the examples of his son, and entered religion near Ravenna; there he, too, was attacked by hell and thought of abandoning his design. Romuald went to visit him; he showed him the error of the devil’s ruses, and his father died in the monastery, in the odor of sanctity.
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.
The Feast of Corpus Christi, or the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (as it is often called today), goes back to the 13th century, but it celebrates something far older: the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion at the Last Supper. While Holy Thursday is also a celebration of this mystery, the solemn nature of Holy Week, and the focus on Christ's Passion on Good Friday, overshadows that aspect of Holy Thursday.
On December 9, 1531, St. Juan Diego rose before dawn to walk fifteen miles to daily Mass in what is now Mexico City. A woman's voice called him to the top of the hill. There he saw a beautiful young woman dressed like an Aztec princess. She then told Juan to climb to the top of the hill where they first met. Juan was shocked to find flowers growing in the frozen soil. He gathered them in his cloak and took them at once to the bishop.
Born in 1579 of humble parents at Pibrac, a village about ten miles from Toulouse; died in her native place in 1601. From her birth she seemed marked out for suffering; she came into the world with a deformed hand and the disease of scrofula, and, while yet an infant, lost her mother. Her father soon married again, but his second wife treated Germaine with much cruelty.
All Saint’s Day (or officially The Solemnity of All Saints) is instituted to honor all the saints, known and unknown, and, according to Urban IV, to supply any deficiencies in the faithful's celebration of saints' feasts during the year. In the early days the Christians were accustomed to solemnize the anniversary of a martyr's death for Christ at the place of martyrdom.