Saint Dominic Savio, the patron of choirboys, was born into a peasant family at Riva, Italy, young Dominic joined St. John Bosco as a student at the Oratory in Turin at the age of 12. As a youth, Dominic spent hours rapt in prayer. His raptures he called "my distractions." Even in play, he said that at times "It seems heaven is opening just above me. I am afraid I may say or do something that will make the other boys laugh." Dominic would say, "I can't do big things. But I want all I do, even the smallest thing, to be for the greater glory of God."
Saint Frances of Rome found fame for her acts of charity and she attracted other women who shared her ideals of self-denial and good works. On August 15, 1425 she founded the Benedictine Oblates of Monte Oliveto. At this time Frances shared her time between family and "community." In 1433 Pope Eugenius IV approved the community's Constitution and in 1436, finding herself widowed, Frances officially entered her own community.
Saint John of God (1495-1550) was the founder of The Brothers Hospitallers. This order has been officially entrusted with the medical care of the Popes. He is the patron saint of hospitals, the sick, nurses, firefighters, alcoholics, and booksellers.
The account of the martyrdom of Saints Perpetua and Felicity forms one of the finest pages of the history of the first centuries of the Church. They were exposed to the fury of wild beasts in the amphitheatre at Carthage, A.D. 203, and finally killed by the sword. Their names are still mentioned together in the Roman Canon of the Mass.
Saint John Joseph of the Cross (1654-1734) exemplified the most sublime virtues, especially humility and religious discipline. He also possessed numerous gifts in the supernatural order, such as those of prophesy and miracles.
Saint Casimir was a prince of Poland and born in the royal palace at Cracow, 3 October 1458. St. Casimir was possessed of great charms of person and character, and was noted particularly for his justice and chastity. Often at night he would kneel for hours before the locked doors of churches, regardless of the hour or the inclemency of the weather. He had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and the hymn of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, "Omni die dic Marix mea laudes anima", was long attributed to him.
Saint Katharine Drexel was born in Philadelphia in 1858 to a very rich family. Giving up her worldly wealth she helped create a system of black Catholic schools in 13 states and established 50 missions for Native Americans in 16 states. Her crowning achievement was the founding of Xavier University in New Orleans, the first Catholic university in the United States for African Americans.
Pope Saint 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 David is the patron saint of Wales and perhaps the most famous of British saints. Unfortunately, we have little reliable information about him.
Pope St. Hilarius (d. 468) had been a trusted aide to Pope Saint Leo the Great. Papal legate. As pope, Hilarius confirmed the work of several general councils, rebuilt and remodeled many churches, fought Nestorianism, and held several Councils at Rome.