Solemnity Of The Annunciation of The Lord. The central focus of this Solemnity is the Incarnation: God has become one of us. From all eternity God had decided that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity should become human.
Saint Irenaeus of Sirmium (died 304 AD) was bishop of Sirmium in Pannonia, which is now Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia. He was bishop during the reign of Diocletian. He refused to offer pagan sacrifices, even at the behest of his family. He was condemned, and then beheaded on 24 March 304.
Saint Toribio Alfonso de Mongrovejo (1538-1606) Bishop and defender of the rights of the native Indians in Peru. He founded schools, churches, hospitals, and the first seminary in the New World. To assist his pastoral work among the Indians, he also mastered several Indian dialects. He was canonized in 1726.
Saint Nicholas Owens (c.1550-1606), was familiarly known as "Little John". During the English penal times (1559-1829), when a series of statutes punished Catholics for the practice of their faith he used his skills to build secret hiding places for priests throughout the country. He was arrested in 1606, subjected to horrible tortures, suffering an agonizing death. He was canonized in 1970.
Saint Nicholas of Flüe was a Swiss hermit and ascetic who is the patron saint of Switzerland. He is sometimes invoked as "Brother Klaus."
Saint Cuthbert (634 -687) was an Anglo-Saxon monk, bishop and hermit associated with the monasteries of Melrose and Lindisfarne in the Kingdom of Northumbria. Hee became one of the most important medieval saints of England. St. Cuthbert is regarded as the patron saint of northern England. His feast day is 20 March.
Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mary, Foster-Father of Our Lord, Patron of the Universal Church and Fathers.
Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386) Bishop of Jerusalem and Doctor of the Church. Defender of Orthodoxy against the Arians.
Saint Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britian in charge of the colonies. As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.
Saint Abraham (296-366) was born to a wealthy family near Edessa, Syria. He was forced into an arranged marriage at an early age but had no desire to marry. During the wedding festivities, Abraham fled. He walled himself up in a nearby building, leaving a small hole through which his family could send in food and water, and by which he could explain his desire for a religious life. His family relented, the marriage was called off, and he spent the next ten years in his cell.