St Cyprian (200 ca – 258) was born in North Africa, possibly Cartage. He received a good education in classics and became a legal advocate.

Image of St Cyprian

In his late mid-age, he converted to Christianity, was ordained a Deacon and then Presbyter. In 249 he was appointed Bishop of Carthage.

During the Decian persecution of Christians, St Cyprian at first went into hiding but soon returned to his community and successfully reconciled divergent Church factions. When a new phase of persecution against Christians began in 256, St Cyprian was initially, exiled but then imprisoned for refusing to renounce his faith and offer sacrifice to Roman gods.

On 14th September 258, St Cyprian was then tried and sentenced to death. He was taken to an open place outside Carthage, followed by a large crowd of his faithful, and beheaded.

St Cyprian:

Pray that we will forever hold firmly to our faith and be a help to our family and friends in times of challenge.

Glory be to the…


St Wenceslaus (905 ca – 935) was born the son of the Duke of Bohemia in Prague, Czech Republic. His father was Christian and his mother a pagan although, she was baptised a Christian just before their marriage. Sadly, his father died when he was 13 and his grandmother, who cared for him, was killed by his mother as a result of family infighting for power.

Image of St Wenceslaus

In his youth, St Wenceslaus was very pious. At 18, he was appointed Duke, but great political turmoil followed, leading to multiple factions and fighting. Despite the problems, he was a “Gifted ruler and a genuine friend of the Church.” His life is part celebrated in the Christmas Carol, Good King Wenceslaus.

In 935, St Wenceslaus was invited to attend celebrations for the feast of Saints Cosmos and Damien; it was a devious plot. On his way to the Church, he was killed during a confrontation with his ruling brother and three of his companions. He was immediately deemed to be a martyr.

St Wenceslaus is the Patron Saint of Bohemia and parts of the Czech Republic.

St Wenceslaus:

Pray for us that we will perform our daily leadership duties fairly and with enthusiasm.

Glory be to the…

Giovanni Leonardi

Image of St John Leonardi

St Giovanni (John Leonardi) (1541 – 1609) was born at Lucca, Italy. Following his ordination to the Priesthood, he dedicated his work to the Christian formation of young people.

St Giovanni founded a community to help deepen Christian faith. Their prayer life included special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Forty Hours and the Holy Eucharist.

St Giovanni gained early recognition for his work and was invited to widen his efforts with the additional support of other appointees in Rome.

St Giovanni died, aged 68, greatly troubled by the many thousands suffering and dying from the then terrible influenza epidemic.

St Giovanni Leonardi:

Pray for us that we will joyfully give of our time to the old and sick within our home and community.

Glory be to the…

Margaret Mary Alacoque

St Margaret Mary (1647 – 1690) was born the only daughter in a large family at L’Hautecour, France. She made her First Communion at nine years. Soon after she was confined to bed, due to severe rheumatic fever.

Image of St Margaret Mary Alacoque

At 14, St Margaret made a vow to dedicate her life to the Blessed Virgin Mary and almost immediately, the rheumatic fever left her.

At 17, her mother encouraged her to enter social life with the view to finding herself a husband. Out of obedience to her mother she did but, when she returned home from one social event, she had a vision of Jesus scourged and bloodied from his Passion.

St Margaret Mary, having reflected on her past promise, entered the Visitation Convent and became a nun. Her visions continued but, few believed her, so she was subjected to many rebukes and trials.

St Margaret Mary’s visions were eventually officially recognised by the Church and her devotion to the Sacred Heart became widespread. When her burial place was opened, many years after her death, her body was found to be incorrupt and numerous miracles were immediately reported.

St Margaret Mary is the Patron Saint of Polio sufferers.

St Margaret Mary Alacoque:

Pray for us that follow what our heart tells us.

Glory be to the…

Gertrude the Great

St Gertrude (1256 – 1302) was born in Eisleben, Germany. She was sent to a monastery at the age of four, possibly because she was orphaned or her parents offered her as a child oblate to the Church.

Image of St Gertrude holding a golden chalice.

St Gertrude received a good education, as demonstrated by her fluency in Latin, and she became a Nun with the Order of her Monastery.

At the age of 26yrs, St Gertrude experienced her first of many visions, which continued throughout her life. She was one of the great mystics of her time; seeing and describing herself as a bride of Christ. She devoted much of her prayer life to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Only a few of her many writings have survived over the years.

St Gertrude is Patroness of the West Indies.

St Gertrude the Great:

Pray for us that we will also, one day, be joined with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Glory be to the…

Finnian of Clonard

St Finnian (470 – 549) was an early Irish monastic Saint. He was born into a noble family in Myshall, Co Carlow, Ireland.

Statue of St Finnian of Clonard

Following his early studies, St Finnian travelled to Britain and then France where he stayed at the renowned, St Martin de Tours Monastery. From there he went to Wales and spent 30 more years continuing his studies while living a simple monastic life of austerity and prayer.

In mid-life, St Finnian returned to his native Ireland and established many churches and monasteries, perhaps the most noted being Clonard Abbey in County Meath. He became renowned for his teaching and holiness, attracting laymen, clerics, abbots and bishops from across Europe. It is said, that at one time he was teaching no fewer than 3000 students, many of them later travelling the world to set up new churches and monasteries.

St Finnian died from the plague and is buried at Clonard in County Meath.

St Finnian of Clonard:

Pray for us that we will fervently teach the Gospel of Jesus to our family and community.

Glory be to the…

Jacopone da Todi

Jacopo die Benedetti (1230 Approx. – 1306) was born into a noble family in Todi, Italy. He was a bright student; studying law at Bologna and becoming a successful lawyer. He married a pious noblewoman when he was in his 20’s. In contrast to his wife, he was said to be a “worldly and greedy man.” Unknown to him, his wife wore a painful hair-shirt in atonement for his sins. However, while attending a public tournament, the stand in which she was sitting gave way and she was killed.

Statue of Jacopone da Todi

Blessed Jacopo, shocked when he discovered that she wore the hair-shirt, gave up his job, distributed his possessions among the poor and joined the Order of St Francis.

Blessed Jacopo endearingly became known as Jacopone (Crazy Man) because of his sometimes theatrical public behaviour. He challenged the Church, believing that parts were corrupt and uninterested in the poor. He composed many beautiful poems and several Laude (songs of praise to the Lord). He was one of the first people to dramatise the Gospel. He is considered Blessed among the Franciscans.

Blessed Jacopo is highly regarded within the Franciscan Order. The day of his death was the 25th December.

Bl. Jacopone da Todi:

Pray for us that we will remember and lovingly help those who care for us each and every day of our life.

Glory be to the…


St Monica (331 – 387) was born in Tagaste, Algeria. She was the mother of St Augustine of Hippo. (354 – 430)

Statue of St Monica holding a book

St Monica’s husband was a “pagan” who, it is said, had a violent temper and multiple wayward habits! Her good deeds towards the Church, helping the poor and needy, annoyed him greatly.

St Monica bore two sons and a daughter. Her husband prevented her from having them baptised so, when her son, Augustine, became seriously ill, she was distraught at the thought of his pending death and non-baptism. Finally, her husband agreed to Augustine’s baptism but as the child’s illness subsided, he withdrew his concent.

As her son Augustine grew older, his wayward life trouble St Monica greatly, bringing her much anguish and endless pain. Her answer was undying prayer and unswerving trust in Jesus Christ.

St Augustine finally recognised his tyranical ways, describing his youth and early years as mispent. Aged around 32, he converted to Christianity and in 391 was ordained a Priest in Hippo Regius, Algeria.

On the orders of Pope Martin V, in 1430, St Monica’s relics were transferred to a side chapel inside the Bascilica of St Augustine, her son, in Rome.

St Monica’s patronages include, saint of difficult marriages and disappointing children! Her Feast Day is the 27th August.

St Monica:

Pray that our children will live in a home where honour and respect permeate their daily life.

Glory be to…

See Also:

Prayers to St Monica

Novena to St Monica

Brief Account of St Augustine’s Life

Egwin Of Evesham

St Egwin was born into a noble family, a descendant of Mercian Kings, in Worcester, England. He died in 717.

Stain Glass Window image of St Egwin of Evesham

St Egwin became a Benedictine Monk and was greatly respected by all from royalty to Bishops and the local people. However, he was disliked by his own clergy because of his crackdown on abuses and imposition of rigorous disciplines. St Egwin defended his actions during a pilgrimage to Rome and, having been vindicated, was appointed Bishop of Worcester.

St Egwin founded the Abbey of Evesham which is a major shrine in his remembrance. Many miracles were attributed to St Egwin during both his life and thereafter.

St Egwin’s Feast Day is the 30th of December.

St Egwin of Evesham:

Pray for us that our daily actions will respect the teachings of our faith and that we will persevere in those actions until our death.

Glory be to the…

St James the Great

St James, the son of Zebedee (Died 44AD), was one of the Twelve Apostles. St John the Apostle was his brother. His father was a fisherman on the Lake of Galilee.

St James the Apostle (The Great)

Jesus called both James and John to come and join him while they were with their father by the lake.

Following Jesus’ Ascension to heaven, like the other Apostles, St James preached his Gospel News, baptised and converted.

St James travelled to Iberia and while in Caesaraugusta, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him. He then returned to Judea where he was arrested by King Herod and beheaded; the first Apostle to be martyred.

St James’ Feast Day is the 25th July. He is the Patron Saint of many countries or parts of countries including Spain, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the Philippines.

St James the Apostle:

Pray for us that we will place our trust in God’s guidance and love.

Glory be to the…