Tagged: Italian saints

St. Romuald, abbot and founder

Today is the optional memorial of Saint Romuald, abbot and founder of the Camaldolese Benedictines –one of the Italian branches of the Benedictines. He was born around 950 in Ravenna, Italy of a noble family and died on June 19, 1027 in Val-di-Castro, Italy. Horrified, after his father killed a relative in a duel, at which he was forced to be present, Romuald retired to...

St. Philip Neri: Patron Saint of Joy

May 26 is the feast of St. Philip Neri. He has a special place in my heart because he was on fire with love for the Lord and had a wonderful way of drawing others to the Faith — through his warm sense of humor and charismatic personality. He treated everyone with equal dignity and respect and dedicated himself to helping others, regardless of their...

Saint John I, Pope and Martyr

On May 18, the Church honors the first Pope St. John in its history.  Saint John I, a martyr, was  incarcerated and starved to death by a heretical Germanic king during the sixth century. Pope John was born in Tuscany. He served as an archdeacon for several years before being elected Pope on the death of Pope St. Hormisdas in 523. He was a friend...

St. Ignatius of Laconi: Man of Charity and Humility

  The saint of the day for May 11th is St. Ignatius of Laconi, a Capuchin Friar. Born on December 18, 1701 the second of seven children, to a poor Italian farming family, he received the name Francis Ignatius Vincent after St. Francis of Assisi, who had interceded for his safe delivery at birth. In turn, his mother promised the saint that she would name her...

St. Catherine of Siena, Dominican Doctor

April 29th is the feast of my Confirmation saint, St. Catherine of Siena, Caterina di Giacomo di Benicasa (1347 – 1380). As a mystic, activist, reformer, contemplative, and Doctor of the Church, she is one of the most prominent figures in Christian history. Catherine, the youngest of twenty-six children, was born in Siena on March 25, 1347. During her youth she had to contend with...

St. Gianna Beretta Molla: Doctor, Wife, and Mother

October 4, 1922 – April 28, 1962 If you must choose between me and the baby, no hesitation; Choose—and I demand it—the baby, Save him!” Gianna Beretta Molla was an Italian pediatrician, wife, and mother who refused to have either an abortion or hysterectomy when she was pregnant with her fourth child. Doctors had discovered in the second month of her pregnancy a fibroma tumor...

St. Zita of Lucca, patron saint of housekeepers

April 27 is the feast of St. Zita of Lucca (1212-72), the patron saint of housekeepers, domestic servants, and waitresses. She is also invoked to help find lost keys. She was born in Tuscany, Italy in the village of Monsagrati. Zita came from a poor, but deeply pious family. To help support the family, she became a maid of a wealthy family, Fatinelli, in the...

Saint Venturino, Dominican preacher and missionary crusader

On March 28, the Church commemorates Saint Venturino of Bergamo (1304 – 1346), a Dominican preacher and missionary crusader. Saint Venturino was born at Bergamo, and received the habit of the Order of Friars Preachers at the convent of Saint Stephen, Bergamo in 1319. He was a popular preacher and attracted large crowds of people in all the cities of northern Italy. In 1335, he...

St. Catherine de’ Ricci: Dominican Mystic

On February 13, we commemorate the great Dominican mystic and stigmatist, St. Catherine de’ Ricci (1522-1590), who was a Dominican nun, of the Third Order, enclosed in a convent at that time. She is the patron of sick people. Alessandrina Lucrezia Romola de’ Ricci was born in Florence, Italy on April 23, 1522 to a pious and well-respected family. Her mother died when she was an...

Saint John Bosco: Hero of Youth

On Jan. 31, we celebrate the feast of St. John Bosco or “Don Bosco,” a 19th century Italian priest who worked to improve the education, vocational opportunities, and faith of youth during the industrial revolution. Giovanni (John) Melchior Bosco was born in 1815 to a poor farm family in the hillside hamlet of Becchi in northern Italy. When he was born, his mother consecrated him...