SAINT OF THE DAY

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St. Serapion of Thmuis | March 20

Serapion lived in Egypt in the fourth century. Those were exciting times for the Church and for St. Serapion. As a young man, he received an impressive education in Christian theology and secular subjects. For a while, he directed the famous Christian school that taught the faith in Alexandria. Then Serapion went out into the desert and became a monk. He met the famous hermit, St. Anthony of Egypt. Serapion tried very hard to learn from and imitate him. When he died, Anthony left Serapion one of his cloaks, which he treasured for the rest of his life. Serapion became bishop of Thmuis, a city in lower Egypt. He went to a very important meeting of bishops in Sardica in 347. Serapion proved to be a very brave bishop. He loved t

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St. Deogratias | March 21

The city ofCarthage was taken over by barbarian armies in 439. The conquerors were the Vandals. They arrested the bishop and priests and put them on a large, old wooden raft and set it adrift at sea. Incredible as it may seem, they reached the port of Naples and were rescued. But the city they left behind was without a bishop for fourteen years. Emperor Valentinian in Rome asked Genseric, the leader of the Vandals, to permit the ordination of another bishop for Carthage. Genseric agreed and a young priest of that city was chosen. He was respected by the conquerors and loved by the Christians. His name in Latin was "Deogratias," which, in English, means "thanks be to God." Bishop Deogratias labored for the faith and well-being of th

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St. Turibius of Mongrovejo | March 22

St. Turibius was born in 1538 in Leon, Spain. He became a university professor and then a famous judge. He was a fine Christian with a reputation for being honest and wise. An unusual thing happened to him that changed his whole life. He was asked to become the archbishop of Lima, Peru. First of all, he was not a priest. Second, Peru was in far away South America. This happened because Lima needed an archbishop. Many people in the Church realized that Turibius had the qualities for such a trusted position. He begged to be excused from the honor. But when he learned about the miserable condition of the native people of Peru, he could not refuse. He wanted to help them and to bring them the faith. He was ordained a priest and set out for Peru.

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Bl. Didacus Joseph, O.F.M. Cap. | March 23

Blessed Didacus Joseph was born on March 29, 1743, in Cadiz, Spain. He was baptized Joseph Francis. His parents loved their faith and practiced it. They were delighted when their child constructed an altar and decorated it. He would kneel and pray to Jesus, to Our Lady and to St. Joseph. When he was old enough, Joseph learned how to serve Mass at the Capuchin Franciscan church just down the street. Joseph learned to love the Mass. He used to get up early enough to be at the church each morning to wait for the doors to be unlocked. He never missed a day. One of the Capuchin priests or brothers gave Joseph a book about the lives of the Capuchin saints. He read it and read it again. Joseph learned every story. He grew to love the holy men who were poor an

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Annunciation of the Lord | March 24

The time arrived for Jesus to come down from heaven. God sent the Archangel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth where Mary lived. The glorious archangel entered Mary's little house and found her praying. "Hail Mary, full of grace!" said the angel. "The Lord is with you, and you are blessed among women." Mary was surprised to hear the angel's words of praise. "Do not be afraid, Mary," said Gabriel. Then he told her that she was to be the mother of Jesus, our Savior. Mary understood what a great honor God was giving her. Yet she said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord!" At that very moment, she became the Mother of God. And still she called herself his handmaid, his servant. Mary knew

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St. Ludger | March 25

St. Ludger was born in northern Europe in the eighth century. After he had studied hard for many years, he was ordained a priest. Ludger began to travel far and wide preaching the Good News. He was very happy to share all that he had learned about God with everyone who listened to him. Pagans were converted and Christians began to live much better lives. St. Ludger built many churches and monasteries. Then suddenly barbarians called Saxons attacked his land and drove the priests out. It seemed as though all St. Ludger's work would be lost. But he would not give up. He first found a safe place for his disciples. Then he went to Rome to ask the Holy Father what he should do. For over three years, Ludger lived in the Benedictine monastery as a good, holy

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St. John of Egypt | March 26

A man who desired to be alone with God was to become one of the most famous hermits of his time. St. John of Egypt was born around 304. Not much is known about his childhood except that he learned the carpenter's trade. When he was twenty-five, John decided to leave the world for good to spend his life in prayer and sacrifice for God. He was one of the famous desert hermits of that time. For ten years he was the disciple of an elderly, seasoned hermit. This holy man taught him the spiritual life. St. John called him his "spiritual father." After the older monk's death, St. John spent four or five years in various monasteries. He wanted to become familiar with the way monks pray and live. Finally, John found a cave high in the rocks. The area

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St. Tutilo | March 27

Tutilo lived in the late ninth and early tenth centuries. He was educated at the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Gall. Two of his classmates have been declared "blessed." All three gradually became monks in the monastery where they had gone to school. St. Tutilo was a person of many talents. He was a poet, a portrait painter, a sculptor, an orator and an architect. He was also a mechanic. His greatest talent was music. He could play all the instruments known to the monks for their liturgies. He and his friend, Blessed Notker, composed tunes for the liturgy responses. Only three poems and one hymn remain of all Tutilo's works. But his paintings and sculptures are still found today in several cities of Europe.

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St. Jonas and St. Barachisius | March 28

King Sapor ofPersia reigned in the fourth century. He hated Christians and persecuted them cruelly. He destroyed their churches and monasteries. Two brothers named Jonas and Barachisius heard of the persecutions. They learned that many Christians had been put to death. They decided to go to help them and to encourage them to remain faithful to Christ. Jonas and Barachisius knew that they, too, might be captured. But that did not stop them. Their hearts were too full of love of others to have room for a thought of themselves. At last the two brothers were taken prisoner. They were told that if they did not worship the sun, the moon, the fire and water, they would be tortured and put to death.

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St. John Climacus | March 29

It is believed that St. John was born in Palestine in the seventh century. He seems to have been a disciple of St. Gregory Nazianzen. He could have become a famous teacher, but he decided to serve God with his whole heart. He joined a monastery onMount Sinai when he was sixteen. Then he went to live for forty years by himself. He spent all his time praying and reading the lives of the saints. At first, St. John was tempted by the devil. He felt all kinds of bad passions trying to make him give in and sin. But he put all his trust in Jesus and prayed harder than ever. So the temptations never made him fall into sin. In fact, he only grew holier. He became so close to God that many heard of his holiness. They came to ask him for advice.

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