On the calendar this week, we celebrate the feasts of St. Paul Miki and Companions (February 6), St Jerome Emiliani and St. Josephine Â Bakhita (February 8), St. Scholastica (February 10) and Our Lady of Lourdes (February 11).
- St. Paul Miki and his Companions lived in 16th Century Japan. They were martyred by being hung on crosses and shot with arrows. You can read more about themÂ here.
- Ideas to celebrate the feast day: Pray for the persecuted members of the Church, read of the history of the Church in Japan, or Â prepare a Japanese meal for dinner.
- St Jerome Emiliani, founder of the OrderÂ ofÂ Somascha, was a soldier prior to his conversion in the early 1500s. After being ordained a priest, he set up schools for children, mostly orphans. He is the patron of orphans andÂ abandonedÂ people.
- Ideas to celebrate his feast day: Read about his life here, pray for orphans and abandoned people, and read about the order he founded.
- St. Josephine Bakhita was born in the Dafur region of the Sudan, in the 1800s. At a young age she was kidnapped and sold in to slavery, eventually she was sold to an Italian man in the Sudan who eventually took her to Italy and gave her to a friend. She was the caregiver for this friend’s child and attendedÂ catechismÂ classes with her. She eventually entered the Church, taking the name Josephine. In time, she fought for her freedom and won, thenÂ entered the Institute of Saint Magdalene of Canossa. She is the patron of the Sudan.
- Ideas for her feast day: Pray for the people of the Sudan, read the encyclical Spe Salvi, as in it,Pope Benedict XVI discusses her,or read about the plight of the people in the Sudan, and ask for her intersession.
- St. Scholastica is the twin sister of St. Benedict, the father of Western Monasticism. There is a wonderful story about St. Benedict visiting her at a house and in her desire to spend the evening talking with about heaven, asked him to stay. He told her he was not able to stay away from the monastery and prepared to leave. St. Scholastica then prayed and a sudden storm Â blew up. St. Benedict was not able to leave due to the rain and said to his sister Â “‘What have you done?’ Scholastica simply answered, ‘When I appealed to you, you would not listen to me. So I turned to my God and He heard my prayer. Leave now if you can. Leave me here and go back to your monastery.” In the end, he stayed and they talked the whole night long. She died three days later. Tradition holds that St. Benedict saw her soul ascend to Heaven in the form of a dove. Â She is the patron against rain, Â convulsive children, Â nuns, and storms.
- Ideas for her feast day: talk to your children about the brother and sister saints and how much they love each other, color a picture of a dove, pray the liturgy of the hours, and read more about St. Scholastica here.Â
- Our Lady of Lourdes is a feast we celebrate in honor of Our Lady’s first apparition to St.Â BernadetteÂ in Lourdes, France.
- Ideas for celebrating the feast: bless your children with holy water, place flowers before your Marian statue at home, watch the 1943 version of Â The Song of Bernadette, and sing a song to Our LadyÂ
Nice summary of February saints! Thanks for sharing!