This Week in Saints

This week there are only two saints on the calendar in the United States, St. Cyril, Monk and St. Methodious, Bishop. The Collect from the Mass on Tuesday, the Feast of St. Cyril and St. Methodoious:

“Father, you brought the light of the Gospel to Slavic nations through St. Cyril and his brother St. Methodius. Open our hearts to understanding your teaching and help us to become one in faith and praise. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Brothers, Sts. Cyril 827–869 and Methodious  827–885 are celebrated for brining the message of Jesus to the Slavic worlds, starting first with Morovia (current Czech Republic) in 842. There until 856, they perfected the Cyrillic alphabet then translated both the bible and the liturgy.

In 867 the two brothers came to Rome, were met by Pope Hadrian II (867-872) and the whole papal court. They gave a report of their labors but encountered opposition on the part of jealous clergy who took offense, it was said, because of their liturgical innovations. Cyril and Methodius explained their methods and from the Pope himself received episcopal consecration (868). Soon after, Cyril died at Rome, only forty-two years old, and was buried in St. Peter’s; later his body was transferred to San Clemente, where his remains still rest. His funeral resembled a triumphal procession. (From

St. Methodious went back to Moravia and continued his mission of spreading the Gospel to the Slavic people. He was called back to Rome at some point to defend his use of the Slavic language during the liturgy. At that time, the Pope made him an archbishop and he returned to Moravia. There he continued to convert Slavic people, including the Duke of Bohemia and his wife. Legend has it that he travelled as far as Moscow and erected the diocese of Kiev. He returned to Bohemia and died in 885. When he was buried, the funeral liturgy was held in Latin, Greek, and Slavic.

They were made co-Patrons of Europe, along with (our beloved) St. Benedict of Norcia, by Blessed John Paul II in 1980.

To celebrate this great feast, you can: make (and feast on)  španělské ptáčky, Pierogi, dumplings or even an apple strudel. Also, take a moment to learn about the Slavic people and the persecution they experienced under Communism. Pray for the conversion of all Slavic people to the truth of the Gospel.

Sts. Cyril and Methodious are patrons of: Bohemia; Bulgaria; Czech Republic; Czechoslovakia; Europe; Moravia;  Yugoslavia;  ecumenism;  and unity of the Eastern and Western Churches.

Filed under: General Stuff, this week in saints

This Week in Saints

On the calendar this week, we celebrate the feasts of St. Paul Miki and Companions (February 6), St Jerome Emiliani and St. Josephine  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 them 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  prepare a Japanese meal for dinner.
  • St Jerome Emiliani, founder of the Order of 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 and abandoned 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 attended catechism classes with her. She eventually entered the Church, taking the name Josephine. In time, she fought for her freedom and won, then 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  blew up. St. Benedict was not able to leave due to the rain and said to his sister  “‘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.  She is the patron against rain,  convulsive children,  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. 
  • Our Lady of Lourdes is a feast we celebrate in honor of Our Lady’s first apparition to St. Bernadette 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  The Song of Bernadette, and sing a song to Our Lady 


Filed under: Catholic, this week in saints