Saints of the Week: Peter Damian, Matthias, Noël Pinot, Polycarp, Margaret, Ethelbert, Peter’s Chair, J.Marto, Caesarius, &More

Happy Sunday! This past week in the traditional calendar were the Ember Days, on which we practice particularly strict Lenten penance. But even as we mortify our bodies our spirits should draw ever closer to God and more filled with His love. That is how the saints we celebrated this week lived their lives, practicing penance even while joyfully glorifying God’s immeasurable love.

St. Peter Damian (Feb. 23), “a Benedictine monk, was nominated Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia on account of his learning and high virtues. He rendered immense services to Gregory VII in his struggle for the rights of the Church. He retired to his abbey of Fonte Avellano, and died in 1072.”  St. Matthias (Feb. 24/25, Latin Mass), “one of the seventy-two disciples of Jesus, was chosen as Apostle in the place of Judas. St. Matthias preached the Gospel for more than thirty years in Judea, Cappadocia, Egypt, and Ethiopia. He was stoned by the Jews in 80.” [Missal]

Bl. Noël Pinot (Feb. 21) was an 18th century French priest who particularly ministered to the sick. During the French Revolution, all clergy were required to sign the secular, anti-Catholic government’s pledge, but Fr. Noel refused and convinced others who had signed to recant. During a brief period of local triumph for counter-revolutionary forces, Fr. Noel came out of hiding, but when the revolutionary forces conquered again they arrest Fr. Noel in the middle of Mass and guillotined him in 1794 while he was still in his vestments, reciting the opening of the Mass.

St. Polycarp (Feb. 23), “bishop of Smyrna, disciple of Saint John the Apostle and friend of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, was a revered Christian leader during the first half of the second century.” He was sent to the pope to settle the question of when to celebrate Easter. Arrested, he was condemned to be burned to death for the faith, but survived and was stabbed to death c.155.

St. Margaret of Cortona (Feb. 22) was a farmer’s daughter who eloped and lived with a noble. His murder left her and their son alone, and she confessed her sin and took refuge with the Friars Minor at Cortona. She cared for the poor, had religious ecstasies, and started the religious congregation Poverelle (Poor Ones). She had a devotion to the Eucharist and Jesus’s Passion. She died in 1297 on the date she predicted.  St. Aristion of Salamis (Feb. 22): “One of Jesus’s 72 disciples. Preached in Cyprus. Martyr.” [Missal]

St. Ethelbert of Kent (Feb. 24): “Raised as a pagan worshipper of Odin. King of Kent in 560. Defeated by Ceawlin of Wessex at the battle of Wimbledon in 568, ending his attempt to rule all of Britain. Married the Christian Bertha, daughter of Charibert, King of the Franks; they had three children, including Saint Ethelburgh of Kent. Convert to Christianity, baptized by Saint Augustine of Canterbury in 597; his example led to the baptism of 10,000 of his countrymen within a few months, and he supported Augustine in his missionary work with land, finances and influence. Issued the first written laws to the English people in 604 [].”  St. Liudhard (Feb. 24), chaplain to Ethelbert’s wife, helped convert the king.

St. Peter’s Chair (Feb. 22) commemorates the Apostle’s being bishop of Antioch and then of Rome, which became the prime see of the Church. The chair is a symbol of episcopal authority, and the pope’s chair in Rome is the preeminent seat of episcopal authority as established by Jesus Christ through the apostles and their successors.

St. Jacinta Marto (Feb. 20) was a merry, energetic, but sometimes willful little shepherd girl in 20th century Portugal. She was also very pious, however, and this piety was rewarded when she, her brother Francisco, and their cousin Lucia received visions of first and angel and then the Blessed Virgin Mary herself.

Read about more saints on Substack.

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Posted by CatSalgado32

Catherine Salgado is a columnist for The Rogue Review, a Writer for MRC Free Speech America, and writes her own Substack, Pro Deo et Libertate. She received the Andrew Breitbart MVP award for August 2021 from The Rogue Review for her journalism.

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