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Dec 31 – St Sylvester (314-335)

Sylvester was chosen pope in succession to Pope Miltiades (311-314). His pontificate coincided with the reign of the first Christian emperor, Constantine.


Dec 30 – St John-Francis Regis SJ (1597–1640)

There are similarities between St John-Francis Regis SJ and the Curé of Ars, St John Vianney - holiness, devotion to prayer and pastoral care for souls.


Dec 29 – St Thomas Becket (1118-70)

Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, was assassinated by four barons of King Henry II in the cathedral there on 29th December 1170.


Dec 27 – St John Apostle and Evangelist

John was the son of Zebedee, a fisher man from Bethsaida near the Sea of Galilee. With his brother James and Peter, he shared in some of the most significant events in the life of Jesus.


Dec 26 – St Stephen (1st century) deacon and martyr

Stephen is the first Christian martyr after Jesus himself. His story is told in the Acts of the Apostles chapters 6 and 7.


Dec 25 – St Anastasia, martyr

Anastasia did many good deeds of generosity and worked many wonders before she herself was burnt to death.  The name means “resurrection”: we pray it is a symbol of the transformation of [...]


Dec 25 – St Peter Nolasco (1182-1256) founder of the Mercedarian Order

Summary of St Peter Nolasco. Peter founded the Mercedarian Order devoted to ransoming slaves from the Moors.

Patrick Duffy writes review about the saint and the order he founded.

A Pious Young Man of a rich family


Dec 24 – St Mochua of Timahoe (d. 657)

There are reputedly fifty-eight Mochuas among the saints of Ireland, but the one celebrated today is associated with Timahoe in Co Laois.


Dec 23 – St John of Kanti (1390-1473)

Apart from a short time as a parish vicar, St John of Kanti spent most of his life as a lecturer in philosophy and theology in the University of Krakow.


Dec 22 – St Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917)

Frances Xavier Cabrini was the first United States citizen to be canonised. Born in Northern Italy, she wanted to be a missionary in China, but Bishop Scalabrini and Pope Peo XIII directed her towards Italian workers in the United States.


Dec 21 – St Peter Canisius (1521-97)

The Jesuit Saint Peter Canisius, born in Nijmegen, Holland, is probably best known for his Catechism written in 1555.


Dec 20 – St Thorlac of Skalholt (1133-93) patron of Iceland

Summary: St Thorlac Thorhallson (1133-93), patron saint of Iceland, travelled to study at Paris, France, and Lincoln, England, before returning to Iceland to become bishop of Skalholt from 1178.

Patrick Duffy tells what is known about him.

Christianised from an Early Date


Dec 19 – St Winnibald (d. 761)

St Winnibald was the nephew of St Boniface. Together they spread the Gospel in Germany in the 8th century.


Dec 18 – St Flannan (7th century)

St Flannan is the patron saint of the diocese of Killaloe. He is said to have been the son of Turlough, King of Thomond.


Dec 17 – St Melania the Younger (383-439)

St Melania the younger was the daughter of Publicola, only son of St Melania the Elder. She was amarried woman and foundress of communities of hermits.


Dec 16 – St Adelaide of Burgundy (931-999) empress and foundress of monasteries & convents

Maybe the most prominent European woman of the tenth century she became the foundress of many monasteries .


Dec 16 – The Seven Thai Martyrs of Songkhon (d. 1940)

In1940, there were pockets of religious persecution in Thailand. In the village of Songkhon, seven Catholics were martyred .


Dec 15 – St Venantius Fortunatus (535-605) poet and bishop of Poitiers

Venantius Fortunatus had the gift of being a great troubadour and became famous as the composer of great Christian Latin hymns


Dec 14 – St John of the Cross (1542-91) Carmelite, ascetic and mystic

John, small in stature, showed an intense poetic sensitivity and an ascetical strength that enabled him to become a great mystic.


Dec 13 – St Lucy (283-304) virgin and martyr

"Our modern age may look at the short life of Lucy and the path she chose as somewhat bizarre...her sacrifice of chastity - alien."


Dec 12 – St Finnian (d. 539) abbot of Clonard

Finnian of Clonard (Cluain Iráird) where there were up to 3,000 monks studying is called "the tutor of the Irish saints"


Dec 11 – Pope St Damasus (366-384)

Damasus was a strong proponent of the papal primacy of Rome, introducing Latin to liturgy Rome, and his care of the catacombs.


Dec 10th – Our Lady of Loreto –

Summary: Our Lady of Loreto. Pope Francis by his own authority has approved that the optional memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Loreto should be inscribed in the Roman Calendar for 10 Dec., the day on which her feast falls in Loreto, and [...]


Dec 10 – St Eulalia of Merida (d. 304) Spain’s best known virgin martyr

Eulalia of Mérida is Spain's best-known virgin martyr but the Acta of her life are probably not reliable.


Dec 9 – St Juan Diego (1474-1548) Mexican visionary

In 1531, Juan Diego had a vision of Our Lady which encouraged the conversion of indigenous Mexicans to Christianity.


Dec 8 – The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Immaculate Conception means is that God filled Mary with grace, and preserved her free from all stain of original sin.


Dec 7 – Saint Ambrose, 340-97 bishop and doctor of the Church

Ambrose was chosen by acclamation of the people to be archbishop of Milan.


Dec 6 – St Nicholas – Santa Claus!

There are many stories about St Nicholas: especially about how he became the original Father Christmas.


Dec 5 – St Sabas of Jerusalem (439-522) monk and abbot

St Sabas decided to become a monk, and when he was eighteen, went to Jerusalem to see the holy places and visit the hermits who lived there.


Dec 4 – St John Damascene (675–749) defender of icons

Best known for his writings in defence of icons, but also for his systematic theology and for hymns in honour of Our Lady.

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