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Wednesday, March 29, 2017
29th March  -  Saints Gwynllyw and Gwladys;  Saint Berthold of Carmel
29th March - Saints Gwynllyw and Gwladys; Saint Berthold of Carmel

These sixth century saints were the parents of St Cadoc, one of the early founders of monasticism in South Wales. They are also one of very few married couple to be canonised. Gwynllyw was a chieftain. His wife Gwladys also came from an aristocratic family. Much of their life was spent fighting neighbouring tribes, but their son Cadoc converted them to Christianity and they became devout followers of Christ.

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28th March  -  Saint Tutilo
28th March - Saint Tutilo

Monk, and gifted musician. St Tutilo was an Irish monk who lived in the late ninth and early tenth centuries. He was educated at the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Gall in Switzerland. A good-humoured person of many talents, he was a poet, portrait painter, sculptor, orator, architect and mechanic. But his greatest talent was music. He could play all the instruments known to the monks. Together with his friend, Blessed Notker, he composed much church music and taught at the abbey school.

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27th  March  -  

Saint John of Egypt
27th March - 

Saint John of Egypt

Hermit. Born in Asyut, Egypt, in 304, St John was a carpenter. When he was 25 he went out into the desert to pray and was to became one of the most famous hermits of his time. For ten years he was the disciple of an elderly hermit. St John called him his "spiritual father." After the older monk's death, St John spent four or five years in various monasteries. Finally, he found a cave high in the rocks. The area was quiet and protected from the desert sun and winds. He divided the cave into three parts: a living room, a work room and a little chapel. People in the area brought him food and other necessities.

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 26th March  -  Saint Liudger
26th March - Saint Liudger

Bishop. Frisian by birth, Liudger was one of the eighth century Anglo Saxon missionaries who evangelised parts of northern Europe. He studied under Boniface at Utrecht and Alcuin at York. He then began preaching in remote areas of Frisia where Charlemagne had gone ahead breaking up pagan shrines. In 777 he was ordained priest and built several churches. When the Saxons invaded the area they drove out the priests and sacked the new churches.

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25th March

  - Feast of the Annunciation
25th March

 - Feast of the Annunciation

In both the East and West, Mary is the most important of saints - although little is known of her life. St Matthew describes how, when the angel Gabriel came to her and said: "Hail favoured one, the Lord is with you", she replied simply: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be be done unto me according to your word."

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24th March - Blessed Oscar Romero
24th March - Blessed Oscar Romero

Archbishop and martyr. Oscar Arnulfo Romero was born into a family of ten on 15 August in Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador. His father was in charge of the local telegraph office. When he was 14 years old, Oscar went to study at junior seminary. When his mother was ill and needed money for medicine, Oscar left the seminary for three months and worked in the gold mine in Potosí,

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23rd March - Saint Toribio of Lima
23rd March - Saint Toribio of Lima

Reforming bishop. A patron of missionaries and South America. Toribio Alfonso de Mogrobejo was born in Mayorga, in Spain, in 1538. A law professor at the University of Salamanca, he was appointed chief judge of the Inquisition at Granada by King Philip II. He was still a layman, when in 1580, he was made a bishop and sent to work in Lima, Peru.

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22nd  March  -  

Saint Nicholas Owen
22nd March - 

Saint Nicholas Owen

Jesuit lay-brother, martyr. There is no record of his family, birthplace, date of birth, or baptism. Nicholas had been a servant of the Society of Jesus and joined the order around 1580. At the execution of St Edmund Campion he openly declared him innocent and was imprisoned. After his release he served the priests Henry Garnett and John Gerard for eighteen years. He was captured again with with Fr John, escaped from the Tower, and helped the escape of Father Gerard.

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21st March  -    Saint Enda
21st March - Saint Enda

Abbot. Born in Co Meath, during the 6th century, Enda was a boy soldier who became a monk. He was trained at St Ninian's monastery in Whithorn, Galloway and then returned to Drogheda and founded monastic communities in the Boyne valley, before settling in Inishmore in the Aran Islands. This became his base. Many monks came to to join him there including Ciaran of Clonmacnoise.

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 20th March  -  Saint Cuthbert
20th March - Saint Cuthbert

Monk and bishop. Born in 634 on the tiny island of Farne, St Cuthbert was most likely a Northumbrian Englishman. As a young shepherd boy by Leader Water he saw a vision, Bede writes, of angels taking the soul of St Aiden to heaven. Later he became a monk under St Eata at Melrose. For years he undertook long journeys on horseback and on foot, ministering to the remotest parts of the country between Berwick and Galloway, and keeping the spirit of Christianity alive in them. In 664 he accompanied St Eata to Lindisfarne and extended his work south to Durham.

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19th March  -  

Saint Joseph
19th March - 

Saint Joseph

Foster father of Jesus and husband of Our Lady. Patron saint of families, homes, hospices, manual workers, especially carpenters, and those who desire a happy death. All that is known of St Joseph for certain is in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. He came from the house of David but his trade as a carpenter shows that he was not rich. He was betrothed to Mary and worried when he learnt that she was pregnant, until an angel came to him in a dream.

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18th March  -  Saint Edward the Martyr
18th March - Saint Edward the Martyr

King. Edward was born in 862, the son of the English King Edgar and his first wife. He succeeded his father in 965. Three years later, when he was just 15 or 16, he was assassinated at Corfe in Dorset, in 978 and quietly buried at Wareham. It is said that he was on his way to visit his half brother Etheldred, when he was set upon by Etheldred's retainers and stabbed before he could dismount from his horse.

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17th March
 - Saint Patrick

17th March
 - Saint Patrick

Fifth century bishop. Patron of Ireland. St Patrick was a Roman Briton, born somewhere on the west coast, between the Clyde and the Severn estuary. His father Calpurnius, was a civil official and a deacon. His grandfather was a priest. When Patrick was 16, he was captured by slave traders, and taken to Ireland where he was used as a herdsman, traditionally at Slemish in Antrim.

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 16th March  -   Saint Fintan Lobur
16th March - Saint Fintan Lobur

St Finan was an Irish abbot who lived in the 6th century. Although of Munster descent he was born in Leinster. He is said to have suffered from a skin disease, possibly leprosy. He ruled over the monastery of Swords, north of Dublin, and possibly over Clonmore at the end of his life, where he was buried. In one of his few surviving quotes, he said: "Most ignorant and of least account among the faithful, despised by many.

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15th March  -  Saint Louise de Marillac
15th March - Saint Louise de Marillac

Widow. Foundress of the Daughter of Charity. Born in 1591 to an aristocratic family, Louise was educated by nuns at Poissy. Her mother died when she was very young and her father died when she was 15. Louise married Anthony Le Gras and they lived happily together for 12 years and had one son. After her husband's death, Louise became involved with the work of St Vincent de Paul, who was organising groups of women into helping the poor and sick. He asked her to help train women in this work.

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14th March -   Saint Matilda
14th March - Saint Matilda

Wife, mother and queen. St Matilda was born at Engern in Westphalia in 895. Married to the German King Henry I, the Fowler, she had five sons, including the Emperor Otto I and St Bruno, Archbishop of Cologne. Matilda was widowed at a young age and for 32 years and suffered ill-treatment from Otto. Another son Henry, who was called The Quarrelsome, also gave her a difficult time. Otto and Henry both complained that she was too generous to the poor.

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13th March  -   Saint Gerald of Mayo
13th March - Saint Gerald of Mayo

Abbot. St Gerald was an Englishman who became a monk at Lindisfarne in the 8th century. He then travelled to Inishbofin in Galway with St Colman of Lindisfarne and was later made abbot of the English part of the monastery at Mayo. The community became known as the Mayo of the Saxons. It flourished and was known as a great centre of study.

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 12th March  -  Saint Paul Aurelian
12th March - Saint Paul Aurelian

Bishop. Patron of Paul in Cornwall. He is also known as Saint Pol de Leon. According to his Life written by Wrmonoc, a 10th century monk from Landevennec, he was the son of a Welsh chieftain who was educated at the monastery of St Iltyd. He became a monk, and together with 12 companions migrated to Brittany where they built a number of churches and monasteries.

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