Feast Days

Wednesday 31st, St. John Bosco, 1815-88, born in Piedmont, founded the Salesians to educate boys for life. He also became involved in publishing catechetical material for youth. He is a patron saint of youth and of Catholic publishers.

Thursday, 1st February, St. Brigid, Secondary Patron of Ireland, is renowned for her hospitality, almsgiving and care fore the sick. She was born c.454. When she was young her father wished to make a very suitable marriage for her but she insisted on consecrating her virginity to God. She received the veil and spiritual formation probably from St. Mel and stayed for a period under his direction in Ardagh. Others followed her example and this led her to found a double monastery in Kildare with the assistance of Bishop Conleth. She died in 524 and her cult is widespread not only throughout Ireland but in several European countries. The St. Brigid’s Cross, in legend used by Brigid to explain the Christian faith, remains a popular sign of God’s protection.

Friday, 2nd February, The Presentation of the Lord, World Day for Consecrated Life. This feast is a remembrance of the Lord and Mary, mother of the Lord. Simeon recognised Jesus as ‘a light to the reveal God to the nations’ and on this day, traditionally called ‘Candlemas’ candles are blessed.

Saturday, 3rd February, St. Blaise, died in 315. Bishop of Sebaste, martyred in Armenia. Tradition states that he was a physician before becoming a bishop. Since the eight century he has been venerated as patron of those who suffer from diseases of the throat. From the liturgical calendar — The blessing of St. Blaise is a sign of our faith in God’s protection and love for us and for the sick. Using two crossed and unlighted candles, blessed either on the memorial of St. Blaise or on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the minister touches the throat of each person, saying: ‘Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from all ailments of the throat and every other evil.’