Monday 30th, St. Aidan, was born around 550, probably in Co. Cavan. Aidan studied under David in Wales, and on his return, he founded a monastery at Ferns. He became bishop there and was renowned for his generosity and kindness. He died in 626.
Tuesday 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.
Wednesday 1st February, St Brigid, born c.454, is renowned for her hospitality, almsgiving and care of the sick. When she was young her father wished to make a very suitable marriage for her but she insisted in 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 lands. The St. Brigid’s Cross, in legend used by Brigid to explain the Christian faith, remains a popular sign of God’s protection.
Thursday 2nd, The Presentation of the Lord (World Day for Consecrated Life). This feast is a remembrance of the Lord and Mary, mother of the Lord. As candles are blessed, we recall Simeon who acclaims him as ‘a light to reveal God to the nations’.
Friday 3rd, St. Blaise, died in 315. Bishop of Sebaste, martyred in Armenia. Tradition states that he was a physician before becoming a bishop. Since the 8th century he has been venerated as patron of those who suffer from disease of the throat. (Throats will be blessed after Masses) St. Ansgar, a Frenchman who became Archbishop of Hamburg in the ninth century, and preached the gospel in Denmark and Sweden. Apostle of Scandinavia. Patron of Denmark.