January 24 -Saint Francis de Sales
He was born into a very wealthy family and received an excellent education and training as a lawyer. He worked much, but he didn’t seem interested in reaching important positions. He felt the call to leave everything behind and become a priest. His family was very disappointed about his decision, since they expected him to go very far in life.
Upon ordination as a priest, he offered himself as a volunteer to go to a very divided and dangerour area of France. His father was opposed, but Francis and another priest friend of his left and faced all kinds of difficulties with patience and meekness. Little by little, people returned to church. He was later ordained bishop of Geneva in Switzerland and, with the help of Saint Jane of Chantal, he founded a congregation of religious women, the Visitation. Francis wrote many books about the spiritual life and he is the patron saint of communicators.
Do you remain firm in your decisions but defend them with gentleness and patience instead of using force?
January 25 - Conversion of Saint Paul
Saul, who persecuted Christians and Christ, had a great revelation of Christ and devoted himself entirely to proclaim the faith and the love he had just received. He also was given a new name, Paul. He wrote great letters to the Christian communities full of deep insight and theological depth.
Have you ever had a great experience of God that has moved you to change you life?
January 26 - Saints Timothy and Titus
They were bishops of the primitive church and had received the faith through the preaching of Paul. Timothy was born in Asia Minor (what today is Turkey), of a Jewish mother and pagan father. When Paul arrived in his city, both his mother and grandmother were converted. Years later, Paul returned to the city and invited Timothy to join him as an evangelizer.
Titus was a gentile atheist, but he became Paul’s disciple. He joyfully proclaimed the Good News, accompanying Paul in some of his journeys. He had a special gift as a reconciler and pacifier.
In which conflicts or divisions could you mediate to ease up the tension?
January 27 - Saint Ángela de Merici
Her parents died when she was only 10 years old and she and her sister went to leave with a rich uncle. When she was about 22, Angela realized that the children of the city did not have any religious instruction. With a few friends, she started imparting catechism lessons. At the same time, a few women who had joined her decided to start a religious congregation, under the protection of Saint Ursula. The sisters are known today as Ursulines and they are dedicated to education.
What needs do you see in your community? Is there anything you can do to respond to such needs?