February 14. Saints Cyril and Metodius
They were brothers and very good friends. The two became priests and decided to devote their lives to evangelization. They were missionaries in the regions of Bohemia, Moravia and Bulgaria. They left behind their own culture and language and invented an alphabet in order to translate the Bible to the language of the peoples they were trying to evangelize. Despite many persecutions, even within the church, they were appointed bishops and are models for the efforts of inculturation.
In which ways do you find the Gospel in your own culture? What aspects of your culture do you think are in need of evangelization?
February 15. Saints Faustinus and Jovita
They were two Italian brothers who lived during the early times of Christianity. Since their youth they were very well known for their love for religion and their charity. They were ordained priests and started to preach everywhere both to rich and poor. They refused stop preaching as Emperor Adrian had ordered, and were arrested and tortured. In the end, they died together, encouraging each other.
What is your relationship with your siblings? How do you help each other to live out your faith?
February 16. Saint Onessimus
He was a slave in the first century. He stole from his master and escaped. But in Rome he met Paul who adopted him, led him gently to the faith and protected him. Onessimus converted to Christianity and became a priest, devoting the rest of his life to the Gospel. He died a martyr of his faith.
Is there anything robbing you of freedom? How could you overcome that?
February 17. The seven Founders of the Servite Order
They were seven friends who lived in Italy in the 13th century. They had a great love for Mary and one day the seven were praying when Mary appeared to them. They felt the call to live only for God. The founded the Order of Servants of Mary. Many young men felt attracted to their style of life.
What is the devotion you feel more strongly? Do your friends feel in a similar way?
February 18. Saint Bernadette
She was a young French woman who was poor and weak. One day, when she was collecting wood near her house, she saw Our Lady who continued to appear to her for many days and told her she was the Immaculate Conception. The place of the apparitions, Lourdes, is a great center of pilgrimage. Bernadette later entered a convent and wanted to live quietly and without fame for the rest of her life. She died when she was only 37 years old.
Would you like people to know the things you do or are so that they praise you and honor you?
February 19. Saint Barbadus
He was born in Italy in the 17th century. He was ordained a priest when he was very young and appointed pastor. The parishioners did not like him and persecuted him to the point he had to return to his own hometown. Life there was not any easier because there were many idols and superstitions. Saint Barbadus tried to preach the right doctrine and in the end many people found conversion.
How do you react when you feel rejected or judged?
February 20. Saint Eucherius
He was a French saint of the 8th century, who belonged to a wealthy family and hadreceived a very good education. He left everything behind and entered a Benedictine abbey. He was later appointed bishop and, although he resisted it, he had to accept in the end. He was a good and wise bishop. He confronted a politician who was stealing money from the church to finance his wars and Eucherius was arrested and exiled.
Would you be willing to confront a powerful person for the sake of justice?
February 21. Saint Peter Damian
He was left orphan when he was little and an older brother took him to leave with him, but he physically abused him. Another brother realized the problem and took Peter with him and treated him with kindness. Peter´s life changed. He attended university and eventually became a great professor. But, after teaching for seven years, he decided to become a monk. He entered a monastery founded by Saint Romuald, and dedicated his life to writing and to encouraging the other monks to be faithful and to live closer to God. He was later sent from his monastery to be a bishop and later on he was named a cardinal. He died in 1072. Because he was an advocate for the truth and a great conciliator, he was declared a doctor of the Church.