By Ted King
The Sooner Catholic
Saints Cornelius and Cyprian
Sept. 16 is the feast day of Saints Cornelius and Cyprian. Saint Cornelius was a Roman priest who was the pope from 251 to 253. He led the Church during an aggressive persecution under Emperor Decius. Pope Cornelius was martyred by the Romans in the year 253. Saint Cyprian, a barrister and later Bishop of Carthage (in modern day Tunisia) and Primate of Africa, was a convert who had personal wealth that he gave away upon his conversion. Saint Cyprian was a great evangelist. He, like Saint Cornelius, faced great difficulties in the midst of Roman persecutions. Saint Cyprian was martyred in 258.
Sept. 19 is the feast day of Saint Januarius, Bishop of Naples. He was martyred in 305 during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian. He is the patron saint of Naples where year by year the liquefaction of his blood preserved in a phial takes place. He also is recognized as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Saints Andrew Kim Tae-Gon and Paul Chong Ha-Sang and Companions
Sept. 20 is the feast day of Korean martyrs Saints Andrew Kim Tae-Gon and Paul Chong Ha-Sang and Companions. Saint Andrew Kim Tae-Gon (1821-1846) was the first Korean-born Catholic priest. He was martyred in 1846 during the Joseon Dynasty. He is the patron saint of Korea. Saint Paul Chong Ha-Sang (1794-1839) was the son of Catholic converts. At age 15, he became the servant of an interpreter and was allowed to travel to Peking, China, where he encouraged the bishop there to send priests to Korea. He wrote Pope Gregory XVI, requesting a diocese for Korea. Saint Paul Chong Ha-Sang was martyred for his faith by the Korean authorities. There are 103 Korean martyred companions that are honored this day.
Sept. 21 is the feast day of Saint Matthew, one of the 12 apostles. “As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, 'Follow me,' and he rose and followed him.” (Mt 9:9). Saint Matthew wrote the first Gospel and preached in Palestine (Israel) and Ethiopia, where he was martyred in 60. Ethiopia is a Christian nation to this day.
Saint Padre Pio
Sept. 23 is the feast day of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina (1887–1968), better known as Padre Pio. He was a Capuchin friar who possessed the supernatural gift of the stigmata. When he said Mass, his hands and feet, correlating to the wounds of Christ, bled. He often was bedridden on Good Friday. He also had the ability to read the souls of people who came to him for confession.
Saints Cosmos and Damian
Sept. 26 is the feast day of Saints Cosmos and Damian, who are very important in the Eastern Church. They were brothers and physicians in Syria during the Roman Empire. It is believed they were born in what is present day Saudi Arabia. They cared for the sick without payment and were responsible for many conversions as a result of their charitable work. Both are believed to have been martyred in the year 287 under the reign of Emperor Diocletian. They are the patron saints of physicians and surgeons.
Saint Vincent de Paul
Sept. 27 is the feast day of Saint Vincent de Paul (1581-1660), a French priest known for his works of charity. As a young priest he was taken prisoner by the Muslim Barbary pirates and was a slave for several years. He escaped and became an advocate for ransoming slaves. In 1622, he founded a religious order, the Congregation of the Missions, known today as the Vincentians. Pope Leo XIII proclaimed Saint Vincent de Paul the patron of all charitable associations. There are Saint Vincent de Paul Societies in many parishes that help the poor.
Sept. 28 is the feast day of Saint Wenceslaus and Saint Lawrence Ruiz and Companions. Saint Wenceslaus, also known as Vaclav the Good, was a Bohemian (modern day Czech Republic) duke. He was murdered by his brother while praying in church in 938 and is considered a martyr. He is the patron saint of the Czech Republic and its capital, Prague. He also is recognized as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Lawrence Ruiz and Companions
Saint Lawrence Ruiz (1600-1637) was a layman of Chinese-Filipino descent. He journeyed with a group of priests to Okinawa, Japan. He and his priest companions were arrested and tortured by the shogunate that persecuted Christians. He is the patron saint of the Philippines.
Archangel Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael
Sept. 29 is the feast day of Archangel Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
Sept. 30 is the feast day of Saint Jerome (347-420). He was a Roman citizen born in Dalmatia (modern day Croatia and Slovenia). He was a hermit and is a Doctor of the Church. Saint Jerome translated the Bible into Latin, known as the Vulgate. The Eastern Orthodox Church also recognizes him as a saint.
Ted King is a freelance writer for the Sooner Catholic.