Apostle of Frisia, Netherlands, a missionary archbishop. Born in Northumbria, England, circa 658, he studied at Ripon monastery under St. Wilfrid and spent twelve years studying in Ireland at the abbey of Rathmelsigi (most likely Mellifont, County Louth) under Sts. Egbert and Wigbert. After receiving ordination and extensive training in the field of the missions, he set out about 690 with a dozen companions for Frisia, or Friesland. In 693, he went to Rome to seek papal approval for his labors, Pope Sergius I (r. 687-701) gave his full approbation and, during Willibrord's second Roman visit, the pontiff consecrated him archbishop to the Frisians, in 696, with his see at Utrecht. In his work, Willibrord also received much support and encouragement from the Frankish leader; Pepin of Heristal (r. 687-714). Willibrord founded the monastery of Echternach, Luxembourg, to serve as a center of missionary endeavors, and extended the efforts of missionaries into Denmark and Upper Friesland. He faced chronic dangers from outraged pagans, including one who nearly murdered him after he tore down a pagan idol. In 714, Duke Radbod reclaimed the extensive territories acquired by Pepin, and Willilbrord watched all of the progress he had made be virtually undone. After Radbod's death, Willibrord started over with great enthusiasm, receiving invaluable assistance, from St. Boniface. Willibrord died on retreat at Echternach on November 7. For his efforts, he is called the Apostle of the Frisians.
St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class, at the obscure village of Domremy, near the province ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Gianna Francesca Beretta was born in Magenta in Italy. She was the tenth of thirteen children in her family, only nine of whom survived to adulthood. When she was three, her family moved to Bergamo, and she grew up in the Lombardy region of Italy. In 1942, Gianna ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
Maximilian was born in 1894 in Poland and became a Franciscan. He contracted tuberculosis and, though he recovered, he remained frail all his life. Before his ordination as a priest, Maximilian ... continue reading
By Justin Soutar
During his visit to the United States this coming September, Pope Francis will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, the heroic 'Apostle of California.' Once that happens, the Golden State will have its own patron saint and the Church will have another great missionary role ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes