March 26. Saint Catherine of Genoa wanted to be a nun, but was rejected due to her youth. Instead she married, converted her husband to a life of virtue, and together they cared for the poor. The Lord sometimes has other—and better—plans for us.
March 27. Almost nothing is known about Lazarus of Bethany, who plays an important role in the Gospel of Saint John. There we are told that he was a personal friend of Jesus. Many legends exist about Lazarus’ later life.
March 28. The obscurity of the Poor Clare life seems somewhat expected, yet Saint Catharine of Bologna was well known for her holiness. Even in the quiet Poor Clare life, nuns can be examples for the whole Church.
March 29. The first part of Saint Ludovico of Casoria’s life was somewhat “ordinary,” but not the second. Having had what he called a mystical experience, he began establishing institutions for all kinds of people in need. He even founded two religious communities.
March 30. Living right on the edge of some unsettling social and ecclesial changes, Saint Peter Regalado chose to turn to poverty and simplicity to find his path to God. Leading a small band of friars, he strove to live Franciscan poverty and penance more fully.
March 31. Saint Stephen of Mar Saba, the nephew of Saint John Damascene, became acquainted with monastic life at the age of 10. He wanted to live as a hermit, but his abbot limited his solitude to weekdays. On weekends Stephen counseled his brothers—an arrangement that seemed to work for all concerned.
April 1. Saint Hugh of Grenoble proves that you can’t run away from your problems—even if you run to a monastery. Saint Hugh tried it, and the Pope called him back to his diocese. Once he settled down, Saint Hugh did great things.
April 2. Saint Francis of Paola wanted to live a quiet life of solitude. He managed to do this in a cave near Paola, but soon followers began to gather. He formed them into a community which emphasized pretty severe penance and austerity. Saint Francis also had a public life assisting in the French court.
April 3. Saint Benedict the African, also called Saint Benedict the Moor and Saint Benedict the Black, lived the life of a slave until he was 18. After joining the Franciscans, he held positions of leadership. He was known for his poverty and humility.