Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati is a saint for the modern world, and especially for the young people of our time. Born in 1901 in Turin, Italy, his time on earth was short-only 24 years-but he filled it passionately with holy living. Pier Giorgio was a model of virtue, a "man of the beatitudes," as Pope John Paul II called him at the saint's beatification ceremony in Rome on May 20, 1990. He was described by friends as "an explosion of joy." As Pier Giorgio's sister, Luciana, says of her brother in her biography of him, "He represented the finest in Christian youth: pure, happy, enthusiastic about everything that is good and beautiful."
St. Thomas was called to be one of the twelve Apostles. He was a dedicated but impetuous follower of Christ. Tradition says that at the dispersal of the Apostles after Pentecost this saint was sent to evangelize the Parthians, Medes, and Persians; he ultimately reached India, carrying the Faith to the Malabar coast, which still boasts a large native population calling themselves "Christians of St. Thomas."
Saint Oliver Plunkett was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland who was executed by the English Crown as the last victim of the Popish Plot.
Junípero Serra Ferrer, O.F.M., was a Spanish Franciscan friar who founded missions 21 in California, including San Diego to San Francisco. He is often called The Apostle of California.
The holy men and women are also called the “Protomartyrs of Rome.” They were accused of burning Rome by Nero , who burned Rome to cover his own crimes. Some martyrs were burned as living torches at evening banquets, some crucified, others were fed to wild animals. These martyrs died before Sts. Peter and Paul, and are called “disciples of the Apostles. . . whom the Holy Roman church sent to their Lord before the Apostles’ death.”
Saint Paul, the indefatigable Apostle of the Gentiles, was converted from Judaism on the road to Damascus. He remained some days in Damascus after his Baptism, and then went to Arabia, possibly for a year or two to prepare himself for his future missionary activity. Having returned to Damascus, he stayed there for a time, preaching in the synagogues that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. For this he incurred the hatred of the Jews and had to flee from the city. He then went to Jerusalem to see Peter and pay his homage to the head of the Church.
Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles, the 1st Pope, and founder, with Saint Paul, of the see of Rome. The Rock upon which Christ built his Church.
The writings of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon, (c.125-202) entitle him to a high place among the fathers of the Church, for they not only laid the foundations of Christian theology but, by exposing and refuting the errors of the gnostics, they delivered the Catholic Faith from the real danger of the doctrines of those heretics.
Saint Cyril of Alexandria was the Patriarch of Alexandria and an anti-Nestorian theologian. He wrote treatises that clarified the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation that helped prevent Nestorianism and Pelagianism from taking hold in the Christian community.
Saint Josemaria Escriva was the founder the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross, united to Opus Dei. Josemaria travelled frequently to work for the growth of Opus Dei, and by the time of his death, it had spread to five continents with over 60,000 members.