On February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. This began a series of visions. During the apparition on March 25, the lady identified herself with the words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”
Saint Paul, Bishop of Constantinople, during the period of bitter controversy in the Church over the Arian heresy. Elected in 336 to succeed Alexander of Constantinople, the following year he was exiled to Pontus by Emperor Constantius II. Here he was deliberately starved and finally strangled by Arian supporters. He is considered a martyr for the orthodox cause and was a close friend St. Athanasius.
Just as Christmas honors Jesus as the "Prince of Peace," the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God honors Mary as the "Queen of Peace" This solemnity, falling on New Year's Day, is also designated the World Day of Peace.
Saint Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. Since he was caught marrying Christian couples and aiding any Christians who were being persecuted under Emperor Claudius in Rome [when helping them was considered a crime], Valentinus was arrested and imprisoned. When he refused to renounce his faith he was beaten with clubs, and afterwards, beheaded on February 14, about the year 270.
Saint Agnes was a Roman girl who was only thirteen years old when she suffered martyrdom for her Faith. Agnes had made a promise, a promise to God never to stain her purity. Her love for the Lord was very great and she hated sin even more than death! Since she was very beautiful, many young men wished to marry Agnes, but she would always say, "Jesus Christ is my only Spouse."
Like many of the most ancient Christian feasts, Epiphany was first celebrated in the East, where it has been held from the beginning almost universally on January 6. In the United States it is celebrated on January 7, 2018.
Saint Stephen was martyred in Jerusalem about the year 35. He is consider both the first Christian martyr (the protomartyr) and one of the first deacons of the Christian Church. All that we know of the life, trial, and death of St. Stephen, is found in the Book of Acts, Chapters 6 and 7. In the long chronicle of Christian martyrs, the story of Stephen stands out as one of the most moving and memorable.
According to his legend, Saint Sebastian was born at Narbonne, Gaul. He became a soldier in the Roman army at Rome in about 283, When it was discovered during Maximian's persecution of the Christians that Sebastian was indeed a Christian, he was ordered executed.
"For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:11-14
The Feast of the Holy Name is a major feast of the Church. It reflects the significance of the Holy Name, Jesus. The name Jesus is from the Hebrew Joshua or Yehoshuah meaning “Yahweh is salvation” or “Yahweh will save.”