Blessed Teresa of Kolkata
Famed ‘saint of the gutters’ served poorest of the poor
Feast day: September 5
Long before her 2003 beatification, this tiny nun in a blue and white sari was considered saintly for her huge heart and loving care of India’s destitute and dying. Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia, she left home at 18 to join the Loreto Sisters in Dublin, Ireland, and was assigned to teach at a fashionable Catholic girls’ school in Kolkata (Calcutta), India. In 1946, she received from Jesus a “call within a call” to serve the poorest of the poor. In response, she founded the Missionaries of Charity congregation, first for nuns, then for brothers and priests. Mother Teresa, the “saint of the gutters,” was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal in 1997.
Blessed Frederic Ozanam
Model for laypeople founded Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Feast day: September 8
At Frederic’s 1997 beatification in Paris, Pope John Paul II called him a model for Catholic laypeople. Though he earned a doctorate in law and his father hoped he would become a judge, Frederic turned to literature and charity for his life’s work. He taught literature at the Sorbonne, was happily married and had a daughter. Beginning in 1831 he was part of a group of young Catholic intellectuals who discussed literature, history and society, while also visiting the poor and sick at home. They became the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which is still active worldwide. Frederic joined the Third Order of St. Francis shortly before his death at age 40.
Northwest Catholic - September 2015