Friday 21st January : St. Agnes

Wealthy and beautiful, was martyred for her virginity in the last persecutions in Rome, in the early fourth century. Patron of betrothed couples, gardeners and young girls.

Saturday 22nd January : St. Vincent

Deacon of the church of Saragossa, Spain, martyred in 304 in Valencia after prolonged torture.

Sunday 23rd January : 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

The teaching of the Church on the Liturgy of the Word is expressed in these texts. Jesus states that the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled in himself: so the Scripture word is actualised for us each time it is proclaimed in church. Christ is really present in his Word. That Word challenges us to a renewal of life, as the people re-discovered their identity when Ezra read the Law to them.

Monday 24th January : St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622)

Bishop of Geneva, founder of the Visitation Sisters. He worked with gentleness and love to rebuild the Catholic faith after the Reformation. Patron saint of writers, editors and journalists.

Tuesday 25th January : Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle

He preached the power of God at work in the lives of each one of us. His own conversion shows that power in his life. Out of a persecutor God made a preacher and teacher of the peoples. Paul never ceased to express thanks and wonder for this grace, but he still prayed for perseverance.

Wednesday 26th January : Ss Timothy and Titus

They were close to St. Paul as followers and later in their work with him. Tradition makes Timothy the first bishop of Ephesus. From Paul's advice to him to take some wine for his stomach's sake, he had been invoked as patron in cases of stomach complaint. Titus was sent to organise the Church in Crete.

Thursday 27th January : St. Angela Merici (1474-1540)

Founder of the Ursulines, devoted herself to Christian education based on love, kindness with firmness, and concern for the individual.

Friday 28th January : St. Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274)

He was born in Italy. Thomas taught that Christian revelation and human knowledge are aspects of a single truth and cannot be in conflict with one another. One of the greatest theologians, he is patron of schools, universities, students and booksellers.