Futurism logo

Catholic Saints Feast Days - March

An overview of some saints celebrated in March

By Sapphire RavenclawPublished 16 days ago 15 min read
3
Lichfield Cathedral (image is my own) Taken 19th August 2023

2nd March

Saint Angela of the Cross

Born in Seville, Spain, on 30th January 1846, Angela is a relatively modern saint. Angela was born into a pious family, her father was a cook in the convent of Trinitarian while her mother did the laundry there. The couple had fourteen children, although only six reached adulthood.

Angela was affectionately known as Angelita and was given the baptismal name of María de los Ángeles (Maria of the Angels) Guerrero González.

Angela was taught to pray the Rosary, and would often be seen praying in the parish church. Her parents had a simple altar erected in their home during May to give honour to Mary.

Angela had little formal education and she worked from an early age. Her teacher, Antonia Maldonado, taught her shoe repair. Maldonado was also a holy woman and would encourage her employees to pray together daily.

Photograph of St Angela of the Cross - Guadalupe House Ministry

When Angela was sixteen, she met Canon Jose Torres Padilla of Seville and was put under his direction. At age nineteen, Angela requested to enter the Discalced Carmelites but was refused due to her ill health. Instead, she began to care for destitute cholera patients.

In 1868, despite her continued ill health, Angela was accepted into the Daughters of Charity of Seville. While they tried to improve Angela's health, the efforts were futile. Angela returned home and continued working in the shoe shop.

On the 1st November 1871 Angela made a private pledge to evangelical counsels, and she received a call from God in 1873. She saw Jesus hanging from an empty cross, and took this to mean that she should live in poverty with the poor so that she could bring them to Christ. Angela's work saw 23 convents founded during her lifetime.

On 2nd March 1932, Angela died of a stroke at the age of 86. She was buried at Sisters of the Cross Convent. In 2003, she was canonised by Pope John Paul II. Her body was displayed for a week in a glass coffin at Seville Cathedral before being returned to Sisters of the Cross Convent.

Saint Chad of Mercia

Saint Chad of Mercia, the Apostle of the Midlands, was born in 634 in Northumbria. He was one of four brothers, all of whom became priests. He shares his feast day with his brothers Cedd and Cynibald.

Along with his brother Cedd, Chad was trained at Lindisfarne under its founder, Saint Aidan. Sent to Ireland by Aidan as part of his education, Chad spent time with Egbert, a monk at Rathmelsigi in Connaught, Ireland.

Chad returned to England to assist his brother in establishing the monastery of Laestingaeu (now Lastingham, North Yorkshire). Cedd became the first bishop and, upon Cedd's death in 664, Chad succeeded him to become the second abbot of Laestingaeu.

King Oswy of Northumbria made Chad Archbishop of the Northumbrians with his see at York. Chad is often cited as Bishop of York. In 669, Chad was disciplined by Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury. Theodore instructed Chad to step down from this position due to claims that someone else should have taken the position. Theodore consecrated Chad as bishop of Mercia.

In 669, Chad moved his see from Repton (now in Derbyshire) to Lichfield (now in Staffordshire). It was at Lichfield that Chad built a monastery on land that had been donated to him. According to Bede, this monastery was partly staffed by monks from Lastingham.

Images are my own. Taken on 19th August 2023 - Top left to bottom right: Altar inside Lichfield Cathedral; Statue of Saint Chad outside Lichfield Cathedral; Close-up of statue above Parish Church of Saint Chad, Lichfield; Statue of Saint Chad above the door at Parish Church of Saint Chad, Lichfield

Due to its proximity to Watling Street, the main route across Mercia at the time, and Mercia's main royal centre at Tamworth, the Diocese of Lichfield became the ecclesiastical centre of Mercia.

On 2nd March 672, Saint Chad died. Seven days previous, Chad said he had been visited by angels who said they were to take him in seven days. He was buried at Saint Mary's Church, which became part of the Cathedral. Chad was venerated as a saint immediately and there have been pilgrimages to his shrines.

In the 13th century, Walter Langton, bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, built a shrine to Saint Chad at Lichfield Cathedral. This was destroyed in 1538 on the instruction of King Henry VIII.

There are various churches dedicated to Saint Chad of Mercia, including Lichfield's Parish Church of Saint Chad and Saint Chad's Church in Burton-upon-Trent. Both of these churches are in Staffordshire and within the Diocese of Lichfield.

Some of Saint Chad's relics are at Saint Chad's Church in Birmingham. It is the only cathedral in England to have its patron saint enshrined on its high altar.

There are also various place names that may have been named after Chad. St Chad's Place in London was definitely named after him. Chadkirk Chapel was quite possibly dedicated to Saint Chad of Mercia. Links to other places such as Cheadle and Kidderminster, however, are much more tenuous.

Part of a History of Lichfield information board by Minster Pool, directly to the south of the Cathedral. Picture is my own, taken 19th August 2023.

Saint Chad is the patron saint of Mercia and Lichfield. He has been purported to be patron saint of astronmers, although there is no evidence nor connection to support this.

Blessed Charles the Good

Born in Denmark around 1083 or 1084, Charles was the only son of King Canute IV (Saint Canute) and Adela of Flanders.

When Charles was very young, in either 1086 or 1088, his father was assassinated. Adela left her twin daughters in Denmark but took Charles with her to Flanders. Here, Charles grew up in the court of his grandfather Robert I of Flanders and uncle Robert II of Flanders.

Charles eventually became a knight. He joined his uncle in a crusade to the Holy Land and then in a fight against the English. On their return to Flanders, Robert's son Baldwin designated Charles as his heir. Baldwin arranged Charles' marriage to Margaret of Clermont.

Upon Baldwin's death in 1119, Charles ascended the throne with the blessing of the people. Having already distinguished himself as wise and benevolent, Charles ruled with wisdom and compassion.

While Charles respected peace and fought against black marketeers, this enraged the Erembald family. At the time, they were the most powerful family in Flanders. The Erembalds of Veurne had been rewarded for helping Robert I in his conquest of Flanders in 1071.

The Erembalds murdered Charles during his prayers at the church of Saint Donation in Bruges on 2nd March 1127. His assassins were later defeated by the people, nobles and commoners alike, of Bruges and Ghent.

Charles' body was buried temporarily in the church but without solemnity due to his sacrilegious murder. The funeral ceremony was held in the church of Saint Pierre. Charles' body was exhumed and found incorrupt. It was traversed in the church of Saint Christophe, returning to Saint Donation following the rededication of the church.

Charles' relics later became part of the treasure of the Cathedral of Bruges, and Blessed Charles the Good was beatified in 1882 by Pope Leo XIII.

7th March

Paul the Simple

Paul the Simple, also known as Venerable Paul the Simple of Egypt, was born in Roman Egypt circa 225 AD.

Details of his early life are unknown other than that he had been a farmer. At the age of 60, after learning of his wife's infidelity, Paul left to become a hermit.

Paul became a disciple of Anthony the Great, although Anthony had initially rejected him due to his age. Paul remained outside Anthony's door for four days until Anthony took him in.

Anthony tested Paul in various ways, including hard work and fasting. Paul was humble and compassionate, and his faith was unwavering. Because of this, and his pure heart, it was said that demons feared him. Paul's miracles include healing and exorcism, and it was said that he could read minds.

Anthony, it is recorded, had passed a possessed youth saying, "I cannot help the boy, for I have not received power over the Prince of the demons. Paul the Simple, however, does have this gift".

Paul died around 339.

Blessed John Ireland & others

John Ireland was an English martyr and a chaplain to Saint Thomas More. John was chaplain of the Roper Chantry at St Dunstan's Church in Canterbury. He later became a pastor at Eltham in Kent.

Along with Jermyn Gardner, John Larke, and Thomas Haywood, John Ireland became involved in the "Prependaries Plot" to oust archbishop Thomas Cranmer.

The men refused to acknowledge Henry VIII's Act of Supremacy, which cited that the King would be head of the Church of England. Because of John's resistance to this Act, he was arrested. He was indicted on 15th February 1543.

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury and subject of the The Prependaries' Plot

John Ireland, along with Jermyn Gardner and John Larke, was executed at Tyburn in 1544. Thomas Haywood, however, recanted and later testified against Cranmer.

The three martyred men were beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886, although some sources state that Ireland was beatified later.

While the feast day for Ireland, Gardner and Larke is 7th March, they are also acknowledged on 4th May as martyrs of the English Reformation.

17th March

Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick (Irish: Padraig) is one of the more famous saints but there are a few facts about him that may be less commonly known.

Patrick was born in Kilpatrick in Scotland, part of Roman Britain at the time, in 387. His birth name was Maewyn Sucat. It was not until he became a priest that he adopted the name Patrick, which means 'nobleman'.

Patrick was not Irish himself but was captured by raiding Irish pirates when he was about 14 years old.

Patrick remained a captive slave in Ireland until he was 20. He escaped, after having a dream in which God told him to leave Ireland, by going to the coast. From there, sailors returned Patrick to his family in Britain.

It is said that Patrick refused to suck a man's breast. This relates to him leaving Ireland. A pagan captain, who didn't like the look of him, demanded that Patrick suck his breast as a ritual to accept the captain's authority. Patrick refused and decided to try to convert the crew. Patrick was in his 40s when he brought Christianity to Ireland.

Patrick is famously credited with banishing all snakes from Ireland. According to National Geographic, however, there is no evidence that snakes have ever existed in Ireland.

Patrick established several schools, monasteries and churches. He is believed to have died on 17th March 461. There are major shrines at Armagh in Ireland and at Glastonbury Abbey in England.

Along with Brigid and Columba, Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. Because of his association with Irish emigrants to the USA, he is also patron saint of migrants. Among other things, Patrick is also patron saint of engineers, Nigeria, Montserrat, the Archdiocese of New York and the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

Saint Patrick's Day was first celebrated in Ireland during the 10th century. Patrick was never formally canonised. His feast was added to the Catholic book of prayers in 1631. His feast day is very popular today and has become more of a secular celebration of Irish culture.

Boston and New York City have held elaborate parades since the 17th century. Possibly one of the most well-known traditions is Chicago turning its river green. The green dye was originally used to identify leaks in pipes and was first used to deliberately colour the water in 1962.

Saint Gertrude

Not to be confused with Gertrude the Great (1256 - 1302), Gertrude of Nivelles is often overlooked and overshadowed by Saint Patrick.

Saint Gertrude was born around 628 in Landen, now part of Belgium, into a noble family. She was the daughter of Blessed Peppin of Landen and Blessed Itta of Ida. Little else of Gertrude's young life is documented.

Gertrude's father was mayor of the palace of Austrasia. He moved his family to Neustrasia when Dagobert I became king. When Gertrude was 10, Peppin asked the king to dinner. The king asked Gertrude if she would like to marry the son of a duke. Gertrude declined, saying she never wanted to marry a man at all.

Together with her mother, Gertrude founded Nivelles Abbey. She was around 20 years old, and she took over the abbey when her mother died a few years later. The Abbey of Nivelles, founded after a request from Bishop Amand, was a Benedictine nunnery and monastery. It has been purported that Itta established the monastery to protect her daughter and to safeguard the family.

Two miracles are attributed to Gertrude. One was a vision of a flaming sphere in her abbey. The other is a story of her saving sailors from a storm. The sailors called out her name, Gertrude had a vision of the storm, and the storm went away. There are differing version of this story, some with just one sailor, some that also mention a sea monster.

Gertrude led a devout monastic life, and may never have ventured beyond the cloisters. Gertrude welcomed everyone. She welcomed two pilgrims, Foillan and Ultan, who were Irish monks on their way to visit their brother's grave. Gertrude felt her death was approaching and asked a pilgrim, believed to have been Ultan, when she would die. He told her that she would die on 17th March and that God was prepared to received her.

Statue of Saint Gertrude of Nivelles in Berlin, Germany

Gertrude had retired by the time she was 30, likely due to the level of abstinence that had taken a toll on her body. Just before her death, Gertrude arranged for her niece to take over the abbey. She also asked the nuns, as a symbol of piety and humility, to bury her in an old veil that had been left by a travelling pilgrim. Gertrude died, in her early thirties, on 17th March 659.

Gertrude's hair and veil became relics. At Nivelles, these relics were displayed on various holy days.

Gertrude kept cats to control rodents. In the 1980s, some of Gertrude's devotees moved from Gertrude being banisher of rodents to her being protector of cats. She is now often considered patron of cats, although this has never been official. Gertrude is the patron saint of the city of Nivelles, and of three towns in North Brabant.

19th March

Joseph

Joseph, son of Jacob, may have been born in 30 BC in Bethlehem. He was the husband of Mary and legal father of Jesus. There is some discrepancy over Joseph's age, and there is no mention of his age in the Bible. It is thought that Joseph was an old widower when God asked him to take care of the young Virgin Mary.

Joseph's feast day became 19th March in Western calendars by the 10th century. In 1955, Pope Pius XII established the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. This is celebrated on 1st May, which is also International Workers' Day.

Joseph died in either 18 or 20 AD in Nazareth.

Symbols of Saint Joseph often include a carpenter's square and lillies as well as other tools of carpentry.

One symbol of Saint Joseph is a carpenter's square. As well as symbolising his trade, it is also a symbol of truth.

Today, Pope Francis keeps an image in his room of Joseph fleeing from Egypt. On the 150th anniversary of Joseph being declared patron of the universal church, Pope Francis proclaimed a year of Saint Joseph beginning 8th December 2020 and ending 8th December 2021.

Joseph is patron of fathers, families, expectant mothers and unborn children, travellers, immigrants, house buyers and sellers, craftsmen, engineers, working people, and of a happy death. He is also patron saint of numerous countries, cities and dioceses.

30th March

Quirinus

Saint Quirinus, or Quirin, of Neuss was a Roman tribune and martyr. His birth date is not know. He is sometimes called Quirinus of Rome, although this moniker is shared with third-century saint and martyr Quirinus of Tegernsee.

Quirinus is said to have been responsible for guarding Pope Alexander I, whom he was ordered to execute. Upon seeing miracles performed by Alexander, as well as two others he had been ordered to kill, Quirinus converted to Christianity.

Quirinus died a martyr on 30th March around 116 (sources vary between 115 and 117). He is also celebrated on 30th April, which is the date that the Martyrology of Jerome assigns him.

Quirinus was buried in the Catacomb of Praetextatus in Italy. In 1050, Pope Leo XI donated Quirinus' body to an abbess of Neuss and it was placed in the Church of St. Quirinus in Neuss. In 1597, a shrine was donated to the church. Quirinus' relics were kept in the shrine until 1900.

Saint Quirinus is a patron saint of animals, military, horsemen and horses. He was invoked against various afflictions and diseases including bubonic plague, smallpox, paralysis and ulcers as well as diseases of horses and cattle.

There are springs and wells dedicated to Quirinus. The water from the spring near Saint-Quirin chapel, Luxembourg, is said to have healing properties.

Osburg

Saint Osburg (alternatively spelled Osburga or Osburh) is not really known outside of Coventry, a city in the centre of England. There is a church and school named after Saint Osburg in Coventry, but she does not appear to have anything dedicated to her anywhere else.

Above (video is my own - images taken 1st April 2024): statues around Saint Osburg's; stained glass showing Saints Hilda and Osburg.

Osburg had been abbess of a convent at Coventry. There are different versions of Osburg's story, although they all seem to agree that she was abbess.

Osburg may have been the first or last abbess. It is likely that Osburg founded the abbey, although one version of her story claims that the abbey was founded by King Canute. This version is given as the official one by the Catholic Church. Godiva and Leofric founded Saint Mary's Priory on the ruins of Osburg's Abbey. The Canute story claims that he founded the abbey in 1018 yet Saint Mary's Priory was founded just 25 years later. There are claims that the abbey had been destroyed by Vikings, which could explain this short time frame.

Godiva and Leofric adorned Saint Mary's with the skull of Saint Osburg. Along with other relics, this would have been on display in Saint Mary’s Cathedral.

Priory Gardens, in the centre of the city, now stands on the site that was once Saint Osburg's abbey.

Osburg died in 1018 and was buried in Coventry. Due to the many miracles reported there, Osburg's shrine was a popular place of pilgrimage during the Middle Ages. Her remains are said to have been enshrined in Coventry, but nothing else of Osburg's life remains.

Due to such variation in Saint Osburg's stories, there are other contenders for her feast day. These dates are 21st January and 9th September. While 30th March is the official liturgical date, Osburg is celebrated at her namesake church on 9th September.

Church of the Most Holy Sacrament and Saint Osburg (image is my own - taken 1st April 2024)

The church of Saint Osburg was built from 1843 to 1845. It was founded in 1843 by William Bernard Ullathorne, originally from Yorkshire and who became the first bishop of Birmingham. The building was designed by architect Charles Hansom.

......

This article is part of a series. If you have enjoyed reading this, please take a look at the others in the series (linked below) and look out for the next one.

August September October November December January February

religionhumanity
3

About the Creator

Sapphire Ravenclaw

I am, among other things, a freelance writer and mother. I enjoy writing poetry and articles. Currently, much of my spare time is spent working on a book about Paganism (one of many subjects which interests me).

More of me:

WordPress

My Poetry

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

Sapphire Ravenclaw is not accepting comments at the moment

Want to show your support? Send them a one-off tip.

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.