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Saint of the Day—available on the iPhone!

Saint of the Day
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

February 1
St. Brigid of Kildare
(c. 452-c. 524)


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The known facts about St. Brigid of Kildare are few, but she is revered as one of Ireland's three patron saints (along with Patrick and Columba).

What we do know is that she was a fifth-century nun who founded the Abbey of Kildare, southwest of Dublin. Both monks and nuns lived there, and many accounts record that Brigid served as superior of both the men and women. In any event, the Abbey of Kildare contributed significantly to the spread of Christianity throughout Ireland at a time when traditional Irish religion was disappearing.

Many miracles have been attributed to Brigid. What is more certain is that she was an extraordinary woman who was known especially for her generosity to the poor. Because of the prominence the Abbey of Kildare gained under Brigid's leadership, she is considered the special patron of scholars. Her feast day is observed on February 1.



Patron Saint of:

Dairy workers
Ireland
Nuns
Scholars



Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.



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Gregory VII: The 10th century and the first half of the 11th were dark days for the Church, partly because the papacy was the pawn of various Roman families. In 1049, things began to change when Pope Leo IX, a reformer, was elected. He brought a young monk named Hildebrand to Rome as his counselor and special representative on important missions. He was to become Gregory VII. 
<p>Three evils plagued the Church then: simony (the buying and selling of sacred offices and things), the unlawful marriage of the clergy and lay investiture (kings and nobles controlling the appointment of Church officials). To all of these Hildebrand directed his reformer’s attention, first as counselor to the popes and later (1073-1085) as pope himself. </p><p>Gregory’s papal letters stress the role of bishop of Rome as the vicar of Christ and the visible center of unity in the Church. He is well known for his long dispute with Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV over who should control the selection of bishops and abbots. </p><p>Gregory fiercely resisted any attack on the liberty of the Church. For this he suffered and finally died in exile. He said, “I have loved justice and hated iniquity; therefore I die in exile.” Thirty years later the Church finally won its struggle against lay investiture.</p> American Catholic Blog In Christ, true God and true man, our humanity was taken to God. Christ opened the path to us. If we entrust our life to him, if we let ourselves be guided by him, we are certain to be in safe hands, in the hands of our Savior.

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