1 & 2. Perpetua & Felicity
(Second Century Carthage) Perpetua and Felicity are among the earliest women Christian martyrs and originators of a Christian text. They died for their faith while nursing (Felicity) and pregnant (Perpetua). Felicity refused her father’s command to recant her faith and therefore broke with cultural honor codes, and Felicity refused special treatment for being with child.
3. Saint Dymphna
(Sixth Century Ireland) Dymphna resisted the incestuous advances of her pagan father, and fled the country with her Christian priest. Both were later found and killed for their defiance. Today she serves as the patron saint of mental illness.
4. Saint Patricia
(Constantinople) Wishing to remain a virgin in service to God, Patricia had to flee to Italy when her royal family insisted she be married. Saint Patricia reminds us that young women’s holy desires should be given voice and honored.
5. Saint Edith of Wilton
(Tenth Century England) Brought up in a monastery nearly from birth, she refused to let her large dowry interfere with her sense of calling. She remained a nun and preferred the dignity of ordinary house work to the lavish lifestyle afforded her by her parents.
6. Saint Margaret of Louvain
(Thirteenth Century Belgium) Margaret was a waitress and maid at an inn where she offered housing even to those who could not pay. She was murdered by thieves when she refused to cover up an evil crime she witnessed. Today, she serves as an model of concern for the poor and justice.
7. Saint Rose of Viterbo
(Thirteenth Century Italy) Rose was devoted to prayer and meditation from a young age. She boldly told the people of her city not submit to an ungodly leader who had risen to power. She regularly preached in public and her family was excommunicated as a result.
8. Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
(Seventeenth Century New York) Tekakwitha was born to a Mohawk leader and Algonquin mother. She came to Christian faith through Jesuit missions, and remained an outcast in her own community, until leaving to the St. Lawrence area and finding Christian community. She continued to work with the sick, aged, and taught children.
9. Saint Therese of Lisieux
(Nineteenth Century France) Therese was raised by women relatives in the absence of her mother and father. After boldly pleading with the pope to enter the convent early, she was allowed the following year. Her childlike faith, prayers, and persistent intercession for saints inspired older nuns and countless people.
10. Saint Maria Gabriella
(Twentieth Century Italy) Maria was rather rebellious and angry as a child, but upon her conversion she sensed a call to deep Christian unity and offered herself in prayer and service to this hope. The Christian ecumenical movement begun shortly after her death, and her Catholic beatification was attended by several denominational leaders.
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