The Roman Catholic Church is blessed with an amazing cloud of witnesses, saints who strengthen us in many ways. Let’s look at just several of the women and men who are celebrated in the summer months.
Summer starts with St. Aloysius Gonzaga, on June 21. Aloysius Gonzaga was a Jesuit who entered the Society of Jesus despite the protests of his powerful and wealthy family. He persisted and entered in 1587. He is a helpful saint for a COVID world. He died in Rome in 1591, while nursing people who has been stricken with a plague in that city. He was just 23 years old. He is the patron of young people, especially students. He has been recognized as the unofficial patron of people with AIDS, and their caregivers.
July 29 is given over to St. Martha. Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus, all of them friends of Jesus. Their home was in Bethany. Many of us spend time praying with the reality of Martha’s hospitable service and the example of her sister Mary who seemed content to sit at the feet of Jesus. Most of us recognize that we are called to live out the qualities of both women, finding a healthy balance between contemplation and action. Martha is a patron of domestic workers and cooks.