Proper of Saints for the week of May 18

May 18
John I, Pope and Martyr
Saint John was born in Tuscany and elected bishop of the church of Rome in 523. He went to emperor Justin in Constantinople as an ambassador of King Theodoric. On his return he was captured by the King, who was displeased at the outcome of the embassy, and cast into prison at Ravenna where he died in 526.

May 20
Bernadine of Siena, priest
Saint Bernadine was born at Massa, Marittima, Tuscany in 1380. He entered the Friars Minor and, after being ordained to the priesthood, traveled throughout Italy preaching with great success. He increased devotion to the holy name of Jesus and fostered learning and discipline in his order. Saint Bernadine died at Aquila in 1444.

May 25
Venerable Bede, priest and doctor
Saint Bede was born in the neighborhood of the Wearmouth monastery in 673. He was trained by Saint Benedict Biscop and later entered the monastery. Ordained to the priesthood, he spent his ministry in teaching and writing. Saint Bede wrote theological and historical works in the patristic tradition and explained sacred scripture. He died in 735.

Gregory VII, pope
Hildebrand was born in Tuscany about the year 1028. He was educated at Rome and entered the monastic life. He helped the popes of his time through many missions on behalf of church reform, and in 1073 ascended to the chair of Saint Peter under the name of Gregory VII. Besieged by King Henry IV, he died a refugee at Salerno in 1085.

Mary Magdalene de pazzi, virgin
Saint Mary Magdalene was born at Florence in 1566 and after a religious upbringing she entered the Carmelites. She led a solitary life of prayer and self-denial, prayed fervently for church reform and directed her fellow sisters on the road to perfection. She was blessed by many gifts from God and died in 1607.

Reference: The liturgy of the hours, vol. III, Catholic Book Publ.Co., NY, 1975.