Tradition holds that John de Matha was born in Faucon (Provence), France around the year 1154. He completed his graduate studies with honors at the University of Paris where he later taught theology. Ordained to the priesthood he experienced a heavenly vision while celebrating his first Mass. He quickly realized that he had been destined by the Lord to redeem Christian captives.
To attain this objective, he founded the Order of the Most Holy Trinity at Cerfroid, France about 1193. He wrote the Order's Rule, which was approved by Pope Innocent III in 1198. Professing the Rule with great zeal, he was very active in redeeming Christian captives and performing works of mercy. All his life he sought the glory of the Triune God, whose mystery of love and redemption he set as the foundation and purpose of the Order. He died in Rome in the house of St. Thomas In Formis on the Caelian Hill on December 17, 1213.
The feast of St. John de Matha is celebrated on December 17.
St. Felix of Valois (died ca. 1212)
Tradition holds that he was a French hermit from the region of Valois and lived with three other hermits near Cerfroid toward the end of the 12th century. When John de Matha came to Cerfroid and manifested his intention of founding a religious order for the ransoming of Christian captives, Felix and his three companions offered themselves and all they had for the realization of the project.
He is traditionally considered a co-founder of the Trinitarians for the support and assistance he gave to John de Matha.
The liturgical memorial for St. Felix is celebrated on November 4.
St. Michael of the Saints (1591-1625)
Michael Argemir was born in Vich, Spain, on September 29, 1591. He became a Trinitarian in 1607, and took the name of Michael of the Saints. His brief life of thirty-three years was one of great love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. His generous service to the poor, the unfortunate, and the sick made him a compassionate priest and a faithful friend.
His ministry didn't end with his death. After eleven days of prayer, Frances Sanz was cured through his intercession. The cancerous tumors on her lip and tongue disappeared. No scars were left. Hers was one of many such cures and was presented as one of many miracles when Pius IX canonized Michael on June 8, 1862.
The feast of St. Michael of the Saints is celebrated on June 8.
St. Simon de Rojas (1522-1624)
St. Simon known as the "Apostle of the Ave Maria" was born in Valladolid, Spain on October 28, 1522. Steeped in piety from childhood he joined the Order of the Most Holy Trinity where he spent most of his life teaching or governing the brothers. A person of many abilities, Simon was a theologian and a spiritual writer, as well as a friend and benefactor of the poor—truly a friend to every social class. He is well known in the Trinitarian Order for his impassioned love for the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of "Our Lady of Good Remedy".
As a child, Simon was cured of a serious speech impediment through his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The greeting (Ave Maria) was often on his lips, and his love for Mary's name led him to found the Congregation of the Most Holy Name of Mary which exists to this day. St. Simon died on September 29, 1624. He was canonized by Pope John Paul II on July 3, 1988.
The feast of St. Simon de Rojas is celebrated on September 28.
St. John Baptist of the Conception
St. John Baptist of the Conception was born in 1561, in Almodovar del Campo, Spain. He entered the Order in Toledo, Spain, and successfully carried out the apostolate of preaching. Moved by the Spirit he undertook the reform of the Order, which was brought to completion with the approval given by Pope Clement VIII in 1599. He died in Cordoba, Spain in 1613 and was canonized in 1975 by Pope Paul VI. His many spiritual writings are full of wisdom and piety.
The feast of St. John Baptist is celebrated on February 14.
Blessed Marc Criado (1522-1569)
A renowned preacher, he was sent to minister throughout missionary areas of Spain. Eager to carry the gospel to Christians who had lived under the yoke of the Moors, he requested permission to move to Granada, whence he could easily slip into areas populated by Moriscos: insincere Catholics who had been compelled to convert from Islam after the Christian Reconquest of the country in 1492.
Upon his arrival he moved through the region sustaining the faith of the Christians and converting many to the faith. Apprehended by a group of fanatical Moriscos while he was preaching in the town of La Peza on October 24, 1569, he was tied to a tree, tortured for several days and stabbed to death.
The liturgical memorial for Blessed Marc Criado is celebrated on Sept. 24.
Blessed Dominic Iturrate (1901-1927)
Dominic was born in Dima (Vizcaya), Spain on May 11, 1901, and after having received a Christian upbringing from his parents, he felt a calling to the religious life and to the priesthood. He entered the Trinitarian Order and began to live out intensely its spirituality. Soon after being ordained a priest, he was stricken with incurable tuberculosis. Without sadness or regret, but rather joyfully accepting God's will, he resigned himself to sickness, suffering and eventual death. He died on April 7, 1927. His mortal remains now rest in the Trinitarian church at Algorta (Vizcaya), Spain. He was beatified October 30, 1983 by Pope John Paul II.
The memorial for Blessed Dominic Iturrate is celebrated on May 11.
Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (1769-1837)
Anna Maria was born in Siena, Italy in 1769. She married at the age of twenty and endured the quick temper and alcoholic tendencies of her husband. Financial problems kept the family on the verge of destitution and three of their children died at an early age. Anna Maria's patience with and attention to her husband forestalled or calmed his outbursts of temper, and they became so devoted to each other and their children that the household was consistently filled with laughter and joy. Poverty intensified their industry and dependence on God. The family's joyfulness grew out of the atmosphere of deep faith and prayerfulness that was fostered by Anna Maria's intense love for God.
She was a great mystic yet she achieved her sanctification by living the ordinary life of wife and mother in a spirit of Christian mission and compliance with God's will. She was an active member of the Third Order of the Most Holy Trinity. She was declared Blessed on May 30, 1920.
The memorial for Blessed Anna Maria Taigi is celebrated on June 9.
Blessed Elizabeth Canori Mora (1774-1825)
Elizabeth was born in Rome on November 21, 1774. Being from a wealthy family she was given a good Christian education. Married at the age of 19, she embraced marriage as her God-given vocation and vowed to live it as a sacrament of salvation for herself, her husband and whatever children God would give them.
Marriage, however, proved to be a cause of much suffering for Elizabeth as her husband was unfaithful, a gambler, a heavy drinker and a shady businessman. She totally dedicated herself to the Christian upbringing of her two daughters whom she urged to pray for their father. Her husband's irresponsible behavior resulted in the financial ruin of the family. To remedy the situation she worked as a seamstress.
Elizabeth found inner peace and strength in prayer and a deep trust in God. Attracted by the charitable spirit of the Trinitarians, she became a Third Order member in 1807. She was a help to the poor, she visited the sick and counseled married couples in crisis.
Elizabeth died on February 5, 1825. Her husband, Christopher, reformed his ways and became a Trinitarian Third Order member and later a Franciscan priest. In doing so, he was able to fulfill the prophetic words his wife once spoke: "It may seem unbelievable but one day you will celebrate Mass for me!"
The memorial of Blessed Elizabeth Canori Mora is celebrated on February 4.
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