Saint Pope Hilarius. Feast Day February 28th. Hilarius was a native of Sardinia and served as archdeacon of Rome before becoming Pope in 461 AD. He is probably best remembered for his courage at the” Robber Synod “,where he risked his life as Pope Leo1st representative at the Synod of Ephesus in 449, here he bravely opposed the deposition of Patriarch Flavian of Constantinople and unsuccessfully supported the condemnation of Eutychianism , a heresy that taught that Christ’s divinity overshadowed his human aspect. Hilarius fled from Ephesus to Rome in fear of his life and was elected as Bishop of Rome in 461 where he held the post for 7 years. As Pope he promoted the authority of Rome both within the Christian Church and against the imperial power of Constantinople. He issued statutes of great discipline especially throughout Gaul and Spain and gave certain laws to the Spanish Churches which tended to operate outside the papal orbit in the 5th century. He left certain letters dealing with Church administrative matters and reform and was responsible for a major change and modernisation in the liturgy of the Mass in 467. He also worked zealously to counter an edict of the new Emperor , Anthemius , establishing toleration for schismatic sects.During his brief papacy he built several churches ,convents and public buildings. Hilarius died on February 28th ,468 AD in Rome and was buried at the Basilica of St Lawrence outside the walls of the city.
Saint David of Wales. Feast Day March 1st. David was born in 520 in Pembrokeshire in Wales , he was the son of a chief of Cardigan called Sant and his mother was Saint Non. For ten years he was educated by the scribe Paulinus.As he grew older he embarked on a life time of missionary work founding around 12 monasteries including Glastonbury and St Menevia, now known as St Davids.He lived an ascetic life as a monk and encouraged his brothers to do the same, carrying out tasks of hard manual labour and severe self mortification and abstinence.David due to his harsh quality of life quickly earned the nickname Aquaticus , waterman . In 550 he was summoned to speak at the synod of Brefi where he so impressed the assembly with his eloquent preaching that he was unanimously elected Bishop with authority over Wales.Tradition states that when he preached at Brefi the flat ground that he was stood upon rose up to form a high hill. David died an old man in the monastery of Menevia in 589, the monastery was said to be filled with angels as Christ received his soul. David was officially recognised by the Vatican by Pope Callixtus in 1120, his last words were, “be joyful brothers and sisiters , keep your faith and do the little things that you have heard and seen with me”.
Saint John Joesph of the Cross. Feast Day March 5th. John Joseph was born in to a noble family on the island of Ischia in Italy in 1654, even in his childhood he was the model of virtue. At the age of 16 he entered the Franciscan order of the strictest obervance,known as the reform of St Peter of Alcantara Spain. John Joseph lived a life of austerity and self denial ,fasting constantly he only slept three hours a night on a hard cold stone floor. Due to his great discipline and piety he was sent to establish a monastery at Piedmont before he was even ordained. John Joseph was an extremely humble individual and insisted on helping to build a monastery with his own bare hands, no job was beneath him. In 1702 he was appointed Vicar Provincial of the Alcantarine reform throughout Itlay and when his term as Provincial expired he dedicated himself to hearing confessions and extreme mortification. This Saint was also blessed with the gift of prophecy and miracles , he possessed a great zeal for the salvation of Souls and held a great devotion to the Blessed Mother. John Joseph died in Naples in 1739 and was canonised in 1839 by Pope Gregory XV1, he is the patron Saint of Ischia.