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Saturday, February 25, 2017
25th February  -  Saint Ethelbert of Kent
25th February - Saint Ethelbert of Kent

King. Born in 560, Ethelbert was the Anglo Saxon king who welcomed St Augustine and his monks when they arrived in Kent in 597. His wife Bertha, a Frankish princess, was already a Christian and he was soon converted. Although he embraced his faith with enthusiasm, unlike some of his contemporaries, he did not try to force his subjects to become Christians. Instead he gave the missionaries every help to peacefully

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24th  February  - The Martyrs of Carthage
24th February - The Martyrs of Carthage

Montanus, Lucius, Victoricus, Flavian and companions were ten disciples of St Cyprian of Carthage. They were martyred there under the reign of the Emperor Valerian in 259. The story of their imprisonment and martyrdom is well documented. The group were arrested by an official called Solon after St Cyprian was executed in 258.

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23rd February -  Saint Polycarp
23rd February - Saint Polycarp

Bishop of Smyrna, martyr. This 2nd century saint was a disciple of St John the Evangelist and an important link between the time of the Apostles and the earliest Christians. He was very elderly when he was arrested during the persecutions of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. His captors tried to force him to make sacrifices to idols but he refused, saying: "For 86 years I have served Christ and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my king and saviour now."

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22nd February  - Saint Margaret of Cortona
22nd February - Saint Margaret of Cortona

Franciscan sister. Margaret was the beautiful daughter of a Tuscan peasant, born in 1242. At the age of 18 she fell in love with a rich young nobleman and ran away to live with him. The couple had a son. For nine years the local community was scandalised as she is said to have ridden about dressed in fine silks and despising the poor. Her life changed dramatically when she was just 27 when her lover was murdered. Margaret found his body thrown in a pit.

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 21st February - Saint Robert Southwell
21st February - Saint Robert Southwell

Martyr, Jesuit priest, poet. St Robert was born in Horsham St Faith, Norfolk, in 1561 and spent much of his childhood in Sussex. He studied at Douai and Paris and wanted to be a priest from his earliest youth. In 1578, when he was barely 17, he was admitted to the Jesuit novitiate in Rome. After his ordination in 1584 he was appointed prefect of studies at the English College.

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