May the Saints & Feast Days for the month of April inspire you to grow closer to Jesus Christ. The month of April is dedicated to the Holy Spirit.

April 7: Divine Mercy Sunday

In the visions to St.Faustina Kowalska, our Lord called for a special feast day to be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter.  Today, that feast day is known as Divine Mercy Sunday, so named by Pope St. John Paul II at the canonization of St. Faustina on April 30, 2000. On Good Friday, 1937, Jesus requested that St. Faustina make a special novena before the Feast of Mercy, from Good Friday through the following Saturday. The special intentions for each day of this novena, along with an email reminder, can be found at this link:

“My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and a shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.” –  From St. Faustina’s Diary: Divine Mercy in my Soul,

April 8: The Annunciation of the Lord

The Solemnity of the Annunciation is usually March 25, but when that dates falls during Holy Week, the feast is transferred to the first day after the Octave of Easter.

The Solemnity of the Annunciation commemorates the coming of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, to announce to her the special mission God had chosen for her to be the mother of His only Son. The feast of the Annunciation began to be celebrated on this day during the fourth and fifth centuries, soon after the date for celebrating Christmas was universalized to December 25th  throughout the Church. This feast celebrates the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity and the salvation of all mankind.

When Mary declared to Gabriel, “Be it done unto me according to thy word”, St. Irenaeus, and many of the early church fathers commented that the obedience of the second Eve repaired the disobedience of the first.  St. Irenaeus stated “Eve by her disobedience tied the knot of disgrace for the human race, whereas Mary, by her obedience undid it”. This quote became the basis for a very popular devotion established in the early 17th century known as “Our Lady, Undoer of Knots.” See this link for more information on the novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots.

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ” Hail, full of grace,the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, *”Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” – Luke 1: 26-31

April 21: Good Shepherd Sunday

On the 4th Sunday of Easter we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday, based on the following passage from the Gospel of John:

“I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep” (Jn 10:11-15).

A very orthodox and popular spiritual writer, Sr. Ruth Burrows, a British Carmelite nun, has written the following reflection on the Good Shephard in her book “Through Him, With Him, and in Him” : 

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. If I really believed this, how different my life would be! I would never willingly complain about what happens to me since I would see everything as at least permitted by Him. Knowing that He will make everything turn to my good, I would stop trying to run my own life, preventing this or that…I would cease to care for the judgments of others, whether they like me or not, whether they think well or ill of me. I would cease wanting to feel sure about everything, above all about my spiritual life: anxious, fearful, discouraged, plagued by guilt feelings… If my faith in the unfailing tender care of my Shepherd is real, how could I allow such self-occupation?”

April 25: Feast of St. Mark

St. Mark was a Jew by birth and the son of Mary who owned the home which was a meeting place for the first Christians in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). A close friendship existed between St. Mark and St. Peter. He was Peter’s companion, disciple, and interpreter, and Mark was present at Peter’s preaching in Rome. According to some of the early church fathers, Mark wrote his gospel at the request of the Romans who wanted to have St. Peter’s preaching committed to writing. St. Peter reviewed the work and approved it to be read during liturgical assemblies. 

There are several indications that this gospel was written for gentile believers in Rome, not the least of which is that this is the only gospel that records the Roman Centurion’s declaration at the death of Christ that “truly this Man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39). St. Mark was appointed the bishop of Alexandria and died a martyr’s death by being dragged through the streets around 68 AD.

“Now after John (the Baptist) was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the gospel”’. – Mark 1: 14-15

April 29: St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)

St. Catherine of Siena was canonized on June 29, 1461, and declared a Doctor of the Church by St. Pope Paul VI in October 1970. She is best known for her efforts to convince Pope Gregory XI to move the papacy from Avignon, France back to Rome. Pope Gregory returned his administration to Rome in January 1377. She is also known for her book on mystical theology, The Dialogue of Divine Providence, which is a dialogue between a soul who “rises up” to God and God himself.

“We are of such value to God that He came to live among us … and to guide us home. He will go to any length to seek us, even to be lifted high upon the cross to draw us back to Himself. We can only respond by loving God for His love.” – St. Catherine of Siena

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