Daily Martyrology for January 31

In 1888, at Turin, St. John Bosco. He was the youngest son of a Piedmontese farmer. After ordination, he was sent for further studies at the theological faculty in Turin. Turin was in the throes of industrialization, nationalism and anticlericalism. John Bosco began working among the displaced youth in the poor sections of the city, opening vocational programs and eventually schools. His boys ministered to the populace during a cholera epidemic in 1854. In spite of anti-religious laws, he was able to found a new religious congregation, the Salesians, named after his hero, St. Francis de Sales, and a congregation of sisters, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and a vigorous group of lay cooperators. He wrote a number of books and was widely regarded as having preternatural powers.

In Rome, in 410, St. Marcella, a disciple of St. Jerome. She died of a beating received from the invading Goths.

In 1642, at Tyburn, in England, the martyrdom of St. Alban Roe, Benedictine monk, and Bl. Thomas Reynolds, priest. Roe, a convert, went to study for the priesthood at Douai and later joined the Benedictines of St. Laurence at Dieulouard (now the Abbey of Ampleforth). In 1618, he was arrested while on mission in England and banished. He returned to England in 1623 and was arrested again in 1626. He spent the next 16 years in prison, always cheerful, always making converts and giving spiritual guidance. He encouraged Blessed Thomas Reynolds as they prepared for death.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.