When it comes to our physical and emotional well-being, the saints are great aids to us. One of the most incredible things about the saints is that no matter what their circumstances were, they never lost faith in God. They are a wonderful example to all believers, even those who are not of the Catholic faith. While there are a number of saints you probably are familiar with, there are also a number that you aren’t familiar with. You may know what things you call on certain saints for, but there are likely a number of things you’re not so sure about. Here are seven bold saints who inspire that every Christian should know.
St. Benedict is a saint that we can call on to help the poor and the downtrodden. Called “the Beggar of Rome,” St. Benedict Joseph Labre was born in Amettes, France, on March 25, 1748, the eldest of eighteen children. Studying under his uncle, a parish priest, Benedict tried to join the Trappists, Carthusians and Cistercians to enter religious life but was unsuccessful due to his poor health and a lack of suitable academic preparation. In 1770, he made a pilgrimage to the major shrines of Europe, settling in Rome in 1774. There he lived near the Coliseum and earned fame for his sanctity. He traveled from great shrine to another, living off alms. He wore the rags of a beggar and shared his food with the poor. Filled with the love of God and neighbor, Benedict had a special devotion to the Blessed Mother and the Blessed Sacrament and attended the Forty Hours devotion in the city.
Most Catholics associate St. Anthony with finding lost items, lost causes and most importantly lost souls. It was believed that hearing St. Anthony’s voice alone had the power to convert believers after hearing just one sermon. How incredible is that? It is also said that he was such an effective orator that his sermons moved people in powerful ways. This also includes Catholics who strayed away from the Church. Turning to and calling on St. Anthony called them back to the religion. There was a time during his earthly ministry that a large group of people listening to him repented and turned to the Church in droves. This act alone earned him the nickname ‘The Hammer of Heretics.’
St. Rita is the saint of impossible causes. If you are struggling with infertility or miscarriage, getting pregnant seems like the impossible dream. Every month that goes by without a pregnancy or every miscarried baby adds to the desperation and feeling hopelessness. If you're struggling with infertility, St. Rita is a saint you can turn to. Daughter of Antonio and Amata Lotti, a couple known as the Peacemakers of Jesus; they had Rita late in life. Rita lived 40 years in the covenant, spending her time in prayer and charity and working for peace in the region. She was devoted to the Passion, and in response to a prayer to suffer as Christ, she received a chronic head wound that appeared to have been caused by a crown of thorns, in which bled for 15 years. She is well known as the patron of desperate, seemingly impossible causes and situations because she has been involved in so many stages of life – wife, mother, widow and nun. She buried her family, helped bring peace to her city, saw her dreams denied and fulfilled – and never lost her faith in God.
If you’re Catholic, you probably know there are a number of saints for health but did you know that there are special saints to call on when you’re looking for a complete medical breakthrough? St. Dymphna is patroness of those who suffer through stress, anxiety and mental illness. She was only 15 when she was martyred in defense of her purity. When her mother passed, her father was afflicted with mental illness and attempted to marry her. After fleeing her home, her father found her and killed her. While some have never heard of St. Dymphna, she is growing in popularity because of the growing world of stress, fear and anxiety we live in. She welcomes our prayers and petitions of healing when it comes to our emotional health and wellness.
If you are faced with a desperate situation, don’t be afraid to turn to St. Jude. Why should you turn to him in these circumstances? The traditional reason is rather simple: When one hears the name Judas (Latin and Greek) or even (English), one immediately thinks of Judas Iscariot who betrayed our Lord. Therefore, a person had to be desperate to invoke his name. Being so seldom invoked and reverenced, St. Jude is ready and waiting to hear the prayers of those who call upon him. Ironically, he is probably the Apostle who is invoked in the most prayer, and the most memorialized in churches with statues or artwork.
If you’re struggling in your relationship or are in need of help when it comes to your love life, know that you can turn to St. Valentine who is the patron saint of love. Believers say God worked through his life to perform miracles and teach people how to recognize and experience true love. This famous saint, an Italian doctor who later became a priest, inspired the creation of the Valentine’s Day holiday. He was sent to jail for performing weddings for couples during a time when new marriages were outlawed in ancient Rome. Before he was killed for refusing to renounce his faith, he sent a loving farewell note to a young blind girl he had been helping to teach. She was the daughter of his jailer, and that note eventually led to the tradition of sending Valentine’s cards. Believers say that God miraculously cured Julia of her blindness so that she could personally read Valentine’s note, rather than just have someone else read it to her.
St. Dominic Savio
St. Dominic Savio is a powerful intercessor that can protect those of all ages. If you are worried about your rebellious teenager, you can turn to St. Dominic. He was a bright kid who met St. John Bosco at the age of 12 and attended his school. As an ordinary and fun-loving boy, he sometimes got into trouble for laughing too much in the classroom. He loved to play games, but also devoted long hours to prayer. One day Dominic encountered two boys arguing and on the verge of a dangerous fight. They were going to throw stones at each other until Dominic intervened. Dominic was a beacon of light to his classmates and helped many of them turn their lives around and back to God. He died at the age of 15 due to a severe, unidentified illness, and was later canonized for displaying such heroic faith at a young age. He is known as the patron saint of “juvenile delinquents” and is a great intercessor for all youth, especially those who have fallen in with bad influences, or gone astray.
Catholics believe that saints are heavenly intercessors that we can turn to not only as sources of inspiration, but also as good neighbors. They see saints as faithful and reliable friends who come to our aid during times of trouble. Although times change, our need for the help of the saints remains constant. Allow the lives of these saints to inspire you today!