Popular Patron Saints

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Saint Christopher

Saint Christopher is a 3rd-century martyr, killed for his faith by the Roman ruler Decius, who ruled from 249 to 251.

Several legends surround the life of St. Christopher, one of which tells the story of the saint crossing a river. During his trek across the ford, a child comes up to the saint and asks for assistance in getting across. When Christopher tries to carry the child, he finds that he is almost too heavy to carry. The child, it was said, represented Christ, who takes on the weight of the world.

Indeed, St. Christopher is popular and widely known as he also holds patronage for all travel-related things, including protection against floods and lightning. Gardeners motorists, sailors, surfers, mariners, and transportation employees all hold St. Christopher in high regard. The patron saint is revered by air travelers, and ship personnel alike.

St. Christopher is also the patron saint of a number of locales too. His patronage and protection is invoked in the countries of  GermanyItaly, Croatia, the Netherlands, St. Kitts (in the Caribbean),  Spain, Portugal, Greece, Lithuania, Cuba, and the Philippines. Of course, since St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers, it's easy to understand why his presence is felt in so many country locations.

Gold Saint Anthony Medal

Saint Anthony

The patron saint of stolen articles,  St. Anthony of Padua was both a Franciscan educator and preacher. His image is usually depicted holding the Christ child, a book, or lily, or is seen carrying all three. Living a life that was totally devoted to and dependent on God,  St. Anthony is known to respond to all people's spiritual needs.

Born in 1195, The patron saint lived in Portugal where he was given the  baptismal name of Fernando. His parents were influential members of the community and sent the future priest to cathedral school. When he was 15, Saint Anthony entered a religious order - his prelude to the holy life that he was meant to lead.

However, because of his youth, St. Anthony, at that time, could not be described as the peaceful adult he eventually became. Old friends would visit him often and engaged the youth in political discourse - hardly conducive to the monastery way of living.The young man then moved on, in 1212, to Abbey of Santa Cruz, located in Coimbra, which, at the time was the capital of Portugal. While living at the motherhouse, he devoted his time to studying Latin and theology.

When he was ordained a priest, Fernando was given the title of guestmaster and therefore oversaw the hospitality activities of his Order. During this period, he became acquainted with some Franciscan friars, whose simplified way of life appealed to him. Eventually,he made up his mind to join the Franciscans, and adopted the new name of Anthony.

An incident happened in  Bologna that would cause Anthony to become later recognized as the saint for finding lost or stolen items. During the event, Anthony was carrying a book of psalms, which was used for teaching purposes. One of the novices, who had departed his studies, decided to take the Psalter. A valuable tome at the time, Anthony prayed that the book would be returned. His prayer was answered and the book was restored. The thief also decided to return the Order as well. Now, the stolen item is displayed in Bologna in the Franciscan friary.

Saint Benedict

Saint Benedict is a saint who is honored by both the Anglican and Catholic churches, venerated as the patron saint of students. He was born around 480 in  Norcia, Italy. During his life, the saint established 12 monastic communities in Subiac, Italy, all which were situated about 40 miles east of Rome.

After founding the communities, he lived in Monte Cassino, located in the mountain region of south Italy. The primary accomplishment in St. Benedict's life was the Rule of Saint Benedict, which offers monks precepts that are detailedin 73 short, yet succinct, chapters. The wisdom directs monks in both spirtual and Christian living and directs them how to effectively run a monastery.

Most of the lessons learned teach those called to the monastic calling to be humble and obedient servants of God. One chapter in the Rule sets forth an outline for the pastoral responsibilities for an abbot. It's not surprising then that St. Benedict is also known as the founder of monasticism.

The Benedict medal, reveals a cross and scroll, which originates from a cross that also honors the saint. St. Benedict appears on one side displaying the cross in his left hand and the Holy Rule, for which he is recognized, in his right.

A raven and cup each appear on either side of the saint. The words, Eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur (May we, at our death, be fortified by His Presence) are presented on the outside margin. On the other side, the cross is displayed along with the initials CSSML, short for the Latin petition, Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux, or May the Holy Cross be my light.

The medal was initially struck in 1880, and was made to commemorate the birth of the saint. It is also known then as the Jubilee Medal. The  medal of the popular patron saint was officially sanctioned by Pope Benedict XIV in written briefs dated in December of 1741 and March of 1742.

Saint Patrick

Born in Great BritainSt. Patrick is highly venerated in the Catholic Church, serving as a missionary and Irish bishop in the fifth century. The feast day for St. Patrick is celebrated on March 17, also popularly known as St. Patrick's Day. A patron saint of the Irish, St. Patrick's patronage extends to providing protection against witchcraft, sins, and snakes.

The Irish shamrock is also associated with St. Patrick, used to depict the doctrine behind the  Holy Trinity, with the three leaf shamrock showing the embodiment of three individuals in one God. That's the reason shamrocks are closely linked to the Irish and St. Patrick's Day. The plant was even noted as being holy in Ireland's Pre-Christian period. Many people in Ireland connected the plant with eternal life or rebirth because of its three leaves and vivid green coloring.

St. Patrick, according to legend, is also responsible for driving out the snakes off the Emerald Isle. According to the account, the Saint chased the serpents into the ocean after he was attacked by them while fasting on a hill. However, naturalists, claim that snakes probably never existed on the isle in the first place. As a result, the story is considered more symbolical than literal. In any event,  St. Patrick was a man who was revered for his devotional commitment to living a faith-based life.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Also known as the patroness for the yet-to-be born,  Our Lady of Guadalupe is the title given to the Virgin Mary, who appeared to a man, Juan Diego, on the Hill of Tepeyac, located near the capital of Mexico. Appearing on a morning in December in 1531, the young woman spoke to Juan in the Nahuatl language, and requested that a church be constructed on the hill in order to honor her. When Juan told the Spanish Archbishop about his experience, he was instructed to go back to the hill and ask that the lady give him a miraculous sign to provide proof that she was the Virgin Mary.

Soon afterwards, Juan's uncle, who was sick at the time, was healed. The Virgin also instructed Juan to gather a bouquet of flowers from the hill site. Although it was past the growing season, Juan did find some Castilian roses on the otherwise bare landscape.

The flowers were rearranged by the Virgin in Juan's tilma or cloak. Juan returned to the Bishop a few days later with the blooms, which fell from the coat to the floor. When this occurred, the men saw the image of the Virgin embedded on the coat's material.

The shrine commemorating  Our Lady of Guadalupe is visited more than other Catholic pilgrimage location globally. The shrine of the Lady is located in Mexico City in the  Basilica of Guadalupe.

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