Below we’ve put together a gift selection for those who have a devotion to one of our newest (and greatest!) heavenly intercessors. Each of these Catholic gifts commemorating Pope Saint John Paul II will undoubtedly help foster love for and devotion to this new patron saint. And hopefully, with his closeness and intercession, help you to become the saint he desires you to be.
Kateri trekked over 200 miles through rough terrain, a two month, undoubtedly difficult due to her poor eyesight, to reach the Christian settlement. There she desired to live a life of prayer and penance. She declined marriage and lived as a single woman with deep faith, offering her sufferings and life to Christ. Her great sanctity, virtue, mystical prayer life, and love for Christ amazed the Jesuits and everyone who knew her. It is said that people loved to be around her and listen to her speak because her soul radiated the beauty and peace of God.
As the divinely appointed “Precursor” of Jesus Christ, St. John the Baptist’s life was closely intertwined with the earthly life of Jesus. On this feast celebrating his birth, we can reflect on how much like Jesus he truly was. Here are ten things St. John the Baptist has in common with Jesus.
Today is the feast day of one of the most popular and loved saints of the Catholic church, Saint Anthony of Padua. St. Anthony of Padua was the fastest canonized saint in Church history, taking place a mere 11 months after his death. In 1946 he was proclaimed a doctor of the Church. St. Anthony was a Franciscan friar who lived during the lifetime of the founder of the Franciscan order, St. Francis of Assisi.
Saint Dymphna was born in 7th century Ireland to a pagan Irish chieftain named Damon and a beautiful Christian woman. Dymphna’s mother imparted the Christian faith to her daughter and had her secretly baptized against her father’s wishes. Her mother tragically died while St. Dymphna was only a teenager. Her father, who loved his wife deeply, was driven to madness by her death. Delusion and mental illness overcame him and he eventually sought to marry his daughter because she reminded him of his departed wife.
When Imelda Lambertini was five years old, she asked to receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time. She loved Christ deeply, to the point of wondering, “Can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?” However, as it was the year 1327, her request was out of the question. At that time children were not allowed to receive Holy Communion until they were at least 12 years old. But she persisted.
Saint Nicholas of Myra was a 4th century bishop famous for his generosity to the poor and protection of the wronged. He was a miracle worker, most known for appearing to sailors caught in a storm at sea and raising three young boys from the dead. He is the patron saint of a great many causes, professions, cities, and countries; most notably he is the patron saint of children, sailors, prisoners, and maidens seeking to marry.
November 22nd is the feast day of St. Cecilia, one of the most revered of the early Virgin Martyrs of Rome, as evidenced by her name appearing in the Roman Canon of the Mass.
St. Barlaam of Antioch (also known as St. Barlaam the Martyr or St. Barlaam of Caesarea) was an early 4th century martyr with a glorious story of fortitude in the face of torture and an unlikely champion of the Church. St. Barlaam was an elderly, uneducated peasant jailed for his Christian faith as part of the persecution of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. When his trial arrived he was scourged, racked, and tortured for days in an attempt to force him to apostatize. After each inhumane trial he was asked to renounce his Christian faith. He refused.
Cultivating a deeper relationship with your patron saint(s) is one way to grow in your faith and in communion with the Church of the past and the present. These intimate friendships help connect us to heaven, even as we struggle down here below. It is a great consolation to know that we have the heavenly court urging us on and interceding for us before the throne of God. Here are 6 ways to deepen your relationships with your special Patron Saints: