Wednesday, August 12, 2015

30 Saints for just about every illness and health concern

When it comes to concerns for our health and the health of our loved ones, we should always turn to prayer. We pray for disease prevention, for physical healing, and for peace of soul while enduring physical suffering. Fortunately, there seems to be a special saint for just about every illness and health concern we can think of!

The saints are great aids to us in our time of need and help guide us to greater love for Christ through our crosses and trials, especially when it comes to our health. Here is a list of both popular and not-so-well-known saints to invoke for common ailments:

Addictions – St. Maximilian Kolbe

Saint Maximilian Kolbe is the patron of families, drug addicts, prisoners, journalists, and the pro-life movement. Known for founding the Immaculata Movement and producing the Knight of the Immaculate magazine. During World War II, Saint Maximilian Kolbe housed over 3000 Polish refugees at his monastery. He was eventually imprisoned and sent to Auschwitz where he experienced constant beatings and terrible jobs. St. Maximilian died in the place of a man with young children who was chosen by the guards for the firing squad. St. Maximilian Kolbe's feast day is August 14th.

Arthritis – St. Alphonsus Ligouri

St. Alphonsus Ligouri was a bishop and theologian during the 18th century. He became a well known lawyer at the age of 16, but after time of discernment, he decided to enter the seminary and become a priest. Alphonsus spent his early years of priesthood ministering to the homeless and marginalized youth, and eventually founded the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, which aimed to preach to the slums of cities. He died in 1787, was canonized on May 26th, 1839, and was declared a doctor of the Church in 1871. St. Alphonsus Ligouri's feast day is celebrated on August 1st.

Babies, Infants, Children’s Health – St. Philomena

Saint Philomena is the patron of babies, orphans, test takers, youth, and impossible causes. Very little is known about her life as she was martyred in the early years of the Church at the age of fourteen. Saint Philomena's shrine in Mugnano has had numerous cures attributed to it since 1805. She is the only person to be recognized as a Saint solely on the basis of miraculous intercession. St. Philomena's feast day is August 11th.

Back Pain – St. Gemma Galgani

Saint Gemma Galgani is the patron of students, druggists, and apothecaries. She was the elder daughter of seven and both parents had died by the time she had reached the age of eighteen. Saint Gemma Galgani, despite her poor health, cared for her younger brothers and sisters until she was miraculously healed by prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She then became a Passionist tertiary and a stigmatist. Saint Gemma Galgani was visited often by her guardian angel, Jesus, and Mary. Saint Gemma Galgani's feast day is April 11th.

Breast Cancer – St. Agatha

St. Agatha is one of the seven women, besides the Virgin Mary, commemorated by name in the Roman Missal. Agatha was born in Sicily, into an affluent family. At a young age Agatha made the decision to devote her life to Christ, and resisted marriage to any man. She was soon imprisoned, tortured and finally martyred for her refusal to marry. St. Agatha is the patroness of nurses and breast cancer. Her feast day is celebrated on February 5th.

Broken Bones – St. Stanislaus Kostka

Saint Stanislaus is the patron of soldiers in battle and Krakow, Poland. He was a fiery preacher against sinful living regardless of class. St. Stanislaus was martyred during mass by King Boleslaus the Cruel after excommunicating him for war crimes and attempted theft of Church land. King Boleslaus was then ran out of power and later joined the monastic life out of the guilt he bore for his many crimes. St. Stanislaus’s feast day is April 11th.

Burns – St. John the Apostle

Saint John the Evangelist is the patron of editors, authors, art dealers, tanners, and theologians. He was known as the beloved disciple to Jesus and was the only one of the twelve to not forsake Jesus in the hour of His Passion. Saint John the Evangelist has many stories attributed to himself including emerging unharmed from a pot of boiling oil and stones thrown by the followers of Artemis towards St. John the Evangelist turned around and hit the throwers instead. He is also credited with writing the fourth Gospel. St. John the Evangelist's feast day is December 27th.

Cancer – St. Peregrine

Saint Peregrine is the patron of sick people, cancer patients, and AIDS patients. He was initially a fiery anti-Catholic until he struck Saint Philip Benizi whom offered him the other cheek in return. Saint Peregrine had a conversion from the experience. He had a vision of Christ which resulted in the cancer in his foot being healed. Saint Peregrine is an incorruptible saint. St. Peregrine's feast day is May 1st.

Chronic Illness and Suffering – St. Lidwina of Schiedam

Saint Lidwina of Schiedam is the patron of the chronically ill and ice skaters. Legend has it that she fell while ice skating and broke a rib which she never recovered from. She became bed-ridden for life after the fall and began having many miraculous healings attributed to her. Saint Lidwina of Schiedam fasted continuously and at her death the sweet odor of sainthood filled her room. St. Lidwina of Schiedam's feast day is April 14th.

Cramps, Abdominal Pain – St. Erasmus of Formiae (St. Elmo)

St. Elmo is the patron of childbirth, boatmen, and explosives workers. He was an Italian bishop during the reign of Emperor Diocletian. St. Elmo fled for his life to Mount Lebanon where he was fed by a raven in order to stay alive. Unfortunately, he was discovered and imprisoned but an angel rescued him although he was recaptured. Saint Elmo was martyred by being disemboweled in 303. Saint Elmo's feast day is June 2nd.

Diabetes – St. Josemaria Escriva

Saint Josemaria Escriva discovered his vocation to the priesthood when he saw the bare footprints of a monk in the snow. He spent most of his life teaching and learning in universities. Saint Josemaria Escriva's lasting impact lies in the foundation of Opus Dei which he devoted to expanding. Today Opus Dei has 80,000 members internationally which is composed of mostly laymen. St. Josemaria Escriva's feast day is June 26th.

Epilepsy and Seizures – St. Vitus

Saint Vitus is the patron of epileptics, dancers, and actors. The legend of St. Vitus holds that he converted at the age of twelve and cured Emperor Diocletian's son of an evil spirit. This resulted in him being tortured as the nobility assumed he used sorcery in the healing, however, Saint Vitus emerged unharmed and was freed from prison by a terrible storm destroying numerous pagan temples. He was then led to Lucania by an angel. St. Vitus is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and his feast day is June 15th.

Eye Disorders – St. Lucy

Saint Lucy is the patron of blind people, salesmen, sore eyes, writers, laborers, and authors. Her mother tried to force her into an arranged marriage but Saint Lucy prayed at the tomb of Saint Agatha and her mother's hemorrhagic illness was cured which resulted in her mother releasing her from the arranged marriage and further recognizing her call to the religious life. The rejected bridegroom told the governor of Sicily of her faith and the governor had her eyes torn out and stabbed to death after flames failed to harm her. St. Lucy's feast day is December 13th.

Head Injuries – Blessed John Licci

Saint John Licci is the patron against head injuries. He lived a life of miracles including praying to make wells dry, wells bring water, raise the dead, curing the sick, and elongating wooden beams. Saint John Licci also wore the habit for 96 years which is the longest amount of time that anyone has worn a habit. St. John Licci's feast day is November 14th.

Headaches – St. Teresa of Avila

Saint Teresa of Avila is the patron of people in need of grace, lace makers, sick people, and Pozega, Croatia. She was a Carmelite sister and received numerous visions during a period of great illness. St. Teresa of Avila founded a reformed convent of Saint John of Avila. Saint Teresa of Avila is a Doctor of the Church and a well-praised mystic writer. St. Teresa's of Avila's feast day is October 15th.

Heart Disease, Heart Attack – St. John of God

A shepherd and a soldier in Spain who lead a faithless life until the Infant Jesus appeared to him. He changed his ways and cared for the poor and ill. He is known as the patron of alcoholics, publishers, and hospital workers. His feast day is March 8.

Impossible Causes – St. Jude Thaddeus

Saint Jude Thaddeus is the patron of impossible causes, desperate situations, and hospitals. He was a blood relative of Jesus Christ and one of his Apostles. St. Jude Thaddeus is famous for his preaching, healing, exorcising, and appearance which very closely matched that of Jesus. He wrote the Epistle named for him and his patronage of lost causes seems to be a mix up between himself and Judas Iscariot. St. Jude Thaddeus' feast day is October 28th.

Infections – St. Agrippina of Mineo

Infertility, Miscarriage, Childbirth – St. Gerard

Saint Gerard is the patron of motherhood, pro-life movement, good confessions, and Muro, Italy. He struggled with health issues throughout his life but was accepted as a Redemptorist lay brother. He was known to bilocate, read consciences, and work miracles. Once he was falsely accused of fathering a woman's child but the accuser recanted and cleared him. St. Gerard's feast day is October 16th.

Kidney Disease – St. Benedict

St. Benedict, Founder of Western Monasticism. The twin brother of St. Scholastica, he founded many monasteries and wrote his Rule to guide the work and prayer lives of the monks. He is known as the patron of farmers, civil engineers, and members of religious communities. His feast day is March 21st.

Lung and Respiratory Problems – St. Bernardine of Siena

Obesity, Stomach Ailments – St. Charles Borromeo

Charles spent much of his childhood at the Benedictine Abbey receiving his education. His uncle was Pope Pius IV, and he elected Charles as Secretary of State and made him Cardinal and Administrator of the see of Milan. He also served as Pius' legate on several diplomatic assignments, and was instrumental in having Pope Pius reconvene the Council of Trent. He became bishop of Milan, which in turn became a model see, due to the improvements he made and abuses he reversed. Throughout his life, he held his position and high ranking in humility, and constantly strove for sanctity. His feast day is celebrated on November 4th.

Pain, Suffering, Healing – St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina joined the Capuchin friars at the age of 19. He is the first priest to have received the stigmata. Word spread of his holiness which resulted in him becoming a pilgrimage for both pious and curios individuals. Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina was able to bilocate, levitate, and heal by touch. St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina's feast day is September 23rd.

Skin Disease – St. Anthony of the Desert

St. Anthony lived a life of asceticism. After hearing in Church Matthew 19:21, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." St. Anthony resolved to do just this. He left his village to live a life of prayer, fasting, and labor. Whenever Anthony heard of pious, holy people and would travel to visit them and gain from them virtues that he would take back with him to the desert to imitate in his own life. St. Anthony died at the age of one hundred and five. His feast day is celebrated on January 17.

Stress, Anxiety, Mental Health – St. Dymphna

St. Dymphna was just 15 when she was martyred in defense of her purity. After the death of her mother, Dymphna's father became afflicted with a mental illness and attempted to marry his own daughter. Dymphna fled along with St. Gerebran and her confessor. However, her father found her and when she refused to go back with him, he cut off her head. St. Dymphna is patroness of those suffering from mental illness. Her feast day is celebrated on May 15th.

Strokes, High Blood Pressure – St. Andrew Avellino

Surgery – St. Luke the Evangelist

Saint Luke is the patron of goldsmiths, brewers, surgeons, artists, and bachelors. He was one of the earliest converts to Christianity and a skilled physician. St. Luke is well-known for writing the Gospel, According to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. Saint Luke spent most of his life evangelizing Greece and Rome with Saint Paul the Apostle. Some stories say that he was martyred but others argue that he perished of natural death. St. Luke's feast day is October 18th.

Throat Ailments – St. Blaise

St. Blaise lived during the third and fourth centuries. It is believed that he was born into a noble family and raised as a Christian. He became a priest and then a bishop just before a new persecution of Christians began. It is believed that Blaise was martyred under the reign of Licinius. Blaise is known as the patron saint of wild animals because of his care for them and of those with throat ailments. His feast day is celebrated on February 3rd.

Toothache, Dental Problems – St. Apollonia

St. Apollonia lived during the third century, and was martyred for not renouncing her faith under the reign of Emperor Phillip. Apollonia had all of her teeth knocked after being hit in the face by a persecutor. She was threatened with fire unless she renounced her faith, but Apolloniia willingly jumped into the flames. She is known as the patron saint of dental diseases. Her feast day is celebrated on February 9.

Wounds – St. Rita

St. Rita of Cascia was a wife, mother, widow, and then nun. Patron of hopeless causes, victims of abuse, and widows. Her feast day is May 22.

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