“We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are attaining their purification, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church; and we believe that in this communion the merciful love of God and His saints is ever listening to our prayers.”– Saint Paul VI (Credo of the People of God, 30)
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
Feast Day: January 4th
Patronages: In-Law Problems, against Death of Children, Widows
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is the first native born American to be canonized by the Catholic Church.
Her early years were far from free of sufferings, especially experiencing death of loved ones. The many enforced separations from dear ones by death and distance served to draw Elizabeth’s heart to God and eternity. The accepting and embracing of God’s will – “The Will,” as she called it – would be a keynote in her spiritual life.
Feast Day: January 21st
Patronages: Young Girls, Chastity, Rape Surviors
St. Agnes was martyred at the young age of either 12 or 13 for giving her heart and life to Jesus. She was a very beautiful and born into a wealthy family, and for these reasons, her hand was highly sought after in marriage… but she had already given herself to our Lord. When a man would ask for her hand in marriage, she would respond, “Jesus Christ is my only Spouse.”
St. Thomas Aquinas
Feast Day: January 28th
Patronages: Teachers, Philosophers/Theologians, Students
A Student’s Prayer
Come, Holy Spirit, Divine Creator, true source of light and fountain of wisdom! Pour forth your brilliance upon my dense intellect, dissipate the darkness which covers me, that of sin and of ignorance. Grant me a penetrating mind to understand, a retentive memory, method and ease in learning, the lucidity to comprehend, and abundant grace in expressing myself. Guide the beginning of my work, direct its progress, and bring it to successful completion. This I ask through Jesus Christ, true God and true man, living and reigning with You and the Father, forever and ever.
St. John Bosco
Feast Day: January 31st
Patronages: Editors, Publishers, Youth, and Magicians
When he was not preaching, Fr. Bosco worked tirelessly seeking work for boys who needed it, and searching for lodgings for others. His mother began to help him, and she became known as “Mamma Margherita.” By the 1860s, Fr. Bosco and his mother were responsible for lodging 800 boys.
Fr. Bosco also negotiated new rights for boys who were employed as apprentices. A common problem was the abuse of apprentices, with their employers using them to perform manual labor and menial work unrelated to their apprenticeship. Fr. Bosco negotiated contracts which forbade such abuse, a sweeping reform for that time. The boys he hired out were also given feast days off and could no longer be beaten.