Patron Saints of Christianity
Patron Saint Catherine of Sweden
St. Catherine of Sweden is the daughter of a very famous saint by the name of St. Bridge. Catherine was born in 1330 and though she was married, she and her husband took a vow of continence together. She went to Rome and used the city as a base for many pilgrimages she took during her life. She spent her days fasting and praying as well as working with the poor to help instruct them in religious views. She had a quiet life, but she eventually became the superior of her order and her death was mourned throughout the country of Sweden.
Catherine, who was born about 1330, was a married woman who, with her husband, took a vow of continence. She went to Rome in 1348, where her mother had gone after the death of Catherine's father. Catherine's husband died after she had been in Rome a short time, and for the next twenty-five years the two women used that city as a base for pilgrimages to a variety of places, including Jerusalem. When not on pilgrimage, they spent their days in prayer and meditation and in working with the poor and instructing them in religion. This seemingly quiet life was not without perils and adventures. Dissolute young lords repeatedly sought to seduce the Swedish princess, but God's providence unfailingly thwarted their efforts. After the trip to Jerusalem, Bridget died, and Catherine took her mother's body back to Sweden, burying it at Vadstena, in the convent of the Order of the Holy Savior, which Bridget had founded. Catherine became superior of the order and died on March 24, 1381, mourned like her mother by the whole of Sweden.
St. Cecilia was named the patron saint of Musicians because when she was dying, she was still singing to God. She was known for constantly singing in her heart to God, no matter what her circumstances were at that time. St. Cecilia was an only Child and her feast day is on November 22nd. She is one of seven women who are commemorated in the Canon of Mass by name. She may have been a noble lady from Rome who suffered martyrdom in 230 under the rule of Emperor Alexander Severus. Her martyrdom followed that of her brother and husband when the officers in the region decided she ought to be killed as well. Three attempts at killing Cecilia failed and she told the officers that she would not die until she received her last rites of Holy Communion.
St. Christopher is known as a martyr who died under Decius. There are several legends about the saint, one of which includes him crossing a river and carrying a child across. Halfway across, he found the child heavy and he realized the child symbolized Christ carrying the whole weight of the world. Because of this story, Christopher was made the patron saint of travelers and he is also called upon to prevent thunderstorms and other plagues. Christopher's name itself means Christ bearer and he is one of the names that has mostly legendary tales affixed to it.
St. Charles Borromeo
St. Charles has a feast day of November 4th. He was born into a wealthy family who lived in a castle, but when he was 12, he was sent to a Benedictine abbey for education. His uncle was elected Pope in 1559 and he became the secretary of state the following year. He served in many different leadership roles over the years and he was known for his gentle guiding fashions and decrees during his life. Charles also oversaw catechism, breviary and missals that were called for through the Council of Trent. For this reason, he is the patron saint of both seminarians and catechists.
St. Clare has the feast day of August 11th. She was a beautiful noble Italian woman who founded an order of nuns that are now called "Poor Clares." She heard St. Frances of Assisi speak and felt her heart burn with desire to live a poor and humble life in order to honor God. She ran away from home and gave herself to God, allowing St. Francis to cut off all of her hair and tie a plain cord around her waist. Her parents tried to get her to come back home, but she would not. Her sister joined her later and the two lived without any money. St. Clare often wore no shoes and ate no meat and kept her silence most of the time. Despite the rough conditions, she is always described as a happy person.