Patron Saints of Christianity
Patron Saint Raymond Nonnatus
St. Raymond Nonnatus has the feast day of August 31st. He was born in Spain and his mother died upon the event of his birth. He was taken be a caesarean operation and his name "Nonnatus" means not born. He joined the Mercedarians and succeeded St. Peter as the ransomer for slaves. He gave himself as a hostage in return for slaves after he ran out of money and he was sentenced to death once the leaders realized he converted people to Christianity. He escaped the death sentence, but had to run the gauntlet instead. He was later tortured due to his evangelistic activities. Because of his own birth, he was made the patron saint of expectant mothers and childbirth and because of his work with prisoners, he was also made patron saint of the falsely accused.
St. Raphael The Archangel
St. Raphael has the feast day of September 29th. He is one of seven archangels who is said to stand before the throne of God. He was once sent to help Tobiah, Tobit, and Sarah. Tobit was blind and Tobiah was engaged to Sarah. Raphael is only one of three archangels to be mentioned by name in the Bible. Raphael's name means God heals and it is claimed that he healed the earth after fallen angels and sin defiled it. He is also identified as the angels who moves waters and heals sheep pools.
St. Raymond of Penyafort
St. Raymond of Penyafort was a Dominican friar who compiled a collection of canon laws that remained part of the code until 1917. The Decretals of Gregory IX, as they were called, became an integral part of the church in the 1100s. Raymone was born in a small town near Barcelona and he got doctorates in canon and civil law. He taught canon law after that and was chaplain to the Pope as well as confessor to the king. Because of his education and expertise in canon law and other legal realms, he was made the patron saint of canonists and lawyers.
St. Rene Goupil
St. Rene Goupil was a French missionary in the 1600s. He was also one of the very first North American martyrs who came from the Roman Catholic Church. Before he entered the Society of Jesus, he was a surgeon and over his years of service to the ministries, he traveled to spread the word of Christ. After teaching children about the sign of the cross, he was killed when a spear was thrown at his head. Since he has a background in surgery, he was made the patron saint of anesthetists.
St. Rose of Lima
St. Rose of Lima was born in Peru in 1586. She also died there at the age of 24. Her real name was Isabel and she was such a beautiful baby that people took to calling her Rose. She became lovelier as she grew, but Rose did not want to be admired. She simply wanted to give her heart to Jesus and be recognized only by him. She did not want her beauty to distract others into temptation so she rubbed her face with pepper until it turned red and formed blisters. Rose normally humbly obeyed her parents, except when they wanted her to get married. She only spoke of Christ, with her face glowing, every time they brought it up. Many miracles followed Rose after her death and because of her name, she was made the patron saint of florists as well as several countries.
St. Rita of Cascia
St. Rita was born in Italy at married at the age of 12. Her parents arranged the marriage, though she said she preferred to enter a convent. Her husband was rich but very immoral and he had plenty of enemies in the area. St. Rita was abused and insulted during her years of marriage. She acted in a kind and patient manner, however, and her husband converted from his wicked ways and their home became peaceful. St. Rita had two sons who grew up to love God. When Rita's husband was killed by some of his enemies, her sons decided they wanted revenge. She tried to persuade them against the acts, but when she could not, she turned to prayer instead. Her sons ended up dying of natural causes. Since Rita was placed in many impossible situations herself as well as an unhappy marriage, she was made the patron saint over those items.
St. Robert Bellarmine
St. Robert Bellarmine has the feast day of September 17th. He was born in 1542 as the third of ten children. His mother was the niece of the Pope and she was very dedicated to prayer, fasting, mediation, and mortification. When Robert was old enough, he entered the Society of Jesus and once he was ordained, he became well known for his Latin sermons. He was appointed the chairman of a very controversial theology department at Roman College and he went on to become Rector and eventually Cardinal. Robert was an enthusiastic scholar and served God in a devoted manner. He composed many pieces of work against heretical teaching and since he helped for many canons, he became the patron saint of canonists as well as catechists.
St. Roch has the feast day of August 16th. He was born in France but became an orphan when he was 20. He traveled to Rom and decided he wanted to care for the victims of the plagues that were running rampant through Italy. He fell ill due to the plague as well, but he recovered, which was one of the miracles attributed to him. When he went home, he was imprisoned as a spy. He died in prison and after his death, he was recognized as the governor's son by the birthmark that formed a cross on his chest. He became the patron saint of invalids and epidemics and since there is nearly always a dog in the pictures that relate to him, he also watched over dogs and dog lovers.