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Patron Saints of Christianity


Patron Saint Albert the Great

St. Albert the Great died around 1280 AD and he now has a feast day of November 15th. St. Albert was known as a teacher of everything there is to know about anything. He was a scientist before science even really existed. He was considered to be somewhat of a wizard and magician in his era and he even became a mentor and teacher to one of the great minds of the time, Thomas Aquinas. Albert the Great was born near Ulm, Germany and as a young man, he fell in love with learning. After teaching many different lessons, he began to lecture on theology as well. He was a bishop at one time, but resigned after just three years as his reputation as a scientist grew. He remained a friend and advisor to many kings, popes, and other men of faith over the remainder of his life. St. Albert died at a very old age and was canonized 700 years later. His writings remain remarkable for their scientific knowledge and reasoning. Because of his technical knowledge, he was made the patron saint of scientists and medical technicians. Because he continued to advise many members of the church, he also helps the Universal Church as a whole. In 1260, he was appointed bishop of Regensberg; when he resigned after three years, he was called to be an adviser to the pope and was sent on several diplomatic missions. In his latter years, he resided in Cologne, took part in the Council of Lyons in 1274, and in his old age traveled to Paris to defend the teaching of his student Thomas Aquinas. It was in Cologne that his reputation as a scientist grew. He carried on experiments in chemistry and physics in his makeshift laboratory and built up a collection of plants, insects, and chemical compounds that gave substance to his reputation. When Cologne decided to build a new cathedral, he was consulted about the design. He was friend and adviser to popes, bishops, kings, and statesmen and made his own unique contribution to the learning of his age. He died a very old man in Cologne on November 15,1280, and is buried in St. Andrea's Church in that city. He was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931 by Pope Pius XI. His writings are remarkable for their exact scientific knowledge, and for that reason he has been made the patron saint of scientists.

Patron Saint Alexis of Rome

St. Alexis of Rome was often called a Man of God during his life. He actually lived by begging the alms that others received. The Greek version of the legend surrounding Alexis make him the only son of a wealthy Christian Roman senator. Alexis left his family after he found out he was going to be subject to an arranged marriage and he went on to follow a holy vocation instead. He disguised himself as a beggar and took alms from household slaves who should have recognized him. Since he fled his comfortable home and took on Christian causes, he later became the patron saint of beggars. After his death, his family found writings all over his body that showed how he lived his life after he left their home. Being one of the very early saints many legends have grown up around the life of St Alexis and were much embelished in the Middle Ages. Legends, however, are not just fairy tales; they can be an extremely useful art-form or media for conveying some special truth or quality about a person in a symbolic way which illustrates a message about the person which ordinary language or narration would fail to convey.

St. Aloysius Gonzaga

St. Aloysius Gonzaga has a feast day of June 21. He was born into a rich family in Northern Italy. His father assumed he would be a soldier because the family was often involved in minor wars in the area. His military training began at a young age. When the family was called to Spain in the 1580s, Aloysius began to feel as if he was meant to be a missionary. He had taken a private oath of purity at the age of 9 and he no longer felt interested in normal secular offices. In 1585, he gave up all of the rights to his inheritance and became confirmed. Due to his noble heritage, he gained audience with the Pope and plenty of other dignitaries. He had poor health with many ailments and passed away in 1591. Because he was very young when he first vowed to live his life in a chaste manner and because he died early in his life, he became the patron saint of teenagers, youth, and specifically, catholic youth. In 1585 Aloysius was accepted as a Jesuit novice. In Rome his spiritual director was St. Robert Bellarmine, who counseled Gonzaga to spend less time in private devotions and more time befriending and counseling his companions. Never in good health, Aloysius successfully continued his studies. When the plague hit Rome in 1591 he actively cared for the sick. Aloysius developed the symptoms of the plague and died soon after on June 21, 1591. Aloysius Gonzaga was canonized in 1726 and named Patron of All Students in 1729.