Patron Saints of Christianity
Patron Saint Peter Celestine
St. Peter Celestine is also often called Pope Celestine V. He was elected pope in 1294, but was only pope for a brief time. No other pope has taken the name Celestine. During his early life, he worked in the fields and his mother was a key figure in his spiritual development since his father passed away. He showed a great amount of love for others and he always had a disposition toward solitude and asceticism. After Pope Nicholas IV passed away, the cardinals elected St. Peter to fill the position. His reign as pope was short, but he had many notable acts including empowerment decrees. He resigned the papacy and much modern interest has gone into that fact.
St. Peter Claver
St. Peter Claver has the feast day of September 9th. He was born in 1580 in Spain to parents plagued by poverty. He studied in Barcelona with the Jesuits and entered a Jesuit novitiate in 1602 to take his final vows. He was influenced during his religious studies to go to the Indies in order to save many perishing souls. He traveled to Cartagena, the largest slave market of the new world and dedicated himself to serving slaves for the next 3 years. He tirelessly worked to save slaves souls and abolish the slave trade. Because of his work, he was made the patron saint of slavery, African-Americans, Negro missions, and Colombia.
St. Philip Neri
St. Philip Neri has a feast day of May 26th. Philip had a good sense of humor as well as a spontaneity that was rare during his time. He was born in 1515 and since his father was not financially successful, he worked with an older cousin. He found places to pray including a small fissure in a mountain that later was turned into a chapel. Not much is known about his actual conversion, but during his hours in prayer, he decided he wanted to leave the world behind and dedicate himself to God. He moved in to Rome and studied theology and philosophy, but he began to realize these studies were interrupting his prayer. He threw away his books and lived as a hermit to pray uninterrupted. He formed groups of pilgrims that ministered to people in Rome without any food or shelter. Due to the wisdom he brought with him to Rom and the many conversions he affected, he was made the patron saint of Rome.
St. Philomena has the feast day of August 11th. Not much is known about her life, but information that has been distributed was received through private revelations about her. Philomena was martyred in the early days of the church at the young age of 14. Remains of a young woman were found in 1802 and the symbols around it indicated that the body was that of a martyr by the name of Philomena. Not much was known about her so the bones were exhumed and forgotten. When a shrine was later built in her honor, relics of her presence were rumored to cause miracles. She became recognized as a saint solely based on those miracles since nothing was historically known about her other than her name and an evidence of martyrdom.
St. Polycarp has the feast day of February 23rd. Polycarp was a disciple of St. John the Evangelist. He sat at the feet of the apostles ad heard the stories of Jesus life and he walked with those who had traveled with Christ. Polycarp was a second generation of church leaders who met with challenges the leaders that went before him did not have. Once the apostles were gone, new heresies began to grow and persecution was strong. Polycarp was a holy man who became the bishop of Smyrna. He found the only answer to the problem, to imitate the life of Christ as closely as possible. Because of his model-faithfulness, he suffered persecution. He showed no fear and met his death as an eternally faithful member of the body of Christ.