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Useful Notes / Patron Saints

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All around the cathedral, the saints and apostles look down as she sells her wares.
Although you can't see them, you know they are smiling each time someone shows that he cares.
Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins, "Feed The Birds"

Real Life saints who have been invoked as patrons in fiction.

Many such saints have many legends that give about a bare kernel of fact, such as a name listed as a martyr. Real legends that help explain their patronage may also be included below. An important theological underpinning is that these saints are intercessors. Having died and been canonizednote , the Church tradition says that each of these saints is in heaven with God.note  Then, in their state of grace, these saints pray to God on behalf of the faithful who pray to them. Think of them as heavenly advocates who have some "insider perks" with the Almighty. Worshipping a saint is right out — also known as "putting other gods before God," which you might notice is not looked upon kindly. Anyway, saints aren't gods — they are just ordinary people who were extraordinarily holy.

A note before we begin: this article is written, for the most part, with the Catholic Church in mind. Obviously, it is not the only Christian church to recognize saints, but the cult of the saints is primarily associated with Catholicism in the Anglosphere.

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    Designations of Sainthood 
The saints can be classified in multiple ways. One of them is based on how they died (this categorization automatically excludes angels, who are immortal). In this case, there are two kinds: martyrs and confessors.
  • Martyrs are Christians who died for the faith. The word "martyr" comes from the Greek word "μάρτυς", meaning "witness," testifying to something of which he has knowledge from personal observation. The Apostles were "witnesses" in this sense, testifying the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, but even then they ran the risk of incurring unto themselves severe punishment and even death; St Stephen, in the Acts of the Apostles, sealed his testimony with his blood as he was stoned to death. Eventually, the word "martyr" came to mean those who have been put to death for the faith.
  • Confessors, on the other hand, are Christians who "confessed" or professed the Faith of Christ (from the Latin word "confiteri," which means "to confess, to profess") in their words and deeds. The title "confessor" was originally used to designate the early Christians who confessed Christ publicly, even as they endured punishment, torture, or exile for it. Unlike martyrs, confessors were not put to death. Around the 4th century, "confessor" came to mean a Christian who lived a life of holiness and was not put to death for the Christian faith.
Other categories of the saints refer to the saint's particular vocation. Those include the Apostles, who were twelve disciples who were called by Christ to a special mission (e.g., St Peter); and the Evangelists, who preached the Gospel. The word "evangelist" refers to the authors of the four Gospels: Sts Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Also, there are Bishops, who manage a diocese as its chief pastor (e.g., St Martin of Tours); Popes, the Bishop of Rome who, by virtue of his position as the successor of St Peter, is the pastor of the whole Church (e.g., Pope St Pius X); Angels, spirits created by God to act as messengers to man (e.g., St Michael); Abbots, superiors of a monastic community, be it an abbey or a monastery, dedicated to contemplating the mysteries of God (e.g., St Benedict of Nursia); Virgins, who were women who dedicated their virginity to God and protected it with their life, sometimes to the point of martyrdom (e.g., St Lucy); Stylites, Christian ascetics who took up their abode on pillars (e.g., St Alypius the Stylite); Doctors of the Church, theologians whose writings contributed greatly to Christian theology and doctrine (e.g., St Anselm of Canterbury); and Fathers of the Church, early Christians who are so-called because of their leadership in the early Christian Church, especially in expounding, defending, and developing Christian doctrine (e.g., St Augustine of Hippo).

By now, you might have noticed that we have mentioned angels a few times. Yes, generally speaking, angels aren't humans, but they share enough of the relevant traits to be included in the lists of patron saints nonetheless.

    Feast Days 
For the Catholic, every day in the calendar is the Feast Day of at least one saint; many of these dates are the known anniversaries of births, deaths, or miracles. A baby born on a saint’s feast day might be named after that particular saint, and gender is no obstacle. A girl born on March 19th, the feast day of St. Joseph, would be named Josephine, for instance. The patron saint then serves as his little namesake's protector and guide. Also frequently seen is that when Catholic churches are founded, they are named after the saint on whose feast day the Church was consecrated, or founded, or when the first stone was laid, or so on. An image or statue of that Saint will be placed prominently within the space to remind the congregants of their patron.

    So You Want to Be a Patron Saint... 
In a nutshell, the first step of becoming a saint is to be a devout Christian (preferably a Catholic as the Catholic Church is prominent for venerating the saints, though the Orthodox Churches are big on it too), living your entire life growing in holiness and virtue, keeping the tenets of God and His Church, and most importantly, loving God with all your heart and all your strength (very, very broadly speaking. For specifics, ask your priest and the saints for guidance). Next, the Church examines your life to be sure that you have an enduring reputation of sanctity and are worthy of veneration. Thus, you must go through a canonization process.

The canonization process has developed throughout the years of the Christian faith. In the early years, the saints were canonized by the local bishop, patriarch, or primate (a bishop who exercises authority in multiple provinces as well as his own), often as a result of popular devotion. This was only done in the local territory over which the grantors held jurisdiction, and it was the Pope's acceptance of the veneration of the saint that made it widespread. Saints who were canonized this way are often considered "Pre-Congregation" saintsnote . It was not until the 13th century that the Church established a formal canonization process. This process, with some modifications by some popes throughout the years, has come down to the Church today.

The current canonization process, within the Catholic Church at least, goes as follows:

  • After the death of a Christian of outstanding holiness, there is a five-year waiting period before the cause can begin. This is to ensure that the Christian has an enduring legacy of sanctity among the faithful. Sometimes, the Pope can waive the waiting period in part or in full; Pope St John Paul II waived three years of the waiting period for St Teresa of Calcutta, and Pope Benedict XVI waived all five years for his predecessor (heeding the cries of santo subito!—Italian for "saint[hood] immediately!"—that seemed to pop up almost spontaneously at John Paul II's funeral). When the waiting period is over, the bishop of that Christian's diocese can petition the Holy See to allow the Cause for Beatification and Canonization to begin. Once the bishop has received permission, the Christian is declared Servant of God (e.g., Servant of God Romano Guardini).
  • Once the Cause has begun, testimonies about the life and virtues of the Servant of God must be accumulated, especially in his public and private writings. This process, which can take years, concludes with the judgment of the diocesan tribunal, and the decision of the bishop, that the Servant of God's heroic virtues have or have not been demonstrated. This gets submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints for examination. Then, they vote affirmatively or negatively for the Cause; their vote determines whether the Cause lives or dies. Should the vote be deemed affirmative, the recommendation of a Decree of Heroic Virtues is submitted to the Pope, whose decision is final. If the Pope recognizes the Christian's heroic virtues, the Christian is declared Venerable (e.g., Venerable Fulton J Sheen).
  • The next step is for a miracle to be attributed to the Venerable due to his intercessory power, which is a sign of his union with God after death. Those proposing a miracle must do so in the diocese in which it is said to have occurred and not the diocese of the Cause (unless, of course, the miracle is said to have occurred in the diocese of the Cause). The diocese of the candidate miracle examines it with a scientific and theological tribunal. Such miracles can be of any kind, but the miracles proposed tend to be almost always medical. In this case, using accepted scientific criteria, the scientific tribunal must determine that there is no natural explanation for the alleged miracle. Then, the theological tribunal must also determine if the miracle by its nature can only be attributed to God. To avoid any question of remission due to unknown natural causation, or even unrecognized therapeutic causation, theologians prefer cures of diseases judged beyond hope by medicine and which occur more or less instantaneously. Next, the theological tribunal determines if the miracle (should it be deemed authentic) is the result of the Venerable's intercession alone. Once that is done, the results are sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who investigate the miracle with their scientific and theological tribunal. If an affirmative judgment is passed, it is submitted to the Pope for approval. With the Pope's approval and conduction of the beatification rite, the Venerable is declared Blessed (e.g., Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich) and thus may receive public veneration at the local or regional level ("public veneration" meaning that it is done by the clergy, in the name of the Church, like Mass, Divine Office, images in churches, etc.).note 
  • The final step is for a second miracle to be attributed to the Blessed. The process is the same as that which made the beatification possible; the diocese of the candidate miracle studies the miracle with a scientific and theological tribunal. The results are then submitted to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who do their own investigation of the miracle. If an affirmative judgment is passed, it gets submitted to the Pope for approval. With the Pope's approval and conduction of the Rite of Canonization (an act considered to be protected from error by the Holy Spirit), the Blessed is now declared a Saint and thus worthy of universal veneration of the Church. If the saint has a universal appeal, the Church may add him to the general Roman calendar with his own Feast Day.
Once completed, the act of canonization is irrevocable. In some cases, a person has been popularly "canonized" without official solemnization by the Church; this is usually the case of "folk saints", and veneration of those "saints" is typically discouraged. It is also worth noting that any act short of solemn canonization by the Roman pontiff is not an infallible declaration of sanctity. Should circumstances demand, the Church may limit the public cult of such a person popularly "canonized."

    Imagery, Relics, and Holy Miscellany 
Saints in imagery often have symbols that represent them. The Evangelists, for example, are often seen with a scroll or book and a quill, and their symbolic companion stands or floats beside them; sometimes, their symbolic companions would suffice. Martyrs traditionally hold palm leaves and the means of how they were tortured or put to death, sometimes even their own dismembered body parts; it’s gruesome, but they stand triumphant, prevailing forever over the cruelty of the world. Saints whose patronage extends to entire nations will typically carry or wear national symbols. Doctors of the Church are sometimes seen with writing material and books. The Other Wiki and this website serve as excellent resources for the curious.

Sometimes, God bestows unto a select few saints the stigmata, or wounds that mirror those of Christ in His Passion. They consist of the wounds from the nails driven into His hands and feet and the spear thrust into His side. Occasionally, those wounds include the punctures from the crown of thorns or the bruise on His shoulder from carrying the cross. The stigmata also come with intense corresponding sufferings, which may be considered the essential part of the stigmata because of the saint's pity for Christ, willingness to participate in His sufferings, sorrows, and for the same end—the expiation of the sins unceasingly committed in the world. Sometimes, the stigmatist would only have parts of those wounds; St. Rita of Cascia's stigmata consisted only of a single wound from the crown of thorns. Other stigmatists would have "invisible stigmata", that is, no visible wounds but the corresponding sufferings; St. Catherine of Sienna initially had the wounds visible, but out of humility prayed that they might be invisible. The stigmata are frequently included in images of Christ, and it's common for saint imagery.

Relics, in addition to frequent MacGuffins from old-time Age of Empires campaigns, are objects connected to the saint, and for that reason are themselves revered (not worshipped, mind – just revered). Different relics are credited with miraculous healings or have served as omens or oracles. Relics can be parts of the saint's body or something that has come into contact with the saint in some way. The relics come in three classes:

  • first-class relics, which are body parts of the saint or even the body itself, preserved behind glass and on velvet cushions. Sometimes, their bodies are credited with "incorruptibility," meaning they've been exhumed years post-mortem, and their bodies are not decayed – sometimes even fresh.
  • second-class relics, which are objects that a saint has used frequently, like a rosary, book, religious habit, etc.
  • third-class relics, which are objects that have made contact with a first or second-class relic or pressed against the reliquary or tomb.

Note that the saints avert One-Steve Limit hard; they are frequently given an extra title, such as their hometown, to help distinguish them.

As a final note, although this page tries to talk about Christianity and the saints with piety, benevolence, and very little irony, the saints' earthly lives, with the exception of that of the Blessed Virgin Mary (who, according to Catholics, was conceived without original sin), were not stainless. As the saints would vehemently insist, they were human and thus prone to sinning and making mistakes, just like everyone else. While we can all agree that loving God, feeding the hungry, and sheltering the homeless are good things to donote , other saints' legacies are contested in the secular world.

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Notes on the Church Year (Jesus Christ)

Holy days revolving around Jesus Christ are included here because, by default, they take precedence over all other feast days. This includes all Sundays (with some elevated even further), celebrating the weekday of his resurrection, as well as a few weekdays and fixed days.
    Advent and Christmastide 
  • Fourth Sunday before ChristmasAdvent Sunday (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    Also described as the Sunday nearest the feast of Andrew [30 November], this day marks the beginning of both the Advent season and the Western Church Year when the faithful are encouraged to prepare for the celebration of Jesus' birth as well as anticipation of his return at the end of time. Held between 27 November and 3 December.
  • 25 DecemberNativity of the Lord (Christmas) (Universal)
    Perhaps the most popular (though not the holiest) day in the Church calendar, so much so it has even taken root in countries of a more secular, or at least non-Christian, leaning (probably because it is held near the end of the common year), this day celebrates the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem (in modern-day West Bank, Palestine). This day is also the beginning of the first half of Christmastide, twelve days of celebration which lasts until 5 January.
  • Sunday between Christmas and New YearHoly Family (Catholic)
    A celebration of Jesus, his biological mother Mary, and his legal father Joseph as the role model for Christian families. Under this title, they are the patrons of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Held between 26 and 31 December, or fixed on 30 December should no Sunday fall between the aforementioned dates.
  • 3 JanuaryHoly Name of Jesus (Catholic)
    A commemoration of the circumcision and naming of the infant Jesus on the octave of his birth [25 December]. Originally held on 1 January (as it still is by other Western and Eastern Churches, the Catholic Church displaced the feast to this day to make way for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Under this title he is the principal patron of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
  • 6 JanuaryEpiphany of the Lord (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran) / Theophany of the Lord (Orthodox)
    Celebrated at the end of the first half of Christmastide (and the beginning of the second half, or "Epiphanytide"), this day celebrates the revelation of the toddler Jesus as God incarnate to three sages who came from the east to worship him and give him offerings. Some Western churches celebrate it on the second Sunday after Christmas, between 2 and 8 January.
  • Sunday following EpiphanyBaptism of the Lord (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran; Orthodox, same as Epiphany)
    Celebrating Jesus's baptism by his second-degree cousin John [the Baptist] (24 June) on the banks of the River Jordan to signify the start of his ministry, this day marks the end of the Advent/Christmastide season. Held between 9 and 13 January.

    Fixed Days between Epiphany and within Lent 
  • 2 FebruaryPresentation of the Lord (Candlemas) (Universal)
    Held forty days after Christmas, this day commemorates the infant Jesus' presentation to the Temple in Jerusalem for blessing (as well as the ritual purification of Mary, as in Jewish custom women are barred from public worship for forty days after giving birth). As a Marian feast, this day is observed in honor of Mary as Our Lady of Candles, under whose title she is the patron of Guinea-Bissau.
  • 25 MarchAnnunciation of the Lord (Lady Day) (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican)
    Held exactly nine months before Christmas, this day celebrates the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel before Mary, announcing that God has chosen her to bear Jesus. Until the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, 25 March was considered New Year's Day.

    Lent and Easter 
The holiest seasons in the Christian Year are highly movable and are based on the position of Easter Sunday in the common year. In theory, Easter Sunday is defined as the Sunday following the first full moon on or after the northern vernal equinox (21 March). In practice, however, the date is based on an incredibly complex set of calculations designed to lessen dependency on the astronomical full moon.
  • 46 days or seventh Wednesday before Easter Sunday; 40 days before Palm SundayAsh Wednesday (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    The start of the Lenten season, when Christians are encouraged to contemplate their sins and ask forgiveness from God, many Western Christian churches hold a tradition of rubbing ashes of palm leaves used during last year's Palm Sunday onto the foreheads of the faithful on this day in the form of a cross as a reminder of their mortality. Eastern Christians mark the beginning of Lent, known as the Great Lent, on Clean Monday instead. (Note also that Sundays are included in the 40 days of Great Lent, unlike in Western Lent.) Held between 4 February and 10 March.
  • Sunday before EasterPalm Sunday (Universal)
    This day marks the start of Holy Week and celebrates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem days before his crucifixion, which his followers marked by waving palm leaves during his entrance. In the Eastern Churches, this marks the end of Great Lent, though fasting continues until Pascha. In the Western Churches, Gospel accounts of the Passion are also read. Held between 15 March and 18 April.
  • Thursday before EasterMaundy Thursday (Universal)
    A commemoration of Jesus' last Passover meal with his apostles before his arrest and execution. In most Western Christian churches, the day begins with priests or preachers leading a symbolic foot-washing ceremony, emulating Jesus doing the same with his apostles, before observing a special ritual of the Eucharist, also emulating Jesus consecrating Passover bread and wine before distributing it to them. Held between 19 March and 22 April.
  • Friday before EasterGood Friday (Universal)
    A solemn day of mourning, commemorating the sacrificial death of Jesus in order to redeem humanity from the terrible toll of its sins. On this day, special readings and rituals are observed, such as the procession of the epitaphos (a cloth embroidered with the image of Jesus' body being prepared for burial) among the Orthodox and veneration of the Cross among Catholics. Held between 20 March and 23 April.
  • Saturday before EasterBlack Saturday (Universal)
    A special day of quiet mourning during the day Jesus lay in the tomb while anticipating His eventual resurrection the next Sunday.
  • Easter Sunday / Pascha (Universal)
    The holiest day in the Christian calendar, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and thus his victory over the forces of sin and death, as well as the assurance to the faithful that they shall do the same when he returns at the end of time. In most churches, celebrations begin with a vigil after sundown on Black Saturday, usually featuring the lighting of a sacred candle, symbolizing the new life in Christ, while among Catholics, baptism is encouraged on this day. Held between 22 March and 25 April.
  • Sunday after EasterOctave of Easter / Low Sunday (Universal)
    The end of the week-long celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Among the Orthodox, Anglicans, and Lutherans, the focus is on the story of the encounter between Jesus and the apostle Thomas [3 July], who was not among the first witnesses to his resurrection the week before and thus remained skeptical of the news. Among Catholics, the day is also assigned Divine Mercy Sunday, both alluding to Jesus' mercy towards Thomas' skepticism and in honor of the Divine Mercy devotion based on the visions of Christ by Polish nun Faustina Kowalska [5 October]. Held between 29 March and 2 May.
  • Sixth Thursday (39 days) or Seventh Sunday after EasterAscension of Christ (Universal)
    The celebration of the return of Jesus to divine glory on the fortieth day of his resurrection. If observed on Thursdays, it is held between 30 April and 3 June; if observed on the seventh Sunday after Easter, 3 May and 6 June.
  • Seventh Sunday after EasterPentecost (Universal)
    Marking the end of Easter season, this day, held on the fiftieth day of Jesus' resurrection, celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus to his disciples before his ascent, inspiring them to minister to the people; this event has since been interpreted by Christians as the official birth of the Church. Held between 10 May and 13 June.

    Feasts within/after Easter and before Advent 
  • Sunday after PentecostTrinity Sunday (Universal)
    A celebration of the mystery of the Holy Trinity of God the Father, creator of all life; God the Son, manifested as Jesus Christ; and God the Holy Spirit, sent by Jesus to inspire his faithful. Held between 17 May and 20 June.
  • Thursday after Trinity SundayBody and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) (Catholic)
    A uniquely Catholic celebration of the "real presence" of Jesus in the sacred bread and wine consecrated during Mass, which in a sense transforms into his body and blood. Held between 21 May and 24 June.
  • Friday after Corpus ChristiSacred Heart (Catholic; high-church Anglican and Lutheran)
    A celebration of Jesus' long-suffering love for humanity even through its many sins and failings. Among Catholics in particular it also pertains to a devotional introduced by French nun and visionary Mary Margaret Alacoque [16 October]. Held between 22 May and 25 June.
  • 6 AugustTransfiguration (Catholic, Anglican; Lutheran and Methodist, Sunday before Ash Wednesday [between 1 February and 7 March])
    A commemoration of the transformation of Jesus into a show of his divine glory during a mountaintop prayer session with three of his apostles, Peter [29 June], James [25 July], and John [27 December], including a conversation with the spirits of the ancient lawgiver Moses and the prophet Elijah. This day was selected by Pope Callixtus III to celebrate the successful defense of Nándorfehérvár (modern-day Belgrade, Serbia) against Ottoman forces during a siege in 1456.
  • 14 SeptemberExaltation of the Holy Cross (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    A celebration of the cross upon which Jesus was nailed as a sign of his victory over sin and death. This day also celebrates both the discovery of the reputed True Cross by Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine I (the Great) of Byzantium on AD 326, as well as the dedication, nine years later, of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, built on the site where the True Cross was found and the traditional site of Golgotha, the hill where Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected.
  • Fifth Sunday before ChristmasChrist the King (All Western Churches)
    The final Sunday of the Western liturgical year, celebrating the dominion of Jesus over all creation and anticipation both for the Advent season and his return at the end of time. Held between 20 and 26 November.
  • 9 NovemberDedication of the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran (Catholic)
    A celebration of the highest-ranking of the four "papal basilicas", primarily dedicated to Christ the Savior, as well as to the two Johns—the Apostle [27 December] and the Baptist [24 June]—and official seat of the Pope in his role as Bishop of Rome.

Biblical Saints

    Blessed Virgin Mary 
Mary (b. ~18 BC) is the biological mother of Jesus, having conceived him even as a virgin through divine intervention. She assisted in his ministry, witnessed his death, resurrection and ascension, was one of the people blessed by the Holy Spirit with the authority to preach the Good News of Jesus together with his apostles, and according to tradition, assumed bodily into heaven immediately after her death. Also revered by Catholics for an astonishingly active post-Biblical career.
  • 8 DecemberImmaculate Conception (Catholic) / Conception of the Theotokos (Orthodox) / Conception of Mary (Anglican)
    Much like what the Annunciation [25 March] was for Jesus, this date celebrates the conception of Mary in the womb of the otherwise barren Anne [26 July] nine months before her birthday on 8 September, according to the apocryphal Gospel of James. In addition, Catholics hold that Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin to help her become the perfect vessel for Jesus. Under this title she is the principal patron of Brazil, Korea, Macau, Nicaragua, Paraguay, the Philippines, Portugal, Spain, the United States, and Uruguay.
  • 10 DecemberOur Lady of Loreto (Catholic)
    A veneration of a statue of Mary and the infant Jesus attributed by legend to have been carved by Luke [18 October] and contained inside a small house said to have been the home of Mary, miraculously transported by angels from Nazareth to Italy, where a basilica has been built around it in the city of Loreto. Under this title she is the patron of air passengers and invoked for auspicious travels.
  • 12 DecemberOur Lady of Guadalupe (Catholic)
    A devotion based on her apparition on this day in 1531 to native convert Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin [9 December] on a hill in modern-day Mexico City. Under this title she is the principal patron of Mexico, as well as, to a lesser extent, the Americas in general.
  • 1 JanuaryMary, Mother of God (Catholic) / Circumcision of the Lord (Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran)
    A celebration of Mary's role as the mother of Jesus. Historically this day nominally celebrates the circumcision and naming of the infant Jesus one week after Christmas, though the renaming of this day has more to do with how historically the day mostly serves as a celebration of Mary, with the aforementioned connection to Jesus being moved to 3 January.
  • 11 FebruaryOur Lady of Lourdes (Catholic)
    A commemoration of Mary's first apparition on this day in 1858 to fourteen-year-old French shepherd-girl Bernadette Soubirous in the northern Pyrenees.
  • Monday after PentecostMary, Mother of the Church (Catholic)
    Appointed by Pope Francis in 2018 to celebrate Mary's leading role in the post-Pentecost Church by way of her motherhood to Jesus. Held between 11 May and 14 June.
  • 13 MayOur Lady of Fátima (Catholic)
    A commemoration of one of the most famous Marian apparitions of the 20th century to three Portuguese shepherd-children, Lúcia Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, in 1917 (at the height of World War I), not the least for prophecies she reputedly imparted unto the children, such as the descent of Russia into godlessness (which some interpreted as foreshadowing Red October), the beginning of World War II, and the assassination of a pope (which some saw its near-fulfilment with Pope John Paul II [22 October], who attributed his miraculous recovery to her intercession).
  • Saturday after Corpus Christi / Day after Sacred HeartImmaculate Heart of Mary (Catholic)
    A feast based on centuries-old devotion on the inner life of Mary and her joys and sorrows throughout the lifetime of Jesus, but in particular the form developed by John Eudes [19 August]. Under this title she is the secondary patron of Angola, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Panama, the Philippines, Scotland, and the U.S. state of Georgia. Held between 23 May and 26 June.
  • 31 MayVisitation (Western Churches; Orthodox Church, 30 March)
    A celebration of Mary's visit, then newly pregnant with Jesus, to her cousin Elizabeth, herself also pregnant with John the Baptist [24 June]. Originally held on 2 July in Western calendars, it has been moved during the reforms of the Second Vatican Council to this date to fit its biblical occurrence between the annunciation of Jesus' conception [25 March] and the birthday of John the Baptist [24 June].
  • 16 JulyOur Lady of Mount Carmel (Catholic)
    A title of Mary as patron of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel (Carmelites), an order of hermits dating back from the 12th century who originally lived atop Mount Carmel (near modern-day Haifa, Israel), long considered sacred by Christians and Jews for its role in key events in The Bible. Under this title she is the principal patron of Bolivia and Chile.
  • 5 AugustDedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Catholic)
    A celebration of the dedication of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, one of the four "major basilicas" and thus the holiest Catholic houses of worship, as well as the oldest church dedicated to Mary, built on the site where legend claims snow fell in the middle of summer during the mid-4th century.
  • 15 AugustAssumption of Mary (Catholic) / Dormition of the Theotokosnote  (Orthodox) / Mary the Virgin (Anglican, Lutheran)
    Arguably the oldest feast day dedicated to Mary, commemorating her ascension to glory at the end of her mortal life. Under this title she is the patron of many places (Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chile, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, East Timor, France, Gabon, Greece, Georgia, Guinea, Haiti, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malta, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tahiti, Togo, and Vanuatu).
  • 22 AugustQueenship of Mary (Catholic)
    Held the week after Mary's death/assumption [15 August], this day celebrates Mary's spiritual coronation as "Queen of Heaven" by way of the spiritual kingship of Jesus.
  • 8 SeptemberNativity of Mary (Catholic, Anglican) / Nativity of the Theotokos (Orthodox)
    Another early feast dedicated to Mary, but more popular in the Eastern Churches, this commemorates an account of her virgin birth in the apocryphal Gospel of James. She and John the Baptist are the only saints also celebrated on their birthday (in contrast to most saints being remembered on the anniversary of their death, or in theological terms, "heavenly birth") due to their prominent roles in the life of Jesus and the belief that they have been consecrated in their mothers' wombs. Under this day she is revered as the patron of Cuba (as "Our Lady of Charity").
  • 12 SeptemberHoly Name of Mary (Catholic)
    Introduced in 1684 as a counterpart to the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus (14 January at the time, now moved to 3 January), to complete the parallel cycles of Jesus and Mary's birth, naming and presentation to the Temple.
  • 15 SeptemberOur Lady of Sorrows (Catholic)
    Held the day after the Feast of the Holy Cross, this day was formed around a popular thirteenth-century devotional on Mary's seven major heartbreaks throughout the lifetime of Jesus: the prophecy of his death by Simeon the Temple seer [2 February]; the Holy Family's flight to Egypt to escape mass infanticide [28 December]; his three-day disappearance in the Temple; his (apocryphal) encounter with Mary en route to Golgotha; his crucifixion and death; the descent of his body; and his burial. Under this title, she is the patron of Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Malta.
  • 7 OctoberOur Lady of the Rosary (Catholic)
    A feast related to the Rosary, a daily devotion using a string of beads to meditate on the lives of Jesus and Mary. This day was selected by Pope Pius V [30 April] to celebrate the triumph of a coalition of Italian and Spanish fleets against Ottoman forces at the Battle of Lepanto, fought off the coast of southern Greece, in 1571.
  • 21 NovemberPresentation of Mary (Catholic) / Presentation of the Theotokos (Orthodox)
    Based on the apocryphal Gospel of James, this celebrates the infant Mary being brought to the Temple of Jerusalem for blessing forty days after her birth.
    Apostles and Other New Testament Saints 
  • 29 JunePeter and Paul (Universal): Co-patrons of the city of Rome and Malta.
    • Peter (c. AD 1-64~68)
      A former fisherman and de facto leader of the twelve apostles of Jesus and his sidekick throughout his ministry, famous for his contrasting personality between boisterousness and cowardice, but ultimately transformed by Jesus' resurrection into a fearless Church leader, by tradition serving as bishop of Antioch (modern-day Antakya, Turkey) and later Rome, where he was crucified during the persecutions of Emperor Nero, upside-down per his request not to die a death like his master's. Also believed to have written (or at least his followers) two of the general letters added into the Christian books, or New Testament, of The Bible. As Bishop of Rome, Catholics claim him as the first Pope, and as Bishop of Antioch, his title is claimed by various Eastern Christian churches, Orthodox and Catholic [that is, in full communion with Rome while allowed to maintain their specific rites] alike. Popularly depicted carrying a pair of keys, alluding to an incident from the Gospel of Matthew interpreted as Jesus delegating to him the responsibilities of leadership over the future Church. In addition, he is the patron of as well as of fishermen, bakers, shipwrights, Bremen, Cologne, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Poznań and Saint Petersburg.
      • 18 JanuaryConfession of Peter (Anglican and Lutheran)
        A commemoration of a biblical incident where Peter had an epiphany of Jesus's identity as the Son of God. Originally also observed by Catholics to celebrate Peter as Bishop of Rome until merged to the feast of his other function as Bishop of Antioch [22 February].
      • 22 FebruaryChair of Peter (Catholic)
        Primarily a celebration of Peter's other function as Bishop of Antioch, after the Second Vatican Council this day was merged with the feast of Peter as Bishop of Rome [18 January].
    • Paul (c. AD 5-64~67)
      A student of Jewish law from Tarsus in Cilicia (in modern-day southern Asian Turkey) and a former persecutor of the nascent Church, a vision of Jesus en route to Damascus led to his conversion, spurring him into three extensive missionary journeys throughout Asia Minor (Asian Turkey) and the eastern Mediterranean until he, according to tradition, was beheaded in Rome during the persecutions of Emperor Nero. He is also widely credited with laying down the foundations of orthodox Christian theology, having traditionally written thirteen of the twenty-seven canonical Christian books, or New Testament, of The Bible. Popularly depicted carrying a sword, the instrument of his martyrdom. In addition, he is the patron of publishers, missionaries, and the city of London.
      • 25 JanuaryConversion of Paul (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
        A commemoration of Paul's blinding vision of Jesus and subsequent conversion to the faith while on the way to Damascus to lead witch-hunts on Christians.
    • 18 NovemberDedications of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul (Catholic)
      A celebration of the dedication of two of the four "papal basilicas" and thus the highest Catholic houses of worship, built over the reputed tombs of the apostles.
  • 3 JulyThomas (d. 72) (Catholic, Anglican (England) / 6 October — Orthodox / 21 December — Anglican (Episcopalian [USA]), Lutheran)
    One of the twelve apostles of Jesus, infamous for an episode of incredulity at the news of Jesus' resurrection until the latter personally appeared to him a week later. Said to be the farthest-traveled of the apostles, preaching along the Malabar Coast of southwestern India (on the modern-day states of Goa and Kerala) and being impaled to death with a spear on the other side of the peninsula near modern-day Chennai. Many aboriginal Christian sects that existed long before the arrival of Western Christianity trace their roots to his ministry. Patron of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
  • 22 JulyMary Magdalene (1st c.) (Universal)
    One of Jesus' most prominent female disciples and one of the first witnesses to his resurrection. Mentioned in the Gospel of Luke as having been healed by Jesus of her possession by seven demons, later commentators interpreted this as a consequence of having led a life of sin, or in some interpretations prostitution, later spending the rest of her life in mournful repentance. Popularly depicted wearing nothing but her long hair and carrying a perfume bottle, having been one of the women who helped anoint the body of Jesus after his death. Patron of apothecaries, converts, hairdressers, and penitent sinners (especially prostitutes).
  • 25 JulyJames, Son of Zebedee (d. 44) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / 30 April — Orthodox)
    One of the twelve apostles of Jesus, older brother to fellow apostle John [27 December], and the first of the apostles to die a martyr's death (as well as the only one whose death is recorded in The Bible, specifically Acts of the Apostles), beheaded during the persecutions of Herod Agrippa. Popular legend also has it that James traveled and preached in Spain, and after his death his remains were brought to what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, which have since become a prominent pilgrimage site since the 9th century. Popularly depicted with a scallop shell and staff, the identifying marks of pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela. Patron of Spain, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.
  • 29 JulyMartha, Mary of Bethany, and Lazarus (1st c.) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / 4 June — Orthodox), siblings, close friends of Jesus, and his frequent hosts during his visits to Bethany (modern-day al-Eizariya, West Bank, Palestine).
    • Martha
      The housewife of the family, she was revered by Orthodox Christians as one of the women who anointed Jesus' body after his death, while a Western tradition had it that she also traveled to southern France, where she defeated a dragon. Patron of housewives, butlers, maids, cooks, and other service-related workers.
    • Mary of Bethany
      Younger sister of Martha and the more devout of the sisters, famous for an incident in which she anointed Jesus' feet shortly before his crucifixion, as well as, according to Orthodox tradition, one of the women who anointed Jesus' body after his death.
    • Lazarus (17 March — Orthodox)
      The oldest of the siblings, who died of an illness before being resurrected by Jesus three days later. Orthodox tradition has it that, after the execution of Stephen [26 December], he and his younger sisters fled for Cyprus, where he became the founding bishop of Kittim (modern-day Larnaca). Patron of the town of Al-Eizariya.
  • 24 AugustBartholomew (c. 1st century) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / 11 June — Orthodox)
    One of the twelve apostles of Jesus, which some interpreters also identify with another apostle, Nathanael. Traditionally stated to have spread the Gospel in the southern Caucasus, before being flayed alive and ultimately beheaded in Albanopolis (reputed to be near the western coast of the Caspian Sea). Popularly depicted carrying a knife. Patron of Armenia, bookbinders, butchers, leather workers, and other industries related to animal hides.
  • 21 SeptemberMatthew (c. 1st century) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / 16 November — Orthodox)
    One of the twelve apostles of Jesus and a former tax collector for the Romans, and thus despised by his fellow Jews as a traitor, before being called by Jesus to signify his compassion for social outcasts. Traditionally wrote one of The Four Gospels (and the first of the Christian books, or New Testament, of The Bible), traditional accounts state that after the Pentecost he mostly concentrated on preaching to his fellow Jews before leaving for either Phrygia (modern-day central Asian Turkey) or Ethiopia, where he was eventually martyred. Popularly depicted being accompanied by an angel to signify him as Gospel writer. Patron of accountants, Salerno in Italy (where his relics are said to be held), bankers, tax collectors, and civil servants.
  • 18 OctoberLuke (d. ~84) (Universal)
    A Greek physician from Antioch and companion of Paul [29 June], as well as the traditional author of two books in The Bible — one of The Four Gospels, distinctive for its focus on Jesus' miracles and an expanded account of his birth and childhood, as well as Acts of the Apostles, an account of the early years of the Church. According to tradition, he was also an acquaintance of the Virgin Mary, and even painted an image of her, given her expanded role in his Gospel. Popularly depicted being accompanied by a winged ox to signify him as a Gospel writer. Patron of artists, physicians and surgeons.
  • 28 OctoberSimon the Zealot and Jude Thaddaeus (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    • Simon the Zealot (d. ~65/107) (10 May — Orthodox)
      One of the twelve apostles of Jesus and reputedly a former member of the Zealots, a band of rebels against Roman rule over Judea. Traditionally said to have preached and martyred in either Persia (famously by being sawn in half), Armenia, Beirut in Lebanon, or Ethiopia. Patron of sawyers, curriers, and tanners.
    • Jude Thaddaeus (c. 1st century) (19 June — Orthodox)
      One of the twelve apostles of Jesus, not to be confused with Judas Iscariot. Said to have first spread the Gospel in Beirut in Lebanon, Persia, Mesopotamia, and Armenia, where it said that he was beheaded. Popularly depicted carrying a piece of cloth (or medal) with the likeness of Jesus, based on a legend where he was sent by Jesus to bring the image to heal Abgar, king of Edessa (modern-day Urfa, Turkey). Contrary to his obscurity (or perhaps because of it), he is declared patron of lost causes, desperate situations, and hospitals, as well as Armenia.
  • 30 NovemberAndrew (c. 1st century) (Universal)
    One of the twelve apostles of Jesus, the first-named of the twelve, and despite not being part of the "big three" with his older brother Peter [29 June], James [25 July], and John [27 December], remains a major player in the ministry of Jesus. Traditionally stated to have founded the Church in Greece, where he was eventually crucified on an X-shaped cross near modern-day Patras. From him the Patriarchs of Constantinople (in modern-day Istanbul, Turkey), spiritual leaders of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, derive their authority, just as the Popes, Bishops of Rome, derive theirs from Peter. Patron of Greece, Scotland, Russia, Romania, Barbados, Georgia, Ukraine, Cyprus, fishermen, and rope-makers, as well as invoked against sore throat and whooping cough.
  • 26 DecemberStephen (d. 36) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / 27 December — Orthodox)
    One of the first seven deacons, assistants to the apostles (presently to priests or pastors), and the very first Christian martyr, stoned to death for preaching the Gospel, even as he forgave his executioners. His death was witnessed by Saul [29 June], who late in life became a convert renamed Paul. Patron of Serbia (as well as Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina) and deacons, as well as invoked against headaches.
  • 27 DecemberJohn (c. 6-100) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / 26 September — Orthodox)
    Traditionally the youngest of the twelve apostles of Jesus, hence he often appears in Western Christian art as a handsome young man, as well as the last surviving apostle at the time of his death, hence his appearance in Eastern Christian art as a very old man. Once a hot-headed youth, he was said to have been given care of the Virgin Mary by the dying Jesus, then after the Pentecost, spent the rest of his life in Ephesus (modern-day Selçuk, Turkey) where he is said to have written one of The Four Gospels (distinct from the other three for its more spiritual character) and three general letters, barring a temporary exile to the island of Patmos during the persecutions of Emperor Domitian, where he wrote The Book of Revelation, all recorded in The Bible. By tradition he is also the only apostle to die peacefully, having survived being thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil unscathed in Rome. Traditionally depicted being accompanied by an eagle to signify him as a Gospel writer. Patron of Turkey, authors, booksellers, and theologians, as well as invoked by victims of poisoning and burns.
  • 28 DecemberHoly Innocents
    Male infants under two years old killed by King Herod the Great of Judea in a failed attempt to keep Jesus from presumably vying for his throne. While ambiguous in historicity, such an act is acknowledged to be not too out-of-character for the historical Herod, who late in life became notoriously paranoid over potential threats to his hegemony, real and imagined alike, leading him to such heinous acts as having his own wives and sons executed.
  • 26 JanuaryTimothy and Titus (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran), disciples of Paul [29 June]
    • Timothy (17-97) (22 January — Orthodox)
      A youth who met Paul during his preaching at his native Lystra in Anatolia (near modern-day Konya [biblical Iconium], Turkey) and became his most trusted secretary for his latter two journeys. Unto him is also addressed two letters from Paul, recorded in the Christian books, or New Testament, of The Bible. By tradition, he also became the founding bishop of Ephesus. Invoked against diseases of the stomach and intestines.
    • Titus (d. 96 or 107) (25 August — Orthodox)
      A missionary from Antioch and another companion of Paul, whom tradition states helped establish the Church in Crete, as well as the recipient of another personal letter from Paul, also among the Christian books, or New Testament, of The Bible. Patron of Crete.
  • 19 MarchJoseph (c. 90 BC - c. 18 AD) (Universal)
    A carpenter from Nazareth and foster-father of Jesus by way of his marriage to Mary; in contrast to focus on Mary in the Gospel of Luke, Joseph is given a heightened focus in the Gospel of Matthew as a descendant of King David, thus giving legitimacy to the divinity and spiritual kingship of Jesus, as well as his chief protector during the persecution of Herod the Great that resulted in an incident of infanticide [28 December]. Tradition also states that he died in peace sometime before the start of Jesus' ministry, stemming from his abrupt disappearance from Gospel record. Popularly depicted carrying his tools of the trade and a staff blooming with lilies, the latter based on a story from the apocryphal Gospel of James singling him out as the choice for Mary's husband. Principal patron and protector of the Catholic Church, as well as patron of Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cebu in the Philippines, fathers, immigrants, laborers, travelers, and carpenters, as well as invoked for a peaceful death.
    • 1 MayJoseph the Laborer (Catholic)
      Instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1955, partly to recognize Joseph's stated profession as a carpenter, and partly to serve as the religious counterpart to the secular International Worker's Day (Labour Day) with its association with communism and socialism.
  • 25 AprilMark (5-68) (Universal)
    An Egyptian Jew traditonally identified as the cousin of Barnabas [11 June] who also accompanied Paul [29 June] before setting off on his own and establishing the Church in Alexandria, from whose authority the Coptic Church, a church unique to Egypt and much of North Africa, derives its authority. Also believed to have been an acquaintance of Peter [29 June], from whose oral accounts he wrote what is believed to be the very first of The Four Gospels. Popularly depicted being accompanied by a winged lion to signify him as Gospel writer. Patron of Egypt, Venice (where his remains are said to be held), and barristers.
  • 3 MayPhilip and James, Son of Alpheus (Catholic; 1 May — Anglican, Lutheran): Co-patrons of Uruguay.
    • Philip (d. 80) (14 November — Orthodox)
      One of the twelve apostles of Jesus and another early follower. Otherwise obscure, he is noted for two incidents where he helped introduce his friend Nathanael (sometimes identified as Bartholomew [24 August]) to Jesus) and helped feed 5,000 listeners of Jesus. Tradition also states that he preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia, where he was eventually crucified. In addition, he is the patron of Cape Verde and pastry chefs.
    • James, Son of Alpheus (d. 62) (9 October — Orthodox)
      One of the twelve apostles of Jesus, identified in some traditions as a distant relation of Jesus, and a leader of the Church in Jerusalem. Popularly depicted carrying a fuller's club, by tradition having been bludgeoned to death in either Jerusalem or Egypt. In addition, he is the patron of apothecaries.
  • 14 MayMatthias (d. 80 AD) (Catholic; 24 February — Anglican, Lutheran; 9 August — Orthodox)
    A later addition to the twelve apostles to fill in the place of the traitorous Judas Iscariot, who committed suicide in remorse shortly after handing Jesus over to his death. Otherwise completely obscure, tradition points to him preaching and eventually being beheaded in either Cappadocia (in central Asian Turkey) or Colchis (in modern-day Abkhazia), hence he is popularly depicted carrying an axe. Patron of tailors, carpenters, and recovering alcoholics, as well as invoked against smallpox.
  • 11 JuneBarnabas (d. ~61) (Universal)
    A Jewish man from Salamis (near modern-day Famagusta) in Cyprus and an early companion of Paul [29 June] with his cousin Mark (traditionally identified with the Gospel writer [25 April]), before parting ways to help establish the Church in his homeland. Patron of Cyprus and Antakya, as well as invoked against hailstorms.
  • 24 JuneJohn the Baptist (d. ~31-36)
    A desert-dwelling prophet and second-degree cousin of Jesus. Adapting a similar Jewish rite for foreign converts, he began the practice of baptism for the forgiveness of sins and induction into a new faith by immersing believers in the River Jordan. Jesus asked to be baptized by John to signify the start of his own career. This date is the celebration of his birth. He is the patron of Jordan, Puerto Rico, the French parts of Canada, Newfoundland, Porto in Portugal, Malta, Florence, Genoa, and Manila.
    • 29 JuneBeheading of John the Baptist
      A commemoration of his execution at the hands of King Herod Antipas of Judea at the urging of his wife Herodias for criticizing their illicit marriage, Herodias having also been the wife of Philip, Herod's still-living brother and another prince of Judea (in violation of Jewish law restricting remarriage to widows), during a party in Herod's palace retreat at Machaerus (near modern-day Muqāwir, Jordan).
In the Western calendars, three angels are venerated on 29 September, Raphael's feast day in the Orthodox tradition and the earliest-occurring of the three feasts.
  • 29 SeptemberMichael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    • Michael (8 (new) or 21 (old) November — Orthodox)
      General of God's armies and Knight in Shining Armor extraordinaire. Chief guardian of the Church and patron of police officers, soldiers, mariners, paratroopers, firefighters, and paramedics, as well as Germany, France, Ukraine, Brussels, and the city of Kyiv.
    • Gabriel (8 November — Orthodox)
      Messenger of God who informed Mary that she was pregnant with Jesus. Patron of telecommunications workers, radio broadcasters, messengers, ambassadors, and diplomats.
    • Raphael (Universal)
      An angel introduced in the Book of Tobit, a deuterocanonical book of The Bible among Catholics and the Orthodox, and apocryphal elsewhere, and a traveling healer. Patron of travelers, apothecaries, and blind people.
    Old Testament Saints 
Despite not often being referred to with that title, most churches consider Old Testament prophets and heroes to be saints.note  Since these particular saints are not often invoked as patrons (and this article is called "Patron Saints"), this section will mostly focus on those who are patrons.
  • 10 MayJob the Righteous (disputed date) (6 May — Orthodox)
    The titular character of the biblical Book of Job. According to the book, Job was a pious man who lived in ancient Idumea and suffered a great deal, which prompted him to speak directly to God about why such pain fell on him. God spoke back, as described near the end of the book. He is the patron saint of lepers and those suffering depression.
  • 20 JulyElijah the Prophet (9th century BC) (Universal)
    A prophet who lived under the reign of King Ahab of Judah. Criticized the ruling house for their impiety and cruelty, foreseeing their deaths. Preformed many miracles such as raising a woman's son from death and winning a challenge against the prophets of the idol Baal. According to the Bible, he went to heaven on a flaming chariot. Patron saint of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the Carmelite Order (which legend holds he founded).
  • 9 OctoberForefather Abraham (21st century BC) (Universal)
    The ancestor of the Israelites (via his grandson Jacob), and by extension the distant ancestor of Jesus. He was the one to whom God first promised a savior in the Bible and was foretold to be the ancestor of the Messiah. Due to being Jesus' ancestor, he is often referred to as the spiritual father of Christians (based on Paul in Galatians 3:29) and "our father in Faith" in the Catholic liturgy. He is also the patron saint of the hospitality industry.

Other Saints

Note: This list is ordered primarily according to the General Roman Calendar, used globally by the Catholic Church since the reforms of the Second Vatican Council of 1969 (traditionalist Catholics tend to use the Calendar of 1960 or earlier). Other churches which observe saints include the Lutheran Churches in the United States, primarily the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America [ELCA] and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod [LCMS], the Orthodox Churches, and the Anglican Communion. Square brackets denote differences between general and local observances. It should also be noted that dates observed by many Eastern Orthodox Churches are based on the Julian calendar, thus as of 2023 the actual observances are thirteen days ahead of the Western Churches. However, Eastern Orthodox Churches that use the revised Julian calendar hold fixed-date observances (as opposed to movable feasts such as Pascha) on the same calendar date as the Western Churches.

  • 2 JanuaryBasil (the Great) of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus (Catholic, Anglican [England] / 1 January — Orthodox / 10 January — Lutheran [LCMS]): Revered as two of the Four Great Eastern Doctors of the Church alongside Athanasius of Alexandria [2 May] and John Chrysostom [13 September].
    • Basil (the Great) of Caesarea (329-379) (10 January — Lutheran [ELCA] / 14 January — Orthodox [Serbia] / 14 June — Anglican [Episcopal (USA)])
      Bishop of Caesarea Mazaca (modern-day Kayseri, Turkey) and a chief advocate of Nicene Christianity against Arianism, a heretical sect that denied Jesus' equality with God, as well as a pioneer of communal monasticism among Eastern Christians. Patron of Russia, Cappadocia (modern-day central Turkey), hospital workers, reformers, and exorcists.
    • Gregory of Nazianzus (329-390) (25 January — Orthodox / 9 May — Anglican [Episcopal (USA)] / 14 June — Lutheran [ELCA])
      Bishop of Constantinople and a master of rhetoric during the Church's formative years, integrating Hellenist thought into Christian thought and helping define the concept of the Holy Trinity.
  • 7 JanuaryRaymond of Penyafort (1175-1275) (Catholic)
    Spanish Dominican friar and chaplain to Pope Gregory IX (b. 1145/1170, reigned 1227-1241), who famously helped compile all canon laws issued under his reign. Patron of canon lawyers and all Spanish lawyers.
  • 13 JanuaryHilary of Poitiers (310-367) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / 14 January — Orthodox)
    Bishop of Pictavium (modern-day Poitiers, France), a fierce opponent of Arianism, and staunch defender of the doctrine of the Trinity. Patron of lawyers.
  • 17 JanuaryAnthony the Great (251-356) (Universal)
    Egyptian monk and a pioneer of Christian monasticism, who spent much of his life in contemplation, enduring temptations and raising pigs in the deserts of Egypt. Patron of farmers, basket makers, butchers, gravediggers, and people who work with animals, as well as invoked against skin diseases.
  • 20 JanuaryPope Fabian (c. 200-250) (Catholic, Anglican [Episcopal (USA)] / 8 August — Orthodox)
    Twentieth Bishop of Rome, who organized the Church in Rome into deaconates and helped reconcile the followers of rival papal claimants Pontian and Hippolytus [13 August] before being martyred during the persecutions of Emperor Decius.
  • 20 JanuarySebastian (d. 288) (Catholic / 18 December — Orthodox)
    Roman soldier and secret convert who helped bury martyred Christians until he was captured, tied onto a tree and shot with arrows, and ultimately bludgeoned to death when he managed to survive that. Patron of Rio de Janeiro, soldiers, archers, and athletes, as well as invoked by plague victims.
  • 21 JanuaryAgnes of Rome (291-304) (Universal)
    Roman virgin martyred at the tender age of twelve after being publicly humiliated and nearly raped for refusing to worship the Roman gods. Patron of virgins, betrothed couples, gardeners, and Fresno in California. Among Catholics, given that her name sounded similar to agnus, the Latin word for "lamb", a source of wool, on this day the Pope blesses a pair of lambs which are to be shorn during summer, with the wool produced being weaved into pallia (woolen bands) conferred to newly-consecrated archbishops.
  • 22 JanuaryVincent of Saragossa (d. c.304) (Catholic, Anglican [England, Episcopal (USA), Canada, Australia])
    Deacon to Bishop Valerius of Saragossa (modern-day Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain) and first martyr of Spain during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian. Patron of Lisbon, Valencia, the Algarve region of Portugal, vinegar-makers, and wine-makers.
  • 24 JanuaryFrancis de Sales (1567-1622) (Catholic, Anglican [England, Canada, Scotland] / 15 March — Anglican [Episcopal (USA)])
    French Bishop of Geneva at the heat of the Swiss Reformation, forcing him to be quartered at nearby Annecy in France, famous for his writings on spiritual direction and his gentle approach to the delicate situation of his constituency, torn between Catholics and Calvinists. Patron of the Catholic press, Cincinnati and Columbus in Ohio, confessors, journalists, and the Salesians of John Bosco [31 January].
  • 27 JanuaryAngela Merici (1474-1540) (Catholic)
    Italian nun and founder of the Company of Saint Ursula (Ursulines), an order of nuns dedicated to the education of girls. Patron of the handicapped and orphans.
  • 28 JanuaryThomas Aquinas (1225-1274) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    Italian Dominican friar and arguably one of the most influential theologians of Western Christianity and philosophers in the Western world. Integrating Aristotelian philosophy and Christian doctrine, he was an early proponent of natural theology, which sought to know God, his existence and attributes, through natural reason. Patron of academics, theologians, apologists, booksellers, Catholic educational institutions, philosophers, publishers, scholars, students, and theologians, as well as invoked against storms.
  • 31 January(Don) John Bosco (1815-1888) (Catholic)
    Italian priest renowned for spending his life in his native Turin rescuing and educating street children, and founder of the Society of Saint Francis de Sales (Salesians of Don Bosco), an order of priests, as well as, with his friend Maria Domenica Mazzarello, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco), both of which also work among street children. Patron of juvenile delinquents, school children, and stage magicians.

  • 3 FebruaryBlaise (d. 316) (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican)
    Bishop of Sebastea (modern-day Sivas, Turkey), healer, and martyr. Patron of Dubrovnik in Croatia, stonecarvers, and wool-combers, as well as invoked against throat diseases.
  • 3 FebruaryAnsgar (801-865) (Universal)
    Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen, called "Apostle of the North" for his tireless missionary efforts to Denmark, Norway, and Sweden in the face of multiple setbacks. Patron of the three Scandinavian states.
  • 5 FebruaryAgatha of Sicily (231-251) (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican)
    Roman virgin who, having refused the advances of a prefect, was subjected to torture, most famously by having her breasts ripped out, before being rolled on live coals in the middle of an earthquake. Patron of Sicily, nurses, and victims of rape and torture, as well as invoked against earthquakes, eruptions of Mount Etna, and ailments of the breasts, especially breast cancer.
  • 6 February26 Martyrs of Japan (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran [ELCA])
    A commemoration of Franciscans and Jesuits who were some of the first martyrs of Japan, executed in Nagasaki during the persecutions of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. In particular, Catholics revere Paul Miki (1562-1597), a convert and Jesuit seminarian.
  • 8 FebruaryGerolamo Emiliani (1486-1537) (Catholic)
    Italian priest and founder of the Somaschi Fathers, which tended to orphan boys, as well as of hospitals and orphanages throughout northern Italy. Patron of orphans and abandoned children.
  • 8 FebruaryJosephine Margaret Bakhita (1869-1947) (Catholic)
    Sudanese slave who, having survived several cruel masters and the Mahdist War of 1881-1899, was bought by the Italian Vice Consul, through whom she earned her freedom and migrated to Italy, where she joined the Canossian Daughters of Charity (Canossians). Patron of Sudan (especially her native Darfur), South Sudan, and victims of human trafficking.
  • 10 FebruaryScholastica (480-547) [Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican]
    Italian nun, (according to tradition, twin) sister of Benedict of Nursia [11 July], and founder of several orders of nuns within the Benedictine tradition. Said to be especially close to Benedict, to the point that they visit each other annually, one famous story has her praying for a storm to interrupt Benedict's departure when she sensed her impending death. Patron of Benedictine women's communities, nuns, and Le Mans in France, as well as invoked against storms.
  • 14 FebruaryValentine (226-269) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / July 6 and 30 — Orthodox)
    3rd-century Roman martyr, and the origin of Valentines Day. Valentine was a priest in Rome who was executed by the emperor Claudius Gothicus. The reason differs from telling to telling; the more famous story has him illegally performing weddings for Christian couples (being married would have allowed people to evade conscription, so it was basically Draft Dodging) - legend has it that he cut out paper hearts to remind Christians of their vows. An earlier (and less famous) version of the story has Valentine being executed not for performing weddings, but for trying to convert the emperor himself to Christianity.
  • 14 FebruaryCyril (Constantine) (826-869) and Methodius (Michael) (815-885) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / 11 May — Orthodox / 5 July — Catholic [Czech Republic and Slovakia])
    Brothers and missionaries to the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe, Cyril being an abbot and Methodius the Archbishop of Sirmium (modern-day Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia). Also widely credited with the invention of the Glagolitic script, used to translate the Gospels and other liturgical books into local languages, as well as one of the ancestors of the Cyrillic script (named in honor of Cyril) used today in various Eastern European languages such as Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian. Patrons of Europe in general (two of six, celebrating their contributions to Eastern Christianity), Bulgaria, Czech Republic, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovakia, as well as Ljubljana.
  • 17 February 17Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order (c.13th century) (Catholic)
    Seven Florentine merchants—Alessio Falconieri (Alexius), Bartolomeo degli Amidei (Amadeus), Benedetto dell' Antella (Manettus), Buonfiglio dei Monaldi (Bonfilius), Gherardino di Sostegno (Sostene), Giovanni di Buonagiunta (Bonajuncta), and Ricovero dei Lippi-Ugguccioni (Hugh)—who gave up their wealth to found the Order of Friar Servants of Mary (Servites) in 1233 and live in contemplation of the sorrows of the Virgin Mary.
  • 21 FebruaryPeter Damian (1007-1072/1073) (Catholic)
    Italian Benedictine monk and noted reformer, advocating for stricter observance of the Benedictine Rule of monastic life and sweeping reforms of the Church hierarchy.
  • 23 FebruaryPolycarp (69-156) (Universal)
    Disciple of John the Apostle [27 December], Bishop of Smyrna (modern-day İzmir, Turkey), and regarded as one of the three chief Apostolic Fathers (with Pope Clement I [23 November] and Ignatius of Antioch [17 October]), whose writings are among the earliest post-biblical texts to survive (in particular his Epistle to the Philippians). He was famously martyred for refusing to give offerings to Roman emperors by being burnt alive before being ultimately run through with a spear when the flames failed to harm him. Invoked against earache and dysentery.
  • 27 FebruaryGregory of Narek (945/951-1003/1011) (Catholic, Orthodox [Armenia])
    Armenian monk, poet, mystic, and theologian, famed for his Lamentations, considered one of the best works on Eastern Christian prayer.

  • 3 MarchCasimir Jagiellon (1458-1484) (Catholic)
    Polish prince and second son of King Casimir IV Jagiellon of Poland, who spent his short life, cut too soon by tuberculosis, in devotion and charity to the poor. Patron of Lithuania.
  • 7 MarchVibia Perpetua and Felicy (d.203) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / 1 February — Orthodox)
    Two of the earliest and most popular martyrs from Carthage (modern-day Tunis, Tunisia)—the former a noblewoman, the latter her then-pregnant slave—and the subject of one of the earliest, most popular hagiographic works in the Christian world. Patrons of Tunis, Catalonia in Spain, and expectant mothers.
  • 8 MarchJohn of God (João Duarte Cidade) (1495-1550) (Catholic)
    Portuguese soldier turned health worker in Spain, where he founded the Brothers Hospitallers, a religious order dedicated to caring for the poor, the sick, and the mentally ill. Patron of hospitals and nurses, as well as invoked by the mentally and/or terminally ill.
  • 9 MarchFrances of Rome (1384-1440) (Catholic)
    Italian wife and mother and a Benedictine oblate (that is, commoners who voluntarily adopt a semi-monastic lifestyle) who spent much of her married, later widowed, life in acts of charity and leading other women into a life of piety without the need for religious vows. Patron of Benedictine oblates, automobile drivers, and widows.
  • 17 MarchPatrick (5th c.) (Universal)
    British priest who went to Ireland, where he was taken as a slave for six years in his youth, to preach to its peoples, by tradition becoming the founding Bishop of Armagh (in what is now Northern Ireland). Popularly depicted holding a shamrock, which he used as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity. His feast day is celebrated as St Patricks Day. Patron of Ireland, Montserrat, Nigeria, New York City, Boston, Melbourne, and engineers, as well as invoked against snakes.
  • 18 MarchCyril of Jerusalem (313-386) (Universal)
    A distinguished theologian of the early Church, who wrote extensively on the Liturgy and instruction of catechumens (people receiving formal religious education).
  • 23 MarchTuribius of Mogrovejo (Toribio Alfonso de Mogrovejo) (1538-1606) (Catholic, Anglican [Episcopal (USA)])
    Spanish priest who served as third Archbishop of Lima in Peru where, despite his initial reluctance, he proved to be an effective missionary, traveling around Peru converting natives and confirming future saints Rose of Lima [23 August] and Martin de Porres [3 November], as well as an avid reformer. Patron of Peru (especially Lima) and advocates of rights of the aborigines.

  • 2 AprilFrancis of Paola (1416-1507) (Catholic)
    Italian hermit, known for his gifts of prophecy from his seaside cave, and founder of the Order of Minims, which follows an ascetic lifestyle. Patron of his native Calabria region in Italy, boatmen, mariners, and naval officers.
  • 4 AprilIsidore of Seville (560-636) (Catholic, Orthodox)
    Spanish clergyman and fourteenth Archbishop of Seville, involved in the conversion of the Arian kings of the Visigothic Kingdom in tandem with his older brother and predecessor, Leander. He is best known, however, for the Etymologiae, an encyclopedic work that recorded extracts from various works of classical literature. Patron of students and, unofficially, of the Internet.
  • 5 AprilVincent Ferrer (1350-1419) (Catholic)
    Valencian Dominican friar, famed for his extensive missionary efforts throughout Spain. Patron of Valencia and construction workers.
  • 7 AprilJean-Baptiste de la Salle (1651-1719) (Catholic)
    French priest, teacher, and founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (Lasallians), dedicated to the education of children born in poverty. Patron of teachers, school principals, and educators in general.
  • 11 AprilStanislaus of Szczepanów (1030-1079) (Catholic [general] / 8 May — Catholic [Poland])
    Bishop of Kraków and one of the earliest native Polish bishops, but more famous for his conflicts with King Bolesław II over what he perceived to be the latter's excesses, which ultimately led to his murder at the hands of the king in the middle of Mass, which ultimately led to open revolt and the king's downfall. Patron of Poland (particularly Kraków) and advocates for moral order.
  • 13 AprilPope Martin I (598-655) (Catholic, Orthodox)
    Byzantine pontiff whose strong opposition to Monothelitism (a theological doctrine which taught that Jesus had two natures, divine and human, but only one will, which ran counter to the orthodox stance of two natures and wills) led Emperor Constans II, who believed the doctrine, to have him deposed to Chersonesus (modern-day Sevastopol, Crimea), where he died in exile.
  • 21 AprilAnselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    Italian Benedictine abbot and scholar who was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, where he became famous for asserting the Church's independence from politics and pioneering work on scholasticism.
  • 23 AprilGeorge (280-303) (Universal)
    Roman soldier and member of the Praetorian Guard of Diocletian, later executed for refusing to recant his faith. Otherwise historically obscure, several legends nevertheless grew around the soldier-saint, most famously one where he killed a dragon that terrorized Cappadocia and demanded human sacrifices, brought to the attention of Western Christians after several knights from the First Crusade attributed their success to his intervention. Patron of England, Greece, Georgia, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Malta, Portugal, Catalonia in Spain, Moscow, the Boy Scouts, and armored units, among many others.
  • 23 AprilAdalbert of Prague (Vojtěch) (956-957) (Catholic, Orthodox)
    Bohemian cleric, Bishop of Prague, and missionary to the Hungarians, Poles, and Prussians, eventually being martyred while on a mission to convert Baltic Prussians. Patron of the Czech Republic, Poland, and Esztergom in Hungary.
  • 24 AprilFidelis of Sigmaringen (Mark Roy) (1577-1622) (Catholic)
    German Capuchin friar and missionary to Calvinist Switzerland, where he met opposition and, ultimately, a violent death.
  • 28 AprilPeter Chanel (1803-1841) (Catholic)
    French Marist priest and missionary to the Pacific islands, preaching and being martyred in Futuna, becoming the first martyr of the Pacific islands. Patron of Oceania.
  • 28 AprilLouis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716) (Catholic)
    French priest and mystic, as well as a prolific writer on the Virgin Mary and founder of three congregations, the Company of Mary, Daughters of Wisdom, and Brothers of Saint Gabriel.
  • 29 AprilCatherine of Siena (Caterina di Jacopo di Benincasa) (1347-1380) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    Italian Dominican laywoman, mystic, and theologian. Dedicating her life to utter devotion to Christ, to the point of self-mortification (hence she is popularly depicted with the stigmata and wearing a crown of thorns), she is more famous for her successful attempt to convince Pope Gregory XI (b. 1329; ruled 1370-1378) to return the papacy to Rome after a seventy-year stay in Avignon, France. Patron of Europe in general (one of six, the second woman to do so, in honor of her authorship and efforts at reconciling conflicting Church leaders), Italy, and nurses, as well as invoked by people ridiculed for their faith, against fires, and for protection in childbirth.
  • 30 AprilPope Pius V (Antonio Ghislieri) (1504-1572) (Catholic)
    Dominican pontiff responsible for instituting the Council of Trent, which served to respond to the challenges of the Protestant Reformation with the Catholic Church's own reformation, as well as the establishment of the Latin Rite as the standard form of worship in the Catholic Church and excommunicating Queen Elizabeth I of England for her persecution of British Catholics. Patron of Valletta.

  • 2 MayAthanasius of Alexandria (296/298-373) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / 18 January — Orthodox)
    Twentieth Patriarch of Alexandria, best known for his ardent defense of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity against the Arians, and Christianity in general against persecutions, to the point of having been exiled five times throughout his reign, earning him the title "Athanasius Against the World". Generally credited with the canonical recognition of the 27 Christian books, or New Testament, of The Bible. Revered as one of the Four Great Eastern Doctors of the Church alongside Basil and Gregory [2 January] and John Chrysostom [13 September].
  • 10 MayJohn of Ávila (1499-1569) (Catholic)
    Spanish priest and mystic, famed for his extensive ministry throughout Andalusia. He was also a friend of, and influence on, later Spanish Church reformers such as Teresa of Ávila [15 October], John of God [8 March], and Ignatius of Loyola [31 July]. Patron of Andalusia and Spanish secular clergy (that is, not belonging to any religious order).
  • 12 MayNereus and Achilleus (late 1st c.) (Catholic)
    Legendary Roman martyrs and eunuchs of Flavia Domitillia, niece of Emperor Domitian and herself a later convert.
  • 12 MayPancras of Rome (289-303/304) (Catholic)
    Roman teenage martyr under Emperor Diocletian. Otherwise historically ambiguous, his name nowadays is more associated with a district of London, where a church named after him is said to be the oldest in England. Patron of children and invoked against cramps, false witnesses, headaches, and perjury.
  • 18 MayPope John I (470-526) (Catholic)
    Roman pontiff sent by Theoderic, the Arian king of Ostrogothic Italy, to negotiate better treatment of Arians from Emperor Justin of the Eastern Roman Empire, only to be imprisoned by the king on his return—despite the success of the mission—for alleged conspiracy with the East.
  • 20 MayBernardino of Siena (1380-1444) (Catholic)
    Italian Franciscan friar and a fierce preacher decrying the social evils of fifteenth-century Italy. Patron of San Bernardino in California, advertisers, and public relations personnel, as well as invoked by sufferers of chest problems and recovering gambling addicts.
  • 21 MayCristóbal Magallanes Jara (1869-1927) (Catholic)
    Mexican priest, executed on trumped-up charges of agitating the Cristeros, a group of pious Catholic peasants rebelling against state anti-clericalism. Invoked by cancer patients.
  • 22 MayRita of Cascia (Margherita Lotti) (1381-1457) (Catholic)
    Italian widow and later Augustinian nun. Having spent many years enduring an unhappy marriage to an abusive, unfaithful, hotheaded nobleman, who was eventually killed amidst one of the many feuds his family was caught in, just when he finally began to change for the better, she took the habit after their two equally hotheaded sons died before they could avenge their father, as well as reconciled her husband's family with their rivals, and spent the rest of her life in meditation; hence she is popularly depicted with a wound on her forehead. Patron of abused wives and mothers.
  • 25 May 25Bede (673-735) (Universal)
    English Benedictine abbot from Jarrow in northeastern England and one of the most prolific English writers, and is especially famous for the Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People), one of the most important sourcebooks on Anglo-Saxon history, as well as one of the foremost scholars to try to calculate the date of Easter. Patron of English writers and historians.
  • 25 MayPope Gregory VII (Hildebrand of Sovana) (1015-1085) (Catholic)
    Tuscan pontiff and a zealous reformer, having affirmed the primacy of papal authority, instituted canon law governing papal elections by the College of Cardinals, and was also the first pope in centuries to enforce celibacy among the clergy.
  • 25 MayMary Magdalene de' Pazzi (1566-1607) (Catholic)
    Italian Carmelite nun who, since her youth, practiced self-mortification despite frequent bouts of illness and experienced mystical visions. Invoked by the chronically ill.
  • 26 MayPhilip Romolo Neri (1515-1595) (Catholic, Anglican [England])
    Italian priest, reformer, and founder of the Congregation of the Oratory (Oratorians) for secular priests, who famously encouraged the use of humor and entertainment for religious edification. Patron of comedians, artists, and writers, as well as minor patron of Rome.
  • 27 MayAugustine of Canterbury (d. c.604) (Catholic / 26 May — Orthodox, Anglican [England])
    Roman Benedictine priest, sent by Pope Gregory I [3 September] to evangelize to King &A Elig;thelberht of Kent in southeastern England (who happened to have a Christian wife), establishing himself as the inaugural Bishop of Canterbury (and thus the very first bishop in Britain).
  • 29 MayPope Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini) (1897-1978) (Catholic)
    Italian pontiff during whose reign he saw the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, which set forth various reforms for the twentieth-century Catholic Church, not the least of which is a revamped form of the Mass, as well as his overtures of reconciliation to the Orthodox and Protestant Churches. Patron of Milan and Brescia.

  • 1 JuneJustin Martyr (100-165) (Universal)
    Judean-born Greek philosopher and an early apologist (that is, defender of religious tenets) who wrote several books in defense of the moral legitimacy of Christianity using tenets of classical philosophy in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to sway Emperor Antoninus Pius into abandoning his persecution of Christians. Patron of philosophers.
  • 2 JuneMarcellinus and Peter (d. c.304) (Catholic)
    Historically ambiguous martyrs—the former a priest, the latter an exorcist—during the persecutions of Emperor Domitian.
  • 3 JuneMartyrs of Uganda (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    A group of 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts in the Kingdom of Buganda (in modern-day Uganda), martyred under King Mwanga II at a time of a three-way struggle between Anglicans, Catholics, and Muslims for influence, as well as amidst the background of the "Scramble for Africa," the process of colonization of the continent by various European powers. In particular, Catholics revere Charles Lwanga (1860-1886), majordomo to Mwanga and patron of African Catholic youth.
  • 5 JuneBoniface (675-754) (Universal)
    English cleric and missionary to the Germanic peoples of the Frankish Empire, where he became the founding Bishop of Mogontiacum (modern-day Mainz), tirelessly preaching across Germany until he was killed by bandits during a trip to the Frisians. Popularly depicted carrying a book impaled with a sword. Patron of the city of Fulda, where his remains are held, and his native Devon.
  • 6 JuneNorbert of Xanten (1080-1134) (Catholic)
    German prelate, Bishop of Magdeburg, and founder of the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré (Premonstratensians) of semi-monastic priests. A former nobleman who once avoided ordination, a series of near-fatal accidents caused him to change his mind and set out on a lifetime of rigorous penance. Patron of the city of Magdeburg and invoked during childbirth for safe delivery.
  • 9 JuneEphrem the Syrian (306-373) (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican)
    A deacon from Edessa and one of the most prolific writers of Eastern Christianity, having penned various hymns, poems, sermons, and prose, as well as the most influential of the Syriac-speaking Church figures. Patron of spiritual directors and leaders.
  • 13 JuneAnthony of Padua (Fernando Martins de Bulhões) (1195-1231) (Catholic)
    Portuguese-born Italian Franciscan friar and an effective preacher, expert on the Scriptures, and worker among the poor and sick. Popularly depicted carrying the infant Jesus on his arms. Patron of Portugal (especially Lisbon), Brazil, the post office, the elderly, and the oppressed, as well as invoked to search for lost things.
  • 19 JuneRomuald (951-1027) (Catholic, Orthodox)
    Italian Benedictine monk responsible for the revival of monasticism and founder of the Camaldolese Hermits of Mount Corona, a Benedictine group of monks and nuns.
  • 21 JuneAloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591) (Catholic)
    Italian aristocrat and Jesuit novice who died at a very young age tending to the victims of a serious epidemic. Patron of Jesuit novices, young students, and AIDS victims.
  • 22 JunePaulinus of Nola (354-431) (Catholic, Orthodox), Anglican
    Roman and senator who turned to religious life and became Bishop of Nola (near modern-day Naples) and spent his life writing poems and correspondences, as well as credited with introducing bells to Christian worship.
  • 22 JuneJohn Fisher and Thomas More (Catholic / 6 July — Anglican)
    Martyrs of the English Reformation under King Henry VIII. Though primarily Catholic, Anglicans began giving them reverence in the late 20th century as martyrs for personal conscience and as unfortunate victims of the politico-religious chaos of the period. This day occurs on Fisher's death; 6 July is More's.
    • John Fisher (1469-1535)
      Bishop of Rochester, southeast of London, and a former tutor to Henry VIII, with whom he eventually ran afoul for being the chief supporter of Catherine of Aragon, whom Henry wanted to divorce (despite Rome declining the request) in favor of the more fertile Anne Boleyn.
    • Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)
      Lawyer, judge, and philosopher, as well as Lord High Chancellor of England under Henry, with whom he ran afoul for refusing to accept him as supreme head of the Church of England and upholding the doctrine of papal supremacy.
  • 27 JuneCyril of Alexandria (376-444) (Universal)
    Egyptian priest and Patriarch of Alexandria, leading his local church in a period of politico-religious strife with which he often got embroiled in, particularly against the Nestorians, a heretical sect which believes in the distinctions between Jesus' divine and human natures. Patron of Alexandria.
  • 28 JuneIrenaeus (130-202) (Universal)
    Greek-born Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul (modern-day Lyon, France), responsible for helping spread Christianity in southern Gaul, as well as being a major source for what much of the world knows of Gnosticism through his apologetic writings.
  • 30 JuneFirst Martyrs of the Church of Rome (Catholic)
    Instituted on 1969 as an amalgamation of various lesser feasts of Christians martyred during the persecutions of Emperor Nero in AD 64, which had to be removed during the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

  • 4 JulyElizabeth of Portugal (1271-1336) (Catholic [general] / 5 July — Catholic [USA])
    Queen Consort to King Denis of Portugal who spent much of her life devoted to the poor and the sick, helped with negotiations on behalf of her husband, and, as a widow, became a Franciscan laywoman.
  • 5 JulyAnthony Maria Zaccaria (1502-1539) (Catholic)
    Italian priest and founder of the Clerics Regular of Saint Paul (Barnabites) and the Angelic Sisters of Saint Paul, and the Laity of Saint Paul, dedicated to works of charity and ministry, as well as an active participant of the Catholic Reformation, with a particular focus on Milan.
  • 6 JulyMaria Goretti (1890-1902) (Catholic)
    Italian peasant virgin who died forgiving her attempted rapist and eventual murderer. The perpetrator, Alessandro Serenelli, eventually repented, reconciled with her family, and became a Capuchin layman after his release from prison. The Gorettis and Serenelli attended Maria Goretti's canonization. Patron of victims of rape and crime in general.
  • 9 JulyMartyrs of China (Catholic)
    A commemoration of 120 local converts and foreign missionaries in China who were martyred for their faith since the 17th century. In particular, Catholics revere Augustine Zhao Rong (d. 1815), a diocesan priest.
  • 11 JulyBenedict of Nursia (480-543) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / 14 March — Orthodox)
    Roman monk and pioneer of Western monasticism, whose life, work, and teachings inspired the creation of a confederacy of autonomous monastic groups adhering to his set of rules for living. Patron of Europe in general (one of six, in honor of his lasting contributions to the growth of the medieval Church), monks, and people in religious orders, as well as invoked against inflammatory diseases.
  • 13 JulyHenry II, Holy Roman Emperor (973-1024) (Catholic, Orthodox)
    Last Holy Roman Emperor of the Ottonian dynasty who, with his wife Cunigunde of Luxembourg, led lives of chaste matrimony, holiness, and charitable work as Benedictine oblates, as well as strengthening the power of clerics as a counterbalance to secular nobles.
  • 14 JulyCamillus de Lellis (1550-1614) (Catholic)
    Italian soldier-turned-priest and founder of the Ministers to the Infirm (Camillians), a religious order dedicated to the sick. Patron of hospitals, nurses, and physicians.
  • 15 JulyBonaventure (Giovanni di Fidanza) (1221-1274) (Catholic, Anglican)
    Italian Franciscan theologian and philosopher, contemporary of Thomas Aquinas, and the seventh Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor and Cardinal Bishop of Albano (near Rome). Famed for his extensive corpus of works on many subjects, as well as for reforming the Franciscans along moderate and intellectual lines that made them the most prominent Catholic religious order until the Jesuits. Patron of Lyon and invoked by sufferers of bowel disorders.
  • 20 JulyApollinaris of Ravenna (1st c.) (Catholic, Orthodox)
    Syrian priest and inaugural Bishop of Ravenna (in modern-day Emilia-Romagna, Italy). According to tradition, he was vested by Peter [29 June] himself and served exceptionally well in his jurisdiction until he was martyred during the persecutions of either Emperor Nero or Valens. Patron of Emilia-Romagna (in particular Ravenna) and Aachen in Germany, as well as invoked against epilepsy and gout.
  • 21 JulyLawrence of Brindisi (Giulio Cesare Russo) (1559-1619) (Catholic)
    Italian Capuchin friar, linguist, and theologian. In addition to being an active participant at the Counter-Reformation, he also served as chaplain to Rudolph II, Holy Roman Emperor, and helped lead the successful defense of Székesfehérvár in Hungary against an Ottoman siege. Patron of his native Brindisi in southeastern Italy.
  • 23 JulyBridget of Sweden (Birgitta Birgesdotter) (1303-1373) (Catholic, Anglican [England], Lutheran)
    Swedish noblewoman and mystic who, upon being widowed, became a nun and founder of the Order of the Most Holy Savior (Bridgettines), a confederation of orders for nuns and monks. Patron of Europe in general (one of six, in honor of her mystical visions and pilgrimages) and Sweden in particular.
  • 24 JulyCharbel Makhlouf (Youssef Antoun Makhlouf) (1828-1898) (Catholic)
    Lebanese hermit and one of the few saints recognized from the Maronite Church, an Eastern Catholic church unique to Lebanon and its diaspora, famed for miracles attributed to him long after his death. Patron of Lebanon.
  • 26 JulyJoachim and Anne (1st c. BC) (Catholic, Anglican / 9 September — Orthodox [Joachim])
    Parents of the Virgin Mary according to the apocryphal Gospel of James, who conceived Mary despite their old age and Anna's barrenness (which some scholars see parallels with the story of Hannah, mother of the titular character of the Books of Samuel in The Bible), and thus maternal grandparents of Jesus. Patrons of grandparents, with Anne in particular having a wider range of patronages, including Canada, Brittany, Detroit, and childless parents.
  • 28 JulyJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), George Frederic Handel (1685-1759), and Henry Purcell (1659-1695) (Lutheran and Anglican)
    Three great composers of Protestant religious music in the High(ish) Church traditions of Lutheranism and Anglicanism, this somewhat unusual uniquely Protestant celebration is dedicated to composers of Protestant sacred music—Protestant sacred music which is to this day considered some of the most sublime sacred music of any denomination anywhere (i.e. the Catholics and Orthodox are envious). Interestingly, of the three, Bach was German and a lifelong Lutheran, Purcell was English and a lifelong Anglican, and Handel was a German-born Briton who converted from Lutheranism to Anglicanism as a condition of being granted British citizenship. 28 July is the anniversary of Bach's death in 1750. Also, Purcell himself was deeply devoted to the cult of St Cecilia (see for 22 November below), patroness of musicians; it's often said that his death (on 21 November 1695) was out of shame that he had been unable to compose an ode to her that year in time for her day.
  • 30 JulyPeter Chrysologus (380-450) (Catholic, Orthodox)
    Italian priest and eighteenth Bishop of Ravenna, famed for his collection of concise but theologically rich homilies.
  • 31 JulyIgnatius of Loyola (Iñigo López de Oñaz y Loyola) (1491-1556) (Catholic, Anglican)
    Spanish priest and one of the seven (and leading) founders of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a missionary order that focuses on education and the order of the current Pope, Francis. A soldier by profession, he experienced a spiritual awakening while recovering from a leg fractured by cannonball fire, and after a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Land, co-founded the Jesuits with six fellow college students in Paris, dedicated to serving the Pope as missionaries and instruments in the Counter-Reformation. In addition, Ignatius was famous for his collection of spiritual exercises on meditation and prayer. Patron of his native Basque Country (in particular the cities of Bilbao and San Sebastián), Baltimore, Antwerp, Belo Horizonte in Brazil, soldiers, and spiritual retreats.

  • 1 AugustAlphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) (Catholic)
    Italian priest and Bishop of Sant'Agata de' Goti (near Naples), as well as the founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists) and a prolific author on morality and the Virgin Mary. Patron of Naples, lawyers, and confessors, as well as invoked against arthritis.
  • 2 AugustEusebius of Vercelli (283-371) (Catholic, Orthodox)
    Roman priest, Bishop of Vercelli (between Milan and Turin), and an ally of Athanasius of Alexandria [2 May] in their defense of the divinity of Jesus against Arianism's denial thereof.
  • 2 AugustPeter Julian Eymard (1811-1868) (Catholic)
    French priest and advocate of the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and founder of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (Sacramentinos) for men and the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament for women.
  • 3 AugustJean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney (1786-1859) (Catholic, Anglican [New Zealand])
    French priest famed for his lifelong work towards the spiritual transformation of the town of Ars-sur-Formans and its neighboring towns in eastern France. Patron of parish priests.
  • 7 AugustPope Sixtus II (d. 258) (Catholic)
    24th Bishop of Rome, martyred under Emperor Valerian with six of his deacons—Januarius, Vincentius, Magnus, Stephanus, Felicissimus, and Agapitus, with the seventh, Lawrence, following suit later. Famous for reconciling with the African and Byzantine churches after the rift caused by Novatianism, a rigorist faction that rejected the readmission of Christians forced to lapse during persecution without re-baptism.
  • 7 AugustCajetan (Gaetano dei Conti di Thiene) (1480-1547) (Catholic)
    Italian nobleman-turned-priest, religious reformer, and founder of the Congregation of Clerics Regular (Theatines), as well as the founder of a bank for the poor of Naples. Patron of Albania, Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, bankers, the unemployed, and penitent gamblers.
  • 8 AugustDominic (Domingo Félix de Guzmán) (1170-1221) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    Spanish priest and founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), which helped spread Christianity and scholasticism during the Middle Ages, and a major influence on the popularization of the rosary. Patron of the Dominican Republic (especially Santo Domingo), Fuzhou in China, the regions of Campana and Calabria in Italy, and astronomers.
  • 9 AugustTeresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) (1891-1942) (Catholic)
    German Jewish philosopher who late in life converted to Catholicism and became a Carmelite nun, as well as a martyr of the Holocaust. Patron of Europe (one of six, in memory of the victims of the violence of the 20th century).
  • 10 AugustLawrence of Rome (225-258) (Universal)
    Protégé, treasurer, and the first deacon of Pope Sixtus II [7 August], executed three days after the Pope and his six fellow deacons, roasted alive for refusing to hand over the treasury of the Church, instead humorously pointing to the poor of the city of Rome entrusted to his care as the real treasures. Secondary patron of the city of Rome, as well as of Rotterdam, Canada, comedians, librarians, students, chefs, firefighters, and the poor.
  • 11 AugustClare of Assisi (Chiara Offreduccio) (1194-1253) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    Italian noblewoman who, inspired and assisted by her compatriot Francis of Assisi [4 October], became a nun and founded the Order of Poor Ladies (Poor Clares) for nuns in the Franciscan tradition. Patron of Santa Clara in California, needleworkers, bicycle messengers, and television (based on a story of her vision of Mass being celebrated while she was bedridden).
  • 12 AugustJane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641) (Catholic)
    French baroness-turned-nun, widowed after a short but fruitful marriage, and a friend of Francis de Sales [24 January], with whom she founded the Congregation of the Visitation (Visitandines) for women rejected by other orders due to illness or age. Patron of widows and forgotten people.
  • 13 AugustPope Pontian and Hippolytus of Rome (d. 235) (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican [Hippolytus only])
    Martyrs under Emperor Maximinus. Having been bitter enemies in life, the latter leading the Greek-speaking Christians in Rome and later leading a schismatic group rivalling that of the former, both men eventually reconciled while sentenced to hard labor in Sardinia.
  • 14 AugustMaximilian Maria Kolbe (Rajmund Kolbe) (1894-1941) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    Polish Franciscan friar and a martyr of the Holocaust, having been sent to Auschwitz for his publications highly critical of Nazism and sheltering Jews in his convents, eventually committing a Heroic Sacrifice by taking the place of a father sentenced to be one of ten men starved to death as punishment for the escape of a prisoner, before being administered with a lethal injection when he managed to survive for weeks. Patron of families, pro-life movements, recovering drug addicts, amateur radio operators, journalists, and political prisoners.
  • 16 AugustKing Stephen I of Hungary (975-1038) (Catholic, Orthodox)
    First King of Hungary, highly revered for his political and religious advocacy to unite the Hungarian people. Patron of Hungary, kings, and stone workers.
  • 19 AugustJohn Eudes (1601-1680) (Catholic)
    French priest and mystic, as well as an advocate of the veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Patron of Missionaries.
  • August 20Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    French abbot and reformer of the Cistercians, an order of monks dedicated to restoring, as much as possible, a strict observance of the Benedictine Rule, later participating in The Crusades as a spiritual advisor. Patron of Burgundy, Gibraltar, and the Knights Templar.
  • 21 AugustPope Pius X (Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto) (1835-1914) (Catholic)
    Italian pontiff known for his charitable work and promotion of the practice of frequently receiving communion, but also for his vigorous condemnation of Modernism, which tried to mold the Christian faith into modern ideas. Patron of Atlanta in Georgia, Des Moines in Iowa, first-time communicants, and catechists.
  • 23 AugustRose of Lima (Isabel Flores de Oliva) (1586-1617) (Catholic, Anglican)
    Peruvian Dominican laywoman who spent her short life in severe asceticism and charity work. First canonized saint born in the Americas. Patron of Peru, Latin America in general and its aboriginal peoples in particular, Santa Rosa in California, embroiderers, gardeners, florists.
  • 25 AugustKing Louis IX of France (1214-1270) (Catholic)
    Ninth King of France under the House of Capet, during whose reign France became a power in medieval Europe, as well as a Franciscan layman whose religious vocation influenced his policies. Patron of France, the Third Order of Saint Francis, New Orleans, and barbers.
  • 25 AugustJoseph Calasanz (1557-1648) (Catholic)
    Spanish priest and founder of the Order of Poor Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools (Piarists), the oldest Catholic order dedicated to education. Patron of Catholic schools.
  • 27 AugustMonica (322-387) (Catholic, Anglican / 4 May—Orthodox, Lutheran)
    North African laywoman and mother of Augustine, responsible for helping her son return to Christianity from a life of sin and hedonism. Patron of Santa Monica in California, people suffering from difficult family situations, and victims of adultery and domestic abuse.
  • 28 AugustJunípero Serra (1713-1784) (Catholic [USA])
    Franciscan friar who preached to the aboriginal peoples of California, establishing nine of its twenty-one missions. Patron of Hispanic Americans, priestly vocations, and California.
  • 28 AugustAugustine of Hippo (Aurelius Augustinus) (354-430) (Universal)
    North African priest and Bishop of Hippo Regius (modern-day Annaba, Algeria). A man who used to be given to hedonism, he had a spiritual awakening through the efforts of his mother Monica [27 August] and advisor Ambrose [7 December] while in the city of Mediolanum (modern-day Milan, Italy), where the latter served as bishop. Returning to North Africa after his mother's death, he settled as a bishop and became a prolific writer, whose works on philosophy and theology would shape Western Christian thought for centuries to come. Revered as one of the Four Great Western Fathers of the Church alongside Pope Gregory I [3 September], Jerome [30 September], and Ambrose [7 December]. Patron of North Africa, brewers, printers, and theologians, as well as invoked against sore eyes.
  • 31 AugustRaymond Nonnatus (1204-1240) (Catholic)
    Spanish/Catalan Mercedarian friar whose main mission during his life was going into Moorish lands and paying ransoms out of his considerable personal funds (he was the son of a nobleman, possibly the Count of Urgell) to free captured Christians held in bondage. When he ran out of money in Tunis, he surrendered himself in exchange for the lives of 28 Christians. The official Church legend holds that the Moors pierced a hole through his lips with a hot iron and put a padlock through it to keep him from preaching. He was himself ransomed by his order and returned to Spain, but he died shortly thereafter. But none of this is why he is known today—rather, it is because his mother died with him still in the womb, and so he was brought into the world by Caesarian section. Hence his sobriquet "Nonnatus"—"never born". He is therefore the patron of pregnant women, childbirth, newborns, obstetricians, and midwives; modern readers will know him mostly as the namesake of the Order of St Raymond Nonnatus, the name Jennifer Worth assigned to the Anglican Order of St John the Divine in Call the Midwife.

  • 3 SeptemberPope Gregory I, the Great (Gregorius Anicius) (540-604) (Catholic / 12 March—Anglican, Lutheran / 25 March—Orthodox)
    A nobleman-turned-priest who used both his experiences as prefect and monk to lead the Church efficiently. Besides writing many books (more than any other pope ever since), he helped establish a school system of education (in contrast to apprenticeship of centuries past), reformed Christian liturgy, and initiated a massive missionary effort to Britain. Revered as one of the Four Great Western Fathers of the Church with Augustine of Hippo [28 August], Jerome [30 September], and Ambrose [7 December]. Patron of teachers, musicians, and singers (by way of him being attributed with encouraging the use of plainchant as the standard form of Church worship, ever since known as Gregorian chant).
  • 9 SeptemberPeter Claver (Pedro Claver y Corberó) (1580-1654) (Catholic, Lutheran [ELCA])
    Spanish Jesuit priest and missionary to Colombia, revered for his defense of the rights of the aborigines. Patron of Colombia, slaves, seafarers, and ministry to African Americans.
  • 13 SeptemberJohn Chrysostom (349-407) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / 13 November — Orthodox)
    Archbishop of Constantinople and a prominent figure in the post-apostolic Church, famed for his sermons and gift of eloquence, for which he earned the title "Chrysostom" (literally, "golden-mouthed"). Revered as one of the Four Great Eastern Fathers of the Church with Basil and Gregory [2 January] and Athanasius of Alexandria [2 May]. Patron of Istanbul, lecturers, orators, and preachers, as well as invoked by sufferers of epilepsy.
  • 16 SeptemberPope Cornelius (d. 253) and Cyprian (200-258) (Catholic, Orthodox)
    Bishops of Rome and Carthage, respectively, who in their own ways dealt with the Novatian rigorists and their refusal to readmit Christians forced to lapse during persecution without re-baptism.
  • 17 SeptemberRobert Bellarmine (1542-1621) (Catholic, Anglican)
    Italian Jesuit priest, Archbishop of Capua (near Naples), and a major supporter of the reforms of the Council of Trent, as well as an active figure of the Counter-Reformation and an inquisitor, in particular handling the cases of Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei on account of their support for the heliocentric Copernican model of the solar system. Patron of canon lawyers, catechists, and Cincinnati in Ohio.
  • 17 SeptemberHildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    German Benedictine abbess, writer, theologian, mystic, and composer. Her most famous works include the Scivias, a work of mystical theology, and the Ordo Virtutum, a morality play.
  • 18 SeptemberJoseph of Cupertino (1603-1663) (Catholic [USA])
    Italian Conventual Franciscan priest who reputedly levitated while praying, and was ordered to pray in private so he wouldn't scare other worshipers and had a run-in with the Inquisition because of it. He has been declared the patron saint of air travellers, aviators, astronauts, people with a mental handicap, test takers, and poor students.
  • 19 SeptemberJanuarius (d. 305) (Catholic, Orthodox)
    Inaugural Bishop of Benevento, northeast of Naples, and martyr under Emperor Diocletian. Patron of blood banks and the city of Naples, which holds what is believed to be a vial of his blood, which is thought to liquefy thrice a year, as well as invoked against volcanic eruptions.
  • 20 SeptemberMartyrs of Korea (Catholic, Anglican)
    A commemoration of the first martyrs of the Church in the Korean Peninsula. In particular, Catholics revere Andrew Kim Taegon (Gim Dae-geon) (1821-1846), the first Korean-born ordained priest, and Paul Chong Hasang (Jeong Ha-sang) (1795-1839), a layman. Patrons of South Korea.
  • 23 SeptemberPadre Pio of Pietrelcina (Francesco Forgione) (1887-1968) (Catholic)
    Italian Capuchin friar and mystic, famous for bearing the stigmata (wounds of Jesus on his hands and feet) throughout his life. Patron of civil defense volunteers and people under stress.
  • 26 SeptemberCosmas and Damian (d. 287) (Catholic, Orthodox)
    Arab brothers and physicians, famous for accepting no pay for their medical work in the seaport of Aegeae (modern-day Yumurtalık, Turkey) before being martyred during the persecutions of Emperor Domitian. Patrons of surgeons, physicians, dentists, barbers, pharmacists, veterinarians, and twins.
  • 27 SeptemberVincent de Paul (1581-1660) (Catholic, Anglican)
    French priest and founder of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians or Lazarists) and the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, famed for his charitable work to the poor. Patron of Madagascar, Richmind in Virginia, charities, hospitals, prisoners, and volunteers, as well as invoked against leprosy.
  • 28 SeptemberWenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia (907-935) (Catholic, Orthodox)
    Nobleman famous for his benevolent rule and his tragic death at the hands of his own brother, Duke Boleslaus I (who later deeply regretted the fratricide). Patron of the city of Prague, Bohemia, and the Czech Republic.
  • 28 SeptemberLorenzo Ruiz (1600-1637) (Catholic)
    Chinese-Filipino altar boy and member of an ill-fated Dominican mission to Japan, where he was executed for his unwavering faith. Secondary patron of the Philippines, the city of Manila, and Filipino migrant workers.
  • 30 SeptemberJerome (Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus) (347-420) (Universal)
    Dalmatian hermit famous for his herculean feat of translating the entirety of The Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, which was compiled as the "Vulgate", as well as commentaries on the Gospels. Revered as one of the Four Great Western Fathers of the Church alongside Augustine of Hippo [28 August], Pope Gregory I [3 September], and Ambrose [7 December]. Patron of biblical scholars, archaeologists, translators, archivists, and librarians.

  • 1 OctoberThérèse of Lisieux (Marie Françoise-Thérèse Martin) (1873-1897) (Catholic)
    French Carmelite nun widely venerated for her life of great simplicity and humility despite frequent bouts of tuberculosis, which eventually claimed her at a young age. Patron of France, Russia, Alaska, and gardeners, as well as invoked by sufferers of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
  • 4 OctoberFrancis of Assisi (Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone) (1181/2-1226) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    Italian friar and founder of the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans) and other associated orders dedicated to mendicancy (an avowed life of poverty and ministry). A son of a merchant who cast aside his wealth to live in meditation, he is also famed for his gift of communicating with animals, love of nature, and bearing the stigmata throughout his life. Arguably one of the most beloved saints throughout Christianity and namesake of the current pope (formerly Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires), he is the patron of Italy, San Francisco, animals, the environment, and merchants.
  • 5 OctoberMaria Faustina Kowalska (Helena Kowalska) (1905-1938) (Catholic)
    Polish nun and mystic who wrote a diary that records her visions and conversations with Jesus, which became the basis of the Divine Mercy devotion.
  • 6 OctoberBruno of Cologne (1030-1101) (Catholic)
    German priest and founder of the Order of Carthusians for enclosed monks and nuns following a rule distinct from the Benedictine Rule. Famed for his humility, going so far as to decline a bishopric from his former pupil, Pope Urban II (to whom he nevertheless served as advisor). Patron of Germany, Calabria (whose see he declined), and monastic communities.
  • 9 OctoberDenis of Paris (d. 250/258/270) (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican)
    Inaugural Bishop of Paris, famously depicted carrying his own severed head after his execution during the persecutions of Emperor Decius, preaching repentance for a few hours before finally resting for good on the spot where Saint-Denis Cathedral, north of Paris, now stands. Patron of France in general and Paris in particular, as well as invoked against headaches and frenzy.
  • 9 OctoberGiovanni Leonardi (1541-1609) (Catholic)
    Italian priest and founder of the Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca, an order dedicated to education and pastoral care, as well as a friend of Philip Neri [26 May], who spent his life in devotion to the Virgin Mary. Patron of pharmacists.
  • 9 OctoberJohn Henry Newman (1801-1890) (Catholic [England and Wales] / Anglican)
    English theologian and poet. He was originally an Anglican priest who was one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement, a movement of High Church Anglican theologians that sought to re-introduce pre-English Reformation doctrine and practices into the Church of England. His studies eventually led him to convert to the Catholic faith, which caused a scandal, and he wrote an autobiography defending his decision to convert. He wrote an essay on the development of Christian doctrine, which states that Christian doctrine becomes more detailed throughout the centuries but remains consistent with its earlier statements.
  • 11 OctoberPope John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli) (1881-1963) (Catholic / 3 June — Lutheran / 4 June — Anglican)
    Pontiff under whose reign the Second Vatican Council was convened to reform the Catholic Church for the 20th century, as well as an advocate of ecumenism. Well-loved for his genial nature. Patron of papal delegates (having previously served as one to Greece and Turkey) and Christian unity.
  • 14 OctoberPope Callixtus I (d. 223) (Catholic)
    A former slave turned Bishop of Rome. Patron of cemetery workers, having spent his early years in the priesthood tending to catacombs where Christian martyrs were buried.
  • 15 OctoberTeresa of Ávila (Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada) (1515-1582) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    Spanish Carmelite nun, mystic, and theologian, responsible for the reformation of her order (which eventually broke off into the Discalced Carmelites after her death) and famous for her visions and works on mental prayer. Patron of Spain, people in religious orders, and lacemakers, as well as invoked by the ill and those ridiculed for their piety.
  • 16 OctoberHedwig of Silesia (1174-1243) (Catholic)
    Bavarian duchess revered for her tireless service to the poor and refugees from the many wars that rocked Central Europe throughout the thirteenth century. Patron of the cities Berlin, Kraków, and Wrocław, the regions of Brandenburg and Silesia, and orphans.
  • 16 OctoberMargaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) (Catholic)
    French Visitandine nun responsible for the modern veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Invoked by polio victims.
  • 17 OctoberIgnatius of Antioch (35-108) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / 20 December — Orthodox)
    Patriarch of Antioch and one of the Three Apostolic Fathers alongside Polycarp [23 February] and Pope Clement I [23 November], as well as a prolific writer, with many of his letters written en route to Rome, where he was fed to the lions during the persecutions of the Emperor Trajan. Patron of the particular Churches of the eastern Mediterranean and North Africa.
  • 19 OctoberCanadian Martyrs (Catholic [general], Anglican [Canada] / 26 October — Catholic [Canada])
    Eight French Jesuit missionaries to the aboriginal peoples of modern-day southern Ontario and the first martyrs of the Americas, killed amidst a tribal war between the Huron and the Iroquois Confederacy. In particular Catholics revere Isaac Jogues (1607-1646) and Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649), as well as, to a lesser extent, René Goupil (1608-1642), Jean de Lalande (d. 1646), Antoine Daniel (1601-1648), Noël Chabanel (1613-1649), Charles Garnier (1606-1649), and Gabriel Lalemant (1610-1649). They are the secondary patrons of Canada.
  • 19 OctoberPaul of the Cross (Paolo Francesco Danei) (1694-1775) (Catholic)
    Italian priest and mystic, and founder of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ (Passionists), an order dedicated to the meditation on the death and resurrection of Jesus.
  • 22 October 22Pope John Paul II (Karol Józef Wojtyła) (1920-2005) (Catholic)
    First Slavic and first non-Italian pontiff in 500 years. Arguably one of the best-known and most-loved popes on account of his many international travels (more than any other pope before him) and a lengthy 26-year reign (by the standards of popes, the majority of whom are elected at an advanced age). Patron of Kraków, where he served as archbishop before his ascent.
  • 23 OctoberJohn of Capistrano (1386-1456) (Catholic)
    Italian Franciscan friar, theologian, and inquisitor, who famously led a crusade defending Belgrade against an Ottoman siege in 1456. Patron of jurists, military chaplains, Belgrade, and Hungary.
  • 23 OctoberBoethius (477-524) (Catholic, Eastern Orthodox)
    A late ancient and early medieval philosopher, senator, lawyer, and poet. Boethius was one of the most notable philosophers of the Middle Ages and Christian philosophy more generally. He was executed by the Arian king Theodoric for defending an accused man in court.
  • 24 OctoberAnthony Mary Claret (1807-1870) (Catholic)
    Spanish priest, Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, confessor to Queen Isabella II of Spain, and founder of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians), a community of priests dedicated to charity and education for the poor. Patron of textile merchants, the Canary Islands, and technical/vocational educators.
  • 31 OctoberReformation Day (Protestant, but mostly Lutheran and Calvinist)
    Not a saint's day per se, but listed here because of its relation to All Saints' Day. A remembrance of the day in 1517 when Martin Luther sent his Ninety-five Theses to the Archbishop of Mainz, the event that is generally accepted as the start of the Reformation.note  Since the 20th century, most churches that observe this event have transferred this observance to the last Sunday on or before 31 October as Reformation Sunday, with the following Sunday being observed as All Saints' Day.

  • 1 NovemberAll Saints (Universal)
    A commemoration of all the saints, observed in virtually all major Christian churches. However, Protestant churches that observe Reformation Day, especially Lutheran and Calvinist churches, generally transfer All Saints' Day to the first Sunday on or after 1 November.
  • 3 NovemberMartin de Porres (1579-1639) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    Peruvian Dominican lay brother who defied the stigma of being the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a freed African slave to lead a life of humility and charity. Patron of Peru, Vietnam, Mississippi, mixed-race people, barbers, innkeepers, and advocates for racial harmony and social justice.
  • 4 NovemberCharles Borromeo (1538-1584) (Catholic)
    Italian priest, Archbishop of Milan, and a prominent figure in the Counter-Reformation, as well as an advocate for the foundation of religious seminaries. Patron of bishops, catechumens, and Lombardy, as well as protector against ulcers.
  • 10 NovemberPope Leo I, the Great (400-461) (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican)
    Bishop of Rome famous for standing up to Attila the Hun and persuading him to turn back from Italy, as well as a major influence in the orthodox Christian stance of Jesus having both divine and human natures.
  • 11 NovemberMartin of Tours (316/336-397) (Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican / 12 October — Orthodox)
    Hungarian-born Roman soldier who turned to the habit (and being elevated as high as Bishop of Tours in France) following an incident where he cut half of his cloak to give warmth to a homeless man in the middle of winter, then had a vision of the man revealing himself as Jesus. Patron of Bratislava, Buenos Aires, Utrecht, the Pontificial Swiss Guard, beggars, recovering alcoholics, and horses.
  • 12 NovemberJosaphat Kuntsevych (1580-1623) (Catholic)
    Polish-Lithuanian monk and Ukrainian Greek Catholic Archeparch (the Eastern Christian equivalent to the archbishops in the West) of Polotsk (in modern-day Belarus), killed during a period of strife between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the first Eastern Catholic saint canonized by Rome. Secondary patron of Ukraine.
  • 15 NovemberAlbertus Magnus (1200-1280) (Catholic)
    German Dominican friar, philosopher, and scientist covering a multitude of subjects (such as botany, geography, astronomy, astrology, alchemy, and zoology), as well as a mentor of Thomas Aquinas [28 January]. Patron of scientists, students, and Cincinnati.
  • 16 NovemberMargaret of Scotland (1045-1093) (Catholic)
    English-born princess married to King Malcolm III of Scotland, famed for her charitable works and establishing a ferry across the Firth of Forth for pilgrims to the town of Saint Andrews. Secondary patron of Scotland, as well as of Anglo-Scots relations.
  • 16 NovemberGertrude the Great (1256-1302) (Catholic, Anglican [Episcopal/USA])
    German Benedictine nun and mystic, as well as a prolific writer. Patron of the West Indies.
  • 17 NovemberElizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    Hungarian princess and Franciscan laywoman. Married at a young age to Louis IV, Landgrave of Thuringia, then widowed after a short but happy marriage, she spent the rest of her short life in works of charity. Patron of hospitals, nurses, bakers, and the Third Order of Saint Francis, a lay order for people who wish to live in contemplation without having to cloister themselves.
  • 22 NovemberCecilia (c. 2nd century) (Universal)
    Roman noblewoman and martyr, by tradition said to have sung to God during her wedding to the pagan nobleman Valerian, who was later converted and eventually martyred with her during the reign of Emperor Alexander Severus. Patron of musicians, poets, and Omaha in Nebraska.
  • 23 NovemberPope Clement I (d. 99) (Universal)
    Fourth Bishop of Rome, disciple of Peter [29 June], and one of the three Apostolic Fathers alongside Polycarp [23 February] and Ignatius of Antioch [17 October], as well as one of the most prolific writers of the post-apostolic Church, with his letter to the Church at Corinth being the most famous, and eventually a martyr during the persecutions of Emperor Trajan, tied onto an anchor and thrown into the Black Sea. Patron of mariners and stonecutters.
  • 23 NovemberColumbanus (543-615) (Catholic, Orthodox)
    Irish missionary and founder of several monasteries in the Frankish and Lombard kingdoms, most notably those in Luxeuil in France and Bobbio in Italy, as well as a pioneer of the practice of private confession to priests. Patron of motorcyclists.
  • 24 NovemberVietnamese Martyrs (Catholic)
    A commemoration of 117 locals and foreign missionaries killed amidst the struggle between the Vietnamese Kingdom and French colonial interests. In particular, Catholics venerate Andrew Dũng-Lạc (Trần An Dũng) (1795-1839), a priest.
  • 25 NovemberCatherine of Alexandria (287-305) (Universal)
    Semi-legendary Egyptian virgin, princess, and scholar, who met her end by being tied onto a breaking wheel and eventually beheaded when the wheel broke down to her touch. Patron of unmarried girls, apologists, archivists, jurists, and workers with the wheel (such as potters and spinners).

  • 3 DecemberFrancis Xavier (Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta) (1506-1552) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    Spanish priest and one of the seven co-founders of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) with his college friend Ignatius of Loyola [31 July], famed for his extensive missionary efforts to Goa in India, Borneo, the Maluku Islands (in present-day Indonesia), and Japan, and would have reached China but for dying of an illness at a nearby island. Patron of his native Navarre region in Spain, Japan, Indonesia, Goa, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Macau, navigators, and foreign missionaries.
  • 4 DecemberJohn of Damascus (675/676-749) (Universal)
    Syrian priest, monk, polymath, and expositions of the faith and hymns amidst Muslim-ruled Syria, and a defender of the use of sacred images in divine worship and veneration of saints, as well as considered the last of the Greek Church Fathers. Patron of pharmacists and icon painters.
  • 6 DecemberNicholas (270-343) (Universal)
    Greek priest and Bishop of Myra (modern-day Demre, Turkey), famed for his legendary acts of generousness, in particular an episode where he spared a poverty-stricken father the disgrace of selling his three daughters to prostitution by secretly dropping bags of gold coins to his house in the middle of the night for him to use as dowry. This act of secret gift-giving has been popularized in the secular world through the Dutch legendary figure of Sinterklaas, which eventually traveled to the USA (and beyond) as Santa Claus. Secondary patron of Greece and Russia (especially Moscow), as well as of Lorraine in France, Bari in Italy (where his remains were spirited away ahead of an Ottoman invasion in the late eleventh century), children, sailors, merchants, and the falsely accused.
  • 7 DecemberAmbrose (Aurelius Ambrosius) (340-397) (Universal)
    Roman statesman, governor, and later Bishop of Mediolanum (modern-day Milan, Italy), during which he defended the Latin Church against Arianism and was an influence in the conversion of Augustine of Hippo [28 August]. Considered one of the four Great Western Fathers of the Church alongside Augustine, Pope Gregory I [3 September],and Jerome [30 September]. Patron of Milan and beekeepers (based on his name being homophonous to the Latin word for honey).
  • 9 DecemberJuan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548) (Catholic)
    Aboriginal Mexican peasant of Chichimec heritage and recipient of visions of the Virgin Mary on the hill of Tepeyac near modern-day Mexico City, now known as Our Lady of Guadalupe [12 December]. He is the first native American saint, as well as patron of the natives in the Americas.
  • 11 DecemberPope Damasus I (305-384) (Catholic)
    Bishop of Rome who standardized the biblical canon during the Council of Rome in 392, encouraged Jerome [30 September] to translate The Bible into Latin, helped repair relations between the Churches of Rome and Antioch, and encouraged the veneration of martyrs. Patron of archaeologists and invoked against fever.
  • December 13Lucy of Syracuse (283-304) (Universal)
    Roman virgin martyred during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian, later believed to have been tortured by having her eyes gouged out, which were then miraculously restored before she was executed. Her feast day once coincided with the northern winter solstice, the day with the shortest daylight hours (now fixed at around 21 December following the Gregorian reform), and thus it remained popular in the Nordic countries, especially in Sweden, where winter nights are very long, even after they converted to Lutheranism. Patron of the blind (both a reference to her torture and a play on her name being similar to lux, the Latin word for light) and Syracuse and Perugia in Italy.
  • 14 DecemberJohn of the Cross (Juan de Yepes y Álvarez) (1542-1591) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran)
    Spanish Carmelite monk, mystic, and disciple of Teresa of Ávila [15 October], with whom he implemented reforms in the order, eventually being a leader of the Discalced community, even in the face of opposition, including being thrown into solitary confinement multiple times, during which he coined the term "dark night of the soul" to denote spiritual dryness during the journey to God. Patron of mystics, Spanish poets, and contemplatives.
  • 21 DecemberPeter Canisius (1521-1597) (Catholic)
    Dutch Jesuit priest who helped spearhead the restoration of the Catholic Church in Germany following the Protestant Reformation. Patron of Germany and the Catholic press.
  • 23 DecemberJohn Cantius (1390-1473) (Catholic)
    Polish priest, theologian, philosopher, and physicist, famed for his generosity and compassion for the poor as much as his works on physics. Patron of Poland and Lithuania.
  • 29 DecemberThomas Becket (1119-1170) (Catholic, Anglican)
    Archbishop of Canterbury, who engaged in a lifelong conflict with King Henry II of England over the rights and properties of the Church until he was murdered during Mass by four knights who misinterpreted rash words from the King. Patron of secular clergy.
  • 31 DecemberPope Sylvester I (d. 335) (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran / 2 January — Orthodox)
    Bishop of Rome during whose tenure Emperor Constantine the Great officially endorsed Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire.

    Saints with their own pages