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St. Denis of Paris

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A perfect hagiography for the month that includes Halloween, St. Denis of Paris is often depicted carrying his own severed head, in reference to a legend that he preached a sermon after being beheaded.
Denis was the first bishop of Paris, sent to convert the Gauls to Christianity (it didn't go well). He is also one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, a group of saints whose intercession began to be sought collectively against the Black Death.

Lifetime: ~200 to ~250
Region: Montmartre, Gaul (modern Paris, France)
Patronages: Headaches; Paris; Rabies
Iconograpy: Martyr holding his own severed head; Bishop's mitre and crosier
Feast Day: October 9
Denis (called Dionysus in his time) is considered the first Bishop of Paris. Though Paris wasn't yet established as a city, he was sent to the area that is now called Paris to preach to the people of Gaul, an area where the early church had once thrived, but had since waned after persecution by the Roman emperor.
Upon arriving, he set up a smal…

St. Francis of Assisi

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This post is a special bonus minifig - there's still another saint coming for October! As such, I'm not going to do a hagiography for St. Francis of Assisi, but I couldn't pass up the chance to get some photos of him.
St. Francis is one of the most well-known Catholic saints, and even secular garden shops are likely to carry a statue of him with some animals. He's also gotten more popular in recent years, as Pope Francis took his name as his papal title upon assuming the office of pope, in part because of his connection to ecology.
Because of a few legends associated with St. Francis, he is the patron saint of animals and pets, and therefore is among those saints who intercession is sought most often.
Lifetime: 1182 to 1226
Region: Umbria, Italy
Patronages: Animals; Ecology; the Franciscan order
Iconograpy: Birds; Franciscan habit; Stigmata
Feast Day: October 4 Prayer of St. Francis(note: no longer believed to be composed by St. Francis, but still an appropriate reflection of …

St. Therese of Lisieux

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Despite her short life, dying at the age of 24, St. Therese is one of only four women Doctors of the Church (alongside Teresa of Avila, Hildegard von Bingen, and Catherine of Siena). Her famous "Little Way" has gone on to inspire many in the century since her death.
Therese also once wrote and performed in a play about Joan of Arc. During Joan's execution by burning at the stake, the set caught on fire, nearly igniting Therese's costume. I don't have anything extra to add about that, it's just a neat story I wanted to share.


Lifetime: January 2, 1873 to September 30, 1897
Region: France
Patronages: Missionaries; France; Florists
Iconograpy: Roses; Crucifix; Habit
Feast Day: October 1
Therese (born Marie Francois-Therese Martin) belonged to an extremely devout family. Her mother had hoped to become a nun, but was discouraged, and her father had similarly tried to join a religious order but was refused as he did not know Latin. After marrying, they went on to have nin…

St. Michael the Archangel

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When I first converted to the Catholic faith, I was very uncomfortable with the prayer to St. Michael. In my mind, there was something strange (or rather, even stranger) about praying for the intercession of an angel over the intercession of the saints. Initially, I refused to participate in the prayer, which at my parish is said at the end of each Mass.
Eventually, though, I opted to take a childlike submission to the church's teachings for a short while, and that humility was greatly rewarded. Now, the prayer to St. Michael is one of the most commonly used tools in my arsenal against sin, and I have come to realize the power of his special place as one of the protectors of humanity.

Lifetime: Eternity
Region: Heaven & Earth
Patronages: Grocers; Mariners; Police; Soldiers
Iconograpy: Angel with a sword; Defeating Lucifer / a dragon; Scales
Feast Day: September 29 (with other Archangels)
Michael is one of only three named angels in scripture, and accordingly, along with the archangel…

St. Simeon the Stylite

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St. Simeon the Stylite demonstrates a dedication to reliance on God to the extreme -- he spent most of his life atop a pillar, without shelter from the elements or any possessions. His unusual approach to asceticism was so inspiring that it kicked off a centuries-long trend of "pillar saints" following in his footsteps.
Lifetime: 390-459
Region: Syria
Patronages: Shepherds; Those who have left the church
Iconograpy: Atop a pillar; Habit; Long unkempt hair and beard
Feast Day: September 1 (Eastern Catholic & Orthodox) / January 5 (Roman Catholic) Young Simeon became enamored with the Christian faith when he was 13, after hearing a gospel reading of the Beatitudes ("Blessed are the meek", etc.). He joined a monastery before he was 16 and began pursuing an ascetic life immediately, giving away everything he could and restricting his niceties far beyond that which his fellow monks required -- or even found appropriate. It wasn't long before Simeon was asked to leave …

St. Moses the Strong

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Moses the Strong, also called Moses the Black and Moses the Ethiopian, is a story of one of the greatest conversions of heart. Moses turning from his life of murder and robbery to an advocate for non-violence and humility shows that no matter what our struggles, there is hope for us all.
Lifetime: 330-405
Region: Ethiopia; Egypt
Patronages: Africa; Nonviolence
Iconograpy: Walking stick; parable scroll; leaking sack of sand
Feast Day: August 28 Little is known about Moses' early life, but he is believed to have been born in Ethiopia. In his youth, he became a slave or servant of an Egyptian governmental official, where his notoriety began. Moses' master found Moses too dishonest and violent, and after Moses was accused of murder, he was thrown out and exiled.Moses quickly turned his violent energy and large body to crime, joining a band of robbers. As a bandit, Moses regularly assaulted travelers, stole their belongings, and may well have committed additional murders and other wicked…

St. Maximilian Kolbe

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Maxmilian Kolbe is one of the most inspirational modern saints. He was referred to by Pope St. John Paul II as "the patron saint of our difficult century" in reference to the 1900s. Often, many of us wonder what we would do if we faced a difficult situation, such as taking on risk for declaring our faith, or offering our own life for another's. Maxmilian Kolbe faced the Nazi threat in his occupied country of Poland and stood up for what is right, at the cost of his own life.
Lifetime: January 8, 1894 - August 14, 1941
Region: Poland
Patronages: Prisoners; Journalists; Families
Iconograpy: Franciscan robes; Nazi concentration camp prisoner uniform; Blue Knight of The Immaculate magazine
Feast Day: August 14
Born Rajmund Kolbe in the Kingdom of Poland, Maximilian received his better-known religious name upon joining the Minorite branch of the Franciscan order.In his monastery, Maximilian founded an evangelization movement which is now a global organization known as the Militia …