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St. Gabriel the Archangel

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Along with Michael and Raphael , Gabriel is one of the three archangels mentioned by name in Holy Scripture. He is the only one featured in the Gospel stories, as it is Gabriel who shares the news with Mary that she will give birth to the Christ.  In the Eastern church, Gabriel gets two feast days dedicated solely to him (plus a third shared with the other angels). One of those is the day after the feast of the Annunciation.   Lifetime:  Eternity Region:  Heaven & Earth Patronages:  Communications; Messengers; Clerics; Diplomats Iconograpy:  Angel wings; Mirror reflecting X; Lilies; Trumpet Feast Day:  September 29 (with other Archangels) (Western); November 8 (with other Archangels) (Eastern); March 24 (Eastern); July 13 (Eastern) Since everything we know about Gabriel comes from the Gospel of Luke, I thought the best way to introduce him is to simply share those passages. Here Gabriel tells Zechariah that his wife is pregnant with John the Baptist: Now at the time of the incens

St. John Chrysostom

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St. John Chrysostom was one of the most prolific writers of the early church, and one of the most influential speakers in his time. He is widely celebrated by Christians who venerate saints, but most especially by Byzantine Christians, who recognize him as one of the three holy hierarchs and celebrate him on three separate feast days. Lifetime:  ~347 to 407 Region:  Antioch (modern Turkey) Patronages:  Education; Epilepsy; Lecturers; Constantinople Iconograpy:  Bishop vestments; Gospel book; Dove Feast Day:  September 13 (Western); November 13 (Eastern) John was born in Antioch, and while it is unknown whether his parents were Christian, his father was a high-ranking officer in the military. His father died when John was still a baby, so he was raised by his mother. Using her influence, she had John tutored by a well-known pagan tutor who specialized in rhetoric and taught John how to speak and read Greek. John eventually became a lawyer, but at some point began to embrace the Christia

St. Mamas of Caesarea

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St. Mamas (also spelled Mammes, Mammas, and Mammet) was martyred when he was only 15 years old. But his short life was riddled with miracles and bold acts of faith, though the specifics vary a bit in the different regions that venerate him. Lifetime:  ~259 to ~275 Region:  Cappadocia (modern Turkey) Patronages: Nursing babies; Broken bones; Hernias Iconograpy:  Lion; Lamb; Red cloak Feast Day:  August 17 (Western); September 2 (Eastern) Mamas was born in prison. His parents (who are also both canonized saints) were Christian, and were arrested for their faith while his mother was pregnant with him. Shortly after his birth, both his parents were killed, leaving him an orphan. He was then adopted by a rich Christian widow, who raised Mamas in the faith of his parents. Mamas was educated and took well to his studies, achieving far beyond his years. Even as a youth, Mamas converted many to his faith through personal example and discussions.  When the governor learned of all the people who

St. Dominic

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St. Dominic is most well-known for founding the Dominican order, as well as for popularizing the Rosary. The order that bears his name is one of the most active Catholic orders today, especially in education. He was also instrumental in combatting the Albigensian heresy, which he did by modeling an austere life and through rigorous theological study. Lifetime:  1170 to 1221 Region:  Spain; France; Italy Patronages: Astronomers; Dominican Republic; The falsely accused Iconograpy:  Dominican habit; Lilies; Rosary Feast Day:  August 8 When Dominic was still a baby in his mother's womb, she received a vision of a dog leaping from her belly, carrying a torch and setting the world ablaze. Not much else is known about Dominic's parents, but both are believed to have been nobility. He studied under his uncle for his primary education, then attended a university for ten years, during which he became well-known as a model student. However, Dominic was as compassionate as he was dedicated

Pope St. Victor I

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Pope St. Victor I was the 14th pope, and the first one to be born in Africa. His accomplishments include establishing that Easter would always be celebrated on Sunday, and declaring that Latin, rather than Greek, would be the official language of the church. Lifetime:  Early 100s to 199 Region:  Leptis (modern Libya) Patronages: African Christians; Latin speakers Iconograpy:  Papal vestments; Dark skin Feast Day:  July 28 Little is known about Victor's early life. Sources indicate that he was born in northern Africa, in an area that came under the control of the Roman empire during Victor's life. They also give his father's name as Felix, though there is no indication of other details about his family. Though there were several periods where the Roman empire persecuted Christians, Victor lived in a time of relative harmony between the two. In fact, one influential woman in the empire worked with Victor to create a list of all the Roman Christians who had been sent to a labo

St. Margaret of Antioch

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St. Margaret of Antioch is one of the 14 Holy Helpers , a group of saints widely venerated against disease starting in the fifteenth century. Along with Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Michael the Archangel , she spoke to St. Joan of Arc in a vision. Lifetime:  ~289 to ~304 Region:  Antioch (modern Turkey) Patronages: Pregnant women; Kidney disease; Exiles; The falsely accused Iconograpy:  Slain dragon or demon; Crucifix; Hammer Feast Day:  July 20 (Western); July 17 (Eastern) Margaret, also known as Marina, was the daughter of a pagan priest. Her mother died when Margaret was still a baby, so she was raised by a local nurse, who happened to be Christian. Margaret's foster mother had Margaret baptized and given a Christian education and she grew up modest and pious. When she returned to her father, he was very impressed with her grace and virtue, but he was upset that she would not join him in worshipping idols. She told him that she had dedicated her life to Jesus and that sh

St. Germaine Cousin

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St. Germaine Cousin was born into one of the hardest lives imaginable: disabled, sick, and abused. Yet despite all the challenges she faced, she found joy in loving God and made worshipping Him a part of her daily life. She's an excellent model of how we can find hope no matter how bad things in life can become. Lifetime:  1579 to 1609 Region:  France Patronages: Child abuse victims; Disability; Physical therapists; Illness Iconograpy: Lamb; Walking stick; Young girl in peasant clothing Feast Day:  June 15 Germaine Cousin was born to a poor family. Her father was a farmer, and her mother died when she was still a baby. Germaine was also born with disabilities and a dangerous lung infection. And while Germaine’s life started out hard, it wouldn’t be that easy for long, either. Germaine’s father remarried when Germaine was still very young, and her new stepmother was very cruel. Disgusted by Germaine’s disability and illness, she made fun of her stepdaughter and instructed her other