Yep, it’s All Saints Day. And yes, its one of those Holy Days of Obligation. So if you haven’t been to Mass yet, make sure you go. Today, as Catholics, we honor all those in Heaven, not just those officially recognized by the Church but all “holy men and women” as the litany says. But I’m going to focus on the first group.
Saints! They’re incredible aren’t they? Okay, so maybe I’m on a bit of a spiritual high because my recently-canonized confirmation saint was mentioned 3 times at Mass today. But really, saints are incredible. They’ve done amazing things like seen visions of Mary, driven snakes from Ireland (according to legend), gone to live among lepers, held strong to their faith despite immense persecutions, talked Attila the Hun into not invading Italy, seen signs, worked miracles etc. etc.
One of the cool things about saints is their place as patrons.There’s patron saints for lost objects (Anthony of Padua), travelers (Raphael the Archangel), toothaches (Apollonia). The list goes on and on. Some people don’t understand this, so let me explain. A patron saint is a holy person who is believed to be in heaven and who, for some reason often having to do with some aspect of their own life, is looked up to for help in a particular situation. Patron saints can also be chosen for places, churches, groups etc. Now this doesn’t mean you can’t ask a different saint to help you with a toothache, just as a Catholic’s belief in saints doesn’t mean they can’t and don’t pray directly to God. Patron saints are just another tool to help us on our journey. Saints protect us by praying for us to God who they adore perpetually in Heaven. As catholic-saints.info says saints are “a defender of a specific group of people or of a nation”.
If you’d like to see if your need or intention has a special patron that you could pray to, try this list.