Patron Saint of Hospitals, Lepers,
The Order of St. Lazarus
"Lazarus is the poor man at the gate of the rich man in Christ's parable related in Luke (Luke 16:19-31). His name was perpetuated in the Middle Ages by such words as Lazaretto (hospital), Lazarone (a beggar in the street), and the Order of St. Lazarus.
The Order of Saint Lazarus was founded in the 12th century to provide nursing for lepers, taking Lazarus as it's patron. The knights of the order were lepers, and besides helping their fellow sufferers, they carried out military duties. They founded a hospital for lepers near the northern wall of Jerusalem.
Feast Day: June 21
Patron Saint of the Blind, Those with Eye Trouble
"Lucy's name means light, with the same root as lucid which means clear, radiant, understandable. All we really know for certain is that this brave woman lived in Syracuse, Sicily and lost her life in the persecution of Christians in the early fourth century.
Because people wanted to shed light on Lucy's bravery, legends grew up. One tells the story of a young Christian woman who had vowed her life to the service of Christ. Her mother tried to arrange a marriage for her with a pagan. Lucy devised a plan to convince her mother that Christ was a much more powerful partner for life. Through prayers at the tomb of Saint Agatha, her mother's long illness was cured miraculously. Her grateful mother listened to Lucy's desire to give her money to the poor and commit her life to God. Unfortunately, legend has it, the rejected bridegroom did not see the same light and he betrayed Lucy to the governor as a Christian. This governor tried to send her into prostitution but the guards who came to take her way found her stiff and heavy as a mountain. Finally she was killed.
As much as the facts of Lucy's specific case are unknown, we know that many Christians suffered incredible torture and a painful death for their faith during Diocletian's reign. Another legend is that Lucy's eyes were put out by Diocletian as part of this torture. The legend concludes with God restoring Lucy's eyes.
Feast Day: December 13
Patron Saint of Physicians & Surgeons, Artists, Glass Workers, Painters
"Luke, the writer of the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, has been identified with St. Paul's Luke, the beloved physician (Colossians 4:14). We know few other facts about Luke's life from Scripture and from early Church historians. It is believed that Luke was born a Greek and a Gentile. Scholars have argued that Luke might have been born a slave.
Luke first joined Paul's company at Troas at about the year 51 and accompanied him into Macedonia. Luke is the loyal comrade who stays with Paul when he is imprisoned in Rome (II Timothy 4:11). His is the gospel of the poor and of social justice.
Reading Luke's gospel gives a good idea of his character as one who loved the poor, who wanted the door to God's kingdom opened to all, who respected women, and who saw hope in God's mercy for everyone. Forgiveness and God's mercy to sinners is also of first importance to Luke. Throughout Luke's gospel, Jesus takes the side of the sinner who wants to return to God's mercy.
The reports of Luke's life after Paul's death are conflicting. Some early writers claim he was martyred, others say he lived a long life. Some say he preached in Greece, others in Gaul. The earliest tradition we have says that he died at 84 after settling in Greece to write his Gospel."
Feast Day: October 18
Prayer to St. Luke
"Most charming and saintly Physician, you were animated by the heavenly Spirit of love. In faithfully detailing the humanity of Jesus, you also showed his divinity and his genuine compassion for all human beings. Inspire our physicians with your professionalism and with the divine compassion for their patients. Enable them to cure the ills of both body and spirit that afflict so many in our day. Amen."
A Physician's Prayer
"Lord, Thou Great Physician, I kneel before Thee. Since every good and perfect gift must come from Thee, I Pray: Give skill to my hand, clear vision to my mind, kindness and sympathy to my heart. Give me singleness of purpose, strength to lift at least a part of the burden of my suffering fellow men, and a true realization of the rare privilege that is mine. Take from my heart all guile and worldliness, that with the simple faith of a child I may rely on Thee. Amen."
Saint Padre Pio
Patron Saint of the Sick
"Francesco Forgione was born in 1887 at Pietrelcina, Benevento, Italy to a southern Italian farm family, the son of a shepherd. At age fifteen he entered the novitiate of the Capuchin Friars in Morcone, and joined the order at age nineteen, and was ordained in 1910 at age twenty-two.
While praying before a cross, he received the stigmata on September 20, 1918; the first priest ever to be so blessed. As word spread, especially after American soldiers brought home stories of Padre Pio following WWII, the priest himself became a point of pilgrimage for both the pious and the curious. He would hear confessions by the hour, reportedly able to read the consciences of those who held back. He was also reportedly able to bi-locate, levitate, and heal by touch. Padre Pio founded the House for the Relief of Suffering in 1956, a hospital that serves 60,000 a year. In the 1920's he started a series of prayer groups that continue today with over 400,000 members worldwide. He died September 23, 1968 of natural causes.
His canonization miracle involved the cure of Matteo Pio Colella, age 7, the son of a doctor who works in the House for Relief of Suffering. On the night of June 20, 2000, Matteo was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital with meningitis. By morning doctors had lost hope for him as nine of the boy's internal organs had ceased to show signs of life. That night, during a prayer vigil attended by Matteo´s mother and some Capuchin friars from Padre Pio's monastery, the child's condition improved suddenly. When he awoke from the coma, Matteo said that he had seen an elderly man with a white beard and a long, brown habit, who said to him: "Don't worry, you will soon be cured." The miracle was approved by the Congregation and Pope John Paul II on December 20, 2001. He was canonized June 16, 2002 by Pope John Paul II at Rome, Italy.
Feast Day: September 23
Patron Saint of Cancer Patients, AIDS Sufferers
"Peregrine Laziosi was born of a wealthy family at Forli, Italy, in 1260. As a youth he was active in politics as a member of the anti-papal party. During one uprising, which the Pope sent St. Philip Benizi to mediate, Philip was struck in the face by Peregrine. When Philip offered the other cheek, Peregrine was so overcome that he repented and converted to Catholicism.
Following the instructions of the Virgin Mary he received in a vision, Peregrine went to Siena and joined the Servites. It is believed that he never allowed himself to sit down for thirty years, while as far as possible, observing silence and solitude. An ideal priest, he had a reputation for fervent preaching and being a good confessor.
When he was afflicted with cancer of the foot and amputation had been decided upon he spent the night before the operation in prayer. The following morning he was completely cured. This miracle caused his reputation to become widespread. He died in 1345 at the age of eighty-five, and he was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726.
St. Peregrine, like St. Paul, was in open defiance of the Church as a youth. Once given the grace of conversion he became one of the great saints of his time."
Feast Day: May 1
Prayer to St. Peregrine
ÒDear Apostle of Emilia and member of the Order of Mary, you spread the Good News by your word and by your life witnessed to its truth. In union with Jesus Crucified, you endured excruciating sufferings so patiently as to be healed miraculously of cancer in the leg. If it is agreeable to God, obtain relief and cure for (mention request) and keep us all from the dread cancer of sin. Amen.Ó
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