Category Archives: Saints

14 Holy Helpers

XIV Holy Helpers.jpgAlmighty and merciful God, who didst adorn Thy Saints
George, Blase, Erasmus, Pantaleon, Vitus, Christopher, Denis, Cyriacus, Acacius,
Eustace, Giles, Margaret, Barbara and Catherine with special privileges above
all others, so that all who in their necessities implore their help, according
to the grace of Thy promise, may attain the salutary effect of their pleading,
grant to us, we beseech Thee, forgiveness of our sins, and with their merits
interceding, deliver us from all adversities, and kindly hear our prayers.

All but Saint Giles are martyrs, these “auxiliary” saints are widely known in some parts of the world for their reliable intercession before God on our behalf. Frequently, these holy helpers are asked to intercede on our behalf when illness or other natural disaster occurs. In Germany in the 14th century these saints were asked to intercede before God for help during the black plague. On God’s part, he made a promise to the holy men and women that whomever asks for their prayers He would answer, as is evidenced in the liturgical prayer noted above.

Saint Peter Chrysologus

San Pietro Crisologo.jpg


O God, who made the Bishop Saint Peter Chrysologus an outstanding preacher of your Incarnate Word, grant, through his intercession, that we may constantly ponder in our hearts the mysteries of your salvation and faithfully express them in what we do. Through our Lord.

Saint Peter Chrysologus (born c. 400 and died c. 450; known also as “the man of golden speech”), Archbishop of Ravenna, was named a Doctor of the Church in 1729 by Pope Benedict XIII because of his eloquent, evocative and persuasive speech which led many to Christ. Many of his sermons are extant and used for spiritual reading in the Roman Office. Chrysologus was a student of Cornelius who ordained him to the Order of Deacon. He was an early advocate of the frequent reception of Holy communion; worked diligently for unity among Christians and lovingly cared for the poor.

Saint Martha

Christ with Martha and Mary.jpgIn midst of burning desert heat
Three strangers came along the way
Where Abraham and Sarah stayed;
He saw them, and begged them to stay.

In hospitality, he sought
To care for each and ev’ry need;
In answer came the promise sweet:
“Your wife will bear a son, indeed.”

In much the same way, Jesus came
To Martha and to Mary’s place;
While Mary sat and heard the Lord,
All awed by such amazing grace,

Her sister called, rebuking her
And scolded Christ for lack of care.
But Jesus said, “What Mary chose
Alone is needful, and most fair.”

In giving hospitality,
We serve our God in neighbor’s guise;
The trouble others seem to be
Will oft be Christ, to our surprise;

And yet the one thing needful is
The mystery of Christ in all,
Our hope of glory.  Here we sit
And hear our Master’s loving call.

Saint James the Greater (Santiago)

Santiago de Compostella con el Rey.jpgAlmighty Father, by the martyrdom of Saint James You blessed the work of the early Church. May his profession of faith give us courage and his prayers bring us strength.

This year is being dedicated to Saint James the Greater (known as the Jacobean Holy Year or Año Santo Jacobeo). The holy year dedicated to Saint James is observed when his feast falls on a Sunday, as it does today. The ceremonial opening of the Holy Year begins as it does in Rome with the opening of the Holy Door; if you read Spanish you’ll find the January ceremonial described here.
Read King Juan Carlos’ 2010 message –the Offering– during his visit to the Shrine of Saint James (Santiago de Compostella).

Saint Sharbel Makhlouf

St CharbelThe mountain heights of Lebanon
Resound with songs of joy;
The cedars of that ancient land
Stand tall as we employ
Our hymns of praise and thankfulness
For Sharbel’s saintly ways,
Lived out in strict humility
That guided all his days.

True monk and hermit of the hills,
Saint Maron’s modest son
Scorned wealth and comfort in his life
That heaven’s crown be won.
Of Mary, heaven’s Queen and Gate,
Devoted son was he,
Who cherished all the ancient rites
With great humility.

Fierce lover of the lowly life,
True father of the poor,
As you have done, so help us all
To struggle and endure,
That Christ be praised in ev’ry life,
That riches not ensnare
Or rule us in our daily walk;
That strong may be our prayer!

O Father, Son, and Spirit blest,
One God in persons three,
Receive this hymn we offer now,
And keep your Church e’er free
To follow, as Saint Sharbel did,
Enflamed with love so bright
That we, with eyes fixed firm on Christ,
May vanquish sin’s dark night.

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2009, World Library Publications

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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