With thousands of saints in the Catholic Church, it is hard to learn about them all. Here are five that you might not know that you should be praying to!
1. St Kizito: Patron Saint of Children and Primary Schools
In the late 1800s, the kings of southern Uganda invited missionaries to educate their people. These missionaries sparked a light in St. Kizito, one of the king’s pages, as he learned of the faith and begged to be baptized. The day after he was baptized, Kizitio and others were brought forth and sentenced to die because of their faith and unwillingness to act on sexual impurities.
2. St. Stanislaus Kostka: Patron Saint of Students, Poland, and Life-Threatening Illnesses
Born to nobility, Stanislaus had a humble heart. When Stanislaus, his brother Paul, and tutor John went to the Jesuit University in Vienna, Stanislaus developed a rigorous spiritual life that angered his family. Disapproving of his wish to join the Jesuits, Stanislaus was forced to sneak away to fulfill his vocation. Stanislaus died on the Feast of the Assumption, as he had predicted to his Jesuit superiors and his death had a profound impact on his brother who later in life became a Jesuit as well.
3. St. Maria Goretti: Patron Saint of Young People and Rape Victims
A faithful young girl growing up in Italy became a caretaker to her younger siblings when her father’s death caused her mother to need to work in the fields. Alessandro, a broken young man who lived and worked with the Goretti family began making sexual advanaces toward Maria until one day after her continued refusal, Alessandro stabbed her fourteen times. While in prison, Maria appeared to Alessandro forgiving him, which brought Alessandro to the faith and reconciliation.
4. St. Junipero Serra: Patron Saint of Vocations
As Franciscan priest, Junipero worked as a missionary in present-day California and is attributed to helping found the spread of the Church to the West Coast of the United States. He aided in converting thousands of natives while dedicating himself to an intense spiritual life.
5. St. Dymphna: Patron Saint of Those Suffering Nervous and Mental Afflictions
As a young girl, Dymphna took a vow of chastity and concerted herself to Christ. When her mother passed, Dymphna’s father’s mental health began a rapid decline. He wanted to remarry but said would only marry a woman that resembled his late wife. Her father’s advisors suggested he marry his own daughter when he was not satisfied with a woman. Hearing the plan, Dymphna fled. Her father, after searching, found her and tried to convince her to marry him. When she refused, her father killed his fifteen-year-old daughter.