Igniting the fire of spirit
Born in Ireland; died in Scotland in 590 AD, St. Blaan’s name is spelled several ways. He became a monk, and then a bishop. In Scotland he worked to convert the Picts to Christianity. He is noted for two miracles. He is said to have brought a dead boy back to life, and is reputed to have struck fire from his fingertips, rekindling lamps in his church during the night office. He founded a monastery which became the Cathedral of Dunblane. In Strathblane a well is named for him. The bell of his monastery is said to still ring from the Cathedral.
St. Blaan gives us the gift of seeing a spark of divinity within us all.
Bright as lightning; protector of the protectors
Born third century in Heliopolis, Phoenicia, present-day Baalbek, Lebanon – if she was born at all. Because of doubts about the historicity of her legend, she was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969, though not from the list of saints. Locked in a tower by her rich pagan father, she became a Christian and refused a marriage he arranged. When he learned this, he drew his sword to kill her. An opening appeared in the tower wall, and she was transported to a mountain gorge, where two shepherds watched their flocks. Her father pursued, and was rebuffed by the first shepherd, but the second betrayed her. He was turned to stone and his flock to locusts. She was captured, imprisoned, and tortured. Each night the dark prison was bathed in light and each morning, her wounds were healed. Condemned to death, she was beheaded by her father. Struck by lightning on the way home, his body was consumed by flame. St. Barbara is venerated by military arms of governments around the world, including the U.S. military.
Patron Saint of firefighters, miners, artillerymen, mariners, explosive workers, dying people, grave diggers; Patron Saint against lightning, explosions, fire, mine collapse.
St. Barbara gives us the gift of internal fire to hold to our truth.
St. Rose of Lima
Holding a mirror for us to see our true selves
Born Isabel Flores de Oliva, 1586, of Spanish parents; died 1617, Lima, Peru. She was the first person in the Americas to be canonized. A servant reportedly saw her face transform into a rose when she was an infant. She formally took the name upon her confirmation. Emulating Catherine of Siena, she fasted three times a week, abstained from eating meat, slept only two hours a night on a bed of potsherds, self-flagellated, wore a silver crown with spikes inside it, and experienced visions. When men began noticing her beauty, she cut off her hair and doused her face with hot pepper juice (some sources say lye). She became a recluse, living in a shed on her family’s property. She made and sold fine needlework, giving her income to the poor. She wanted to become a nun, but her father forbade it, so she entered the Third Order of St. Dominic while living in her parents' home. She donned the habit and took a vow of virginity. Experiencing intervals of both ecstasy and physical pain for 11 years, she died on August 24, 1617, at age 31. It is said that she prophesied the date of her death.
Patron Saint of Peru, South, Central, and Latin America, needle workers, gardeners, florists; Patron Saint against vanity.
St. Rose gives us the gift of being able to look below the surface, to see ourselves.
Offering laughter through pain
Born in 225 CE, Valencia, Spain. Died 258 CE, Rome. Pope Sixtus II ordained Lawrence as a deacon, and appointed him first among the seven deacons who served in the cathedral church. He is called "archdeacon of Rome", a position of great trust that included the care of the Church’s treasury and riches, and the distribution of alms to the indigent. Emperor Valerian issued an edict that all bishops, priests, and deacons should be put to death, and demanded that Lawrence turn over the Church’s funds. Knowing what awaited him, Lawrence quickly distributed as much Church property to the poor as possible. After three days, he presented himself to the authorities. When ordered to deliver the Church’s treasures, he presented the indigent, the crippled, the blind, and the suffering, declaring that these were the Church’s true treasures. The prefect was so angry that he had a great gridiron prepared with hot coals beneath it, and had Lawrence placed on it. After the martyr had suffered pain for a long time, legend says he declared: "I'm well done on this side. Turn me over!”
Patron Saint of comedians, librarians, cooks, deacons, the poor, students, stained glass workers, wine makers, brewers. Patron Saint against fire, and lumbago.
St. Lawrence gives us the gift of humor in the face of adversity.