2016 was rough. Or it was great… depends on your perspective and if you’re a glass-half-full or half-empty type of person. Either way, we are now facing 2017. And each time we face a new year, it’s shiny and new and full of possibility.
As we approach the New Year, we ask God and Mother Mary for a peaceful, more harmonious world. Praying to a patron saint to intercede on our behalf brings great comfort and hope to Catholics. Even if you don’t see them, miracles happen every day and, as the Bible tells us, prayer is the answer.
Below is a list of seven patron saints to whom you can direct your prayers to heal you or your loved ones in 2017 in seven different ways.
#1: Health: Raphael the Archangel
Known as the patron saint of healing, Raphael is a familiar figure in Christendom. His name indicates his healing powers. When translated ad litteram, Raphael means God Heals, or, God, please heal.
Raphael the Archangel is mentioned in the Gospel of John, as well as in the Book of Tobit. He is also the protector of travelers, Christian marriages, matchmakers, happy meetings, and medical workers. So, if you are praying on behalf of you or your loved one’s health, Raphael the Archangel will be there for you.
#2: Faith: Saint Monica, Patron Saint of Lapsed Catholics
Saint Monica is another powerful patron in the Catholic Church. The mother of Saint Augustine, she prayed for her son and her pagan husband. After 17 years, her prayers were answered, and her husband converted to Catholicism. She became the patron saint of all those who stray from the Church.
So, if you have someone dear to you who has left the Church, pray to Saint Monica, and, through the grace of God, she will help you bring your loved ones back into the protective arms of Catholicism.
#3: Love: Saint Valentine, Patron Saint of Happy Marriages
Widely known inside and outside the Roman Catholic Church, Saint Valentine’s Day is universally celebrated by Catholics and Protestants alike. However, as little is known about Saint Valentine, in 1969 the Church removed the recognized date of February 14th from the Roman Calendar.
Saint Valentine is best remembered as a martyr (something most sources agree on). Considered to be the protector of happy marriages and love that is pure in the eyes of God, Saint Valentine is the patron to pray to if you are planning to get married.
#4: Physical: Saint Sebastian, Patron Saint of Athletes
As a new year begins, we all make promises to ourselves—to be better humans, to read more, to be closer to God and his light, to take better care of our bodies, and so on. Among all New Year’s resolutions, the most common ones are to exercise more for the good of our bodies.
Saint Sebastian is known to be the protector of athletes and soldiers, and, although you may not be a pro athlete, he can still help you maintain the willpower to make exercise a regular part of your routine in 2017.
A soldier himself, Saint Sebastian became a martyr in the early days of Christianity. Nowadays, people who want healthy bodies and a clean soul look up to him, and, with prayer and God by your side, he can help you, too!
#5: Heart: Saint Vincent de Paul, Patron Saint of Volunteers and Charity Workers
Saint Vincent was a priest who lived in the 17th century and dedicated his entire life to helping the poor. People often pray for him and ask that they lead the same kind of life: to volunteer and help those less fortunate.
If you want to be a better person next year and help those less fortunate, Saint Vincent de Paul will stand by your side. Pray to him and God to give you the strength, willpower, and love to help create a better, more caring world.
As our Lord Savior Jesus Christ said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
#6: Personal Finance: Saint Matthew, Patron Saint of Those with Money Problems
We should not pray for riches but, rather, for the generosity of our souls and for our power to overcome obstacles. And, yet, God understands that in today’s world we need a stable financial situation to help ourselves and our families deal with life’s troubles.
Saint Matthew, the author of the first gospel in the New Testament and one of Christ’s twelve disciples, was a tax collector during his life on Earth. He is the saint to whom you pray to help you manage your money and increase your earnings in God’s name.
If your financial situation needs help, pray to Saint Matthew. With faith, your prayers are sure to be heard.
#7: Business: Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Patron Saint of Entrepreneurs
Although Saint Maximilian Kolbe was canonized relatively recently compared to many other saints, his life proves God is still with us and miracles still happen. Maximilian Kolbe’s life is one of true candor and generosity. Saint Kolbe founded monasteries, a publishing house, and charities. He was imprisoned at Auschwitz and eventually killed.
In addition to being the patron saint of entrepreneurs, he is also the patron saint of the pro-life movement.
Saint Kolbe, with God’s help, can assist you in healing your new business in the coming year. Pray for the ability to think clearly, make good decisions, and achieve prosperity.