Sainthood refers to a person who lived a holy life and was credited with at least one miracle after death. Only the person who has been formally canonized can intercede with God on behalf of humans; one through whom divine power is made manifest. The canonization process may take up to centuries and goes through a long investigation of evaluation and revalidation. The canonization of a saint turns the decease’s body and personal objects holy relics displayed in altarpieces. Each saint is associated with a set of symbols connected to their miracles and symbols are means to identify specific saints. Patron saints are often chosen because of an interest, talent, or event in their lives and the faithful are encouraged to emulate the protector’s life. Each saint is officially commemorated with a feast day.  

The Archangels: Saints Michael and Raphael/San Miguel y San Rafael

Feast day: September 29, Saint Michael; October 24, Saint Raphael

Saint Michael: Patron of the sick, radiologists, grocers, mariners, police officers, paratroopers, cemeteries, and the sick. Invoked in times of temptation and at the moment of death.

Saint Raphael: Patron of travelers, physicians, nurses, lovers, health inspectors, and the sightless. Invoked in illness, mainly illness related to sight.

Essay by Jillian Franzen

Saint Joseph / San José

Feast day:  March 19

Patron of the Universal Church and the Discalced Carmelite Order, and a model husband, father, and worker. Protector of artisans, carpenters, laborers, the homeless, and those seeking a home.

Invoked for safe refuge in times of spiritual and physical danger.

Essay by Karen S. Billings

Saint Anthony of Padua / San Antonio de Padua

Feast Day: June 13

Patron of shipwrecked people, sterile and pregnant women, and women seeking husbands. Special patron of sailors and fishermen throughout Portugal, Italy, and Spain. Patron saint of Padua, Italy.

Invoked for aid in finding lost objects.

Essay by Karen S. Billings

Saint Jerome, Doctor / San Jerónimo, Doctore

Feast day: September 30

Patron of book editors, translators, librarians, scholars, philosophers.

Invoked for protection against temptation.

Essay by Jillian Franzen

Saint Isidore, the Laborer / San Isidro, Labrador

Feast day: May 15

Patron of farmers. Invoked for good weather and harvest. He is also the patron saint of Zacatecas, Madrid and the National Rural Conference in the United States (as per 1947).

Essay by Dr. Elizabeth Zarur

Saint Camillus de Lellis / San Camilo de Lelis

Feast day: July 18

Patron of hospitals, nurses, and the sick. Popularly, he is the patron saint of gamblers and is also invoked for a happy death.

Essay by Yael Cano

Saint Francis of Paola / San Francisco de Paula

Feast day: April 2

Patron of naval officers, navigators, maritime pilots, and anyone generally associated with the seas. Invoked for protection against flames and shipwrecks.

Essay by Paris Bowers

Saint Vincent Ferrer / San Vincente Ferrer

Feast day: April 5t

Patron of the Archdiocese of Valencia, Spain, and of Spanish orphans, fishermen, builders, and prisoners.

Invoked when in dire need of saving, protection, and guidance.

Essay by Alex Nipper

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga / San Luis Gonzaga

Feast day: June 21

Patron of the Roman Catholic youth and young students

Invoked in time of illness, plague, and when near death

Essay by Alex Nipper

San Raymond Nonnatus / San Ramón Nonato

Feast day: August 31

Patron of mid-wives, pregnant women, unborn children, and women in labor.

Invoked in Mexico for silence and protection against curses.

Essay by Carolyn Christensen

Saint Rita (or Margarida) of Cascia / Santa Rita (o Margarita) de Cascia

Feast day: May 22

Patroness of impossible causes, childhood sickness, infertility, loneliness, abuse victims, widowhood, physical illness, wounds, sterility, marital complications and parenthood; considered to be a model for married women.

Essay by Carolyn Christensen

Saint Rosalia / Santa Rosalia

Feast Day: July 14 (celebration); September 4 (Pilgrimage)

Patron Saint of Palermo, Italy; Sicilian Mariners, and protector from plagues

Other Names: La Santuzza (the Little Saint)

Essay by Yael Cano

Saint Helen / Santa Elena

Feast day: August 18

Patron of Converts and the Divorced

Essay by Paris Bowers

Saint Wilgefortis, Virgin and Martyr / Santa Librada o Liberata, Virgen y Mártir

Feast day: July 20

Patroness of laundresses

Invoked during moments of distress and headache.

Essay by Carolyn Christensen

Souls in Purgatory / Las Ánimas del Purgatorio

Feast day: All Souls day is celebrated on November 2.

Patron Saints: Our Lord of Mercy, as well as the thirteenth-century saints Augustinian priest Nicholas of Tolentino and the Benedictine nun St. Gertrude, the Great are invoked to pray for the Souls lost in purgatory.

Invoked by those who have lost loved ones.

Essay by Alex Nipper