Why Saints? Saints are the holy ones, the friends of God who are already with Him in heaven. As Christians who profess the Apostles’ Creed, we say that we believe in “the communion of saints.” But what does this mean? It means that we are united to all those who are in Christ Jesus – those in heaven (the Church Triumphant), those in purgatory (the Church Suffering), and those still living on earth, in the field of the spiritual battle (the Church Militant). So the saints of God are still connected to us; they still care about their brothers and sisters who are still in the world, fighting the good fight of faith. In other words, the saints – those who are already in heaven – can still pray for us, just as our friends and neighbors who are on earth can pray for us.
So then, what are patron saints? They are particular saints that we have a special friendship with. Each of us can and should have patron saints – like the saints whose names we share. Do you know much about your patron (name) saint(s)? We should. And there are special patron saints for the various professions – St. Joseph for working men; St. Luke for physicians; St. Brendan for seamen; St. Michael for paratroopers, etc. – and each country has its patron saints too.
We also choose patron saints for various organizations. In the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy, we have chosen three patron saints: the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title of Our Lady of Mercy, St. Augustine and St. Margaret of Cortona. Why these last two saints? Because both of them were caught up in lives of sexual sin, and both of them may have seemed (to some people) to be hopeless cases – and yet both of them were not only converted from their sins, they became great saints. St. Augustine is a Father and Doctor of the Church (the term “Church Father” refers to the saints of the early church who were known for their theological orthodoxy in their teachings and their important influence as well as their sanctity; the term “Doctor of the Church” refers to those saints who were the greatest teachers of the Faith throughout the centuries). St. Margaret of Cortona became one of the greatest lay members of the Franciscan family of all time. [Please see their pages on this website for more details about their lives.] St. Augustine and St. Margaret are both excellent examples of how Almighty God can transform lives through His grace and Divine Mercy – and we, the members of the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy, desire that God will work those same kinds of miracles of grace and Mercy today, in our lives. And when He does transform us, we know that the Lord Jesus will work through us powerfully to touch the lives of others, and to reverse the culture of death that our world is now suffering from, so that once again, His Gospel will shine forth in the world!
Our Lady of Mercy, pray for us!
St. Augustine, pray for us!
St. Margaret of Cortona, pray for us!