Catholics honor saints as heroes and heroines in faith. We look to them as examples of how to live holy lives, and we pray for their intercession,
Many Catholics have a patron saint to whom they are devoted. It may be a saint whose name or profession they share or someone who inspired them to live a better life. The following are five saints who were mothers. Each of these women represents a certain aspect of motherhood and can help mothers in their efforts to raise holy and virtuous children.
St. Gianna: Sacrifice
We often think of saints as men and women who lived long ago, but St. Gianna is a modern day saint who was not only a mother, but also a pediatrician, athlete and tireless volunteer in her community. She made the ultimate sacrifice by giving her life so that her child could live. Diagnosed with a tumor on her uterus, she refused to have an abortion or hysterectomy and endured a painful and difficult pregnancy and childbirth. She died shortly after giving birth to her fourth child, also named Gianna, who is still alive today and very active in the prolife movement. Her feast day is celebrated on April 28.
St. Monica: Persistence
St. Monica is the mother of the great St. Augustine, but she had to suffer much for her son. As a young man, Augustine lived a wild and sinful life and ignored his mother’s pleadings to return to the Christian values she had taught him. Monica refused to give up on her son and followed him for years, praying for him and begging him to give up his sinful life. Eventually her persistence paid off. Augustine became a priest whose writings are still influential today. Her feast day is celebrated on August 27.
The Blessed Mother: Virtue
Mary offers us the perfect example of a virtuous mother, but sometimes she can seem almost too perfect! Her will was always perfectly aligned with God’s will, and she received special graces as she was chosen to be the woman who nurtured God’s own Son. Yet she faced many hardships and difficulties. She lived in poverty and had to travel to a strange land (Egypt), far away from family and friends, when she was a very young mother. She also had to endure watching her beloved Son suffer so greatly. Mary does understand the struggles we face as mothers, and her intercession is especially powerful since she is so close to Jesus. There are many feast days devoted to Mary throughout the year, but she is especially honored as the Mother of God on January 1.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: Withstanding Hardships
St. Elizabeth is the first saint to be born in the United States. She was raised in the Episcopal church, married a wealthy businessman and had five children. Sadly, her husband’s business went bankrupt, and he died of tuberculosis. Now a widow and single mother, Elizabeth became a Catholic and started a school in order to support her family. She continued to endure hardships, including the death of two daughters and difficulties in her mission to lead a religious order, yet she’s remembered as being cheerful and hopeful. Like her husband, she contracted tuberculosis and died at age 46. Her feast day is celebrated on January 4.
St. Judith: Living a Simple Life
St. Judith was born into a wealthy family in what is now Germany. She married a nobleman and had several children, although history has not preserved their names. Her husband enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, but Judith gently helped him to live a simpler life so that they could give a substantial amount of money to the poor. She taught her children to also live simply and to care for the unfortunate in their community. After her husband died and her children were grown, Judith sold all her possessions, entered a religious order, and devoted the rest of her life to helping the poor and sick. Her feast day is celebrated on May 5.
From the Beliefnet website.