Saints to call on in a pandemic

Basically every situation we face in life has a heavenly intercessor specifically linked to it.

We Catholics have a lot of patron saints, such that basically every facet of life experience is covered by some saint who has a connection to it.

Even if a situation looks plain impossible, we can always turn to St. Jude, the patron of the Impossible.

It’s not surprising, then, that we have a handful of saints to call on in pandemics. Since coronavirus is on everyone’s mind, here are a few saints with whom we can strike up a conversation about our present needs.

St. Anthony the Great – Patron of those affected by infectious diseases

One of the greatest saints of the early Church, Anthony was one of the first monks and is considered the founder and father of organized Christian monasticism. 

He organized disciples into a community and these communities eventually spread throughout Egypt. Anthony is known as Anthony the Great, Anthony of Egypt, Anthony of the Desert, and Anthony of Thebes.  He is also known as the Father of All Monks. His feast day is celebrated on January 17. 

Edwin the Martyr (St. Edmund) — Patron for victims of pandemics

Edmund is an acknowledged patron against pandemics. Much is written about this saint from the 9th century who died in 869. Interestingly though, hardly anything is known for certain about him. Yet there are churches all over England dedicated to him. The Danes murdered him when they conquered his army in 869.

Edmund the Martyr, in addition to being the patron saint invoked against pandemics, is also the patron of torture victims and protection from the plague.

We might mention a few more saints who are patrons for those who struggle with familiar illnesses and afflictions:

  • Damien of Molokai: Patron saint of those with leprosy (Hansen’s disease)
  • Dymphna: The 15-year-old Irish girl who is patroness of emotional disorders
  • The Fourteen Holy Helpers:Epidemics, especially the bubonic plague (the Black Death)
  • StMatthias: Patron saint of alcoholics and those with smallpox
  • Tryphon:  Patron to aid us in fighting off bed bugs, rodents, and locusts

The list is endless. What’s certain is that the saints are waiting for your call.