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Patron Saints Series: The Archangels and Business Vocations

So, how do you know which saint to ask for help? We look to those who relate in some way to our lives or have shown insights and wisdom about the challenges we face. 

Who are Patron Saints, and why do we ask them to pray for us?

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Patron Saints provide a model of charity and the assurance of prayer (CCC2156). Individuals, organizations, or people in positions of authority choose them to pray for us. “Intercession is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did.” (CCC2634) Jesus prays for the ‘good of the other’; he prays for us, seeking only what pleases the Father, and his prayer is an ‘efficacious’ prayer. “If our prayer is resolutely united with that of Jesus, in trust and boldness as children, we obtain all that we ask in his name…” (CCC2741) But how do we know if our prayers are ‘resolutely united’? We don’t; we only see in the mirror dimly. The saints, ‘the holy ones’ who lead a life in union with God, are there to help us, keeping in mind the “Transformation of the praying heart is the first response to our petition.” (CCC2739) Prayer changes things, beginning with us.

The Virgin Mary interceded for the bride and groom at the wedding of Cana, informing Jesus that they had no wine, and Jesus responded, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”  How did Mary respond? She turned to the servants and instructed them, "Do whatever he tells you." (John 2:1-12) She helped them to be ready to listen and to trust as she trusted in Jesus. The result was a blessing for the bride and groom beyond their imagining!

In her diaries, St. Faustina reveals the ache of Jesus' heart to pour graces out upon us if only we are ready to receive them. So, who can help us see or hear more clearly what actions Jesus wants us to take or what change of heart is needed? Who is familiar with the barriers we face – obstacles that prevent the flood of graces that his immaculate heart desires to flow out upon us for the good of ourselves and others? We have our friends here on earth that we can ask to pray for us, and we also have the saints in heaven! Jesus does not force his will upon us, but the graces are ready and waiting; he gives us friends and saints to help us prepare to receive them, even if they are not what we expect.

So, how do you know which saint to ask for help?

We look to those who relate in some way to our lives or have shown insights and wisdom about the challenges we face. Some Patron Saints may be chosen based on tradition, previous miracles, or simply a mysterious appeal. The archangels are commonly sought for intercessory prayers and considered Patron Saints for many vocations, locations, and organizations. All three Archangels celebrate the same feast day in the Catholic Church, September 29th!

St. Gabriel, the Archangel was God's messenger who announced the good news to the Virgin Mary and is therefore often claimed as the Patron Saint of radio and TV broadcasters, ambassadors, and others engaged in telecommunications, information services, diplomatic services, and youth services. St. Gabriel reminds us to “recall the sublime words spoken on the day of the Annunciation – “Nothing is impossible with God,” and repeat them in hours of trial – to all I love -- that their confidence in Our Lord be reanimated when all human help fails.”

St. Raphael, the Archangel, whose name means "God Heals," also plays an active role in the Bible, especially in the Book of Tobit, acting as a guide to Tobias, the son of Tobit. He is the Patron Saint of doctors, physicians, pharmacists, and those who need healing or have disabilities (particularly blindness).   He is also the Patron Saint for travelers, fishermen, the youth, and those seeking marriage and happy meetings. St. Raphael is there for you no matter where you are or what condition you are in! In all his actions and ways, he guides us to see the presence of God in our lives and God’s divine mercy. “Raphael…said to them: “Thank God! Give him the praise and the glory. Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things he has done for you…” Tobit 12:6.

St. Michael, the Archangel is one of the best-known Patron Saints. Not only is he recognized as the Patron Saint for emergency responders, military, police, and security personnel, but by tradition, he is also the Patron Saint for grocers, bankers and financial officers. In some depictions, St. Michael holds scales for weighing souls for consignment to heaven or hell. Through this association with scales, he also came to be associated with financial matters – a sobering reminder to be honest in all our transactions! In addition, St. Michael is known as the Patron Saint for medical technicians, particularly radiologists, those who see into us more deeply! St. Michael is a powerful ally in spiritual battles, and many have memorized the petition for his intercession after daily mass. St. Michael can also help us look into ourselves more deeply and remove any barriers from receiving the abundance of grace Jesus wishes to lavish upon us, as noted in the following prayer: "St. Michael, intercede for me with God in all my necessities, especially against the vanities of pride, arrogance, and jealousy. Obtain for me a favorable outcome in the matter I recommend to you…Be for me, I pray, my powerful aid in temptation and difficulty, and above all, do not forsake me in my last struggle with the powers of evil. Amen.”

Stay tuned for future articles as we explore more Patron Saints, or 'Saints-in-the-making' (in the process of Canonization), as candidates for intercessory prayers for lay Catholics.

And join us in prayer for the success of The Hour of the Laity: A Lay Catholic Conference (THL2023), November 2-5, Christ Cathedral, Orange County, CA. THL2023 is a national gathering for all lay Catholics who seek to grow as leaders to influence civil society with positive, healthy values grounded in truth and faith. It provides Catholic leadership formation to strengthen and enable the laity to become ambassadors of Christ in our day-to-day lives and the secular world! All experts, panelists, and keynotes are lay people who positively impact society and are sound examples of authentic lay Catholic leadership. We pray for continued growth in holiness and success in business ventures for all who attend.

St. Gabriel – pray for us; St. Raphael – pray for us; St. Michael – pray for us.

The Patron Saints Series is sponsored by our friends at Catholic Prayer Cards.

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