These are just a few examples of the many lesser-known saints who are venerated by the Catholic Church.
Saint Cecilia is the patron saint of music and musicians, celebrated on November 22nd in commemoration of her martyrdom for her faith. According to legend, she sang to God even as she faced death from persecution when a soldier came to arrest her. She has also been depicted with musical instruments such as a harp or organ thus representing her love and devotion for music. A Saint Cecilia pendant is often worn by musicians throughout the centuries who look to her for inspiration and guidance in their craft.
Saint Agatha is an early Christian martyr and saint who lived during the Roman Empire. She is best known for her courage and faith in the face of immense suffering, refusing to compromise her beliefs despite torture and imprisonment. On the pendant she is shown holding the instruments of her martyrdom including a round-shaped objects, usually interpreted as symbols of breasts that were cut off. Her feast day is celebrated on February 5th in both the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church, paying respect to her incredible faith and courage as a devoted Christian.
Saint Rita of Cascia is a 15th-century saint who has become popular with women and those going through hard times. She is the patron saint of difficult marriages, abuse victims and of impossible causes. Wearing a Saint Rita pendant is thought to protect against storms, headache, sterility and chronic illness. Many people invoke Saint Rita asking her to help them overcome difficult obstacles in life. Prayer to Saint Rita generally includes asking for patience, courage and understanding in order to push forward despite any obstacles present in one's life.
Saint Valentine was a Catholic saint who died in approximately 270 AD. He is the patron saint of love, courtship, and happy marriages. His feast day falls on February 14th each year and there are many churches that have special services dedicated to him on this day. Some believe he was martyred for marrying Christian couples when it was illegal to do so during Roman rule. Today, lovers commonly exchange this pendant as gifts on Saint Valentine's Day to celebrate their relationships or show affection for one another.
Saint Grace was a Catholic saint and patroness of impossible causes. She was born in the 12th century and made her profession at the Dominican convent of Toledo. After receiving a vision from the Holy Spirit, she devoted her life to helping those in need. Saint Grace is famously attributed with countless miracles, most of which revolve around saving people from danger, banishing evil spirits, and finding food for impoverished families. She is also credited with healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, and undoing hexes and curses placed on innocent people.
Saint Thomas Moore (1478-1535) was an English lawyer and philosopher who became a martyr for conscience when he refused to recognize King Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. He was sentenced to death and beheaded; Pope Pius XI made him a saint in 1935. Saint Thomas Moore is known for his religious writings, such as Utopia, which discussed the ideal society, and Excerpts of the Work of Oliver Heywood. This pendant is normally worn by lawyers and statesman.
Saint Vincent was an Italian monk from the 4th century. He was born to a noble family and was very well respected for his piety and his love for service for others. Saint Vincent is best known for founding the Vincentian church order, which focused on performing acts of charity throughout Europe. He worked tirelessly to provide food, shelter, education and religious instruction to those in need. Saint Vincent is considered one of the founders of organized philanthropy and has been canonized as a saint by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria (c. 287 - c. 305 AD) is a Christian saint who is venerated by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. The notable facts about Saint Catherine include that she was imprisoned, tortured, and eventually beheaded for her refusal to give up her Christian beliefs. She is said to have been a scholar and knowledgeable in philosophy, medicine, and other topics. After her death on Mount Sinai, she was declared a saint in the 8th century and patronized by many medieval universities. Today, her pendant is often worn by those seeking religious devotion and courage in the face of adversity.
Saint Brigid of Kildare was born in Ireland in the late fifth century and was known for her strong faith and leadership. This pendant is popular among cowboys, dairy farmers, poets and blacksmiths. Saint Brigid founded a religious convent at Kildare, which became an influential center of Christian culture in Ireland. She also established a network of churches throughout the country, helping to spread Christianity more rapidly than ever before. Through her generosity and care for those around her, she gained many devoted followers and remains a beloved figure to this day.
Saint Maria Goretti is a saint in the Catholic Church, who is most known for her virtue and forgiveness even in the face of death. She was born in Italy on October 16, 1890 and died on July 6, 1902 at the age of 11. After she was stabbed 19 times by a neighbor trying to rape her after refusing him, she said to him "It is wrong for you to do this, if you do this, we will both go before God". This powerful story helped millions of people around the world appreciate and understand life’s core values. Saint Maria Goretti was canonized in 1950 and has been an inspiration to many ever since.
Saint Clare of Assisi was an Italian saint and a follower of Saint Francis of Assisi. She founded the Order of Poor Ladies, which was later known as the Order of Saint Clare. She is remembered for her charity and humility, her spreading the gospel to all corners of Italy, and her refusal to marry. She also defended her city from attackers by placing a canvas with a monogrammed cross on it atop the city walls - forcing invaders to retreat in fear. Despite being rejected by family members over her religious views and beliefs, she lived a life devoted to God's mission. Her relics are kept today in Assisi and Rome, Italy.
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, born in 1656 in the Mohawk nation of New York, was a Native American Catholic maiden. She was lauded for her strong spirituality and deep faith in God. She dedicated her life to her faith, caring for the sick and elderly while spiritually counseling others. She also lived a very austere existence, avoiding worldly possessions. Her commitment to uniting the spiritual values of Christianity and traditional Indian cultures made her revered among early colonists. In 2012 she became the first Native American saint canonized by the Catholic Church.
Saint Dominic, or Domingo de Gusmán as he was originally known, was born in the year 1170, in the Castile region of Spain. He is one of the foremost saints of Catholicism and throughout his lifetime was a champion for education, an advocate of peace and justice, and a powerful voice against religious heresy. Saint Dominic founded the Order of Preachers, better known as the Dominicans, which hoped to spread truth and knowledge through preaching. He also was instrumental in formulating what would eventually become doctrine theologia summae, which sought to define and explain Christianity in a concise way. This pendant is often worn by people seeking justice or in education.