I have always thought it says a lot about Catholics as to whether they have favorite saints, and who they are if they do have special saints. Here are my top ten.
10. Saint Andreas Wouters-Most saints have been extraordinary men and women. That was decidedly not the case with Andreas Wouters! A scandalous priest, he fathered several children. Suspended from his priestly duties, he was living in disgrace when God granted him the opportunity to die a martyr’s death, an opportunity he seized with both hands like a drowning man cast a life line. His courage and steadfastness redeemed his life of sin. May all of us have such a happy death as he did. Go here to read about him.
9. Blessed Miguel Pro, SJ-Not canonized yet, I have no doubt that “God’s Jester” is a saint in Heaven. During the Cristeros Rebellion in Mexico, he adopted many disguises to bring the sacraments to the Mexican people. A lover of jokes, he is proof positive that saints need not be solemn. When the Mexican government executed him, a death he met with incredible courage, the officials took copious pictures which appeared in newspapers. The strategy backfired with Cristeros troops treating the pictures as precious relics and carrying them with them into battle. Go here to read about him.
8. Saint Marianne Cope– Throughout my life I have been blessed with the friendship of strong women, starting with the love of my formidable sainted mother, and perhaps that is why I have always been drawn to strong female saints. Few have been stronger than Mother Marianne and her nuns who pioneered the care for female lepers in Hawaii. No difficulty or danger could deter her from bringing God’s love to her lepers. Go here to read about her.
7. Venerable Matt Talbot-Some saints become famous during their lifetime and some, the vast majority no doubt, are known only to God. Matt Talbot’s was a quiet path to sainthood that would be known only to God, but for the accident of his dying on a street in Dublin. However, God does not see as man sees, and I have always thought that this reformed drunk ranks high among the champions of Christ. Go here to read about him.
6. Saint Kateri Tekakwitha-Some saints God decides to distinguish with miracles after their death. Such was the case of Lily of the Mohawks. Go here to read about her.
5. Saint Thomas Becket-I took Thomas Becket as my confirmation saint, and the conversion of the worldly Chancellor of King Henry II into the “holy and blessed martyr” has always enthralled me. Go here to read about him.
4. Saint Joan of Arc-I think I will merely say ditto to what Sir Winston Churchill wrote about the glorious Maid of Orleans:
Joan was a being so uplifted from the ordinary run of mankind that she finds no equal in a thousand years. She embodied the natural goodness and valour of the human race in unexampled perfection. Unconquerable courage, infinite compassion, the virtue of the simple, the wisdom of the just, shone forth in her. She glorifies as she freed the soil from which she sprang.
Go here to read about her.
3. Saint Athanasius-Athanasius Contra Mundum should be a phrase that all Catholics are ever familiar with. Go here to read about the man behind the phrase.
2. Saint Thomas Aquinas-Possessed of perhaps the greatest of intellects, the Angelic Doctor also had the soul of a poet as we can see from his hymns. Go here to read about a special reason why he is my second favorite saint.
1. The Blessed Virgin-Now what Catholic worth his salt will not have Mary as his favorite saint? Humanity’s sole boast she has been called and I concur in that assessment. Go here to read the analysis of the Angelic Doctor of the Hail Mary.