For as long as I can remember I have always had a fascination with Catholic saints. It has always amazed me how these incredible individuals were able to maintain their devotion to the Catholic faith through tremendous trials and tribulations at times. That is probably one of the reasons I want to include the stories of as many saints as possible in my Catholic mom blog. Although you will definitely see a number of personal stories, I also want to highlight as many of these inspiring individuals as I can as I write.
As part of my Catholic mom journey, I thought that it would be beneficial to do a cursory dive into some of the women who have been named as Catholic saints who were also mothers. This is just a small snippet of their lives which I’m looking forward to growing on in entries to come.
What is a Catholic Saint?
A Catholic saint is a person who has been officially recognized by the Catholic Church as having lived a life of exceptional holiness and virtue. Saints are considered to be role models and intercessors for Catholics, and they are venerated and honored within the Catholic tradition.
The process of canonization is the official declaration by the Pope that a person is a saint. It involves several stages, including investigation of the person’s life and virtues, verification of miracles attributed to their intercession, and approval by the Church hierarchy. The canonization process typically begins at the diocesan level, progresses to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican, and ultimately requires the Pope’s approval.
Once a person is canonized, they are officially recognized as a saint and their feast day is celebrated in the Catholic liturgical calendar. Saints are believed to be in the presence of God and are considered powerful intercessors who can pray on behalf of the faithful and offer assistance or guidance. Catholics often seek the intercession of specific saints for various intentions, such as patron saints associated with particular occupations, places, or circumstances.
The Catholic Church has a rich tradition of venerating saints, and they play an important role in the spiritual lives of many Catholics. Saints are seen as examples of living out the Christian faith and embodying the values and teachings of Jesus Christ. They are often depicted in art and statues, and their relics may be venerated as well. The lives and writings of saints also serve as a source of inspiration and guidance for Catholics seeking to deepen their faith.
9 Patron Saints of Mothers
Any mother could choose from a number of saints to be the woman that she looks up to when it comes to a role model of saints who were mothers. There are many women who are categorized as being the patron saint of mothers. Although the Virgin Mary is considered to be the greatest patron saint of mothers, here is just a small Catholic female saint list of mothers:
- Saint Monica: She is known for her fervent prayers and perseverance in converting her son, Saint Augustine, who later became a prominent theologian and bishop.
- Saint Gianna Beretta Molla: An Italian pediatrician and mother, she chose to save the life of her unborn child over her own when faced with a difficult pregnancy. She is considered a patron saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children.
- Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton: The first native-born American saint, she was a wife, mother, and foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s. She established the first free Catholic school in the United States.
- Saint Helena: The mother of Emperor Constantine, she is known for her pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where she discovered the True Cross of Jesus Christ.
- Saint Margaret of Scotland: A queen consort of Scotland, she was known for her pious life, devotion to the poor, and support for the Church. She raised her children in the faith and encouraged education and charity.
- Saint Margaret Clitherow: She was an English Catholic martyr and mother who lived during the Elizabethan era. Known as the “Pearl of York,” she courageously harbored Catholic priests and refused to renounce her faith, ultimately facing a cruel death by being pressed to death for her refusal to plead guilty or innocent.
- Saint Brigid of Ireland: An Irish abbess and founder of the monastery at Kildare, she is considered one of the patron saints of Ireland. Though not a biological mother, she is regarded as a spiritual mother and a symbol of Christian hospitality and generosity.
- Saint Adelaide of Burgundy: A Holy Roman Empress and mother, she was known for her charity and support of the Church. After the death of her husband, she lived a life of prayer and penance.
- Saint Rita of Cascia: She was a wife and mother who endured great suffering in her personal life. After the deaths of her husband and sons, she became an Augustinian nun and is venerated as the patron saint of impossible causes.
Once again, I’m well aware that the Virgin Mary is the greatest saint when it comes to Catholic motherhood and my relationship with the Virgin Mary is something that I plan on touching on in future blogs.
My Thoughts on Saints Who Were Mothers
If you truly read through this very small list of women, you will notice that they are from all different times throughout history and all walks of life. Some of them were wealthy, while some of them could barely put food on the table. However, they all had so much in common. They were all mothers who realized that God had a calling for them when it came to raising their children in the Catholic faith.
This is something that I have to remind myself continuously. God has a plan for me as a mother. I’m now in a place where I need to set and be the example for my boys. In little ways, I see God’s plan coming together when I’m at mass with my boys. My oldest son is an altar server. Each time he serves, I see the reverence in his steps and the respect that he has for the mass and the Eucharist. My youngest son, who is only 6, is still learning. However, he enjoys going to mass because right now he views it as a little extra time with mom, especially while big brother is serving mass.
There is no doubt that I look up to these saints who were mothers at every turn in my life. They are relatable in countless ways and provide me with faith and inspiration. Who is your favorite Catholic saint who was a mother?