The Fourteen Holy Helpers

Jude Missa

As we are living with threat of Coronavirus, we are praying to the Saints, like Saint Roch, Saint Rosalie, Saint Raphael the Archangel and the Blessed Virgin Mary, to protect our families and friends against this pandemic. Similarly, back in the mid-1300s, there was also a disease that spread throughout Europe and Asia where 200 million people died, it is called the “Black Plague” or the “Black Death”.

One of the symptoms are the tongues are getting black, headache, flu and stomach ache and the infected person will die after an hour which they have no time to received the last sacrament. The people prayed and begged to God for help. To strengthen their petitions, they gathered the names of the Saints who were known by their miracles. And they gathered fourteen saints which they are called the Fourteen Holy Helpers. The Devotion to the Fourteen Holy Helpers has started in Germany. Pope Nicholas V declared the devotion to the Holy Helpers with special indulgence to eliminate the plague which it did. While in France, the Fourteen Holy Helpers is with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Then in September 22, 1445 in the Convent of Bavaria, one young shepherd saw a child crying on the farm owned by the Cisterians. When he tried to get close, the child disappeared. When he returned to his sheep, he once again looked at the farm and saw the child again. When he went to the child, he saw the child while having a light on his head with two candles besides him. The young shepherd was frightened on what he saw he quickly signed the cross to which the child smiled. He got the courage to get close but the again, the child disappeared. The Young shepherd told his parents on what he saw but they didn’t believe him. Then he went to the monastery and told them what they saw. A priest told him that when the child appears again, ask what the child wants. On June 28, 1446, the child appeared again in the farm, but now he has a red cross on his chest and surrounded by thirteen children with lights on their heads. Here, he walked close to the children and asked them what they want. The child with a red cross answered him “We are the fourteen helpers and wish to erect a chapel here, where we can rest. If you will be our servant, we will be yours!”. After this, the fourteen children disapeared. Then on Sunday, when the young boy shepherding, he saw to lightened candles descending from the heaven, it was also witnessed by a woman who passed by in the farm. Then the young shepherd ran to the monastery and told them what he saw but they didn’t believe him. When the people heard the story, they went to the place of apparition of the fourteen children. Here, many miracles occurred including healing of the serious sicknesses. Then the Cisterian monks decide to built a chapel as requested by the fourteen children. Which they identified as the Fourteen Holy Helpers. On 1743, the chapel becamed a Church.

It is unfortunate that some of these saints were removed from the liturgical calendar during the Vatican II Council because of lack of documentation about them and as a result they were considered as mere legends. But their apparition in 1446 is a living proof that they really exist. Let us pray to the Fourteen Holy Helpers with Mary help of all Christians to eliminate this coronavirus that continues stealing the lives of many.

Fourteen Holy Helpers, pray for us.
Mary Help of All Christians, pray for us.

Feast Day: August 8

  1. Saint George – Patron Saint of skin disease, leprosy, knights and soldiers.
  2. Saint Blaise – Patron Saint of Throat Illnesses.
  3. Saint Erasmus (St. Elmo) – Patron Saint of Stomach ache and sailors.
  4. Saint Pantaleon – Patron Saint of Cancer patients, tuberculosis patients and against witchcraft.
  5. Saint Vitus – Patron Saint of Epilepsy, Chorea, victim of lightning strike and victims of Animal bite including poisonous animals.
  6. Saint Christopher – Patron Saint of Epilepsy, toothache, travelers and storm.
  7. Saint Denis (St. Dionysius) – Patron Saint of headache, against frenzy strife, hydrophobia and possessed people.
  8. Saint Cyriacus – Patron Saint of Eye Disease, people possessed by the demon, against temptation at the hour of death.
  9. Saint Achatius (St. Agathius) – Patron Saint of Soldiers and Headache.
  10. Saint Eustace – Patron Saint of victims of fire, hunters and difficult situations.
  11. Saint Giles – Patron Saint of cancer patients, plague, epilepsy, lepers, mental illness, people who have nightmares and disabled people.
  12. Saint Margaret of Antioch (Saint Matrina the Great Martyr) – Patron Saint of kidney disease, dying people, pregnant woman, childbirth and falsely accused people.
  13. Saint Catherine of Alexandria – Patron Saint of Sudden Death, illness of the tongue, girls and dying people.
  14. Saint Barbara – Patron Saint of people who have flu, against lightning and fire and people who died during work.

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