When I was a child, and my parents and grandparents would teach me lessons about our faith and our Saints, I always pictured the Heavenly “offices” of our saints as bustling places, with requests flooding in and prayers on our behalf going out. But, as I grew up, I realized that some Saints are more “popular” than others. Our Blessed Mother is extremely busy. St. Jude is pretty busy. St. Anthony is very busy (and requests that you keep better track of your items). But how about the saints that we don’t turn to a lot, whom we’ve barely even heard of? They are there, and they would love to hear from you!

Why not start talking with them this summer?

Are you a swimmer? The next time you are in the pool, why not say a prayer to St. Adjutor? He was a Norman knight who fought in the First Crusade. He was captured twice by enemy forces. Each time he was captured, he prayed to his favorite saint, St. Mary Magdalen, to intercede for him, and she did. The second time, she showed St. Adjutor that he could break his chains and swim away from his captors, which is how he freed himself—taking the chains with him.

After returning to his native Normandy, St. Adjutor built a chapel in honor of St. Mary Magdalen. The chapel stood next to the river Seine. Near the chapel, there was a fierce whirlpool that had been the site of many drownings. St. Adjutor and the Bishop of Normandy teamed up to still the vortex. The bishop blessed the Seine and sprinkled holy water into the river, while St. Adjutor threw the leg chains he had worn in captivity into its maw, saying: “It is as easy for God to free people from this whirlpool as it was for him to free me from my chains.” Then the whirlpool stopped. Because of this miracle and his efforts to save countless swimmers, St. Adjutor is the Patron Saint of Swimmers.

Do you like barbecuing? Then why not remember St. Lawrence? He is, after all, its patron saint. A deacon in the Church, he was martyred in 258 A.D. by the Roman Emperor Valerian. When the Emperor’s soldiers confronted St. Lawrence, they told him he could escape his death if he “turned over the Church’s treasures.” St. Lawrence agreed, and a few hours later, he returned with a significant number of the city’s poor and sick. When asked where the Church’s treasures were, Lawrence simply pointed at the crowd, stating, “These are the treasures of the Church.” and for this response, the soldiers decided to execute him.

St. Ambrose reports that St. Lawrence was executed by being roasted on an iron griddle. While being roasted, St. Lawrence cheekily called out to the emperor’s executioner, asking him to “turn me over,” noting that “he was done on that side.” Due to his devotion to the most disadvantaged members of the Church, his great love of Christ, and his cheerful, even humorous, disposition during his execution St. Lawrence is the Patron Saint of Barbecue and Stand-up Comedians.

Finally, I know that some of you of legal age will undoubtedly crack open a cold one this summer after mowing the lawn or grilling. When you do, why not say a prayer to St. Arnold of Soissons, the Patron Saint of Beer and Brewers?

Born in the Brabant region (which is now in modern-day Belgium) in 1040AD, St. Arnold of Soissons, a Benedictine monk, became a priest in 1080 AD and later was made bishop of Soissons. He later founded the Abbey of St. Peter in Oudenburg. While he served as abbot, Arnold and his fellow monks brewed beer for “its gift of health.” They considered beer healthier than water because the brewing process boiled out all of the water’s impurities. Arnold saved the lives of many by having the local people drink beer that he had blessed during an outbreak of the plague and, later, during an episode of Cholera. Pope Callixtus II canonized Arnold on January 6, 1120. Every year on August 4, the city of Brussels, Belgium, celebrates the life of St. Arnold with a Mass and parade.

So, this summer, why not offer up a prayer for St. Adjutor, St. Lawrence, and St. Arnold – they’d love to hear from you!

Image: Adobe Stock. By bernardbodo.

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Duane Hyland is the Communications Manager at St. John Neumann Parish in Reston, VA. A lifelong Catholic, he is fascinated by the lives of the saints, especially little-known or even forgotten saints. He has just started out writing on the Saints and for a Catholic audience. He is also very interested in space and space technology and has written for several aerospace publications, including Aerospace America, SpaceRef, SpaceRef Business, and The Space Review, among others.

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