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10 Little-Known Patron Saints

10 Little Known Patron Saints, 7-10

For ice skaters, poets and beggars in need of spiritual guidance, luckily there is a patron saint for each of them.

7. Lydwina -- Patron Saint of Ice Skaters

Feast day: April 14


Lydwina was from a poor family in Holland. She was a very religious girl and prayed often. In 1395, she broke several ribs in an ice-skating accident and gangrene spread throughout her body, causing her severe pain for the rest of her life. Lydwina experienced visions throughout her life, including one of a rosebush with the inscription, "When this shall be in bloom, your suffering will be at an end." In 1433, she saw the rosebush and died soon after.

8. Columba -- Patron Saint of Bookbinders, Poets, and Ireland

Feast day: June 9

Columba was born in Ireland in 521. Legend has it that around 560, he became involved in a battle with St. Finnian, which resulted in the deaths of many people. As penance, Columba went to Scotland to work as a missionary to convert as many people as had been killed in the battle. Columba reputedly wrote several hymns and more than 300 books in his lifetime, so it is not surprising that he is the patron saint of bookbinders and poets. Columba died in 597, and although he spent much of his life in Scotland, he is one of the patron saints of Ireland, along with St. Patrick and St. Brigid.

9. Alexis of Rome -- Patron Saint of Beggars

Feast day: July 17

Alexis, the son of a distinguished Roman, fled his father's house on his wedding night and sustained a frugal and religious existence for 17 years. As his fame as a holy man grew, he returned to Rome and lived as a beggar beneath the stairs of his father's palace for the remaining 17 years of his life. When he died in a.d. 417, he was found with a document on his body that declared his identity.

10. Apollonia -- Patron Saint of Dentists

Feast day: February 9

Apollonia was an elderly woman who, in a.d. 248, was persecuted for being a Christian. She found herself in the midst of an angry anti-Christian mob. They smashed out all of her teeth and then dragged her to a huge fire. They offered to spare her life if she would renounce her faith. She paused as if to curse God, then flung herself into the fire instead. St. Apollonia is often depicted wearing a necklace of her own teeth.


Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen

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