By C.J. Kallevig
As a student, you are probably stressed, anxious, procrastinating, yelling at your computer, or some mix of all of these. Don’t worry, I was there, too. Take a deep breath. Step away from the homework and learn about these awesome saints that are there to help you in your high school or college career and beyond.
1. St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas is the patron saint of students, which is what you are! You are a student, and St. Thomas wants you to succeed. Here’s a little history about St. Thomas Aquinas: He was a Dominican priest, and he wrote a lot of books. He taught at several different universities and was honored by the Church for all that he did. So, if you are struggling in school or don’t know what the heck you are supposed to do for your major, St. Thomas is your guy.
This is the Student’s Prayer by St. Thomas Aquinas:
“Come, Holy Spirit, Divine Creator, true source of light and fountain of wisdom! Pour forth your brilliance upon my dense intellect, dissipate the darkness which covers me, that of sin and of ignorance. Grant me a penetrating mind to understand, a retentive memory, method and ease in learning, the lucidity to comprehend, and abundant grace in expressing myself. Guide the beginning of my work, direct its progress, and bring it to successful completion. This I ask through Jesus Christ, true God and true man, living and reigning with You and the Father, forever and ever.” (https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=2530)
2. St. Isidore of Seville
This saint is of particular interest to college students as he is the patron saint of the Internet, designated as such by Pope St. John Paul II. He was a bishop in Spain and is remembered for reforming the clergy and for fostering vocations to the monastic life. His siblings are also saints, so he is part of a family of saints. That’s pretty cool; and also, family goals.
Here’s a prayer that you can say to St. Isidore before going online:
“Almighty and eternal God, who created us in Thy image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, bishop and doctor, during our journeys through the internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.” (http://catholicism.org/patron-saint-for-the-internet-isidore-of-seville.html)
3. St. Joseph of Cupertino
St. Joseph is the patron saint of test-takers and poor students. So any time you take a test, which is often, or if there is a subject you are struggling with, ask St. Joseph! He’d be thrilled to pray for you. A really cool thing about St. Joseph is that he is said to have levitated in prayer!! Apparently anytime he prayed, he would float for a time. AWESOME.
Here is a prayer to St. Joseph of Cupertino:
“O Great St. Joseph of Cupertino who while on earth did obtain from God the grace to be asked at your examination only the questions you knew, obtain for me a like favour in the examinations for which I am now preparing. In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked. I will also imitate your life of prayer and devotion. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. St. Joseph of Cupertino, Pray for us.” (https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=72)
4. St. Francis de Sales
Throughout school, you will write many papers, even if you aren’t or don’t become an English major! And those papers can be challenging. If you’re stuck on one, talk to St. Francis de Sales! He’s the patron saint of writers and can help you write the best paper you can. He was the first person to use religious tracts to help start conversations. It is said that he helped bring more than 40,000 Calvinists back to the Catholic Church. Talk about an evangelist for the faith! He also wrote an awesome book called Introduction to the Devout Life. Highly recommended read.
Here is a little meditation by St. Francis de Sales:
“Do not look forward to the trials and crosses of this life with dread and fear. Rather, look to them with full confidence that as they arise, God, to whom you belong, will deliver you from them. He has guided and guarded you thus far in life. Do you but hold fast to his dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all trials. Whenever you cannot stand, he will carry you lovingly in his arms. Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. The same Eternal Father who cares for you today will take good care of you tomorrow and every day of your life. Either he will shield you from suffering or He will give you the unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all useless thoughts, vain dreads, and anxious imaginations.” (http://fatherjulian.blogspot.com/2013/01/quotes-from-st-francis-de-sales.html)
5. St. John Baptist de la Salle
Education students listen up: this is your guy. He is the patron saint of teachers. Also, for any student who is having trouble with a teacher or who is trying to get a particular teacher for class, talk to St. John Baptist de la Salle. Why do we care about this guy? Well, I’ll tell you why. He founded the Christian Brothers, a religious order that focuses on teaching. He started schools for poor boys in France and gave up his entire fortune in order to follow God’s calling.
A simple addition that can be placed at the end of any prayer is this:
Leader: St. John Baptist de la Salle,
Response: Pray for us.
Leader: Live Jesus in our hearts,
6. St. Albert the Great
Do you struggle with science? Or for some reason, have decided to make science your major? Well, do I have the saint for you! St. Albert the Great is the patron of scientists, which extends to science students. Something really cool about this guy is that, besides the fact that he was super smart and wrote 30+ books in his life, he taught St. Thomas Aquinas. How cool is that!
Here’s an awesome prayer invoking St. Albert:
“God, You made St. Albert great by enabling him to combine human wisdom and Divine Faith. Help us so to adhere to his teaching that we may progress in the sciences and at the same time come to a deeper understanding and love of you. Amen.” (http://catholicgo.org/prayer-to-saint-albert-the-great/)
7. St. Drogo
What is one thing that students love and survive on? Coffee. And of course, we have a patron saint for that: St. Drogo, of whom I had never heard before writing this article. When reading about St. Drogo, I found out that he was an anchorite. For those who don’t know what that means, he had a little room attached to the church. There was a window where he could see into the church and through which he could receive the Eucharist. Once someone entered one of those rooms, they never left. Now you may be asking, “CJ, why is St. Drogo the patron saint of coffee?” Good question! No one really knows. There are theories about why. Apparently, St. Drogo only drank warm water. He was also said to bilocate, so maybe it’s because baristas often feel like they need to be in two places at once.
There are no particular prayers that I could find that either invoke St. Drogo or are to him. So you know what that means…. Make your own! You got this.
8. St. Expeditus
Besides drinking coffee, what is a student’s favorite pastime? Procrastinating. I know, I dealt with it myself a lot. But we have a saint that we can ask for help against it: St. Expeditus (great name). Scholars are unsure of when this saint lived. However, there are pictures of him from the 18th century, and he is the patron of a particular town in Sicily.
Here’s a prayer that can get you started on that homework you’ve been putting off for a week:
“St. Expeditus, witness of Faith to the point of martyrdom, in the exercise of Good, you make tomorrow today. You live in the fast time of the last minute, always projecting yourself toward the future. Expedite and give strength to the heart of the man who doesn’t look back and who doesn’t postpone. Amen.” (https://saintexpedite.org/prayers.html)
So there you have it. Eight saints that students should know about. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go ask St. Drogo to help me fix the coffee maker.
May God bless you all, and I will see you in the Eucharist.