Help Select the CCWM Patron Saint
We recognize that our agency’s Catholic identity and mission may be understood through the lived experiences of individuals who have given witness to their faith. The witness given is often through the care of the most vulnerable in society. CCWM staff has been studying Catholic Social Teachings (CST) as lived out through various saints. We have done so through an agency-wide book read, Saints and Social Justice, A Guide to Changing the World by Brandon Vogt.
We would like you to help us select a patron saint. The following six saints have been identified as most inspiring to the work we do. You are invited to choose one of the saints from the list below who you think would make a good patron saint for CCWM. Except for two, they are from the book, Saints and Social Justice.
What is a patron saint? A patron saint is someone we can look to for help and inspiration because of their faith in God, the way they lived their lives and something shared in common, such as the work we do.
St. Anne Marie Javouhey Anne Marie was born in France shortly before the French revolution. Her parents taught her to have a faith-filled and activist spirit. She was a problem-solver. Rather than complaining, she rolled up her sleeves and looked for solutions. She was well able to organize and was vibrant and courageous. Anne Marie was sought out by the French government to help organize colonies in Africa by starting educational, medical and social service organizations. When slaves were emancipated in these African colonies, Anne Marie worked alongside those who were freed, helping them as they organized their new communities. Anne Marie understood the importance of aligning with political systems to affect change. (Chapter 4) CST-Call to Family, Community and Participation.
Bl. Pier Giorgio Frasatti Dynamic and active, Bl. Pier Giorgio loved mountain climbing and celebrating with his friends. Though he died at age 24, he had already dedicated his life to serving the poor while also getting to know them on a personal level and providing spiritual encouragement. He was both deeply involved in direct service to the marginalized and advocating for social reforms. Pier Giorgio’s passion and action for the poor stemmed from deep prayer and sacramental life. (Chapter 7) CST-Life and Dignity of the Human Person.
St. Martin de Porres (Not in book but is known as a patron saint of those seeking racial harmony.) Martin de Porres Velázquez, O.P., was a Peruvian lay brother of the Dominican Order who was beatified in 1837 by Pope Gregory XVI and canonized in 1962 by Pope John XXIII. Born in Lima Peru, his father was a Spanish nobleman and his mother of African or native decent. He cared for the sick without distinction to Spanish nobles and to slaves recently brought from Africa. He believed all work had dignity and felt no task was below him. He spent hours in prayer and worked tirelessly for the poor.
St. Louise de Marillac (Not in book but included as she is patron saint of social workers.) Wife, mother and foundress of an order of religious sisters, she was a woman of courage, interested in the moral and social problems of her day. She cared for the poor and hungry on the streets of Paris as nurse and social worker. She trained young women from the countryside to be nurses and social workers and these women joined the order of Sisters of Charity, working with Saint Vincent de Paul and also connected with St. Francis de Sales. Together, they served Christ “in the midst of the world” by serving those most marginalized.
St. Peter Claver Called to serve God from a young age, Peter Claver, a native of Spain, spent most of adult life serving slaves in South America. Dedicated to treating slaves with the utmost dignity, he also advocated for an end to slavery. He met the slaves on incoming slave ships and served them with care in their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. He also cared for lepers and those in prison. His main goal was to restore each person’s self respect by showing them they were made in the image of God and thus had great dignity and worth. (Chapter 2) CST-Option for the Poor and Vulnerable.
St. Roque Gonzales A native of Paraguay, Roque was able to gain the trust of the people he served because he shared their culture. He knew that to protect the rights of the Guarani Indians, he must first learn to identify with them by living in their community. In doing so he was able to experience the tragic injustices they suffered and it energized him to find solutions. He also worked to win over those who were enemies to his cause. He vigorously fought injustice through loving his enemies and oppressors toward the truth. (Chapter 5) CST-Rights and Responsibilities.