Everyone has a story, and saints are no exception. There’s a reason people call on different saints to help them through various circumstances. Their lives — or deaths — mean something. Here are a few of the most interesting little-known facts about some of the saints:
Catholics get their throats blessed every year on the Feast of St. Blaise (February 2) because he miraculously cured a young boy who was choking on a fish bone.
St. Lucy is the patron saint for those suffering from any ailment of the eye because she was martyred by the Romans, who plucked out her eyeballs as part of her martyrdom.
St. Agatha is the patron saint for women suffering from breast cancer because the Romans cruelly cut off her breasts as part of her martyr’s death.
St. Lawrence the Deacon told his executioners, “You can turn me over. I’m done on this side,” as they roasted him alive on a huge hot gridiron.
Pope Blessed John XXIII was asked, “How many people work at the Vatican?” to which he instantly replied, “About half of them.”
St. Anthony of Padua is the patron saint for lost items. Catholics say this prayer to find them: “St. Anthony, please look around; something is lost and must be found.”
St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was not Irish himself. He was born in Scotland and was captured by Irish pirates; after he escaped he eventually returned as a missionary.
St. Jerome (who translated the first one-volume Bible from Hebrew and Greek into his native Latin) removed a thorn from a lion’s paw and it immediately became his pet.
During Lent, Catholics give up eating sweets and treats except on St. Joseph’s Day (March 19), when special pastries called zeppole are served, and bread is blessed in his honor.