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Devotion to the Fourteen Holy Helpers

Fourteen Holy Helpers

Fourteen Holy Helpers

AMONG THE SAINTS – MARTYRS who in Catholic devotion are invoked with special confidence, because they have proved themselves efficacious helpers in adversity and difficulties, there is a group venerated under the collective name of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, although many of them have a devoted following as individual Saints.  They are invoked against throat ailments, lightning, diabolical possession, fire, family troubles, etc.

These Saints are invoked as a group, apart from individual patronage, because of the epidemic called the “Black Plague,” which devastated Europe between 1346-1349. Among its symptoms were a turning black of the tongue, parching of the throat, violent headache, fever and boils on the abdomen. The malady attacked its victims without warning, robbed them of reason and killed them within a few hours, and many died without the last Sacraments. fear caused many attacks and disrupted social and family ties. To all appearances the disease was incurable.

During this affliction, the pious turned toward Heaven, having recourse to the Saints, praying to be spared or cured. Among the Saints invoked were these 14 who already had patronage over certain illnesses or tragedies:

St. Christopher and St. Giles, plagues, St. Denis, headaches, St. Blaise, ills of the throat [although St. Ignatius of Antioch is also a patron of those with sore throats], St. Elmo, patron of abdominal maladies [and one of the several Saints having patronage over childbirth, which is not an illness, of course, as well as patron of sailors], St. Barbara, against fever, St. Vitus, [with St. Dymphna, against epilepsy], St. Pantaleon, patron of physicians, St. Cyriacus, recourse in time of temptations, especially at the hour of death; Sts. Christopher, Barbara, and Catherine were appealed to for protection against a sudden, unprovided death; the aid of St. Giles was implored for making a good confession; St. Eustace, patron of all kinds of difficulties, especially family troubles. Domestic animals were also attacked by the plague: Sts. George, Erasmus, Pantaleon and Vitus were invoked for their protection. St. Margaret of Antioch is the patron of safe childbirth deliveries [along with St.Gerard Majella and Raymond Nonnantus].

As devotion spread, Pope Nicholas V in the 16th century attached indulgences to devotion of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, which are no longer attached under the modern norms and grants, although their cultus is still efficacious and to be promoted.

Fourteen Holy Helpers Names and Feast Days

NameFeast day
Saint Agathius8 May
Saint Barbara4 December
Saint Blaise3 February
Saint Catherine of Alexandria25 November
Saint Christopher25 July
Saint Cyriacus8 August
Saint Denis9 October
Saint Erasmus2 June
Saint Eustace20 September
Saint George23 April
Saint Giles1 September
Saint Margaret of Antioch20 July
Saint Pantaleon27 July
Saint Vitus15 June

INVOCATION OF THE HOLY HELPERS


FOURTEEN Holy Helpers, who served God in humility and confidence on earth and are now in the enjoyment of His beatific vision in Heaven; because thou persevered till death thou gained the crown of eternal life. Remember the dangers that surround us in this vale of tears, and intercede for us in all our needs and adversities. Amen.

Fourteen Holy Helpers, select friends of God, I honor thee as mighty intercessors, and come with filial confidence to thee in my needs, for the relief of which I have undertaken to make this novena. Help me by thy intercession to placate God’s wrath, which I have provoked by my sins, and aid me in amending my life and doing penance. Obtain for me the grace to serve God with a willing heart, to be resigned to His holy will, to be patient in adversity and to persevere unto the end, so that, having finished my earthly course, I may join thee in Heaven, there to praise for ever God, Who is wonderful in His Saints.

Amen.


The Litany of the Fourteen Holy Helpers


Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Queen of Martyrs,
pray for us.

St. Joseph, helper in all needs,
pray for us.

Fourteen Holy Helpers,
pray for us.

St. George, valiant Martyr of Christ,
pray for us.

St. Blaise, zealous bishop and benefactor of the poor,
pray for us.

St. Erasmus, mighty protector of the oppressed,
pray for us.

St. Pantaleon, miraculous exemplar of charity,
pray for us.

St. Vitus, special protector of chastity,
pray for us.

St. Christophorus, mighty intercessor in dangers,
pray for us.

St. Dionysius, shining mirror of faith and confidence,
pray for us.

St. Cyriacus, terror of Hell,
pray for us.

St. Achatius, helpful advocate in death,
pray for us.

St. Eustachius, exemplar of patience in adversity,
pray for us.

St. Giles, despiser of the world,
pray for us.

St. Margaret, valiant champion of the Faith,
pray for us.

St. Catherine, victorious defender of the Faith and of purity,
pray for us.

St. Barbara, mighty patroness of the dying,
pray for us.

All ye Holy Helpers,
pray for us.

All ye Saints of God,
pray for us.

In temptations against faith,
pray for us.

In adversity and trials,
pray for us.

In anxiety and want,
pray for us.

In every combat,
pray for us.

In every temptation,
pray for us.

In sickness,
pray for us.

In all needs,
pray for us.

In fear and terror ,
pray for us.

In dangers of salvation,
pray for us.

In dangers of honor,
pray for us.

In dangers of reputation,
pray for us.

In dangers of property,
pray for us.

In dangers by fire and water,
pray for us.

Be merciful, spare us, O Lord!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord!

From all sin,
deliver us, O Lord.

From Thy wrath,
deliver us, O Lord.

From the scourge of earthquake,
deliver us, O Lord.

From plague, famine, and war,
deliver us, O Lord.

From lightning and storms,
deliver us, O Lord.

From a sudden and unprovided death,
deliver us, O Lord.

From eternal damnation,
deliver us, O Lord.

Through the mystery of Thy holy incarnation,
deliver us, O Lord.

Through Thy birth and Thy life,
deliver us, O Lord.

Through Thy Cross and Passion,
deliver us, O Lord.

Through Thy death and burial,
deliver us, O Lord.

Through the merits of Thy blessed Mother Mary,
deliver us, O Lord.

Through the merits of the Fourteen Holy Helpers,
deliver us, O Lord.

On the Day of Judgment,
deliver us, O Lord!

We sinners, beseech Thee hear us.
That Thou spare us,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt pardon us,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt convert us to true penance,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt give
and preserve the fruits of the earth,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt protect
and propagate Thy holy Church,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt preserve peace
and concord among the nations,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt give eternal rest
to the souls of the departed,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt come to our aid
through the intercession of the Holy Helpers,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of St. George
Thou wilt preserve us in the Faith,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of St. Blaise
Thou wilt confirm us in hope,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of St. Erasmus
Thou wilt enkindle in us Thy holy love,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of St. Pantaleon
Thou wilt give us charity for our neighbor,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of St. Vitus
Thou wilt teach us the value of our soul,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of St. Christophorus
Thou wilt preserve us from sin,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of St. Dionysius
Thou wilt give us tranquillity of conscience,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of St. Cyriacus
Thou wilt grant us resignation to Thy holy will,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of St. Eustachius
Thou wilt give us patience in adversity,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of St. Achatius
Thou wilt grant us a happy death,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of St. Giles
Thou wilt grant us a merciful judgment,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of St. Margaret
Thou wilt preserve us from Hell,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of St. Catherine
Thou wilt shorten our Purgatory,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of St. Barbara
Thou wilt receive us in Heaven,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

That through the intercession of all
the Holy Helpers Thou wilt grant our prayers,
We beseech Thee, hear us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us, O Lord.

V. Pray for us, ye Fourteen Holy Helpers.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promise of Christ.

Let us Pray.

Almighty and eternal God,
Who hast bestowed extraordinary graces
and gifts on Thy Saints George,
Blase, Erasmus, Pantaleon, Vitus,
Christophorus, Dionysius, Cyriacus,
Eustachius, Achatius, Giles, Margaret,
Catherine, and Barbara,
and hast illustrated them by miracles;
we beseech Thee to graciously hear the petitions
of all who invoke their intercession.
Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

O God, who didst miraculously
fortify the Fourteen Holy Helpers
in the confession of the Faith;
grant us, we beseech Thee,
to imitate their fortitude
in overcoming all temptations against it,
and protect us through their intercession
in all dangers of soul and body,
so that we may serve Thee in purity of heart
and chastity of body.
Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.


Ref: THE FOURTEEN HOLY HELPERS, Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, O.F.M.
TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, 1995; with Imprimatur, Imprimi Potest and Nihil Obstat.

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