The Saints of March 17th

The Saints of March 17th

March 17th is not just about everyone’s favorite Irish saint. In addition to Saint Patrick, the feast days of at least four other saints are celebrated on the 17th:

Alexius of Rome

First venerated in the Eastern Church and later venerated by Rome, Saint Alexius was born in Rome sometime in the 4th century and died there sometime in the 5th century. He is often shown holding a ladder or lying beneath a staircase; his major shrine is at the Monastery of Agia Lavra in Kalavryta in Greece. He is the patron saint of Kalavryta; he is also the patron saint of the Alexian Brothers, beggars, belt makers, nurses, pilgrims, and travelers.

Gertrude of Nivelles

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Born circa 628 and dying circa 659 in the Kingdom of Austrasia, Gertrude of Nivelles was an abbess who, together with her mother, founded the Abbey of Nivelles. Venerated in both the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, she is the patron saint of the Belgian city of Nivelles, the Dutch cities of Geertruidenberg, Breda, and Bergen-op-Zoom, and of travelers and gardeners; she is also invoked against mice and mental illness.

Jan Sarkander

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A Polish-Czech Roman Catholic priest, Sarkander was born on December 20th, 1576, in Poland and died on this day in 1620 in the Czech Republic. Becoming a priest after being widowed, he became an avid defender of the faith during a period of anti-Catholic activity. He is the patron saint of Moravia, confessors, and persecuted Christians.

Joseph of Arimathea

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Acknowledged in all the gospels as the man who dealt with Jesus’s body after his death, Joseph of Arimathea is venerated in multiple Christian churches. He is the patron saint of funeral directors and undertakers.

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