In the Catholic religion, there is a patron saint for almost anything under the sun. Do you know the patron saint of nurses?
Calling the nurses’ patron saint will be the last thing in your mind when you are simply catching your breath between patient care. But who knows, you might need to know which heavenly figure you need to call in times of life-or-death emergencies. It’s not unheard of to become so desperate that one calls to every diety from every culture known to Man.
To keep ourselves armed with the last line of defense we can have for the worst things in nursing, let us all learn about nurses’ patron saint.
Who is Nurses’ Patron Saint?
Saint Agatha of Sicily is the patron saint of nurses. She lived from 231 AD to 251 AD. She was known as a virgin martyr since she died a virgin woman at a young age for her Christian faith.
When Decius announced edicts against Christians, a Roman senator named Quinctianus took advantage of it. He liked Saint Agatha very much and he planned to blackmail her.
He knew she was a devoted Christian so he offered to have sexual relationship with her in exchange of hiding her Christian faith from authorities. She rejected the advances of the Roman senator so she was persecuted for being a Christian and had her breasts cut off as a punishment.
She was imprisoned afterwards and sentenced to be burnt at the stake. As she was rolled onto flaming coals before she was scheduled to be burnt at the stake, an earthquake occurred. It saved Agatha from her punishment when the officials ran off to safety. She was then left in prison and died shortly afterwards.
During Saint Agatha’s test of faith, she was beaten, tortured and mutilated until her death.
Whenever you feel like giving up with all the piles of work you need to do, just think of the trials and tribulations of Saint Agatha. Whatever you’re going through, we’ll get through this!
Also Read: The Origins of Nurses Week
Why Did Saint Agatha Become Nurses’ Patron Saint?
Saint Agatha became the nurses’ patron saint because of her remarkable resilience. Just like Saint Agatha, nurses are known to be resilient to hardships. They can withstand or recover quickly from hard situations in the name of quality patient care. As what they commonly say, you are strong because you don’t have any other choice but to be strong.
In times of difficulties and out-of-this-world hardships, tell yourself that you are resilient just like St. Agatha. You can withstand everything and you shall recover from them.
Also Read: 30 Most Famous Nurses in History
When to Call Saint Agatha?
You know you will be grateful to know Saint Agatha when:
− Someone uttered the Q word, the most forbidden word in hospitals. Surely, chaos will persist in the next hours.
− It’s full moon. All nurses are aware of the dangers a full moon can bring. Deaths happen by 3’s. Events in the ward tend to get crazier. Patients become more uncooperative.
− One of your co-nurses decided to test the hospital gods and brought a book. Like there will be nothing left to do. Second deadliest curse next to Q word.
− Someone said the frequent flyer’s name. Because you know frequent flyers can sense if someone in the hospital remembered them and they never fail to show up.
− You have no other choice but to switch shifts with your colleague. Because you know fate will teach you a lesson and you will regret why you switched shifts.
− It’s raining admissions. You are barely keeping up with the wave of zombies, I mean admissions, and the telephone keep ringing for more.
What if Saint Agatha Won’t Respond to My Pleas?
If Saint Agatha seemed to be distant with your pleas, there are seven other patron saints to call for help. After all, nurses should always have other backup plans.
- Saint Alexius of Rome – Saint Alexius of Rome is also known as Alexis the Beggar. He chose to live as a beggar so he can devote himself to God. He fled from the arranged wedding his rich parents planned and he lived in penance until his death.
- Saint Camillus of Lellis – Saint Camillus is a son of a military officer who spent his youth fighting for the Venetians against the Turks. He sustained a terrible leg injury and moved to San Giacomo Hospital for the incurable. He became the hospital’s administrator and later founded the Congregation of the Servants of the Sick. He honored the sick as living images of Christ and he did his best to care for them.
- Saint Catherine of Siena – Saint Catherine of Siena is also proclaimed as Doctor of the Church. She is a counselor and a correspondent to several popes during her time. She dedicated her whole life in public service for the poor and the sick.
- Saint John of God – Saint John spent his youth in darkness, working as a soldier and as a mercenary. At age 40, he had a vision of the infant Jesus who called him John of God. Since then, he devoted his life caring for the poor, the unwanted and the sick in a house he rented in Spain.
- Saint Margaret of Antioch – Saint Margaret was a daughter of a pagan priest. She was adopted by her nurse when her mother died while she was still an infant. She converted to Christianity and devoted her life to God. She was beheaded as a martyr who refused the sexual advances of a Roman prefect.
As any nurse knows, our profession is rife with uncertainty and difficulty. Just when we thought we already experienced the worst, there are never-ending surprises in nursing. We will always find worse things than the worst ones we knew! During these times, isn’t it reassuring to know that nurses have a patron saint?