20 Obscure Female Saints

  1. St. Elizabeth of Portugal also known as Elizabeth of Aragon. Patron saint of people in difficult marriages and of peacemakers. She was married to Denis who was unfaithful to her and acted as a peacemaker between Ferdinand and his cousin, James. She retired as a lay Franciscan to the monastery of the Poor Clares after the death of her husband.
  2. St. Catherine del Ricci: patroness of the sick. Devoted to the Passion of the Christ and entered a cloistered community of lay Dominican Sisters. It was said that she was able to bilocate.
  3. St. Teresa Margaret Redi: Italian Carmelite nun who was devoted to the Sacred Heart. Her body is incorrupt and lies in the church of the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Florence.
  4. St. Joan of Valois, wife of King Louis XII. After she had her marriage annuled, she founded the Sisters of the Annunciation of Mary.
  5. St. Catherine of Genoa wrote “Dialogues of the Soul” and the “Treatise of Purgatory.” Patron saint of brides and people ridiculed for their piety. Entered into an arranged marriage that didn’t turn out so well, but she eventually converted her husband.
  6. Saint Dwynwen: Welsh saint, patron saint of lovers. She has a legend of her and a young man named Maelon but the romance turns into a tragedy.
  7. St. Gertrude of Nivelles: Patron saint of cats. Refused to marry nobility and became an abbess. Known to have visions and was attributed to a miracle of sailors being attacked by a sea monster.
  8. Saint Mary of Egypt. Patron against skin diseases and spiritual warfare against chastity. Used to be a nymphomaniac until she went to Jersualem in the hopes of seducing pilgrims and made a conversion there.
  9. Saints Agape, Chionia, and Irene: Sisters who were for refusing to eat food sacrificed to the gods in Thessalonica. Agape and Chione were burned alive. Irene was placed into a brothel but nobody touched her, so she was eventually sentenced to death as well.
  10. St. Margaret of Clitherow: One of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales. Wife and mother. Her brother-in-law was a priest although her husband was Protestant. Her son went to seminary and created priest holes in her house.
  11. St. Rafqa. Saint from Lebanon. Became a sister with the Daughters of Mary of the Immaculate Conception. Her order merged with another one and eventually became the Lebanese Marionite Order of St. Anthony. Her final vows, however, were with the Baladita Order. Said to have interceded for curing someone of uterine cancer.
  12. St Frances of Rome, patroness of car drivers. Entered into an arrange marriage in spite of wanting to be a nun, but had a happy marriage with her husband, who was often away at war. Eventually founded a monastery and nursed her husband during the last years of his life.
  13. St Hermione of Ephesus For you Harry Potter fans who plan on naming their kids after the characters, yes there is a Saint Hermione. She was a martyr, a deacon’s daughter. She’s even mentioned in Acts as a prophetess.
  14. St Hedwig of Silesia. Another saint for the Potterheads. St. Hedwig was a count’s daughter. Patron saint of orphans. Married Henry I the Bearded and became a duchess consort, but lost her husband. However, she had seven kids before her husband’s passing. She lived in a monastery, but never took vows.
  15. St Lucy Yi Zhenmei. Chinese saint and martyr. She had a love for reading and study and even pursued higher education up until she became ill. Stayed in a convent of lay virgins up until there was a rising against Christians in China.
  16. St. Margaret of Cortona: Italian penitent of the Third Order of St. Francis. Patron saint of the homeless and mentally ill among other things.  Started out as a reckless teenager who ran away at the age of 17 and lived with her lover for ten years until her lover was murdered. Her illegitimate son became a friar while she joined the Third Order of St. Francis.
  17. St. Louise de Marillac: Foundress of the Daughters of Charity with St. Vincent de Paul. Born out of wedlock. Known as a mystic. Patron of people rejected by religious orders and social workers.
  18. St. Emily de Vialar. French nun who founded the missionary congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition. Patron saint of single women.
  19. St. Barbara Martyr, associated with early Church saints. Patron of architects and mathematicians. Attributed with a three-windowed tower.
  20. St. Maria Bertilla Boscardin. An Italian nun and nurse who helped heal sick children and victims of air raids in World War I.

I’ll be posting more about some awesome female saints and women from the Bible this week. Happy International Women’s Day!

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