St. John Memorial Prayer Center #3

Gallery of the Saints and Holy Men and Women

All the images here are as those depicted in our parish Saint of the Month Program and are created by Tracy L. Christianson of Portraits of the Saints

St. Junipero Serra – 1713-1784 – Saint Junipero Serra was a Spanish Franciscan friar who founded a mission in Baja California and the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California. The missions were primarily designed to bring the Catholic Christian faith to the native peoples. Other aims were to integrate the neophytes into Spanish society and to train them to take over ownership and management of the land. Serra worked tirelessly to maintain the missions and is credited with helping the Spanish establish a presence in California.

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini – 1850-1917 – Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, M.S.C., also called Mother Cabrini, was an Italian Religious Sister, who founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic religious institute which was a major support to the Italian immigrants to the United States. She was the first citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Catholic Church.

St. Kateri Tekawitha – 1656-1680 – Saint Kateri Tekakwitha,  known as Lily of the Mohawks was an Algonquin–Mohawk virgin. Born in Auriesville (now part of New York), she was orphaned during a smallpox epidemic, which left her with a scarred face and impaired eyesight. In 1676 she was converted and baptized by Father Jacques de Lamberville, a Jesuit missionary. Shunned by her tribe for her faith, she escaped through 200 miles of wilderness to the Christian Native American village of Sault-Sainte-Marie. Kateri was known for her spirituality and austere lifestyle. Various miracles and supernatural events are attributed to her intercession.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton – 1774-1821 – Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton was the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. She established the first Catholic school in the nation, at Emmitsburg, Maryland, where she founded the first American congregation of Religious Sisters, the Sisters of Charity.

St. Damien of Molokai – 1840-1889 – Father Damien or St. Damien of Molokai was a priest from Belgium and a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a missionary religious institute. He won recognition for his ministry in the Kingdom of Hawaii, to people with leprosy, who had been placed under a government-sanctioned medical quarantine on the island of Molokai. After 16 years caring for the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of those in the leper colony, he eventually contracted and died of the disease. 

St. Pedro Calungsod – 1655-1672 – Saint Pedro Calungsod, was a migrant, sacristan and missionary catechist, who along with the Spanish Jesuit missionary, Diego Luis de San Vitores, suffered religious persecution and martyrdom in Guam for their missionary work in 1672. (Sponsored by our local Filipino Mabuhay)

St. Lorenzo Ruiz – 1600-1637 – Saint Lorenzo Ruiz was born in the Philippines and was a happily married family man who joined the Dominican Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary. He was accused of murder and fled on a Dominican mission ship to Japan. At that time, the rulers of Japan were persecuting Christians, so they were arrested, tortured unbearably for 2 years and died by the “gallows and pit.” In 1983, St. Lorenzo, the first Filipino saint, and martyr, was canonized by Pope John Paul II after a 2-year-old girl was miraculously cured of hydrocephaly. (Sponsored by our local Filipino Mabuhay)

Venerable Pierre Toussaint – 1766-1853 – Venerable Pierre Toussaint was born a slave in Haiti to the Berand family. They brought him to New York City in 1787 to escape the political unrest in Haiti. He became a successful hairdresser, eventually even supporting Mr. Berand’s widow, who granted his freedom in 1807. Using his wealth he became a philanthropist to the poor in NYC, starting an orphanage, employment and credit bureaus, a hostel for travelers and priests and contributed to the building of Old St. Patrick Cathedral and  is interred in the new cathedral. Pierre died at 87 and is known as one of NYC’s most famous Catholics.

Servant of God Sr. Thea Bowman – 1937-1990 – Sister Thea Bowman was a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration, called the “Minister of Joy” because of her tireless ministry to the African American community.  Thea converted at 9 years old and at 15 knew she wanted to become a sister. After receiving her Ph.D. she taught for 16 years, started the Black Catholic Studies at the University of New Orleans, and founded the Black Catholic Religious Institute. Seeing the need to combat racism and prejudice, and to share the rich heritage of the African American culture, Thea shared the Gospel by writing, speaking, and singing at conferences throughout the U.S. She died of cancer at 52.

Venerable Henriette Delille – 1812-1862 – Henriette Delille was born, a “free woman of color” in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1812. Her father was a white man of French descent. Henriette founded the Sisters of the Holy Family, a Black religious congregation, to care for the slaves, free people of color, elderly, infirmed and poor, catechizing and providing for their physical needs. She worked heroically to bring people to God through reform, peaceful direction, and missionary work until her death at 52. She is the first United States native-born African American whose cause for canonization has been opened by the Catholic Church.

Servant of God Fr. Augustus Tolton – 1854-1897 – Father Augustus Tolton was born into slavery in 1854. During the Civil War, his mother and siblings fled to Quincy Illinois where they became members of Fr. Peter McGirr’s Catholic parish. Eventually, Augustus realized he was called to the priesthood. With the help of Fr. McGirr, he studied in Rome and was ordained in 1886, becoming the first Roman Catholic priest in the United States publicly known to be black. As pastor of St. Monica’s in Chicago, IL. Fr. Tolton persevered through post-Civil War America with patience, humility, and courage until he was forced to leave because of illness. He died of heat stroke in 1897.

St. Katharine Drexel – 1858-1955 – One of the 12 American Saints, Saint Katharine Drexel was an American heiress, philanthropist, religious sister, educator, and foundress. Taking religious vows in 1891, she is known for her selfless service of the oppressed. Donating her life and considerable fortune to the betterment and education of others with an avid interest in Native American and African-American peoples.

“The patient and humble endurance of the cross – whatever nature it may be – is the highest work we have to do.”