Saints are men and women whose souls have reached heaven. The Catholic Church has a specific process for declaring men and women as saints and over 10,000 have been canonized! There are also many holy men and women who have not been officially canonized.
Below is information about four saints with feast days in February: Blaise, Agatha, Amata, and Thalelaeus. You may have heard of all, some or none of these saints.
Each has a unique story and personality, just like you and me. Each has something valuable to teach us about being a faithful disciple of Christ.
Blaise was born in the 3rd century to noble parents. He received a Christian education and became a physician. At a young age, he was appointed as a bishop and assigned to Sebastea, Armenia.
During that time, the local community nominated a man to be a bishop based on how his faith was practiced and his ability to lead. The man was then examined and consecrated by other bishops with the approval of the Pope. Because Blaise was young and a physician by trade when he was nominated, he must have been a devout follower of Christ.
During the Roman persecutions, Blaise became a hermit in the wilderness. He befriended the wild animals and healed those that were injured.
According to a legend, a woman brought Blaise her son who was choking on a fish bone. At his command, the boy coughed up the bone and was saved. According to another legend, Blaise saved a poor woman’s pig that was taken by a wolf. When he ordered the wolf to release the pig, it obeyed without causing the pig any harm.
One day, a group of hunters saw Blaise kneeling in prayer surrounded by patiently waiting wolves, lions and bears! The hunters then turned him in as a Christian.
The governor tried to make Blaise renounce his faith and worship pagan idols. When he refused, he was imprisoned and brutally tortured.
Despite the severe torture, Blaise never renounced his faith in Jesus. He was eventually beheaded in the year 316.
- Feast Day: February 3rd
- Patron of: animals, throat ailments, wool combers
- Fun Fact: On his feast day, there is a ceremonial Blessing of the Throats. The priest, deacon or lay minister holds two blessed candles in the shape of an “X” over the throat of the individual and says the prayer below.
- Blessing of the Throats: Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Agatha was born in the 3rd century in Sicily, Italy. At a very young age, she consecrated herself to God and vowed to remain celibate her entire life.
The governor of Sicily became infatuated with Agatha’s youthful beauty. He tried to bribe her because he knew she was a Christian and Christians were being harshly persecuted.
When she rejected his advances, he sent her to a brothel to destroy her purity. His efforts were in vain because God protected Agatha and kept her pure! She was then sent to prison and brutally tortured.
After Agatha was tortured and her breasts were mutilated, St. Peter appeared in a vision and she was miraculously healed.
She was tortured again and martyred around the year 250.
Even though Agatha faced severe persecutions, she never rejected the vows she made to Christ. She is one of most highly venerated virgin martyrs in the Catholic Church.
- Feast Day: February 5th
- Patron of: breast ailments, breast cancer, nurses, Sicily, and invoked against earthquakes and fire
- Fun Fact: St. Agatha is one of seven female saints included in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer) of the Mass.
- Quote: “Jesus Christ, Lord of all things! You see my heart, You know my desires. Possess all that I am – You alone. I am Your sheep; make me worthy to overcome the devil.” ~ St. Agatha
Amata lived during the 13th century in Assisi, Italy. After squandering her youth, she became very ill. She was miraculously healed through her aunt Clare and vowed to devote her life to God.
Clare also became a saint. She was one of the first followers of St. Francis of Assisi and founded a religious order for women. (It was originally called the Order of Poor Ladies but was changed to the Order of Saint Clare after her death.) After her healing, Amata joined the religious order and became a nun.
Amata later became friends with a Spanish priest named Dominic. Dominic also became a saint. He founded religious communities and received the Rosary devotion from Our Lady. (Amata was in good company!)
She died around the year 1250 of natural causes.
- Feast Day: February 20th
- Patron of: those who have a sinful past and want to change their lives
- Fun Fact: Amata means “beloved.”
- Quote: “Our labor here is brief, but the reward is eternal. Do not be disturbed by the clamor of the world, which passes like a shadow. Do not let false delights of a deceptive world deceive you.” ~ St. Clare
Thalelaeus was born in the 4th century in present day Turkey. He became a monk and lived as a hermit for sixty years in small tents, huts and barrels!
He lived in present day Syria near a popular pagan temple for years. He prayed day and night in complete solitude and was often attacked by demons. By the power of God, the demons were driven out of that area.
Through his life of prayer, poverty, penance, and performing miracles, Thalelaeus converted many pagans to Christianity. With the help of those he converted, the pagan temple was eventually destroyed and replaced with a church.
He died around the year 450 of old age.
- Feast Day: February 27th
- Patron of: those who want to live simply and bring others to Christ
- Fun Fact: His nickname was Epiklautos, which means “weeping much,” because he was frequently moved to tears.
- Quote: “Brethren, God has given us this time for repentance, and we must seek after Him.” ~ St. Thalelaeus
I’m sharing this information for several reasons:
- To share my love of learning about the saints
- To describe our friends in heaven who are here to help us
- To illustrate that God has a special plan for each person
- To demonstrate that ordinary men and women become extraordinary through God’s grace
- To encourage us to be devoted followers of Christ so that we may also become saints
Saints Blaise, Agatha, Amata, and Thalelaeus, pray for us!
“The only real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint.” ~ Léon Bloy