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St Joseph's Catholic Primary School - Kings Norton, Birmingham

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Our House Saints

Saint Francis of Assisi - Feast Day 4th October

Francis was born in 1182. His parents gave their son all the good things that money could buy. He liked poems, songs and parties and became a knight for a while; he had a dream telling him to go home and to follow God. When he got home Francis went to pray in an old Church. There he heard Jesus telling him to rebuild it. He sold some of his father's best cloth and repaired the Church. He took off his fine clothes and gave them to the poor and left home.

Francis began to visit hospitals and to serve the sick. He believed that everything was made by God was very good. He admired the great and wonderful things of the world; he told all the birds and animals to praise God.

Some people decided to live like Francis and he took twelve young men to Rome with him, and the Pope gave him permission to start a new religious order, the Franciscans.

Francis had a vision in which he saw Jesus hanging on the cross and he was given the same wounds that Jesus had on his hands, his feet and his side. When Francis grew ill and weak he thanked God for the pain he was suffering. He died in 1226.


St Peter - Feast Day 29th June

St Peter came from the village of Bethsaida in Galilee and his father was a fisherman. He worked the fishing nets with his father and his brother Andrew at the lakeside town of Capernaum. Andrew also joined the group of Jesus’ disciples on the same day.

St Peter and StAndrew were among the first to be chosen by Jesus to be his close followers. From the moment Jesus met St Peter he knew that he would be the rock of the Church. St Peter’s original name was Simon, Peter being a name given to him by Jesus.

Jesus gave St Peter the added name of Cephas, an Aramaic appellation meaning “rock.” This was translated into Greek as Petros (from the Greek petra, “rock”). St Peter was the first bishop of Rome.

St Peter was the first of the Apostles to see Jesus after his resurrection from the dead. We are told of various missionary trips which Peter undertook in order to preach about Jesus. When faced with his fate, Peter asked to be crucified upside down. It is said he did not feel worthy to be martyred in the same manner as Christ.

St. Peter is the patron saint of Popes, Rome, fishermen, and locksmiths


St Clare - Feast Day 11th August

St Clare of Assisi was born in Assisi on 16th July 1194 as Chiara Offreduccio, the beautiful eldest daughter of Favorino Sciffi, Count of Sasso-Rosso and his wife Ortolana.

As a young girl, Clare dedicated herself to prayer. At 18 years old, she heard St Francis of Assisi preach during a Lenten service in the Church of San Giorgio and asked him to help her live according to the Gospel. St Clare joined the convent of the Benedictine nuns under Francis’ orders. St Clare and her sisters wore no shoes, ate no meat, lived in a poor house, and kept silent most of the time. Their lives consisted of manual labour and prayer. Yet, they were very happy, because Our Lord was close to them all the time.

St Clare became sick and suffered great pains for many years, but she expressed that no pain could trouble her. So great was her joy in serving the Lord that, she once exclaimed: “They say that we are too poor, but can a heart which possesses the infinite God be truly called poor?”

St Clare died at 59 years old. Her remains are buried in the crypt of the Basilica of St Clare.

St Clare is the patron saint of television, eye disease and laundry.


St Helen - Feast Day 18th August

St. Helen was the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great and an Empress of the Roman Empire. Between the years 326-328, Helena took a trip to the Holy Places in the Middle East. During her journey, Helena had many churches constructed, including the one at the site of Jesus Christ's birth - the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem and another at the site of his ascension - Church of Eleona on the Mount of Olives.
During this time Jerusalem was still being rebuilt after Titus' destruction. Around the year 130, Emperor Hadrian had a temple built over the site of Jesus' death. St Helen had this temple destroyed and chose a site in this location to be excavated. This led to the discovery of three crosses. Tradition says St Helen brought a woman near death to the crosses. There she had the woman place a hand on all three crosses. Nothing happened when she touched the first two crosses, but when she placed her hand on the third cross she suddenly recovered. St Helen declared the third cross to be the True Cross.At this site, Constantine ordered the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to be built.
The relics believed to be found by St. Helena are parts of Jesus' tunic, pieces of the holy cross, and pieces of the rope used to tie Jesus to the cross. When Helena returned to Rome from Jerusalem in 327, she brought parts of the True Cross back with her. They can still be seen to this day, though her palace has been converted to the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem.

St. Helen helped many people through her works of charity. She would visit churches and leave them with rich donations. St. Helen was a very devout servant of God. St. Helen is the patron saint of new discoveries.