Just as angels are guardians and protectors, so too are patron saints. Patron saints can be specific to the individual, according to date of birth, occupation, country or city of origin. Some patron saints have multiple representations. For example, San Francisco is the patron saint of both Santa Fe and New Mexico. Additionally, San Francisco is the patron saint of children, animals, and environmentalists. In olden times, Christian children were named for the patron saint of their day of birth (This was true even in my grandparents' time.). In the Christian faith, particularly among Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, saints are used to intercede between man and God. These intercessors are often patron saints but can also be favorite saints or even angels.

Today, you too can surround and protect your loved ones and your environment with the age-old spirituality experienced by my ancestors. For a personalized listing of patron saints and intercessors, see www.catholiconline.org in English and www.corazones.org in Spanish.

"El Vero Icono" by Rey Móntez
 

Your favorite saint
orignially painted on wood
and transferred to color print
by Roberto Gonzales (on wood) or Clare Villa (on hand hammered tin) for only $20

Just let us know which saint you would like and which artist you would prefer.

 

 

 

NOVEMBER

Todos Santos / All Saints Day November 1

 

Artist: Rey Móntez
Title: La Muerte


The best source for understanding the popular santos of New Mexico is Santos and Saints: The Religious Folk Art of Hispanic New Mexico by Father Thomas J. Steele, S.J. Santos and Saints was first published in 1974 in hardcover by Calvin Horn Publisher, Inc., and later in paperback by Ancient City Press, and currently by The University of New Mexico Press.

In this classic resource, Father Tom gives us several important facts about New Mexican santos and their makers. We first discover the history of saint-making in New Mexico -- which now is a centuries old tradition (see, Four Hundred Years of Saint Making in New Mexico by LPD Press). Next, we see its relationship to medieval Spain and the Renaissance. It is through this historical consideration -- which includes the isolation of the early European settlers (my ancestors) in a rare and unique land -- that the distinctive look of New Mexican santos is rendered among the most cherished, venerated and collected in the world.

We also learn that making a santo is a holy action for the maker, and, we are reminded of the importance of saints in prayer to Catholics. An important chapter on the hierarchy of santos places God, Christ and the Holy Spirit on the highest plane followed by the Virgin Mary, the Archangels, the Angels and the Saints. The relationship of the early Spanish settlers to the land and the spiritual world emphasizes the deep feeling of family and faith. Dependant on the mercy and aid of the saints, these early settlers overcame the greatest of hardships. So close were these people to the saints, they named their children after the saint whose day it was. Several options existed, of course, since there are several saints for each day. I have been informed by clergy that since the Orthodox Church and the Roman Church have so many saints, no once is quite sure how many there are. As in the case of the Virgin Mary, Father Tom and I have calculated over 5000 unique versions of Her worldwide. In Northern New Mexico alone, Father Tom lists twenty-eight versions of Mary that are very popular. [Note that although the Virgin Mary is more than a saint in the hierarchy, we still refer to her as a saint. The same can be true for Christ, who is sometimes, for example, El Santo Entierro or El Santo Niño.]

To list all of the saints would not only be monumental, it would also be somewhat redundant. Other sites, such as my favorite – www.catholic.org/saints (a section of the Catholic Church’s site), cover hundreds of saints in an easy-to-use format. What is most pertinent here, however, is a listing of saint days in New Mexico that are particularly important as listed in Santos and Saints. For more information, please contact us by e-mail or by phone or check out some of the neat sites such as the aforementioned. Now for the saints:

January

La Sagrada Familia / The Holy Family January 6 or Sunday after Epiphany. Given to newlyweds as a wedding gift.

Santa Inés del Campo / Saint Agnes January 21 or 22. Patroness of farmers, trees, flowers, crops, flocks, purity, transients and runaways, of persons and animals lost in the wilderness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

July

The Festival of Veronica July 12

Nuestra Señora del Carmen / Our Lady of Mount Carmel July 18

Santa Librada / Saint Liberata July 20. The Patron of liberated women, invoked for headaches, for the growth of stunted children and for women wishing to relieve themselves of burdensome men.

Santa Maria Magdalena / Mary Magdalen July 22. The patroness of women, converts, hair stylist, perfumers and repentant prostitutes.

Santiago / Saint James July 25. The Patron of Spain, horses, horseman, furriers, pilgrims, soldiers and the military. Invoked against arthritis and rheumatism.

Santa Ana / Saint Ann July 26. The patroness of mothers, grandmothers and women horse riders.

San Ignacio de Loyola / Saint Ignatius of Loyola July 31

February

Nuestra Señora de San Juan de los Lagos / Our Lady of St. John of the Lakes February 2

San Felipe de Jesus / Saint Phillip February 5

San Valentín / Saint Valentine February 14

La Huida a Egipto / The Flight to Egypt February 17

 

 

 

August

N. S. de los Ángeles August 2

San Lorenzo / Saint Lawrence August 10

Santa Clara / Saint Clare of Assisi August 11

Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion / Our Lady of the Assumption August 15

Santa Rosa de Lima / Saint Rose of Lima August 23

San Bartolomeo / Saint Batholemew or Nathaniel August 24

San Ramon Nonato / Saint Ramond Nonnatus (the Unborn) August 31

March

San Gabriel Arcangel / Saint Gabriel the Archangel March 9 and September 29

San José de Arimithea / Saint Joseph of Arimathea March 17

Santa Gertrudais / Saint Gertrude March 17

San Patricio / Saint Patrick March 17

San José Patriarca / Saint Joseph March 19

 

 

September

Nuestra Señora de los Dolores / Our Lady of Sorrows Friday before Palm Sunday/September 16

San Jose de Cupertino / Saint Joseph of Cupertino September 18

San Mateo / Saint Matthew September 21

San Vicente / Saint Vincent de Paul September 27

Los Arcangeles / The Arc Angels; Gabriel, Michael and Raphael September 29

San Geronimo / Saint Jerome September 30

April

San Vicente Ferrer / Saint Vincent Ferrer April 5

San Jorge / Saint George April 23

San Marcos / Saint Mark April 25

Santa Catalina / Saint Catherine April 29

 

 

 

October

Santa Teresa de Liseux / Saint Therese of Lisieux October 1

San Francisco de Asis / Saint Francis of Assisi October 4

Nuestra Sentora del Rosario / Our Lady of the Rosary October 8

Santa Teresa de Avila / Saint Teresa of Avila October 15

San Lucas / Saint Luke October 18

San Rafael Arcangel / Saint Raphael the Archangel October 24 & September 29

San Judas / Saint Jude October 28

May


Saint James the Less May 3

San Miguel Arcangel / Saint Michael the Archangel May 8 and September 29

San Ysidro Labrador / Saint Isidore the Farmer and
Santa Maria Toribia de la Cabeza (the wife of san Ysidro) May 15

San Juan Nepomuceno / Saint John Nepomuk May 16

San Pascual Baylon / Saint Pascual May 17

Nuestra Señora de la Luz / Our Lady of Light May 21

Santa Rita de Casia / Saint Rita of Cascia May 22

San Felipe de Neri / Saint Philip of Neri May 26

Saint Joan of Arc May 30

November

Todos Santos / All Saints Day November 1

San Marin de Porres / Saint Martin of the Poor November 3

San Martin de Tours / Saint Martin of Tours November 11

Santa Gertrudis / Saint Gertrude November 16

Santa Cecllia / Saint Cecilia November 22

San Andres / Saint Andrew November 30



 


June

San Antonio de Padua / Saint Anthony June 13

Saint Vitus June 15

San Luis Gonzaga / Saint Aloysius Gonzaga June 21

San Acacio / Saint Acacius of Mount Ararat June 22

San Juan Baptista / Saint John the Baptist June 24

San Pedro Apostol / Saint Peter the Apostle June 29



December

Santa Barbara / Saint Barbara December 4

San Nicolas Obispo / Saint Nicholas of Myra
December 6

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe / Our Lady of Guadalupe December 12

Nuestra Señora de la Purisima / Immaculate Conception December 8

Santa Lucia / Saint Lucy December 13

Santo Niño / Infant Crist Christmas

Santo Niño de Atocha / Holy Child of Atocha

San Juan Evangelisata / Saint John the Divine December 27