History likes to repeat itself. Around 700 years ago people devastated by the effect of the Black Death turned to God through the intercession of the very special Saints. Who are the 14 Holy Helpers? Known for their miraculous interventions, are they our deliverance from the plague of our time? Each of the 14 Holy Helpers was chosen especially for their patronage over suffering and assisting trials, so it would be a great shame not to ask them for help again.
Who are the 14 Holy Helpers?
This heavenly team is also known under the name of 14 Auxiliary Saints. Group of 14 well-known saints considered extremely effective, especially in the case of diseases, was assembled by the Catholic Church when faced with Black Plaque, which was devastating Europe from 1346 to 1349. It was a very serious illness, able to kill within few hours, with symptoms including black tongue, extremely dry throat, fever, strong headache and boils on the abdomen. It is estimated that “The Black Death” killed around 50 million people, what would be 60% of the population back then.
Most of the Holy Helpers lived at the turn of the 3rd and 4th century, during the reign of Emperor Diocletian, when persecution of Christians was at it worst. As a result 13 out of 14 Holy Helpers were martyred.
Each of the Holy Helpers has their own feast day, but as a group they were remembered on 8 August (1969 reform of the Catholic Church calendar removed this date permanently)
Vision of Baby Jesus surrounded by 14 children
The devotion which started during the pandemic of the Black Death was confirmed and reactivated in the 15th century through the apparitions experienced by the shepard called Herman Leicht from Bavaria. He had 3 visions of Baby Jesus surrounded by 14 children in white and red robes with red crosses in their hearts, which were introduced as the 14 Holy Helpers. He asked for the church to be build in the place of apparitions, which would be dedicated to our Saints, were people would ask for their intercession. All praying were instructed to entrust to them their worries, needs, difficulties and especially diseases.
The church which was build in Langheim, was devastated in the 16th century. Second church was to small, so the third one was build. The center of the cult right now is in Basilica of Vierzehnheiligen (meaning Fourteen Saints) in Germany, which was build from 1743 to 1772. The alter of the 14 Holy Helpers is the main feature of that church and is still a destination of numerous pilgrimages to this day.
Few words about each of the 14 Holy Helpers
- St Christopher also known as a Christophorus. His feast day is on the 25th of July, martyr, invoked against the plague and sudden death. Best known for being Patron of travelers and motorists. He is usually pictured carrying baby Jesus on his shoulder. (read article about St Christopher here)
- St Denis of Paris known as a Dionysius, invoked against headaches, rabies and demonic possession. His feast day is on 9th of October. Bishop and martyr. If you see a picture of a Saint carrying his head in his head, you know it’s him.
- St Blaise invoked for a throat problems, his feast day takes place on the 3th of February, Bishop and martyr. Till these days in some churches takes place ceremony, during which priest blesses peoples throats with two crossed candles.
- St Erasmus or St Elmo is invoked against colic and cramps, diseases of the stomach and intestine, with a feast day on 2nd of June, Bishop and martyr. During his torture he had hot iron hooks struck into his intestines. He survived these wounds which is why he is invoked for intestinal problems.
- St Margaret of Antioch is invoked for headache, backache and diabolic possession. She is patron of women in childbirth. Her feast day comes on 2nd of July, virgin and martyr, died by beheading.
- St Catherine of Alexandria invoked against sudden death and diseases of the tongue, patron Saint of students, teachers and librarians. Her feast day is on 25th of November.
- St Eustachius, also known as a St Eustace invoked in difficult situations, family troubles and protection from fire. Feast day on the 20th of September. St. Eustace was martyred in the year 118 by being burned inside a bronze bull.
- St Barbara invoked against sudden and unprovided death, fire and fever. Virgin and martyr with a feast day on the 4th of December. Beheaded by her father, who was immediately struck dead by lightning.
- St George is invoked for the protection from herpes disease and for over domestic animals. His feast day is on the 23th of April. He died a martyr after being beheaded. Legend tells us that St. George killed a dragon which was threatening the townspeople. He made the sign of the cross and then killed it with a lance.
- St Pantaleon patron of physicians and midwives, protects from tuberculosis and cancer. His feast day is on 27th of July. He died nailed to a tree and beheaded.
- St Cyriac or Cyriacus, invoked against diabolic possession and temptation, especially at the time of death, also diseases of the eyes, with a feast day on the 8th of August. Deacon and martyr, he was tortured and beheaded.
- St Giles helps with epilepsy, mental illness and nightmares, invoked against the plague, panic, madness and for a good confession. Feast day on the 1st of September. He was hermit and abbot and as the only one out of 14 Saints he was not martyred but died of natural causes.
- St Vitus (or St Guy) invoked against chorea, epilepsy, lethargy, storms and bites of animals. His feast day is on 15th of June, martyr. Patron of dancer and actors. St. Vitus is pictured with his cross.
- St Achatius of Byzantium invoked against headaches and at the time of agony. Martyr, with the feast day on the 8th of May. Beheaded in the persecution of Diocletian.
Would you like to ask 14 Holy Helpers for protection in those difficult times? Do you have problems you need help with? Here you have some prayers to our Hevenly Team. They are waiting…
Litany of the fourteen Holy Helpers
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us
Holy Mary, Queen of Martyrs, Pray for us
St. Joseph, helper in all needs, Pray for us
Fourteen Holy Helpers, Pray for us
St. George, valiant martyr of Christ, Pray for us
St. Blaise, zealous bishop and benefactor of the poor, Pray for us
St. Erasmus, mighty protector of the oppressed, Pray for us
St. Pantaleon, miraculous exemplar of charity, Pray for us
St. Vitus, special protector of chastity, Pray for us
St. Christophorus, mighty intercessor in dangers, Pray for us
St. Dionysius, shining mirror of faith and confidence, Pray for us
St. Cyriacus, terror of hell, Pray for us
St. Achatius, helpful advocate in death, Pray for us
St. Eustachius, exemplar of patience in adversity, Pray for us
St. Giles, despiser of the world, Pray for us
St. Margaret, valiant champion of the Faith, Pray for us
St. Catherine, victorious defender of the faith and of purity, Pray for us
St. Barbara, mighty patroness of the dying, Pray for us
All you Holy Helpers, Pray for us
All you saints of God, Pray for us
In temptations against faith, Pray for us
In adversity and trials, Pray for us
In anxiety and want, Pray for us
In every combat, Pray for us
In every temptation, Pray for us
In sickness, Pray for us
In all needs, Pray for us
In fear and terror, Pray for us
In dangers of salvation, Pray for us
In dangers of honor, Pray for us
In dangers of reputation, Pray for us
In dangers of property, Pray for us
In dangers by fire and water, Pray for us
Be merciful, spare us, O Lord!
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord!
From all sin, Deliver us O Lord!
From Thy wrath, Deliver us O Lord!
From the scourge of earthquake, Deliver us O Lord!
From plague, famine, and war, Deliver us O Lord!
From lightning and storms, Deliver us O Lord!
From a sudden and unprovided death, Deliver us O Lord!
From eternal damnation, Deliver us O Lord!
Through the mystery of Thy holy incarnation, Deliver us O Lord!
Through Thy birth and Thy life, Deliver us o Lord!
Through Thy cross and passion, Deliver us O Lord!
Through Thy death and burial, Deliver us O Lord!
Through the merits of Thy Blessed Mother Mary, Deliver us O Lord!
Through the merits of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, Deliver us O Lord!
On the Day of Judgment, Deliver us O Lord!
We sinners, beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou spare us, We beseech Thee, hear us
That Thou pardon us, We beseech Thee, hear us
That Thou convert us to true penance, We beseech Thee, hear us
That Thou give and preserve the fruits of the earth, We beseech Thee, hear us
That Thou protect and propagate Thy holy Church, We beseech Thee, hear us
That Thou preserve peace and concord among the nations, We beseech Thee, hear us
That Thou give eternal rest to the souls of the departed, We beseech Thee, hear us
That Thou come to our aid through the intercession of the Holy Helpers, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of St. George Thou preserve us in the Faith, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of St. Blaise Thou confirm us in hope, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of St. Erasmus Thou enkindle in us Thy holy love, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of St. Pantaleon Thou give us charity for our neighbor, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of St. Vitus Thou teach us the value of our soul, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of St. Christopher Thou preserve us from sin, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of St. Denis Thou give us tranquility of conscience, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of St. Cyriac Thou grant us resignation to Thy holy will, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of St. Eustace Thou give us patience in adversity, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of St. Acacius Thou grant us a happy death, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of St. Giles Thou grant us a merciful judgment, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of St. Margaret Thou preserve us from hell, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of St. Catherine Thou shorten our purgatory, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of St. Barbara Thou receive us in heaven, We beseech Thee, hear us
That through the intercession of all the Holy Helpers Thou wilt grant our prayers, We beseech Thee, hear us
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.
V. Pray for us, you Fourteen Holy Helpers.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promise of Christ
Let us pray
Almighty and eternal God, Who has bestowed extraordinary graces and gifts on Your Saints George, Blaise, Erasmus, Pantaleon, Vitus, Christopher, Denis, Cyriac, Eustace, Acacius, Giles, Margaret, Catherine, and Barbara, and has glorified them by miracles; we beseech You to graciously hear the petitions of all who invoke their intercession. Through Christ our Lord.
O God, Who miraculously fortified the Fourteen Holy Helpers in the confession of the True Faith, grant us, we beseech You, to imitate their fortitude in overcoming all temptations against the Faith, and protect us through their intercession in all dangers of soul and body, so that we may serve You in purity of heart and chastity of body. Through Christ our Lord.
INVOCATION OF THE HOLY HELPERS
“Fourteen Holy Helpers, who served God in humility and confidence on earth and are now in the enjoyment of His presence in Heaven, because you persevered until death you gained the crown of eternal life. Remember the dangers that surround us in this valley of tears, and intercede for us in all our needs and adversities”