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Get Through the School Year with These 5 Saints | Keep God in Life

Another school year is about to begin and students everywhere are already stressing about their dwindling freedoms. Classes begin, and with it comes homework, studying, and the dreaded tests. Take your worries away by asking these five saints to intercede in prayer, giving you the confidence and focus you need to succeed this school year. 

Saint Thomas Aquinas: The Patron Saint of Students & Schools

St. Thomas Aquinas believed that while we all have a desire for knowledge, curiosity must be controlled. What he meant by this was, knowledge should have the goodness and truth at its core. We need to avoid the pitfalls of less gratifying diversions, or, the shiny object effect, so to speak.

Technology is an amazing thing, however it has some drawbacks. The internet encourages curiosities that have the ability to derail our afternoons, click by click, scroll after scroll. These minutes quickly turn to hours and seemingly faster turn to days and months. Our prayer for intercession to Aquinas is to ask that we avoid distractions that pull us from the true pursuit of knowledge. Check out this prayer written by Thomas Aquinas himself:

Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, origin of all being, graciously let a ray of your light penetrate the darkness of my understanding. Take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, an obscurity of sin and ignorance. Give me a keen understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally. Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm. Point out the beginning, direct the progress, and help in the completion. I ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Francis De Sales: Patron Saint of Adult Education, Journalism, and Writing

Born to a noble family near Geneva, Switzerland, Francis was born both intelligent yet gentle. From a very early age, he had the desire to serve the Lord. He knew for years that he wanted to be a priest, but kept it from his family as it differed with their dreams for him, until eventually making it a reality in his adult life. 

Francis was sent by the Bishop to trudge through the areas of Geneva on a mission to convert the Protestant citizens. He had doors slammed in his face and stones thrown at him. In the bitter cold winters, his feet froze so bad they bled. 

Because so few even opened the door for him, Francis began to write simple and clear explanations for the Catholic faith, by hand, and would slide them underneath doors. Slowly, because of his gentle disposition, people began to listen. By the time he left for home, over 40,000 Genevans had been converted because of his work.

Saint Francis De Sales was named a Doctor of the Church after his death in 1622. He is the patron saint of adult education, journalists, and writers. Keep St. Francis De Sales with you as you write your essays for a spark of extra wisdom.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle: Patron Saint of Education

Saint John Baptist de La Salle was the son of wealthy parents living in France. After his parents died, he assumed the administration of his family affairs and then completed his theological studies and was ordained a priest in 1678. Just two years later, he received a doctorate in theology.

At this point, John Baptist de La Salle became involved with a group of barely literate men in order to establish schools for poor children. Few people could afford to send their kids to school in this time period. He was determined to put his own education and talents at the service of children who needed it most. 

Saint John Baptist de La Salle then renounced his position as Canon, along with his wealth, and formed the community known as the Brothers of the Christian Schools. This group succeeded in creating a network of quality schools throughout France.

Because of his work in the education system, he became the Patron Saint of those working in the field of education. 

Saint Gregory the Great: Patron Saint of Teachers and Musicians

Another saint born into a powerful family, St. Gregory the Great was born to powerful parents in Rome. At age two, the Plague of Justinian swept through the region- the most deadly outbreak the world had seen prior to the Black Plague. About a third of Italy was wiped out. Gregory survived.

Into adulthood, Gregory excelled in his studies and became an expert in law. In the year 590, he became Pope by acclamation. He then became famous for his missionary work; Gregory sent out many to bring others to Jesus. He became well-known for his alms to the poor and gave quite generously- he even went as far as ordering his clergy to go into the streets to find and care for the poor in person. When famine struck Rome, Gregory used the church's assets to feed the poor, giving away thousands of miles of produce for free. 

Because of his commitment to teaching the gospel and his development of musical expression within the Church, Saint Gregory the Great is now venerated as the Patron Saint of teachers and musicians.

Saint Joseph of Cupertino: Patron Saint of Test Taking

Unlike some of the other saints on this list, St. Joseph of Cupertino was not born into a wealthy family. Joseph was purported to be slow and absent-minded. Awkward and nervous, Joseph struggled fitting in with others. He attempted to learn the trade of shoemaking and ultimately failed. His attempts to become a Franciscan were rejected, and just eight months after joining the Capuchins he was let go because of his inability to do anything right.

At eighteen, Joseph attempted to join numerous Monasteries, and was rejected over and over. Eventually, one agreed to take him on as a lay-brother. Forgetful and difficult to teach, it got to the point where Joseph could not even be trusted to serve bread, and he was let go. 

This was the hardest day in Joseph's life. He wandered the streets and was either given trouble or ignored by all whom he passed. He found himself in the village of which his uncle lived and saw himself pushed out without a single coin to help himself. Lastly, he made his way to his mother's house. When she saw his condition and heard what happened, she was ashamed of her son and told to go away. 

With nowhere left to turn, Joseph looked to become a servant. He eventually was appointed the keeper of the monastery mule. He took the clothes and food he was given with no complaints and slept on a plank in the stable. It was good enough for him.

In spite of his troubles, Joseph had a merry heart. The simplest joys would have him smiling and laughing, and Friars began to take notice. He was always there to welcome them, smiling and joyful. Joseph was so happy to serve and his lightheartedness was contagious.

Matters began to be discussed up the ladder, and it was decided that Joseph would be given another trial as a Franciscan. Then, he gave studying for priesthood a shot, and struggled as he did his whole life with reading and writing. The evening before his exam, he prayed that the one question he knew would be on his exam, and alas, it was. Because of this, Saint Joseph of Cupertino became known as the patron saint of test takers.

The Holy Spirit worked many miracles through Saint Joseph of Cupertino in his lifetime. His love of God was so strong he was often seen levitating during prayer. 

As you get back into the swing of school, weather as a student or a teacher, learn in comfort knowing that you have these saints by your side.

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