Saints of God, pray for us
Holy Helpers in Heaven
As the Bubonic plague, commonly referred to as the Black Death, gripped the world in the 14th century, the faithful sought heavenly aid to withstand the suffering caused by the plague.
They invoked the Our Blessed Lady and the saints for protection against the plague. One of the most interesting and enduring of these devotions comes from Western Germany where fourteen saints were venerated together as the “Fourteen Holy Helpers”.
Today, the world once again suffers from a pandemic, the Coronavirus. Though medicine and science have surely advanced since the 14th century, and we know much more about diseases and how they spread than our forebears, maybe those Christians of the past can teach us an important lesson: the lesson of faith and trust in God.
The Catholic News Agency has information here
about the Fourteen Holy helpers, including a Collect for their feast in the Missal of Bamberg:
“Almighty and merciful God,
who didst adorn Thy Saints
George, Blase, Erasmus, Pantaleon,
Vitus, Christopher, Denis, Cyriacus, Acacius,
Eustace, Giles, Margaret, Barbara and Catherine
with special privileges above all others,
so that all who in their necessities implore their help,
according to the grace of Thy promise,
may attain the salutary effect of their pleading,
grant to us, we beseech Thee,
forgiveness of our sins,
and with their merits interceding,
deliver us from all adversities,
and kindly hear our prayers.”
And here is a novena of prayer including invocation of the prayers of various saints traditionally invoked during a time of disease.