AKA: The Sick, Good Health, Illness
We are all in need of healing, be it physical, mental or spiritual. Health problems and prayers for protection against them features prominently in Christianity. It goes back to the beginning with Jesus himself spending much of his time healing the sick and dying. There are a plethora of saints who are invoked for particular health issues like cancer, mental illness, anxiety and heart problems. As well as those appealed to for healers like Doctors and Nurses. This list of patron saints, however, is focused on those who are commonly called upon for general healing and health.
Who is the Patron Saint of Healing
The most common name called upon as the Patron Saint of Healing is St. Raphael the Archangel. Some other saints, however, that can intercede for the sick include St. Camillus de Lellis, St. John of God, St. Bernadette Soubirous and Our Lady of Lourdes. All are wonderful patrons of healing.
St. Raphael was one of the three archangels actually mentioned by name in the Bible. In the Book of Tobit, he reveals himself as a healer of mind, body and spirit. St. Raphael brought about healing by accompanying Tobit’s son, Tobias, on a journey to find a special kind of fish liver with healing properties. Returning home with his bride Sarah, Tobias laid the fish liver on Tobit’s eyes and his blindness was healed. On top of that, while not directly mentioned but understood through tradition, St. Raphael is believed to be the angel that stirred the waters at the healing sheep pool in Bethesda mentioned in the Book of John.
If that was not enough, the word Raphael in Hebrew can be rendered as “God heals,” “Divine Healer,” or “Remedy of God.” His angelic mission on earth is to heal, which is very important for those suffering illness in any way.
St. Camillus de Lellis was wounded in his left leg while fighting with the Turks and found to be incurable. To make up for the loss, he committed himself to a life of prayer and penance. Pained by seeing the quality of care given to the sick, he formed an association of Catholics who would provide both physical and spiritual care. This group became the Ministers of the Sick also called the Camillians. Members of the group worked in hospitals, prisons and even the homes of those afflicted by disease. Camillus himself suffered illness throughout his life on top of his leg and was said at the end of his life to have spent time with the sick, unable to walk, crawling from bed to bed.
St. John of God, similar to Camillus, lived a carefree life as a soldier and later felt guilty. He converted and sought ways to amend his ways and eventually became a humble bookseller. Shortly after hearing a sermon by St. John of Avila, John had a mental breakdown because of his guilt and sadness and was put in a lunatic asylum. After leaving the asylum, he devoted himself to the sick and poor and founded the Order of Brothers Hospitalers.
St. Bernadette Soubirous was a small, young girl who suffered from asthma. One day she was visited by the Virgin Mary as she gathered firewood by a grotto. Mary appeared to Bernadette eighteen times over 5 month’s time. During one of the apparitions, Mary asked Bernadette to drink from a spring in the grotto but she could not find it. She dug with her hands in the dirt and a spring of water began bubbling up. For many years to follow, there were many miraculous healings, both physical and spiritual, at that grotto spring in Lourdes. Bernadette spent the rest of her life in a Sisters of Charity convent eventually working as an assistant in the infirmary. At an early age, she contracted tuberculosis and later died from it. Because of the numerous healings at Lourdes and her own health issues, she was named the Patron Saint of Bodily Ills.
Our Lady of Lourdes, the title of Mary given to the apparitions by St. Bernadette, is officially endorsed by the Catholic Church. Over many years, more than seven thousand pilgrams have claimed to have been healed after bathing in or drinking the water found in the Lourdes grotto with close to 70 of those officially declared miraculous.
Click here for our list of Patron Saints.
Prayers for Healing
Saint Raphael Healing Prayer
Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners. I beg you, assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the “medicine of God” I humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of my soul and the ills that afflict my body. I especially ask of you the favor (here mention your special intention), and the great grace of purity to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes Prayer for Healing
O ever-Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comforter of the afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; look with mercy on me. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors; and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with complete confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the grant of my requests. (mention your petition) Through gratitude for your favors, I will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that I may one day share your glory, and bless you in eternity. Amen.
Related Patron Saint Jewelry and Rosaries
Buy some beautiful St. Raphael, St. Camillus, St. John of God, St. Bernadette Soubirous or Our Lady of Lourdes jewelry to keep you or your loved one close to the patron saint of healing and be a symbol of your faith.