Over 5 million US nurses work on the front lines of disease prevention and delivery of compassionate health care. In every community, large and small, they provide skilled and practiced care from prenatal care to the end of life. They are often the first and sometimes only health professional a patient will ever see. They are the glue that holds a patient’s health care journey together and are often the unsung heroes in our healthcare systems, taking care of the ill, disabled and dying. Not to mention doctors couldn't do what they do without the help of nurses especially in hospitals.
At the heart of nursing, lies a core respect for human dignity and an instinct for a patient’s needs. Nurses work tirelessly to identify and protect the needs of the individual. They have a time-honored reputation for dedication and devotion. Despite this dedication and devotion, they are human after all and can grow tired and weary. Who better to have a wonderful saint to confide in and ask for intercession in their times of need.
Who is the Patron Saint of Nurses
There are several Patron Saint of Nurses including St. Agatha of Sicily, St. Camillus de Lellis, St. Catherine of Siena and St. Elizabeth of Hungary. If you are looking for general healing, then look at the Patron Saint of Healing.
The most well-known Patron Saint of Nurses is St. Agatha of Sicily in spite of the fact that she was never a nurse or caregiver herself. So many nurses however look up to her because of her noble acts and values she lived amid great difficulty. St. Agatha is a constant reminder to them that all the difficulties they face are worth enduring because it is for a great and honorable cause. Her devotion and steadfast resiliency embody a kind of character that every nurse recognizes and hopes to embrace in their role of taking care of the sick.
Another well-known saint for nurses is St. Camillus de Lellis naturally because he is also a Patron Saint of Healing. He started a Catholic group called the Minsters of the Sick who worked in hospitals, prisons and homes of the sick. St. Camillus himself suffered many illnesses during his life and was even so sick near the end of his life that he couldn’t walk but still nursed the sick by crawling from bed to bed.
St. Catherine of Siena was the youngest of 25 children and started her life as a Third Order Dominican at the tender age of 16. There she was devoted to prayer during which time she had many mystical experiences. She was later called by God to be more active in her ministry. She nursed the sick at hospitals and devoted herself to caring for patients with particularly dreadful diseases such as leprosy and advanced cancer. One great example of her commitment was when she worked tirelessly to care for the sick during the plague outbreak in Siena. St. Catherine of Siena also suffered health problems during her life and even received the stigmata, the five wounds of Christ.
St. Elizabeth of Hungary was royalty but became known for her great charity by building hospitals even at the foot of her castle. After her husband Ludwig died of the plague, St. Elizabeth of Hungary was pushed out with accusations of mismanaging his estate because of her charity. She later became a Third Order Franciscan and devoted herself to serving and caring for the sick, the aged and the orphans at a hospice in Marburg. In spite of her royalty, she lived a life of poverty and humility.
Click here for our list of Patron Saints.
Prayers for Nurses
St. Agatha Prayer for Nurses
Dear Virgin and Martyr, whom the Church recalls in her liturgy, you heroically resisted the temptations of a degenerate ruler. Subjected to long and horrible tortures, you remained faithful to your heavenly Spouse. Saint Peter, we are told, gave you some solace and so you are invoked by nurses. Encourage them to see Christ in the sick and to render true service to them. Amen.
St. Catherine Prayer to Nurses
O merciful Father, we pray for our nurses and all those whom you have called the arts of healing the sick and the prevention of disease and pain. Strengthen them in body and soul, and bless their work, that they may give comfort to those for whose salvation your Son became Man, lived on this earth, healed the sick, and suffered and died on the Cross. Amen.
Related Patron Saint Jewelry and Rosaries
Buy some beautiful St. Agatha, St. Camillus, St. Catherine or St. Elizabeth jewelry to keep you or your loved one close to the patron saint of nurses and be a symbol of your faith.