Q. 1. I heard a mention of the 14 Holy Helpers. Can you give me more information on that?
A. 1. During medieval times, particularly during the Black Plague, devotion arose for the Fourteen Holy Helpers, also known as the "Auxiliary Saints." The Fourteen "Auxiliary Saints" or "Holy Helpers" are a group of saints that are invoked because they have been efficacious in assisting mankind during trials and sufferings. They are invoked as a group, mainly because of their help during the Black Plague that devastated Europe from 1346 to 1349.
Q. 2. What is the name of the 14 Holy Helpers?
A. 2. The fourteen Holy Helpers are:
1. St. George (April 23rd), soldier-martyr. Invoked for protection for domestic animals and against herpetic diseases. Also patron of soldiers, England, Portugal, Germany, Aragon, Genoa and Venice. He is pictured striking down a dragon.
2. St. Blaise was a native of Sebaste in Armenia and became bishop of his native city. He had to go into hiding to escape continual persecution, but was finally arrested, atrociously tortured and put to death, under Licinius, in 316.
3. St. Erasmus (also St. Elmo) (June 2nd), bishop and martyr. He is invoked against diseases of the stomach and intestine, protection for domestic animals and patron of sailors. He is pictured with his entrails wound around a windlass.
4. St. Pantaleon (July 27th), martyr. Invoked against consumption, protection for domestic animals and patron of physicians and midwives. He is pictured with his hands nailed together.
5. St. Vitus (also St. Guy) (June 15th), martyr. Invoked in epilepsy, chorea ("St. Vitus' dance"), lethargy, and the bites of poisonous or mad animals and against storms. Also protection for domestic animals. Patron of dancer and actors. St. Vitus is pictured with his cross.
6. St. Christopher (also Christophorus) (July 25th), martyr. Invoked against the plague and sudden death. He is the patron of travelers, especially motorists, and is also invoked in storms. Usually pictured carrying the Child Jesus on his shoulder.
7. St. Denis (also Dionysius) (October 9th), bishop and martyr. Invoked against diabolical possession and headaches. Pictured carrying his head in his hands.
8. St. Cyriacus (also Cyriac) (August 8th), deacon and martyr. Invoked against diseases of the eye and diabolical possession. Also interceded for those in temptation, especially at the time of death. He is usually pictured as vested as a deacon.
9. St. Acathius (also Acacius) (May 8th), martyr. Invoked against headaches and at the time of death's agony. He is pictured with a crown of thorns.
10. St. Eustace (also Eustachius, Eustathius) (September 20th), martyr. Invoked against fire — temporal and eternal. Patron of hunters. Patron in all kinds of difficulties, and invoked in family troubles. Pictured with a stag and hunting equipment.
11. St. Giles (also Aegidius) (September 1st), hermit and abbot. Invoked against the plague, panic, epilepsy, madness, and nightmares and for a good confession. Patron of cripples, beggars, and breastfeeding mothers. He is pictured in a monastic cowl with a hind (deer).
12. St. Margaret of Antioch (July 20th), virgin and martyr. Invoked against backache. Patron for women in childbirth. She is pictured holding a dragon in chains.
13. St. Catherine of Alexandria (also Catharine) (November 25th), virgin and martyr. Invoked against diseases of the tongue, protection against a sudden and unprovided death. Patroness of Christian philosophers, of maidens, preachers, wheelwrights, and mechanics. She is also invoked by students, orators, and barristers as "the wise counselor." She is pictured with a broken wheel.
14. St. Barbara (December 4th), virgin and martyr. Invoked against fever, lightning, fire and sudden death. Patron of builders, artillerymen and miners. St. Barbara is pictured with a tower and ciborium with a host above it.