Quote of the Day – 25 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Memorial of St Christopher (died c 251) One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers
The Fourteen Holy Helpers: – Plague Saints for a time of plague!
In the middle of the 14th century, the Plague – also called “The Black Death” and the “The Greatest Catastrophe Ever” – ravaged Europe, killing 50 million people, or about 60% of the population, within a few years (a vastly higher death rate than any ‘pandemic’ since.)
Layering dead bodies in pits, watching loved ones succumb to the ravages of a ghastly illness, people turned to the Almighty and All-powerful Physician for help.
It was at this time that the Fourteen Holy Helpers came to be invoked against the Plague and other misfortunes. As we face true death – the death of everything we know and love, even any form of Catholic life and any Catholic lifesigns, let us turn to true FAITH – no mask needed – and revive the assistance of these gracious and efficacious Holy Helpers.
Prayer to the Fourteen Holy Helpers
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Doctor of the Church
Great princes of Heaven, Holy Helpers,
who sacrificed to God all your earthly possessions,
wealth, preferment and even life
and who now are crowned in Heaven
in the secure enjoyment of eternal bliss and glory;
have compassion on me,
a poor sinner in this vale of tears
and obtain for me from God,
for Whom you gave up all things
and Who loves you as His servants,
the strength to bear patiently all the trials of this life,
to overcome all temptations
and to persevere in God’s service to the end,
that one day I too may be received into your company,
to praise and glorify Him, the supreme Lord,
Whose Beatific Vision you enjoy
and Whom you praise and glorify forever.
The “fourteen angels” of the lost children’s prayer in the Composer, Engelbert Humperdinck’s (1854-1921) (not the popular Welsh singer) fairy opera, ‘Hansel and Gretel’, are the Fourteen Holy Helpers. The English words are familiar and very beautiful:
When at night, I go to sleep,
Fourteen angels, watch do keep,
Two my head are guarding,
Two my feet are guiding;
Two upon my right hand,
Two upon my left hand.
Two who warmly cover
Two who o’er me hover,
Two to whom ’tis given
To guide my steps to Heaven.