Our canonized and beatified elder brothers and sisters in the Faith can educate us in the school of holiness. As you begin the new academic year in your role as a teacher, turn to the following three patrons as a source of inspiration, guidance, intercession and heavenly friendship.
As the patron of employment and workers, St. Joseph is a fitting intercessor for your vocation as a teacher. He was skilled in his trade and can aid you in carrying out your work with excellence — including reverence for those under your direction as well as humility in exercising authority over those in your charge.
Perhaps better than anyone, St. Joseph understands the weight of responsibility of having someone else’s child commended to one’s guidance, care and instruction. As the Heavenly Father entrusted His Divine Son to St. Joseph, parents entrust their sons and daughters to you as their teacher.
St. Joseph modeled virtue and righteousness (Mt 1:19) to the boy Jesus; he was knowledgeable about, and observant of, the Scriptures; he was attuned to the inspiration of God; he listened and obeyed — all worthy attributes of a godly teacher.
Talk about having a gifted student; this simple carpenter taught the Second Person of the Holy Trinity! Under Joseph’s tutelage Jesus grew in “wisdom and age and favor before God and man” (Lk 2:52).
In this year devoted to him, ask St. Joseph to help you build a house of wisdom (Prov 24:3) in your students.
St. Albert the Great
Truly, anyone with a name like “Albertus Magnus” makes for a worthy —and incredible — patron.
St. Albert was a member of the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans), which is devoted to study, teaching and preaching. He is the patron saint of the natural sciences, scientists and philosophers.
The 13th-century saint was learned in —and made contributions to —scores of disciplines including astronomy, psychology, geography, diplomacy, meteorology, law, mineralogy, logic, theology, botany, metaphysics and zoology.
St. Albert was a person of immense learning who powerfully imparted his knowledge on those he taught. Most notable of his students is his fellow Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, who, fittingly, is the patron of students.
Considering that Aquinas was called a “dumb ox,” on account of his demeanour and perhaps even his physique, it would be fair to assume that St. Albert wasn’t cowed (pun intended) by the comments and perspective of others regarding his students. Rather, he was able to evoke the best from those he taught and enable them to realize the full extent of their abilities, potential and calling. Of Thomas, he prophesied that this ox’s bellow would be heard throughout the world.
Blessed Maria (Corsini) Beltrame Quattrocchi
Having died in 1965, Blessed Maria is a modern example of a laywoman who lived well the vocation of wife, mother and educator. She and her husband “lived an ordinary life in an extraordinary way” as Pope St. John Paul II described at their beatification.
As a child, Maria received an exemplary education at both parochial and public schools. She herself became a professor. She taught and wrote about education. In one of her publications, Radiography of a Marriage, Blessed Maria said, “educating children is the ‘art of all arts.’” This wisdom could be extended beyond the maternal instruction of her four children to students in the classroom.
Along with her husband, Blessed Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi, Maria helped establish a scouting group for poor youth in Rome. As Pope John Paul said, she and Luigi lived “with great human intensity … dedicating themselves generously to their children, to teach them, guide them and direct them to discovering” God’s “plan of love.” The couple gracefully navigated many difficult periods of history such as Mussolini’s fascist regime and the Nazi occupation of Rome. In all these circumstances Blessed Maria was a woman of faith in action, from being a catechist to a volunteer nurse with the Red Cross during World War II.
Even the miracle that would advance her beatification points to her relationship with the formation of youth. The young man, who was cured from a circulatory disorder, became a neurosurgeon. Blessed Maria, pray for us.
Other resources for Blessed Maria:
From Simply Catholic:
Homily at her Beatification:
An Association dedicated to her and her husband:
Other articles and resources: