On the journey to Heaven, many of us will face situations that seem hopeless and impossible. In moments like these, it can be easy to give into despair and to give up hope. The cross that Christ offers may seem unbearably heavy.
If you’re praying for what seems like an impossible petition, you’re not alone. There are many saints who are the patrons of impossible causes. You can read three of their life stories below, and find a prayer for their special intercession!
1. Saint Jude
Saint Jude was one of the twelve called by Christ to follow Him as an apostle. He preached the Gospel after Christ’s Ascension and was martyred for his faith when preaching in Persia. He is the patron saint of impossible causes because he urges Christians to stay close to Christ during hard times. We petition his intercession, praying:
“Most holy Apostle, Saint Jude Thaddeus, friend of Jesus, I place myself in your care at this difficult time. Help me know that I need not face my troubles alone. Please join me in my need, asking God to send me: consolation in my sorrow, courage in my fear, and healing in the midst of my suffering. Ask our loving Lord to fill me with the grace to accept whatever may lie ahead for me and my loved ones, and to strengthen my faith in God’s healing powers. Thank you, Saint Jude Thaddeus, for the promise of hope you hold out to all who believe, and inspire me to give this gift of hope to others as it has been given to me.”
Saint Jude, apostle of hope, pray for us!
2. Saint Philomena
Not much is known about Saint Philomena, whose name means “daughter of light.” When she was a young teenager, she took a vow of virginity. The Emperor Diocletian wanted to marry her, but she refused and was thrown into prison. She endured awful torture, and was finally beheaded. Her tomb was discovered in 1802. There are so many miracles attributed to her intercession that she was canonized based solely on the miraculous events and her death as a martyr. We intercede to Saint Philomena, praying:
“O faithful and glorious martyr, Saint Philomena, who works so many miracles on behalf of the poor and sorrowing, have pity on me. You know the multitude and diversity of my needs. Behold me at your feet, full of misery, but full of hope. I entreat your charity, oh great saint! Graciously hear me and obtain from God a favorable answer to the request which I now humbly lay before you (here specify your petition).
I am firmly convinced that through your merits, through the scorn, the sufferings and the death you endured, united to the merits of the Passion and death of Jesus, your Spouse, I shall obtain what I ask of you, and in the joy of my heart I will bless God, who is admirable in His Saints. Amen.”
Saint Philomena, powerful with God, pray for us!
3. Saint Rita of Cascia
Saint Rita of Cascia was born in the late 1300s in Italy. Although she desired to enter religious life, her parents arranged her marriage to a man who was both unfaithful and cruel. She prayed twenty years for his conversion, but shortly after he came to know the faith, he was murdered. Shortly after, her two sons died. After many attempts, she was finally allowed to enter into an Augustinian convent, where she tended to those dying from the plague. We request her intercession for impossible causes:
“O powerful St. Rita, rightly called Saint of the Impossible, I come to you with confidence in my great need. You know well my trials, for you yourself were many times burdened in this life. Come to my help, speak for me, pray with me, intercede on my behalf before the Father. I know that God has a most generous heart and that he is a most loving Father. Join your prayers to mine and obtain for me the grace I desire (here mention your request).
You who were so very pleasing to God on earth and are so much so now in heaven, I promise to use this favor, when granted, to better my life, to proclaim God’s mercy, and to make you more widely known and loved. Amen.”
Saint Rita of Cascia, bride of Jesus crucified, pray for us!