November 25, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
34°F

What’s in a name? County churches reflect favorites

By JUDY A. TOTTS
Religion Editor

Throughout Medina County, many churches, both Catholic and Protestant, have taken a saint’s name. Each saint is associated with a certain area of blessing expertise. Here are a few you’ll probably recognize, with information provided by the Catholic Online Web site at www.catholic.org:

St. Colette — Born Jan. 13, 1381 in Picardy, France, Colette founded the order of Colettine (Poor Clares). Her father served as the carpenter of the Benedictine Abbey of Corbie at Picardy. She practiced extreme poverty and advocated going barefooted as well as perpetual fast and abstinence. She died March 6, 1447.

St. Francis Xavier — Patron of all foreign missions, St. Francis Xavier worked with Ignatius Loyola and was one of seven who founded the Society of Jesus at Montmartre. He was born April 7, 1506, and died in 1552. Pope Pius X canonized him in 1622.

St. Martin of Tours — Romans has ceased to persecute Christians by the time Martin was born in 315 or 316 in Pannonia, but his parents, who followed the old religion, discouraged his interest in Christianity.

Martin secretly joined the local Christian enclave when he was only 10 years old. Forced into military service for the Roman emperor at 15, he still attempted to live like a monk.
While on garrison duty at Amiens, Martin gave half of his cloak to a beggar at the gates. That night Martin dreamed the beggar was Jesus, a vision that inspired him to be baptized and later to make a commitment to Christ.

Martin died on Nov. 8 — historians disagree on the year and put it anywhere from 395 to 402. He requested burial in the cemetery for the poor. He is the patron saint of soldiers.

St Matthew — One of the 12 apostles and the author of the first Gospel, he was a tax collector before becoming a disciple of Christ. He wrote his Gospel in Aramaic. His feast day is Sept. 21 and he is the patron saint of bankers.

St. Ambrose — Ambrose had it all — a career as a lawyer, a position as governor of Milan and an extensive estate. When he made an impassioned speech for peace in a conflict between Arian and Catholic factions after the bishop of Milan died, the crowd called for him to be named bishop.
Ambrose fled — he had no desire to be bishop — but when the emperor approved of the situation, Ambrose gave in, surrendered his estate to the poor and began to study Scripture and theology with Saint Simplician.