In my former experience as a single woman within the Church, I often felt alone and misunderstood. Most articles I read and homilies I heard on the subject encouraged me to embrace the period, chase Christ with abandon, and use all my free time serving others and the Church. This advice seemed to indicate that if one is feeling unhappy or unfulfilled as a single, lay Catholic, it was because something is missing in that person’s relationship with Christ.
While this is not necessarily untrue, I believe that the perpetuation of that message leaves many people feeling—not inspired or encouraged—but disheartened and scolded. It fails to address the deep heartache and loneliness single Catholics often feel while discerning their vocations and looking for a spouse. Sometimes, it can be true, that being a single Christian person in this day and age is just plain difficult, no matter how whole or beautiful one’s relationship is with Christ.
Litany of Saints for Single People
Though I am now experiencing the difficulties that accompany the vocation of marriage and motherhood, my heart remembers the pain of my single years more vividly than I remember the pain of giving birth. It’s an ache that rises often, each time I see a single person by themselves at Mass or even when I see one of their posts on Instagram.
As a prayer and act of love for my single sisters (and brothers) in Christ, I put together this Litany of Saints for Single People in the hopes that it would bring comfort and peace to pining hearts throughout the Church.
Our Lady of Sorrows
If there is anyone who understands heartache—it’s this woman. She bore her heartache beautifully and perfectly. And while we may not be able to accomplish doing so in the same impeccable manner as she did, we can imitate her in standing at the foot of the Cross, waiting for an end to the pain.
Our Lady of the Smile
The story goes that Saint Therese was very sick and suffering greatly in bed, when she looked at a statue of Our Lady, asked for her help, and was surprised to see the statue smile and radiate kindness. Saint Therese was cured.
May Our Lady of the Smile intercede for those suffering greatly with the cross of singlehood and bring big smiles to all of our faces.
In the book of Tobit, it is the aide of Saint Raphael the Archangel that brings about the healing Sarah needs in order for her marriage to be successful. The archangel also stirs a sense of true masculinity within Tobias that helps to chase a lurking demon away. Because of this, there are many prayers and novenas to Saint Raphael which ask for his assistance in finding a holy spouse.
May he come to the aid of any and all who stumble upon this post.
Abraham, Father of Our Faith
In the book of Genesis, Abraham is concerned with finding a faithful wife for his beloved son, Isaac. Fearing that the local girls with different religious beliefs may lead his son astray, Abraham sends his servant on a journey to his kinsmen to search for a wife that would lead him closer to God. After a heartfelt and humble prayer, the servant crosses paths with a generous and God-fearing woman named Rebekah.
May Abraham be so concerned with us, his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, that he would also seek our faithful spouses and intercede on our behalf.
Isaac and Rebekah, Beloved Children of Abraham
It’s worth following up that story with the truth that Isaac and Rebekah had a good and loving marriage—with their wedding taking place in a field at sunset as if it was set in a Romantic Comedy!
May they pray for us that we would all find the joy and companionship that they found in each other.
The man from whom Jesus learned about sacrifice and masculinity. The man who loved his wife chastely and with his whole heart until his dying breath. The man who provided and protected for his little family with all his strength.
May Saint Joseph intercede for our future spouses, and teach us all to be ready for unexpected challenges when the events leading up to our marriage may not look the way we had always planned.
This Apostle is known as an incredible intercessor because he was the person who brought Peter to Jesus. His powerful novena invokes his aid in bringing those who pray it closer to Christ. Though the novena is typically said in December, I think the sentiment holds true all year round, especially in regards to finding a spouse!
May Saint Andrew help us all to find spouses that bring us deeper into relationship with Jesus.
Very little is known for certain about this early Christian martyr, but according to legend he was a huge man with a desire to serve the most powerful man he could find. After a stint serving a king, some thieves, and the devil himself, he found the most powerful person to be the Christ Child Whom he attempted to carry across a river. He served Him from that day forward.
Saint Christopher is also recognized as the patron Saint of bachelors, so perhaps he can play heavenly matchmaker while also interceding for us to always follow Christ.
There is an old tradition that developed in the Middle Ages where unmarried maidens would ask Saint Agnes for assistance in finding a spouse on the eve of her feast day. There’s a whole slew of outlandish rituals these girls would go through. While I don’t think they actually aid the cause, I’m certain Saint Agnes (who was martyred for refusing to marry the son of a Roman official) admires all women who want to hold their ground and keep their standards high!
It’s important, in the midst of all the waiting and seeking, that we not make an idol of the vocation of marriage. A prayer written by this Doctor of the Church is handy to repeat when we find ourselves slipping towards that idolization mindset.
May Saint Anselm’s intercession help to keep our desires for marriage ordered correctly!
Saint Therese of Lisieux
Waiting is one of the most difficult aspects of single life. It is tempting to despair, give up hope, and think that God does not desire our happiness, or even that he has forgotten about us. This beautiful prayer is attributed to Saint Therese and asks for peace when we are faced with such anxieties.
We pray this Doctor of the Church will intercede for our own peace of heart and mind as we wait in our longing.
Saint Nicholas of Myra
Saint Nicholas was known for his love of secret gift giving. He also used his own wealth to finance the dowries of three poor sisters whose father was so desperate he was considering allowing his daughters to work as prostitutes. Saint Nicholas stopped them from making that rash decision out of desperation and guided them towards better paths.
May he also save us from situations where we single gals may be leaning towards compromising values we shouldn’t.
Saint Anthony of Padua
This heavenly fella is supposedly very good at locating things. Why not ask him to help us locate a spouse? Though a religious friar himself, he understands that longing to give of oneself to another. He even wrote a poem about it.
Saint Joseph Moscati
A brilliant, Italian physician who approached medicine with the goal of healing wounded souls and not just bodies, Saint Joseph Moscati was a single, lay man who lived during the early 1900s. His care for his patients went far above the standards—when Mt. Vesuvius erupted, he ran in and out of a nursing home, carrying patients to safety before the roof collapsed. His genius and charity attracted hundreds who wanted to learn from him.
Though he never married, he is known as a “miracle-worker” due to his powerful intercession in heaven—and sometimes it feels as though a miracle is needed to meet a good spouse in this day and age!
There is a long standing tradition within our faith to call upon the mother of Mary for assistance in locating a good spouse. The line of thinking is that as she is the grandmother of Jesus, and mother of His mother, how could God refuse her? However, I think it’s good to ask for her intercession based on another reason. Saint Anne understands the heartache of waiting. Though happily married, she was barren for most of her life before the immaculate conception of Mary.
As a woman, mother, and grandmother, I suspect that Saint Anne is eager to help anyone whose heart is virtuously pining for something good.
A Welsh Saint who lived in the 5th century, Saint Dwynwen fell deeply in love with a man before her father promised her in marriage to someone else. According to legend, she begged God to help her forget her beloved as she was unable to function at the thought of not marrying him. God sent her help to forget him in a dream, and also granted her three wishes. She used one of them to ask that God would meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers. For this reason she is seen as the patron saint of lovers.
May she intercede us, that we may find the one our souls are meant to love!
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
Saint Gianna did not meet her beloved husband, Pietro, at the typical, young age that most brides wed. In fact, she was thirty-two when they met and married. The letters they wrote to one another during their engagement are brimming with the love and joy that a soul can only feel when such lengthy longing is over.
May Saint Gianna help us to find the same bubbly joy she found “later” in life.
It’s encouraging to think of so many heavenly allies reaching out to support us during the difficulty of living as single women. It’s uplifting to imagine them standing by our side, offering the simple companionship of a heart that knows our pain.
It’s lovely to think too, that perhaps one day, we will also join them. Our names will be added to a Litany of Saints, and fellow Christians on earth may cry to us in anguish, because they know we know their heartache. How lovely will it be to see a benefit of our waiting and suffering, and a way that others will receive grace because of it!
In the meantime, in the midst of our struggle, we invite you to download this free printable of the litany, that you may have a tangible reminder of the army of Saints you have fighting for you at your side. Be assured too, of prayers from the BIS Team for you!
Which Saint’s story resonated the most with you? Is there anyone you would add to the list?
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