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The Fourteen Holy Helpers

The Fourteen Holy Helpers, also known as the Fourteen Auxiliary Saints or the Nothelfer ('helpers in need' in German), are a group of Roman Catholic saints venerated primarily in Germany and other parts of Europe. These saints were believed to be powerful intercessors in times of need, especially during times of plagues, epidemics, and other calamities. Their devotion emerged during the late Middle Ages and gained popularity during times of pestilence and suffering, particularly during the Black Plague from 1346 to 1349. Devotees would invoke the intercession of these saints individually or collectively during times of illness, danger, or hardship. They were believed to have the power to protect people from various afflictions and adversities. The devotion to the Fourteen Holy Helpers has persisted in some regions, particularly in Germany, where they are still venerated in some churches and communities, though they are not widely recognised in all parts of the Catholic Church today. Their collective cultus was suppressed in 1969.

 Invocation Reasons
St Achatius
Knight, martyr
Hunters; against death agony
St Barbara
Virgin, martyr
Against fever, fire, lightning, sudden death
St Blase
Bishop, martyr
Against throat problems
St Catherine
Virgin, martyr
Protection of philosophers, students; against tongue problems, sudden death
St Christopher
Against plague and death 
St Cyriacus
Deacon, martyr
Against temptations, especially at death; demoniac possession
St Dionysius
Bishop, martyr
Protection of travellers in difficulty; against headache, rabies
St Erasmus
Bishop, martyr
Against abdominal problems; protection of domestic animals
St Eustachius
Knight, martyr
Protection of hunters; against family troubles
St George
Knight, martyr
Protection of soldiers, domestic animals
St Giles
Hermit, Abbott
Making a good confession
St Margaret
Virgin, martyr
Protection of pregnant women; against possession
St Pantaleon
Physician, Martyr
Protection of physicians domestic animals; against tuberculosis
St Vitus
Against epilepsy, insanity, sterility; protection of domestic animals


Rosemary Ellen Guiley. The Encyclopedia of Saints. New York: Facts On File, 2001.

Bernard L. Marthaler, exec. ed. New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd edn, vol. 5. Detroit: Thomson/Gale; Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America, 2003.

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