Sixteen Pairs of Catholic Saints Who Were Friends IRL

by | Feb 3, 2016 | Catholic Living, St. Valentine's Day | 33 comments

On the Feast of St. Brigid, on Monday, the kids and I got to talking about the saints. Of course we know that they’re all friends NOW, in heaven. But we were kind of intrigued by the idea that St. Brigid and St. Patrick were actually friends IRL, as it were.

Spouses, siblings, parents and children, mentors and protegees, friends . . . it turns out that there are quite a few pairs of saints who knew and loved each other.

So, since St. Valentine’s Day is approaching and we are hopefully all thinking about all the different ways there are to love your fellow man, I thought I’d share with you what we found . . .

1. St. Anne and St. Joachim
Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grandparents of Jesus. These guys had their act together.
2. St. Cosmas and St. Damian

Twin brothers who lived in Syria around the year 300. Both physicians. Apparently their thing was converting people to Christianity by not charging for medical services. Which is an excellent plan right up until you get martryed. (Although, long term, still good.)

3. St. Timothy and St. Maura
Newlyweds, martyred together during the persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperor Diocletian also around 300. It’s all very romantic.

4. St. Adrian and St. Natalia
Also married. Also martyred. But these guys were in Nicodemia during the time of Emperor Maximian in the early fourth century.

5. St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier
Two of the founding members of the Jesuit order, these guys were actually ROOMATES IN COLLEGE before they became priests and missionaries and were responsible for ten of thousands of conversions.

6. St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin
The Mother of God and her spouse, the parents of Jesus on earth, and a perfect example to all of the love of a family.

7. St. Louis Martin and St. Zelie Martin
Speaking of good examples . . . Louis and Zelie Martin had nine children, five of whom lived past infancy. All five of those daughters because nuns. One is St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church.

8. St. James and St. John
These guys were actual brothers (as were Sts. Peter and Andrew) who were both among the twelve apostles, and were two of Jesus’ closest friends. He called them the “Sons of Thunder,” so you KNOW they were fun at parties.

9. St. Monica and St. Augustine
He was a real stinker, but his mother never gave up on him. Eventually, through the tears and prayers of St. Monica, St. Augustine was converted to Christianity and rehabilitated from his wanton ways, to the benefit of all posterity.

10. St. Paul and St. Barnabas
Neither met Jesus before his death on the cross, but both worked tirelessly alongside the apostles to spread Christianity in its early days. They had some rather public disagreements about how, exactly, to do this, and with whom. But that’s okay. Friends are allowed to decide not to travel together anymore.

11. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and Bl. Claude Colombiere
Receiving a vision from Jesus asking you to spread a devotion to His Sacred Heart has got to be overwhelming, but then to have everyone around you think you’re bonkers and/or a liar? That would be even worse. Fortunately for Margaret Mary, she had her confessor, Bl. Claude, who believed in her.

12. St. Benedict and St. Scholastica
The “Holy Twins,” they knew from a very young age that they both wanted to enter religious life. They each founded an order, and used to meet in the middle once a year to talk about old times.

13. St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross
Both Carmelites in Spain in the 16th century, they worked together to return their religious communities to a life of prayer. But not everyone was on board with their plan. It’s nice to know you’ve got a friend who’ll get imprisoned for you.

14. St. Felicity and St. Perpetua
Perpetua was a noblewoman and Felicity was a slave, but the two young mothers were martyred together in the year 203, rather than apostatize. St. Perpetua’s letters detailing their imprisonment are a rare first hand account.

15. St. Francis and St. Clare
Clare was a devoted follower of Francis, and was entrusted by him with the founding of a religious order for women. She trusted him to cut her hair.

16. St. Patrick and St. Brigid
Their friendship is noted in the Book of Armagh: “Between St Patrick and Brigid, the pillars of the Irish people, there was so great a friendship of charity that they had but one heart and one mind. Through him and through her Christ performed many great works.”

So, there you go, all saints, all loved, but different times and places and types.

Now I’m looking around me, thinking how COOL it would be if I could become a saint with my husband, or my kid, or maybe a fellow blogger. I wanted my kids to think about it too, and to make such good choices in their friends that they could hope to one day all be canonized together!

The CAY team has created some beautiful (and downloadable) Valentine’s cards, perfect for celebrating St. Vaelntine’s feast day with your family! You can grab them here!

Have a very Happy St. Valentine’s Day, and Fat Tuesday after that!

33 Comments

  1. Laura Pearl

    I loved this post!

    I am now inspired to get my hands on a copy of St. Perpetua's letters. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kendra

      Do it! They're really amazing. But also sad. She had her little nursling baby in jail with her. You might cry.

  2. Theresa

    St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal were great friends also <3
    Cute Valentine's ideas ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Colleen

    Ho cute would it be to have twins and name them after one of these pairs??

    • Susanna

      I couldn't bring myself to name our twins Benedict and Scholastica but we did use Francis and Clair for middle names.

    • Emily Phillips

      I know of two identical twin girls named Perpetua and Felicity. Great names and wonderful saints.

    • Manda

      That's what I've always thought too! If I ever had boy/girl twins they'd totally be Benedict and Scholastica. Might need to come up with a slightly more modern nickname for Scholastica though ๐Ÿ˜‰ Susanna, I love the idea of a Francis and Clair! Great names both!

  4. Kandace

    How wonderful!! I love these!!! My favorite is the "sons of thunder!" Ha!
    ~Kandace

  5. Laurel

    I've always loved learning about saints who were friends IRL. I think it was, perhaps, great and merciful of God to give one to the other to lean on during difficult moments on the path of sanctity. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Also, St. Isaac Jogues & St. Jean de Brebeuf and St. Therese of Lisieux & St. Theophane Venard. Fantastic valentines idea!

  6. Amanda

    Very cool!

    But you must have pulled a pretty late night making these since Monday ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Kendra

      Yep. I do tend to get carried away sometimes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Brigid Hogan

    Just had this conversation with my confirmation class! So great to be able to talk about growing in holiness and friendship.

  8. Amy D.

    This is cool! It made me wonder whether John Paul II and Mother Teresa knew one another, as they did live during the same time. A google search tells me that they did indeed meet, at least once, and that she had a heart attack while visiting him! Her beatification took place while he served as Pope. I don't think she is formally recognized as a saint yet, but perhaps these two should make an addendum to your list when that happens!

    • Kendra

      Whoa. That would make for a memorable visit.

      Mrs. Bennet would be so pleased. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Jessica

    St Thomas Aquinas and Saint Bonaventure were best buds! And how about St John Paul II and Mother Teresa? St Francis and St Anthony met in real life, as did St Dominic and St Francis Assisi. St Bernard Clairvaux's entire family was canonized!!! I loved seeing all of these saint combos! Thanks!!!

  10. Hope

    I love this! And, since I forgot that our co-op Valentine's Day party is this Friday…you just saved me a ton of stress. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Fun and stress-free, I'm sold!

  11. Jessica Sweet Little Ones

    This is awesome! I didn't know several of these saints were friends in real life. I love it! I've loved reading the comments too – so many wonderful additions!

    I'd also add St. Martin de Porres and St. Rose of Lima (friends) and St. John Bosco and St. Dominic Savio (teacher/student)!

    What beautiful examples we have in the saints! How perfect for Valentine's Day. Thank you!

  12. Pam Anderson

    My 3 oldest attend Saints Francis and Clare Catholic School. Such interesting stories about those 2; they had a remarkable friendship.

  13. Jessi Fearon

    Thank you so much Kendra for these! And I didn't know my confirmation Saint was BFF's with St. Patrick! That's so awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚ #learnsomethingneweveryday

  14. Lua Nova

    Don't forget about your daughter's patroness: St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac were friends, too!

  15. Manda

    I love these! Must go download them and use them, my kids would get a kick out of these Valentine's. You really have a knack for the printable Kendra, I'm impressed!

  16. Son Mom

    St. Bridget of Sweden's youngest child is St. Catherine of Sweden, who knew and was friends with the more famous St. Catherine of Siena in Rome. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And St. Elizabeth (or Isabel) of Portugal was the great-niece of St. Elizabeth of Hungary (and was named after her).

  17. Anonymous

    I'm a bit late on this, but I'm reading St. Faustina's diary and it jogged my memory. St. Faustina's confessor, Fr. Michael Sopocko, is going to be beatified later this year. Two more awesome holy people who were friends!

  18. Jodi

    This is a great list and a fun post! I couldn't help but notice that in #11 you refer to St. Claude de Columbiere as blessed. He was canonized in 1992. ๐Ÿ™‚ Take care and God love you.

  19. Clare Fletcher

    Bl. Jordan of Saxony and Bl. Diana d’Andalo! You wanna talk about a seriously BEAUTIFUL friendship! Check out his letters to her. #Dominicans

  20. ben.metzler

    I could not leave without mentioning Saints Cyril and Methodius, theologians, missionaries, brothers, and friends!

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, Iโ€™ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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