There are a whopping 10,000 Roman Catholic saints, and each one holds individual meaning. Here are 10 of the saints you probably saw your abuelos praying to and what they represent.
1. Saint Anthony of Padua
Saint Anthony of Padua is among the most popular saints in Mexico, and that’s no coincidence. He is formally known as the saint of lost and stolen articles; yet, throughout the country, Saint Anthony is also nicknamed the saint of love and matrimony. Since he is considered highly miraculous, many honor him by offering bread during Thanksgiving.
2. Saint Michael the Archangel
It is believed that Saint Michael the Archangel led God’s army against Lucifer and that he will reprise his role against the Antichrist one day. Unsurprisingly, this saint, who also guards the Catholic Church, represents protection against adversity and the devil's traps.
3. Saint John the Baptist
In June, Puerto Rico gets together for La Noche de San Juan, a celebration of Saint John the Baptist, the island’s patron saint. The patron of prosperity, baptism, conversion and tailors, this saint was the frontrunner of Jesus Christ. He foretold the Messiah’s coming, and eventually baptized him.
4. Saint Dominic
Saint Dominic, or Santo Domingo, like the capital of the Dominican Republic, is the patron saint of that very country. Additionally, he is the patron saint of astronomers. Saint Dominic is commonly portrayed alongside a dog, which Catholic Online says could be a pun since, in Latin, “Dominus” means lord and “cans” means dogs. Hence, “Dominicans” translates to “the lord’s dogs,” a reference to Saint Dominic’s founding of a religious order of men who were free to move about and preach.
5. Saint Peter
Saint Peter was one of the 12 Apostles. He is the patron of those who have lived long lives, of bakers, bridge-builders, butchers, fishermen and the papacy. Still, the most fascinating thing about him may very well be that he was the first pope, as declared by Jesus Christ.
6. Saint Teresa of Los Andes
Saint Teresa of Los Andes was of Chilean descent and the first of her country to be beatified (declared by the pope to be in a happier place after death) and canonized (declared a saint). She is the patron of young people.
7. Philip the Apostle
Philip the Apostle is another one of the Twelve Apostles. Moreover, he is the patron of Uruguay and Luxembourg, and represents hatters and pastry chefs.
8. Saint Louis Bertrand
Born in Spain, Saint Louis Bertrand original name was Luis Beltran. Commonly recognized during his time for training newbies within the Dominican Order, the one Saint Dominic started, Saint Louis Bertrand is the patron of novice masters. He is also the patron of Colombia.
9. Saint James the Greater
Known in Spain as El Señor Santiago, Saint James the Greater represents horseman and soldiers. He is also the patron of Chile, Guatemala and Nicaragua, and if that wasn't enough, he is also the patron against arthritis and rheumatism.
10. The Virgin Mary
Having birthed Jesus Christ through immaculate conception, the Virgin Mary is a special saint who represents purity. What’s more, she is represented differently throughout Latin America. In Mexico, she is the Virgin of Guadalupe. In Venezuela, she is Our Lady of Coromoto. In the Dominican Republic, she is Our Lady of High Grace. Bolivians know her as Our Lady of Candelaria, and Colombians recognize her as Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá.