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Saint Medals: The Faces of Faith
By Casey Buell

We all could use a little help sometimes; a guiding hand to steer us through lifeís pitfalls. Our patron saints are the ones we turn to in our times of need. Our patron saints are the ones who offer us the guidance we seek. This is the reason we wear saint medals; to honor and revere our patron saints.

Saint medals are medals with the depiction of a patron saint upon them. Usually worn on necklaces, saint medals are a reminder of a patron saintís triumphs and sacrifices, as well as an evocation of his or her protection.

The tradition of saint medals:

The tradition of wearing saint medals is derived from the pagan practice of wearing talismans depicting their gods as a form of protection. The ancient Irish were particularly fond of these talismans. When the Church came to Ireland, known then as Hibernia, they noticed the pagan Celts wearing amulets of their gods, in particular the those of Hern, the Horned One, god of the hunt, and Eponia, the horse goddess. Eponia was so popular that even the Roman legionnaires stationed in Hibernia had started worshipping her. The Catholic Church, instead of banning it, embraced this practice, substituting the pagan gods with Catholic saints. This served two purposes: it was a way to help convert pagans to Christianity, and a way to honor the saints who had done so much for humanity. Saint medals are now one of the most popular forms of Catholic jewelry.

Examples of Patron Saints:

There are many patron saints depicted on saint medals. Here are a few examples:

St. Francis of Assisi: born c. 1181 in Assisi, Italy. In 1206 St. Francis made a pilgrimage to Rome, and upon his return devoted his life to poverty and the care of the sick. In 1209 he founded the Franciscan order, and in 1224 he received the stigmata. He died in 1226, and was canonized in 1228. St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals, ecology, and peace.

St Patrick: born c. 389 somewhere in Roman Britain. At the age of sixteen St. Patrick was captured by Irish raiders, and held captive for six years. He was consecrated a bishop by St. Germanus c. 432, and returned to Ireland to succeed St. Paulinus. St. Patrick is well known for converting the Irish to Christianity. He died c. 461. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and excluded people.

St. Helena: born c. 250 at Drepanum, Bithynia. She married the Roman General Constatius Chlorus c. 270, and gave birth to Constantine, who would later become Emperor of Rome, c. 280. In 313 Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, permitting Christianity in the Roman Empire. Around the same time St. Helena converted to Christianity. She traveled to Palestine c. 324, and while there is reputed to have discovered the True Cross. She died c.330 and was buried at Constantinople. St. Helena is the patron saint of archeologists and converts.

St. Christopher: according to legend St. Christopher was an ugly giant who made his living carrying people across a river. It was his quest to find someone more powerful than himself, and, after many years of searching, he decided that this could only be Christ, since the devil feared the Savior. One day, while carrying a child across the river, the child grew so heavy that St. Christopher feared that they would be drowned. The child then revealed that he was Christ, and that the heaviness was the weight of the world He was carrying on His shoulders. St. Christopher is reputed to have died in Lycia c. 251. St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers.

Here is a good page to view saint medals.

Where is the best place to purchase saint medals:

To get an idea of the different styles and prices that are available in saint medals it is more convenient to view them online before shopping around at local jewelry stores.

Retail jewelers will sometimes carry a small selection of saint medals, but you are more apt to find a greater selection online. Just type " saint medals " into an Internet search engine like Google or Yahoo and you will find several reliable websites that specialize in saint medals.

The cost of saint medals is dependant upon many variables. In solid 14K yellow or white gold, saint medals should cost between $40 and $200, depending on the size.

The protection of the Saints:

The saints have always been the protectors of the faithful. They are the shepherds of the lost, bringing them back to the light. Saint medals honor those saints for their tireless work and selfless sacrifices. With saint medals we can always feel safe, knowing that they are near.

Casey Buell is an expert in the field of religious jewelry, and a contributor to the award winning http://religiousjewelryshop.com/ religious jewelry website located at http://religiousjewelryshop.com/