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The Cloud of Witnesses for Pregnancy and Birth

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

There are few more powerful seasons and moments in a woman's life than those of pregnancy and birth. Cooperating with the creative power of God, a woman's body grows and brings a brand new, unrepeatable, eternal precious son or daughter of God into the world. It's a beautiful time to ask for the intercession of the saints for a healthy, happy, and holy pregnancy and birth. I've said it before and I'll say it again: God cares about our pregnancies and He cares about our births. We needn't hesitate to ask that they be profoundly blessed and we can confidently ask for the intercession of our brothers and sisters in heaven, that cloud of witnesses referred to in Hebrews, for extra grace during these times.

That cloud of witnesses are saints in heaven that surround us, see us, and cheer us on in the earthly race mentioned just afterwards. For those of us whose earthly race includes pregnancy and birth, then they absolutely want to cheer us on and pray for us during those times as well, perhaps especially so since Scripture also mentions those times for mothers as being part of our salvation (1 Timothy 2:15).

There are saints who because of the work in their earthly lives or after have a special significance to pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. We believe that those in heaven are fully alive, fully perfected, and fully in Christ. That means they love and care for others even *more* than they did on earth. They see and can intercede even *more* than they did on earth.

The following are some of the powerhouse patrons of pregnancy and birth:

Our Lady of Childbirth

I've written about her more here but Mary is the quintessential saint and she is the quintessential mother. As our mother she longs to help us her daughters as we enter into our own motherhood. Under the title of Our Lady of Childbirth (also under the titles Madonna del Parto, Virgin of Childbirth, or Our Lady of a Happy Delivery), she is known to intercede for those who struggle with infertility and to help with healthy pregnancies and holy and happy births. This particular feast day of Mary is usually celebrated October 11 or in some places, the second Sunday of October.

Saint Anne

The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne by DaVinci

Saint Anne, the mother of Mary, is often called on for healing infertility and she is also considered a patroness of pregnancy and women in labor. She was pregnant with Mary in old age. Unlike Our Lady, she had a normal conception, labor, and childbirth. Since Mary is our heavenly mother, in some ways we could consider Saint Anne our heavenly grandmother. Her feast day is July 26.

Saint Elizabeth

Visitation by Raphael

Saint Elizabeth, cousin of Our Lady, is also considered a patroness of infertility and pregnancy due to her miraculous pregnancy with Saint John the Baptist and her role in the Visitation when the unborn John leapt in her womb in the presence of Mary and Jesus. Perhaps she and Anne can also be especially sympathetic and helpful to those pregnant in "older" age and who get the esteem of entering a "geriatric pregnancy." Her feast day is November 5.

Saint Catherine of Sweden

Sankta Katarina by SalvenSaint

Catherine of Sweden is considered a patroness for pregnancy and against miscarriage. According to stories about her life, she was known to give counsel and prayer to mothers who had experienced miscarriage or who had complications with their pregnancies. Her feast day is March 24.

Saint Gerard

Saint Gerard is one of the most well known patrons of pregnancy and childbirth. There are several stories of him having miracles granted for women he knew that were pregnant or during birth during his life. Countless mothers attribute his intercession for a healthy pregnancy and birth, especially after infertility and miscarriage. His feast day is October 16.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mary under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe is called upon often for unborn children, a healthy pregnancy, and at the time of birth. When Our Lady appeared to Saint Juan Diego she wore the traditional Aztec black belt of pregnancy, signifying that she is bearing the baby Jesus within her. This apparition was also responsible for helping end the practice of infant sacrifice present in the Aztec culture. She would be an especially good patron for babies who are at risk in the womb or those whose mothers have been counseled or tempted to abort. Her feast day is December 12.

Saints Louis and Zelie Martin

The newly canonized Saints Louis and Zelie Martin are now among those considered patrons of pregnancy and birth. This is because out of their nine babies only five daughters survived to adulthood, three of the deaths occurring during infancy. Despite her fragile health and the tragic loss of those children, the couple remained open to life. All five of their daughters entered religious life. Their daughter Saint Therese is now a doctor of the Church and the others are being considered for canonization. Their feast day is July 12.

Saint Gianna Molla

Saint Gianna Molla was an Italian physician from the 20th century known for refusing the recommended abortion or hysterectomy to treat a uterine fibroma during her fourth pregnancy. She opted to simply remove t