Our House Saints

When the children start their journey at St Mary’s they are allocated to one of these three houses. We know that the children take great pride in being a member of their house.

House points are awarded to children who have demonstrated positive learning behaviours and followed the gospel values through their words and actions.

St Joseph

Who was Saint Joseph?

According to the Bible, Saint Joseph was chosen to be the husband of Mary. He was also the foster father of Jesus. He is said to have been selected by God for this role because he could be trusted to watch over them.

What are some facts about Saint Joseph?

  • Joseph was a carpenter.
  • He worked hard to provide for his family.
  • Although Joseph is referred to in the Bible, he doesn’t actually speak any words.
  • He’s also known as Saint Joseph of Nazareth.
  • Saint Joseph is the patron saint of many countries including Mexico, Canada, Belgium, China, Korea and Austria.
  • Saint Joseph was chosen to be a saint by Saint Teresa of Avila to watch over her order of the Carmelite Sisters.
  • Joseph is associated with the symbol of the carpenter’s square to represent his trade.
  • Joseph is also linked with the lily, which represents purity and his marriage to Mary.
  • Saint Joseph has special significance in Sicily, as people believe he prevented famine ravaging the region in the Middle Ages.

What is Saint Joseph the patron saint of?

Saint Joseph is the patron saint of many things, such as fathers, pregnant mothers, immigrants, travellers, carpenters and working people.

What happens on St. Joseph’s Day?

  • St. Joseph’s Day is celebrated in many different ways across the world. It’s also known as the Feast of Saint Joseph.
  • The date is always the same, unlike Lent or Easter.
  • The colour of celebration for St. Joseph’s Day is red.
  • In Italy, St. Joseph’s Day is marked by holding a special mass. A vast array of items are brought to the altar of the church, such as flowers, candles, bread and limes. There are also foods that contain breadcrumbs, to represent the sawdust of Joseph’s trade.
  • St. Joseph’s Day is a special celebration in New Orleans, because many Sicilians emigrated there in the 19th century. There are parades in the streets.
  • In Spain, the emphasis is on Saint Joseph’s role as a father, with the day known as El Día del Padre (the Day of the Father). Children will cook for their father.  As the festival is during Lent, the meals don’t have meat in them. People also go to church to mass.
  • Eastern Orthodox churches will chant hymns in honour of Saint Joseph.
  • In Poland, meat-free delicacies are prepared for the Feast of Saint Joseph, such as filled dumplings with cheese and potato (pierogi).

Why does Saint Joseph have two feast days?

As we know, the first feast day of Saint Joseph is on March 19th. This date was passed down through the years and formalised by Rome in the 15th century. It was officially added to the Roman calendar in 1621. Some believe it’s the date of Joseph’s death but there’s no written evidence. However, in 1955, Pope Pius IX decided that there would be a second feast day for Saint Joseph. As he is known as the patron saint of workers, May 1st would be celebrated as the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. This is particularly apt, as May 1st is also the date of International Workers’ Day.

St Anne

Who was St. Anne?

Saint Anne was the grandmother of Jesus Christ. She was born from the House of David, the line which was prophesied to give birth to Christ. In Hebrew, her name was quite possibly Hannah, as Anne is the Greek derivative of the name Hannah.

Saint Anne is the mother of Mary, the woman who gave birth to Jesus. The Angel Gabriel came to Mary and told her that she would give birth to the Son of God.

Saint Anne As a Mother

In the Gospel of James you will find the story of Saint Anne. She and her husband Joachim were unable to conceive a child, even though they tried to do so and really wanted a baby. However, one day an angel came to them and told them that they would have a child. Since she was so overjoyed, Saint Anne promised that she would dedicate this baby's life to the service of God. Their daughter Mary was born.

Saint Anne produced an extraordinary child, as she was born free from original sin. Being born free from original sin is known as an Immaculate Conception. Therefore, part of the reason why Saint Anne is so famous is because she produced a child born of Immaculate Conception.

Saint Anne read the scriptures to Mary when she was a very small child. Saint Anne had promised that she would give her child to the service of God, and she kept her holy vow. When Mary was three years old, her parents brought her to the Temple and gave her to the service of the Temple. They did not see her again.

Although she had wanted a child so badly, Saint Anne knew that she had to honour her promise to the Lord. Saint Anne and Joachim would not be able to raise the child since Mary needed to be raised in order to become the mother of Jesus Christ.

St Edward the Confessor

Who was St Edward?

Edward the Confessor was born around 1003. Edward’s father was Ethelred the Unready and his mother was Emma of Normandy

In 1013 the Danes invaded England and Edward, his mother and brother and sister went over to Normandy to live, with his mother’s family. Shortly afterwards his father, Ethlered the Unready, had to give up the throne and join them.

The Danish King died however, and his son, Canute, took over the English throne, but he returned to Denmark in 1014 because he was also King there.

Edward’s father, Ethelred came back to England to be King again, but he died in 1016 and Canute returned and married Edward’s mother. They ruled together until Canute died in 1036.

In 1040, Edward returned from Normandy to England to help his half- brother, Hardicanute, who was now the King, but Hardicanute died in 1042 and so Edward became King of England.

During Edward’s reign, the power was held by Godwin, Earl of Wessex and his son Harold, while the king devoted himself to religion - including the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey (consecrated in 1065).

Edward married Godwin's daughter Edith in 1045, but they had no children.

Much of Edward’s reign was peaceful and prosperous. When Godwin died in 1053, his son Harold took over as the most powerful noblemen in England and fought battles for Edward with the Welsh in 1063 and the Northumbrians in 1065.

This is probably why Harold was named by Edward as his successor to the throne; but when Edward died in January 1066, his cousin William, Duke of Normandy, claimed the English throne was his. Edward was buried in Westminster Abbey, and is still there today.

In October 1066, William came to England with an army to fight Harold for the English throne. The Battle of Hastings took place and Harold was killed.

Why is Edward the Confessor a saint?

Edward the Confessor was a man of great prayer - rather like a crowned monk. He was hailed throughout his life as a gentle, loyal and devoted king.

A confessor is a saint who suffers for his faith but is one step short of martyrdom. Edward suffered for his faith by resisting the temptations of the world.

Healing the sick

People believed that Edward the Confessor had the power to heal. The tradition continued for nearly 700 years until the reign of Queen Anne.

St Edward was a deeply religious, patient and peaceful ruler who resisted war and revoked unjust taxes.

Miracle of the ring

Many legends sprang up about Edward the Confessor both during his lifetime and after his death. One that has remained strong over many hundreds of years has it that Edward was riding to a ceremony at a chapel dedicated to St John the Evangelist in Essex when a beggar asked for charity. Edward had no money with him so he took off his ring and handed it to the poor man instead.

A few years later two English pilgrims were travelling through the Holy Land and became stranded. They were helped by an old man who told them he was St John the Evangelist.

He was carrying the ring Edward had given to the beggar some years previously. He asked the pilgrims to return it to the king telling him that in six months he would meet St John in heaven.

Edward the Confessor died in January 1066. He was made a saint in 1161 and his body taken to a shrine at Westminster Abbey in 1163.

In the centuries that followed many sick people came to kneel at the shrine and ask to be healed.