These Saints Show Us How To Serve Those In Need

St. Juliana the Merciful

Lifelong Service

The life of St. Juliana the Merciful shows us how we can serve in every stage of our lives. As a young girl, St. Juliana’s mother and father died, and she lived with her aunt and cousins. St. Juliana used her gift of sewing as a ministry to the poor by secretly crafting beautiful things at night when others thought she was asleep and then using the money she received from selling what she made to buy food and clothing for those in need. She carried this love for the poor into her adulthood, constantly denying herself and serving those around her, finding “the more she helped others, the brighter and more joyful she became, and more everyone loved her.”

 

St. Myron the Wonderworker and Bishop of Crete

Selfless Giving

What would you do if someone came to steal something of yours? Your first instinct may not be to pack an extra bag of goodies for the robber before sending them happily on their way. However, this is just the example and standard St. Myron sets for us! Known for his goodness and willingness to assist everyone who turned to him for help, St. Myron even helped robbers who came to steal grain from his own farm! He gave what he had selflessly, even to robbers who intended to take what they wanted selfishly, and “by his generosity the saint so shamed the thieves, that in future they began to lead honorable lives.”

 

St. John the Merciful Patriarch of Alexandria

Recognizing Christ

St. John the Merciful considered the chief task of his archpastoral service to be charitable. Twice a week he would receive everyone in need at the cathedral. He would serve in many ways, by settling quarrels, helping the wronged, and distributing alms. His example of giving shows us that it is not up to us to decide who to serve and who to turn away – for St. John never refused anyone. Even when a beggar approached to receive charity, only to deceptively change his clothes and come back for more, St. John did not turn him away. The beggar came back a third time and servants began to chase him away but St. John stopped them, and gave the beggar double of what he had received the first two times saying “perhaps he is Christ putting me to the test.”