Infertility and fertility are age-old struggles that so many have faced. It can truly test our faith when all you want is a baby and you haven’t conceived yet, or you find yourself pregnant when you aren’t prepared, and it seems God hasn’t heard your prayers. We can look to the Bible to find examples of men and women who struggled in some ways related to child-bearing too. These are saints who can and will pray for us!
Think of Hannah, Rachel, Sarah and Abraham, Elizabeth and Zachariah, Saints Joachim and Anne, the Virgin Mary and Joseph, and more. They were called upon to abandon their will for their child-bearing to the Lord. And what’s more—not all of these characters were eager and willing to take on this suffering, which somehow makes them all the more relatable.
There are also other saints who have been where you are in your struggle or are patrons for fertility and infertility. Their novenas and more are great ways to offer your suffering and petitions to God. He can and will use these sufferings for good, even if we may not see it anytime soon. We can trust Him.
Saint Anne & Joachim
Church tradition tells us that Saints Anne and Joachim were older when they had Mary, and that they had suffered from infertility for many years. After trying for a child for years, all the while trusting in God’s perfect plan, St. Joachim went away to pray for a time. While in prayer, St. Gabriel appeared to both Anne and Joachim and told them they would conceive a daughter; their daughter is Mary, the mother of God! Saint Anne and Joachim trusted in God and were devoutly following Him even before they knew they would conceive. Pray this Novena to Sts. Anne and Joachim for intercession concerning infertility and fertility, but especially for trying to conceive a child.
Saint Gerard Majella
St. Gerard, an Italian saint from the 1700s is a patron saint of pregnant women. There were many miracles attributed to him when he was still living; one of the most known miracles involved a high risk pregnant woman touching St. Gerard’s hankerchief to her abdomen which caused an immediate change for the better and her baby was born healthy. He has interceded for many struggling men and women before; pray this Novena to St. Gerard Majella for his help.
St. Gianna Beretta Molla
Saint Gianna is a patron saint of mothers and fertility; she carried her last child to term foregoing cancer treatment. She died only seven days after her baby’s birth. Pray this Novena to St. Gianna asking for her intercession; she is an advocate for those suffering.
St. Zelie Martin
Saint Zelie Martin (St. Therese of Lisieux’s mother) suffered the loss of four of her and Louis’ nine children when they were young. She wrote about how this life is short and comes with misery; yet she was able to still glorify God in everything she did. Pray the Novena to St. Zelie Martin for her intercession.
Saint Jude Thaddeus
Saint Jude is the patron saint of hopeless causes and desperate situations; although, as Christians we know that nothing is ever hopeless with God! Saint Jude was one of the original Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He was martyred for the faith and his prayers are powerful. When you feel like you might be losing hope, pray this Novena to Saint Jude.
St. Anthony of Padua
Saint Anthony is known as the wonder worker! He was born in Portugal, then ended up in Italy after joining the Franciscans. He spent his life preaching, spreading love for God, and performing miracles. Many ask Saint Anthony’s intercession with great confidence; pray this Novena to Saint Anthony of Padua.
St. Brigid of Kildare
Saint Brigid was an Irish abbess living in the 400s-500s; she founded multiple convents. She is the patron saint of babies among other things like midwives and women! Pray this Novena to St. Brigid asking for her saintly intercession.
Saint Colete was an answered prayer! Her parents suffered from infertility and prayed for a child for a long time before they had her. She was a French abbess who lived in the 1300s-1400s. Pray this Novena to Saint Colette and ask her to pray for you, especially if you are trying to conceive.
Some other great novenas you might like to pray:
Remember, whether you are facing infertility, hyperfertility, an unplanned pregnancy, or something else related to fertility, you are not alone. You do not have to carry this burden and pain on your own. Let the saints pray for you and give you a lift on the way to holiness. And most importantly, never forget that God can work through your suffering and that He can work beautiful things out of the most painful events in your life.