How Many Parent-Child Saint Pairs Are There?

Sainthood, it sometimes seems, runs in the family. In today and tomorrow’s feasts of St. Monica and St. Augustine, we have one of the most famous parent-child saint pairs. But theirs is not the only one.

Here are some others I dug up that are perhaps less well known (or so obvious that they aren’t thought of too often):

■ Blessed Jane: The mother of not one, but two saints—St. Dominic and his far-lesser known brother, Blessed Manes.

■ Parents of Mary: Probably most Catholics know or were taught at one point that the mother of Mary, Anne, is a saint. Probably fewer were aware that Mary’s father, Joachim, also is a saint.


■ Parents of St. John the Baptist: These are well-known biblical figures, but their status as saints is may be news to some—Saints Zachary (Zechariah) and Elizabeth.

■ St. Helena and Constantine the Great: One of the more notable parent-child pairs of Christian history is notable because the parent, St. Helena, is a saint, while her far more famous son, Constantine the Great, was never declared a saint in the Roman rite. However, he is venerated as a saint in Eastern Orthodoxy.

Can you think of any more? If so, post them in the comments section or e-mail me at


Stephen Beale


Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. Raised as an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism. He is a former news editor at and was a correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he covered the 2008 presidential primary. He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN and the Today Show and his writing has been published in the Washington Times, Providence Journal, the National Catholic Register and on and A native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in classics and history. His areas of interest include Eastern Christianity, Marian and Eucharistic theology, medieval history, and the saints. He welcomes tips, suggestions, and any other feedback at bealenews at gmail dot com. Follow him on Twitter at

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