St. Homobonus (Homa’bun-us) is the patron saint of business owners. He was born and also died in the city of Cremona, Italy during the 12th century. He’s portrayed holding a bag of money wearing merchant’s robes. He was canonized less than two years after his death by Pope Innocent III in 1199.
Not much is known about Saint Homobonus other than he lived our Christ’s commands to love God and neighbor by running his business with scrupulous honesty and reached out and served the poor by consistently donating a large portion of his profits in service to them. One could say that serving the poor was part of his overall business strategy. He came to appreciate that his calling to work in the world of business was a divine calling as should we all.
From “The Lives of the Saints” and excerpt from the bull of his canonization in A.D. 1197 by Pope Innocent III.
“This St. Homobonus experienced by his unexpected success in his business, which, under the divine blessing, was also owing to his economy, care, and industry. His business he looked upon as an employment given him by God, and he pursued it with diligence upon the motive of obedience to the divine law, and of justice to himself, his family, and the commonwealth, of which he thus approved himself a useful member. If a tradesman’s books be not well kept, if there be not order and regularity in the whole conduct of his business, if he do not give his mind seriously to it, with assiduous attendance, he neglects an essential duty, and is unworthy to bear the name of a Christian. Homobonus is a saint by acquitting himself diligently, upon perfect motives of virtue and religion, of all the obligations of his profession.”
As Pope Francis exhorts us to remember in Evangelii Gaudium, 203. “Business is – in fact – a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life. This will enable them truly to serve the common good by striving to increase the goods of this world and to make them more accessible to all.”
When things get tough at work, as they inevitably do, say a quick prayer to Saint Homobonus and ask for the strength, wisdom, courage and self-control to carry on!
Saint Homobonus – — Pray for us!
Prayer to St. Homobonus –
Beloved and Charitable St. Homobonus Your Honesty and Good Will served your community and the Lord well. Help me follow your example and not give in to
Temptations of Greed and Easy Shortcuts that wound others. I ask for guidance in my work, so that I may prosper by choosing virtue over avarice.