We often practically divide the saints into three classes. The ancient saints, those of the primitive age of Christianity, we consider as the patrons of the universal Church, watching over its well-being and progress, but, excepting Rome, having only a general connection with the interests of particular countries, still less of individuals.
The great saints of the middle age, belonging to different races and countries, have naturally become their patrons, being more especially reverenced and invoked in the places of their births, their lives, and still more their deaths; whence, St. Willibrord, St. Boniface, and St. Walburga are more honored in Germany, where they died, than in England, where they were born.
The third class includes the more modern saints, who spoke our yet living languages, printed their books, followed the same sort of life, wore the same dress as we do, lived in houses yet standing, founded institutions still flourishing, rode in carriages, and in another generation would have traveled by railway. Such are St. Charles, St. Ignatius, St. Philip, St. Teresa, St. Vincent, B. Benedict Joseph, and many others.