Catholic believers pray for the intercession of the saints in heaven so that they may pray for us on our behalf. Saints are able to intercede on our behalf, as John reveals in the Book of Revelation that the saints in heaven offer up to God the prayers of those on Earth.

Patron saints are recognized as the heavenly advocates and special intercessors for many things, even states. If you want to ask for the special intercession on behalf of your state, do you know who to pray to?

The patron saint of Alabama is Our Lady of the Gulf. The patron saint name of Our Lady of the Gulf also serves as the title for the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary is guided by the example of her perfect obedience to the Word of God, with the hopes that all followers strive to live by faith, hope and love as disciples of the Lord.

Our Lady of the Gulf is revered as the primary saint at Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church, located in Gulf Shores, Alabama. The history of the church dates back to 1948, when there were few Catholics located in the Gulf Shores, yet those Catholics wanted to gather to celebrate Sunday Mass as a congregation.

To celebrate Mass without a church was an issue, so it was decided to conduct Mass at Romeo’s Italian Restaurant, and confessions were heard in the priest’s car. The small group grew and began meeting at ‘The Little Casino’—a small, wooden hotel. The congregants soon realized their need for a permanent place to worship. Land was donated by a local realtor and the original church was constructed for only $19,000 in 1952.

In September 1979, Hurricane Frederick devastated Gulf Shores, but the church stood unharmed. Many believe it was due to their prayers to their saint—Our Lady of the Gulf. As the community surrounding began to rebuild, the church continued to grow and began the building fund for a larger sanctuary.

But Hurricane Frederick wasn’t the only devastating hurricane to threaten the church. Our Lady of the Gulf’s history includes surviving Hurricanes Frederick in 1979, Ivan in 2004 and Katrina in 2005. The congregants continue to seek intercession for protection and provision from their patron saint, Our Lady of the Gulf.

For more information, visit www.olgal.org.

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Kelly Legg has been writing for the Osprey Observer as a freelance writer for three years, and has recently taken on the role of managing editor for the Christian Voice newspaper. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications. She currently resides in Riverview with her husband and three children.