Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 25 July |
The Feast of Saint James the Great
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

St. Homobonus is the patron saint of business owners and retail

SAINT Homobonus

Claudine Van Massenhove | Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 11/29/19

He was a "good man," who strove for integrity in his business and gave much of his profits to the poor.

Owning and running a business in a virtuous manner is not always the easiest thing to do. There are many temptations along the way that can lead down a very dark path of corruption.

However, the saints show us that it is possible to be holy and run a successful business.

St. Homobonus is a prime example, born in the 12th century to a wealthy merchant family in Italy. Throughout his whole life Homobonus would never make a business decision that would endanger his soul. He would have rather lost his entire fortune than betray the Gospel.

At the end of a long day at work, he would stop at a nearby church and pray the Liturgy of the Hours with the monks. He also frequently prayed in the midst of his work, stopping what he was doing to give praise to the Creator.

Along with a devout prayer life, he also freely gave much of his profit to the poor and suffering, personally visiting them and handing them exactly what they needed. In the book, The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints, Alan Butler details one example of his charity.

Not content with giving his tenths to the distressed members of Christ, after the death of his father (of whom he inherited a considerable stock in trade, besides a house in the town, and a small villa in the country) he seemed to set no bounds to his alms: he sought out the poor in their cottages, and whilst he cheerfully relieved their corporal necessities, he tenderly exhorted them to repentance and holy life. His wife sometimes complained that by his excessive alms he would soon reduce his family to beggary; but he mildly answered her, that giving to the poor is putting out money to the best interest, for a hundred fold, for payment whereof Christ himself has given us his bond.

What might be surprising to some is that he was a successful merchant. He was both a holy man and a good businessman, able to successfully integrate his faith into his daily endeavors.

Homobonus is a perfect intercessor for any business owner or worker in retail. His example shows that with great discipline, one does not need to sell your soul in order to sell merchandise in the modern world.

Saint John MACIAS

Read more:
A holy time-saver: This saint recruited his donkey to help him multiply his hours and energy


Read more:
Archaeologists believe they’ve discovered Santa Claus’s tomb

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
Zelda Caldwell
Did Jesus wear “tefillin” as some observant Jews do t...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.