Patron Saints an Introduction

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The Roman Catholic Church has over 10,000 saints. Many Catholics find strength and inspiration in Saints and Patron Saints. Far from being an archaic tradition, Patron Saints are more relevant now than ever before. They are also ever present in our daily surroundings. In the western world you will rarely pass a day without seeing the name of a saint on a street sign, a school, a sports team and of course in churches. In addition, many people you know will be named after saints, a tradition which began in the 4th Century AD.

How to Become a Saint

Saints were once chosen by public acclaim, however, the people being chosen by this method were often elevated by legend and there are doubts that some even existed. The Vatican took over the naming of Saints in the 10th Century via a process called canonization. There are three stages to this process. The first stage examines the candidate’s life, works and holiness and, if found to be holy enough, they are named “venerable”. The second stage looks for a miracle performed after the candidate’s death and this leads them to be deemed “beatified”. Proof will then be sought for a final miracle. This is seen as proof that they can intercede for those on earth and act as their voice in heaven. They are then canonized and so become a saint.

Patron Saints

A Patron Saint is a saint who has been chosen to be a defender of a particular group. Patron Saints are chosen as guardians of countries, groups, individuals, afflictions or occupations. Although Patron Saints are named by the Pope, anyone can unofficially chose a Patron Saint for themselves or their group. If officially chosen by the Pope, a Patron Saint will be given a feast day. Patron Saints can be chosen to reflect any personal struggle you may be going through in which you need guidance and inspiration. As eloquently put by Frederick Buechner, “In his holy flirtation with the world, God occasionally drops a handkerchief. These handkerchiefs are called saints.”

More Patron Saints for 21st Century

·         Aloysius Gonzaga is the Patron Saint of AIDS patients

·         Joseph of Cupertino is the Patron Saint of air travellers

·         Peregrine Laziosi is the Patron Saint of cancer victims

·         Nicholas of Myra is the Patron Saint of children

·         Michael the Archangel is the Patron Saint of death

·         Jude is the Patron Saint of desperate situations

·         Solange is the Patron Saint of drought relief

·         Emygdius is the Patron Saint of earthquakes

·         Florian is the Patron Saint of floods

·         Dympna is the Patron Saint of depression and mental illness

·         Rita of Cascia is the Patron Saint of infertility and parenthood

·         Dominic Savio is the Patron Saint of juvenile delinquents

·         Christopher is the Patron Saint of motorists

·         Thomas Aquinas is the Patron Saint of schools

·         George is the Patron Saint of soldiers

·         Mark is the Patron Saint of teenagers

·         Fiacre is the Patron Saint of venereal disease

·         Isidore of Seville is the Patron Saint of the internet

References:

Catholic Information Website

The copyright of the article Patron Saints an Introduction is owned by Dulcinea Norton-Smith. Permission to republish Patron Saints an Introduction in print or online must be granted by the author in writing. First published on Suite101.com

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