Who Is My Patron Saint?

By | February 17, 2017

Have you ever wondered if you have your own patron saint? Have you asked yourself “Just who is my patron saint?”. Or would you like to know how you can chose one? Well, if you are Catholic then it is a good idea for you to adopt one. There are many different saints that you can chose from and you can pick any particular one that interests you. Here I will help you answer this question.

Who Is My Patron Saint?

I must admit that I am not religious, but I do have an interest in history and also the origin of traditions. I like learning new things. I do believe though that we should all be respectful and mindful of each other.

Try and help out and be kind to your friends, family and even strangers that you meet in the street. I have digressed here from what this topic is all about but I hope my sentiments have come across.

Even though this is a genealogy and family history website I thought that it might be interesting to cover this subject on this site. After all patron sites can be associated with the family as I will explain in this post. So it is only right to include them on this site and in the process help you to find your patron saint.


What Is A Patron Saint?

First of all let us answer the question as to what exactly is a patron saint. My List Patron Saints of Britain and Ireland discussed what a patron saint is and also discussed the origins of the saints of Britain and Ireland. When I was researching for this post I was quite surprised as to their origins, and I must admit that I learned quite a lot from it.

What Is A Patron Saint?

Basically patron saints go back to the days of the Roman Empire. In those days churches were built on the site of where martyrs had died. These churches then would bear their name in their honor. Church goers would not only pray at the church but would pay respect to the church’s saint.

In fact there are a couple of other ways that a church may share a saint’s name. One way is that a saint may have prayed at the site. Another way is that maybe his or her relics were transferred to the site.


So How Do You Chose A Patron Saint?

As I will discuss here there are a number of ways that you can chose a patron saint of your own. Your first choice, (and the most popular choice), is to go with one which bears your name.

Work With What We Know

1. Personal or Familial Patron Saint

You may decide that you would like a patron saint that bears your name, (if one exists). If no saint shares your name then there are a number of options available to you. You may chose a saint with similar spelling or one that you adopted at your Confirmation.

Special Family Days

According to Canon Law though if either your first or second name isn’t a saint’s name then the priest can bestow one on you at baptism. This law though was amended in 1983 so that parents or sponsor could also take on the responsibility of choosing a name.

You could even adopt the one of your parish church. Patron saints of your country or even maybe the country of your ancestors is also a good choice.

Deciding on a patron saint for your family is also a good idea as well. You could honor this family saint with icon or statue in your house. Having some item around our home is a good way to keep them in our thoughts and our hearts.

The Dictionary of Patron Saints’ Names is also a good guide for you. The author, Father Thomas Sheehan, tries to list many English names and the saint for each one of these. The meanings behind these names is also given.

         

2. Date of your Birthday

If you cannot decide on a patron saint that shares a similar name then you can always adopt one that has a feast day on your birthday. There are far more patron saints that there are days of the year. So with that in mind you can see that there are well over 365 saints for you to chose from.

Your Birthday

A feat day or memorial day is a day of the year where we honor and recognize a saint that died on that date. So you may feel more connected to one that shares the same day of the year as you, rather than one that bears your name.

So if you cannot chose one then you can always let a saint come to you via your birthday.

3. Patron Saints for Occupations, Interests and Hobbies

It may surprise you that there are patron saints for occupations as well. You may therefore like to adopt one that is associated with your trade or profession. If you still cannot decide on one then maybe you can chose one based on your ancestors occupation.

Old Occupations Their Meanings

As I have already mentioned I am not religious. But I was quite interested to not only learn about the trades and professions of my ancestors but also the patron saints that they worshiped.

You may even decide on one based on your interests or a hobby that you like doing.

Please check out: Patron Saint Workers and Their Feast Days

4. Patron Saints of Diseases

By the time of the Middle Ages patron saints were adopted to other subjects besides churches. These included occupations as detailed above but also towards illnesses and maladies.

Disease and Medication

One such saint associated with illness is Saint Agatha. She was martyred in 250AD and she was chosen as the patron for the diseases of the breast. She was in good health though but her breasts were cut off as she refused to marry a non-christian.

Legend though says that Christ came before her as she lay dying. Christ then restored her breasts so that she may die whole.

Bonus Option: Saint Name Generator

If you still cannot decide on a patron saint then you can use the Saint’s Name Generator tool. So you can blindly pick one from a huge list of saints that are available to you. As it is not a requirement that choosing a patron saint to be official then this, and the other methods, are perfectly acceptable ways.


Final Thoughts

As I have pointed out there are many ways that are available to you where you can decide on a patron saint. You may though decide that you would like to adopt more than one patron saint and this is also acceptable. It really doesn’t matter how many patron saints that you worship.

So you could have a patron saint that bears your first name or your second name. You may though chose to worship your church’s saint, one that was given to you at confirmation, or maybe the other options that I have discussed in this post.

Hopefully I have made the decision for you a little easier with the explanation of the different ways for you to decide on.


Thank You and Please Leave A Comment

I hope you enjoyed this post about how to chose your patron saint. If you think that this post will be helpful to others then please share it with friends and family using the social media buttons below.

If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Author: Owain

Hello, Owain here. After researching my family history for a number of years I wanted to give back to the genealogy world. So here you will find guides, tips and product reviews that will help you on your genealogy journey.

10 thoughts on “Who Is My Patron Saint?

  1. Arief Wibowo

    I am not a Catholic but it is nice to have a patron saint that I can relate to.
    Maybe I should choose one. Do you know which patron for barbers?

    Or for modern world, a patron for an online marketer? 😀

    Reply
    1. Owain Post author

      Yes it is nice, and you can honor as many patron saints as you like.

      To answer your question though the patron Saint of barbers is Saint Martin de Porres and his feat Day is November 3.

      I guess online marketers is too modern, but you may go with Saint Lucy who is the patron Saint of salespersons. Her feast day is December 13..

      Please check out my Patron Saint Workers and Their Feast Days post as it lists many different occupations.

      Reply
  2. Craig | UK TV Services Abroad

    These are all good ideas for choosing a Patron Saint. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to find one with my name as it’s a pretty unusual surname. The Saint name generator is probably the best way to go for me. So…..I used the name generator and I can reveal my Saint is (drumroll)

    St. Bernard Scammacca Feast: February 16.

    This is interesting because my birthday is February 14 (St. Valentine’s day). Surely my Patron Saint should be St Valentine? Is this a real Saint even? I’d love to know.

    Reply
    1. Owain Post author

      Thanks again Craig for your comment. You can chose your patron saint by your first name rather than your surname. I can say that St. Bernard Scammacca was indeed a real saint. You can learn more about him through this link.

      You can have as many saints as you wish. So you could have both if you like.

      Reply
  3. Furkan

    I actually try to see all names and choose it according to the name but could not find any. And I think that I should go with my birthday and let’s see whose feast day on 22 November 🙂 Actually I was searching it on your article and found it. Saint Cecile’s feast day is on 22 November 🙂

    Reply
    1. Owain Post author

      There are different ways that you can choose your own patron saint. It’s unfortunate that you could not find one that matches your name. At least you found one that you share with your birthday. You may wish to choose one based on your activities or hobbies. All the best.

      Reply
  4. DIY Self Therapy

    Oooh, what an interesting connection to genealogy! I’m not particularly religious either, but I’m super into exploring my family tree and this is right up my alley. Any idea who the patron saint might be for therapists and counselors?

    I got St. Nicholas on the Saint’s Name Generator. Fun!
    Thanks so much for this interesting and informative article. I learned a lot!

    Reply
    1. Owain Post author

      I’m not religious too, but I am really interested in history, (particularly family history). So I wanted to dig into this area of history as I believe many family historians would be interested to know this.

      I couldn’t find a saint for those two occupations. But I did find one for Psychiatrists which is Saint Christina. There is also the patron saint for public health workers which is Saint Martin de Porres. Hope that is of help to you.

      I am glad that you had fun with the Saint’s Name Generator

      Reply
  5. Audrey L. K.

    Thank you for sharing all of this helpful information about patron saints! I’ve always felt drawn to St. Augustine, as well as St. Theresa and St. Francis. I used the Saint’s name generator you provided and I got St. Germain! I really enjoy praying to the saints and focusing on them as helpful spirits in my meditations.

    Reply
    1. Owain Post author

      You’re quite welcome Audrey. I find it fascinating that not only do countries have patron saints, but also there patron saints for occupations and illnesses as well.

      I wanted to include this on my site as I feel that our ancestors would have prayed to them and that they would have been a part of their lives.

      Reply

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