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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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