Are you looking for a patron saint or heavenly intercessor? We receive emails nearly every week asking how to go about choosing a patron saint.
Whether you are trying to pick a saint for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, or you are looking for additional special intercessors in your life, having a relationship with members of your heavenly family is a good idea!
Some people have the benefit of being named after a particular saint by their parents (their Baptismal name). But not everyone has a given name that is both Christian and shared with a heavenly protector. Your "Name Saint" is a beginning, but also having other patron saints is a beautiful way to grow in the Faith.
Most Catholics have numerous “favorites” or go-to saints for a variety of life events and circumstances. The Saints are an incredible treasure of the Church; they are our heavenly family. They have walked where we walk, and they have lived the struggles of this world. They rejoice as they await our arrival in eternity, and they share in the desire to help us reach heaven.
There is a saying in the Church that we do not choose our saints; they choose us. But as in all things, we allow the Holy Spirit to work more fully when we cooperate with God’s grace. To do this, we must keep an open mind and heart, and prayerfully listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Open yourself to the promptings of the Holy Spirit by considering these things when “choosing” your Patron Saints:
1.YOUR VOCATION OR STATION IN LIFE:
God has given us all the gifts we need to serve Him in a very specific way in the world. This invitation to us is called our vocation, or our calling, or our station in life. It is written on our hearts, and He waits for us to respond to Him there.
At this time in your life, what do you see as your vocation, and how would you like to live it in a way that better glorifies God?
If determining your vocation seems difficult, ask yourself, “Who am I today as a child of God, and how is He asking me to serve Him daily in the world?” Pray asking the Lord to reveal this to you. Then listen as the Holy Spirit prompts and inspires you.
Perhaps you are a mother, wanting to love more generously and unselfishly? A wife in a difficult marriage? You may be a father who has lost your job and is struggling to provide for your family. Are you recently widowed and asking God to show you His plan for your life? A single person praying for God to bring you a holy, Catholic spouse? Are you experiencing a call to the religious life? Consider the saints who are patrons of these beautiful vocations and others.
Examples: St. Joseph is the patron saint of fathers, St. Anne is the patron saint of mothers and homemakers, St. Agnes and St. Philomena are the patron saints of virgins, and so on.
2. YOUR OCCUPATION OR FIELD OF STUDY:
The work we do in the world is a pathway to our sanctification. When it seems trying or tiresome, it is all the more fruitful if we offer it back to God in love. There is a patron saint for every occupation you can imagine. Some occupations claim more than one patron saint. From accountants to zoo-keepers, there is an intercessor for us all.
Examples: St. Francis de Sales is the patron saint of journalists and writers, St. Matthew is the patron saint of accountants, St. Michael is the patron saint for police officers, and so on.
3. SPECIAL INTERESTS, AREAS OF ENJOYMENT, OR HOBBIES:
Saints are the patrons for particular causes including almost anything you can imagine from sports, to hobbies, to areas of interest in the world around us. An attribute of their death may even be the factor that determines their patronage. The saints led varied and beautiful lives as they responded to the invitation of Our Lord. We can invoke their help and feel close to them because of shared personal characteristics, hobbies and interests.
Examples: St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of nature and animals, St. Cecelia is the patron saint for music, and so on.
4. WHAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING IN THE HERE AND NOW:
Are you struggling with an illness? Waiting to hear the results of a job interview? Looking for your lost wedding ring? Expecting a baby? Preparing for travel? Yes, there is a saint who is waiting to intercede for you in whatever you are experiencing today. Sometimes the life stories of the saints include incidents that result in their patronage. When we can identify with these details and shared situations, we feel a kinship or closeness to a particular saint.
Examples: St. Monica is the patron saint of difficult marriages and wayward children, St. Christopher for travel, St. Joseph of Cupertino for tests and studies, St. Gerard for expectant mothers, and so on.
5. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY:
Above all, pray asking the Holy Spirit to guide you as you begin considering your Patron Saints. You may be surprised and amazed at the ways in which you will find each other. Remain open, aware and waiting, so that you will recognize the promptings.
Once you establish relationships with special saints, your spiritual life will take on a depth and richness you have not experienced before. The Communion of Saints is a treasure trove of the Church. Open it, and you will be under the protection of the heavenly court. Your family in heaven awaits you!
You can find a list of many popular saints including a selection of medals, prayer cards, and other religious items associated with the saints, here.
Continue reading 6 Ways to Deepen Your Relationship with Your Patron Saint.This article as been updated and was originally published in September 2014. © The Catholic Company. All rights reserved.