Patron Saints

Who is a saint?

“Most people use the word “saint” to refer to someone who is exceptionally good or “holy.” In the Catholic Church, however, a “saint” has a more specific meaning: someone who has led a life of “heroic virtue.”


We all probably know at least one or two Saints, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Peter, or St. Thérèse of Lisieux, and we probably think that we will never be able to follow in their footstep. However, we are all called to be saints, for a saint is simply a person that is in heaven. We should all be striving for heaven, therefore, we should all be striving to be saints. However, the Catholic Church does examine the lives of those who have led extraordinary lives and raises them to the level of a Canonized Saint. A cause of canonization examines a person’s life and death to determine if they were either martyred or lived a virtuous life.


What is a patron saint?

Patron saints are chosen as special protectors or guardians over areas of life. These areas can include occupations, illnesses, churches, countries, causes, anything that is important to us. For example, Francis of Assisi loved nature and so he is patron of ecologists.


How to Choose a Patron Saint

  • Some people have the benefit of already being named after a particular saint by their parents

    • Their Baptismal name

  • 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. Examples: St. Joseph is the patron saint of fathers, St. Anne is the patron saint of mothers and homemakers, St. Agnes & St. Philomena are the patron saints of virgins.


  • Your Occupation or Field of Study

    • The work we do in the world is a pathway to our sanctification. There is a patron saint for every occupation you can imagine. Some occupations claim more than one patron saint. 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.


  • 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. Examples: St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of nature and animals; St. Cecelia is the patron saint for music.


  • What you are experiencing in the here and now

    • Are you struggling with an illness? Waiting to hear the results of a job interview? Expecting a baby? Preparing for travel? Yes, there is a saint who is waiting to intercede for you in whatever you are experiencing today. 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.


  • Pray, Pray, Pray

    • Above all, pray asking the Holy Spirit to guide you as you begin considering your Patron Saints. You can find a list of many popular saints by clicking here.

Resources from: The Conversation; The Catholic Company