Patronages

Drinking with Your Patron Saints has over 700 listed patronages, that is, causes for

st john poisoned cup

St. John the Apostle, patron saint of Asia Minor, authors, burns,
compositors, engravers, friendships, lithographers,
papermakers, poison sufferers, poison, Turkey, typesetters

petitioning a particular saint for help. The list includes places (such as various countries), occupations (from accountants to zookeepers), hobbies (woodworking, surfing, sports), and problems (difficult marriages, disappointing children (!), health troubles, etc.). And yes, since there are patron saints for contagious disease, there are patron saints you can invoke against the coronavirus (Saints Christopher, Sebastian, and Roch, to name a few).

To find your patron saint, see if you can find a saint for your birthplace or ethnicity. Sorry, we don’t do individual U.S. states, although you can think big and pray to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the U.S.A., or Our Lady of Guadalupe, Empress of the Americas.

Next, try to find your job in the list. If it is not listed, broaden the search to a more generic field or adjust it somehow. If you are an orthopedist, for example, and do not find an entry for that career, you might look under “medical professionals” for the patronage of Saint Luke or Raphael or “foot problems” for the patronage of Saint Peter.

Also check out your hobbies and activities. There are not many patron saints for individual sports, but St. Sebastian is the patron saint of all athletes and would welcome you as a client. I did, however, manage to track down some rather unknown patronages. Our Lady of Ghisallo is the patroness of cyclists, and Our Lady of Castellazzo is the patroness of bikers (motorcycles). And, of course, you should say a prayer to St. Christopher every time you get behind the wheel of a car or truck.

Finally, don’t forget your name. Chances are you share a first name with a saint, even if your parents named you after Uncle Bill or Aunt Sally. The feast day of the saint
after whom you were named is called your “name day”–find it and celebrate it with gusto. And if your first name is not explicitly Christian, no worries. Over the years, parents’ name choices have grown less devotional and more colorful—literally in some cases, as with Amber, Auburn, and Cyan. (And what’s the deal with naming your kids after jobs that no longer exist, like Cooper and Tanner? I await the day when I meet someone named Solo Saxophonist or Travel Agent.) But this is not an insurmountable problem: use your confirmation name if you have one, or simply attach yourself to a saint with whom you feel a special kinship.

And many names have a Christian origin despite appearances to the contrary. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, for instance, is hidden under many common girls’ names. “Regina,” or queen, is for the Queen of Heaven, “Grace” for Our Lady of Grace, “Dolores” for Our Lady of Seven Sorrows, “Soledad” for Our Lady of Solitude, and “Hope” for Our Lady of Hope or Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Similarly, your name may simply be a variation of a saint’s name. If you are Caitlyn, Karen, or Kathleen, you share a name with Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Catherine of Siena. Do a little research into the history and meaning of your name, and you may be surprised by its connection to a saint.