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Old Feb 21, '06, 11:12 am
tonz1980 tonz1980 is offline
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Default Why would psychics need a patron saint?

I was reading a book titled The Seeker's Guide to Saints by Mitch Finley, published by Loyola. In it he lists obscure saints and the subject for which they are a patron. While scrolling down the list, I came across Agabus, the patron saint of psychics, and wondered what was going on. Why would psychics need a patron saint? Doesn't the Church speak out against them and declare that they are affiliated with the devil?

Last edited by Michelle Arnold; Feb 21, '06 at 12:54 pm.
  #2  
Old Feb 21, '06, 12:52 pm
Michelle Arnold's Avatar
Michelle Arnold Michelle Arnold is offline
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Default Re: Why would psychics need a patron saint?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonz1980
Why would psychics need a patron saint? Doesn't the Church speak out against them and declare that they are affiliated with the devil?
The Church does not state that all psychics everywhere are "affiliated with the devil." In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it states:

Quote:
All forms of divinationare to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone (CCC 2116).
Note carefully what this text says. It says that "all forms of divination are to be rejected" (which includes deliberate attempts to "unveil the future") and that consulting the various means of divination and practitioners of divination make apparent a desire for power and hidden powers.

Now please note what the text does not say: It does not say that no one can see into the future or that there may not be people who have certain abilities that they do not seek and do not try to use. If such people do not actively practice divination or seek to cultivate unexplained psychic abilities, they are not culpable for anything they do not will and certainly cannot be dismissed as "affiliated with the devil."

It is possible that God could give certain abilities to certain individuals that they do not understand, do not desire, and do not seek to use in forbidden ways. For example, some saints, such as Padre Pio, have had a number of talents that are presently inexplicable (e.g., prophecy, bilocation, reading souls). Since God's gifts are not dependent on the personal holiness of the recipient, it is possible that ordinary people may also have similar talents that they must learn to bring into conformity with Catholic teaching.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonz1980
While scrolling down the list, I came across Agabus, the patron saint of psychics, and wondered what was going on.
According to the Patron Saints Index, St. Agabus was a Jewish convert to Christianity mentioned in Acts 11:28-29 who foretold that there would be a great famine. In response, the Church decided to send relief to the Christian community in Judea. St. Agabus is also known as Agabus the Prophet, although the Index does not mention any specific patronages assigned to him.

My guess is that it would have been more accurate for the author of the book you mentioned to have stated that Agabus can be considered a patron of prophets and to have avoided the possibly scandalous connotations of linking him to psychics. Even so, saints are sometimes given patronage for those who have dubious abilities (e.g., St. Dismas, the good thief, is a patron of criminals) in order to give Christians a saint to petition for the conversion and repentance of those who would use their abilities in an un-Christian manner. Certainly St. Agabus could be petitioned in a similar manner for psychics.

Recommended reading:

Was Padre Pio a psychic?
Is it a sin to be fey?
You Can Trust Me, I'm a Psychic by Mark P. Shea
 

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