Helping my son choose saint for Confirmation


#1

My son will be confirmed this spring. He's a swimmer, and really wants to choose Adjutor, the Patron Saint of swimming, for his saint. I have this nagging feeling that he should choose a more mainstream saint, or a saint with a loftier purpose.

Should I just leave it alone and let him choose who he wants, or guide him toward a different type of choice?

I converted to Catholicism as an adult 25 years ago, and never chose a saint, so I'm not entirely sure of the process.


#2

I don’t really want to tell you what you should do (:o), but I would just say that there is nothing wrong with choosing a more obscure saint as one’s patron saint. For some kids, being less mainstream is attractive.

Also, choosing a patron saint for Confirmation does not mean that one cannot later develop close relationships and devotions to other saints. In fact, we should do this.

That said, I know people who have wished they chose a different saint. When they were young, they simply chose a saint because they liked the name. Now that they are older and know much more about many more saints, they would have chosen differently. To minimize this sort of thing, I would simply encourage learning more and more about many different saints and, of course, praying about it.

I can’t tell you what to do (and I’m not sure what I’ll do when the time comes for my children) but as of right now, if it were me, I would encourage the child to really pray about it and to read up on the lives of many saints before making a final decision. I would do my best not to come off as trying to dissuade them from choosing a particular saint. I wouldn’t want them to feel guilt-tripped into choosing a saint simply because they think it’s the one that I want for them. I’d really like them to choose it for themselves. But encouraging prayer and study would be good.

Think of it this way. Any saint is someone that the Church assures us is in heaven. Whoever your son chooses, you can be confident that the person is a very good role model and someone who is in a very good position to intercede for your son. The more obscure the saint is, the less “busy” they’ll be answering other people’s prayers, too. :wink: (It doesn’t really work that way as the saints are outside of time, so it doesn’t matter how many people are praying to them, but it’s funny to think about it that way. :))


#3

I say let him choose who he wants. The process will be more meaningful to him. Also, sounds like he’s done some research and found an obscure saint who he’s connected with. Good for him. Too many kids take a popular saint just cause its easier. Confirmation really needs to be about his journey and his faith, and it sounds like he is on board with the process.


#4

What Arlene said.


#5

Let your son listen to the saint who is picking him.


#6

Sounds like someone great for a young man to follow!

saints.sqpn.com/sainta69.htm

Lord of Vernon-sur-Seine. Norman knight in the First Crusade in 1095 during which he was captured by Muslims who tried to force him to abandon his faith. He escaped, apparently swimming to freedom, returned to France, and became a Benedictine monk at Tiron, France. Hermit in his later years.


#7

St. Adjutor sounds good to me! And since your son is a swimmer, a perfect match.


#8

I must have picked the patron saint for forgetting because I dont recall picking one.

Fill me in.I am 58 so it has been a while.

ger


#9

I'm on board with the other responses here. The well known saints are good, and they are well known for a reason. But there are so many lesser known saints who are holy people that we should know more about and can learn from.

Also, I'm positive this man was beatified as a saint for more than just his swimming ability, however good it was. :) Your son, by picking a saint with one attractive quality (patron of swimming), will be openning the book on this saint's life and can thereby learn more about this holy man's life and virtues.

Well, that's my take. Kid's change their minds sometimes too. Good luck to your both!


#10

Best advice I can give is, ask your son to be sure to talk to his saint a lot. The closer they are, the better your son will understand what saintly behavior should be, and the more his saint can interceed for him. Remember, just because a saint is obscure, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have the time and ability to pray for your son, and be a friend to him. The Church celebrates All Saints Day so that all saints, including the ones we don’t know, are celebrated. So an obscure saint isn’t going to do your son any harm, as long as your son starts a prayerful relationship with him.

But I’m also a little confused by this. We didn’t have to pick a patron saint when I was confirmed - I chose the saint of my birthday, St. Catherine of Siena, many years after confirmation when I did some reading on her. I’m intrigued; can someone give some more details about this?


#11

[quote="tabsie3210, post:10, topic:182790"]

But I'm also a little confused by this. We didn't have to pick a patron saint when I was confirmed...I'm intrigued; can someone give some more details about this?

[/quote]

Best I can remember, we all picked a patron saint to look up to when my 8th grade class was confirmed. The saint you choose determines your confirmation name (so you then, in effect, have 2 middle names). I think this is more common in hispanic cultures, but my parish was Irish/Polish so go figure. You pick a confirmation name based on a saint you like or have an affinity towards. Then you talk to the priest one-on-one regarding your choice as part of the confirmation preparation.

My middle name is John, but as a kid I liked both John the Baptist and John the Apostle. So I wanted my confirmation name to be John as well. The priest thought I was goofing around so my friends would call me "john-john". I was serious though! I was the only kid in the class that had to write an essay explaining why I picked that saint's name. But I wrote a sincere essay, and they let me have it. :)


#12

[quote="tabsie3210, post:10, topic:182790"]
But I'm also a little confused by this. We didn't have to pick a patron saint when I was confirmed - I chose the saint of my birthday, St. Catherine of Siena, many years after confirmation when I did some reading on her. I'm intrigued; can someone give some more details about this?

[/quote]

For a little more historical background, look at the old Catholic Encyclopedia: newadvent.org/cathen/10673c.htm. The final section of this entry is about "Confirmation Names".

Basically, the practice is more personal piety than anything. There is nothing in Canon Law or the liturgical rubrics that mandates the use of a Confirmation name.


#13

[quote="Joe_5859, post:12, topic:182790"]
For a little more historical background, look at the old Catholic Encyclopedia: newadvent.org/cathen/10673c.htm. The final section of this entry is about "Confirmation Names".

Basically, the practice is more personal piety than anything. There is nothing in Canon Law or the liturgical rubrics that mandates the use of a Confirmation name.

[/quote]

Ohhhhh...

Since my name comes out of Acts 9, I was just confirmed under my own name, which explains why I had no idea what the OP was talking about. My first name is my Baptismal and Confirmation name, too. That explains why I didn't have to pick a saint's name. Hm. But still, it is nice to have a confirmation name, where you can choose a particular saint to remind you how to be holy. I hope the young man in the OP's post gets to know his new patron saint, and asks him to pray for him a lot.


#14

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