patron saints

I’ve been reading some short bios of saints and I often wonder why they are patrons of certain areas of life. Some things are obvious from who they were or what they experienced, but others I just don’t see the connection. For instance, I was reading through a list of patron saints of childless couples/infertility/sterility, and while some were clear (born to their parents late in life, or didn’t have children but were married themselves), others just don’t seem to me to have a connection to this. How can I find out why this connection was made?


This question would have to be answered case by case. If it is not something that the saint went through in his/her own life, then often it is because they have obtained miracles for people along those lines, either during their life time, or after death.

St. Blaise, for example, during his life cured a boy who was choking to death on a fish bone, and that is why we have our throats blessed on the feast of St. Blaise. (He was also beheaded, but it is the fish story that is usually attributed to the devotion.)

Thanks. So if they can become patrons of something solely based on the fact that someone received a healing for having prayed to them, then doesn’t that technically mean that I can pick my favorite saint and pray to them about whatever I want, and then if it be God’s will to grant my prayer, the saint can then add this to their patronage, so to speak?

If that’s the case, I’m not sure what the point of having “patron” saints is, then. I thought it was because they had a personal link to the situation in some way in their life, making them more likely to relate to the given problem and thus invested in interceding because of it.:confused:

I have prayed for your intention.

Well, to be an official patron saint, the Holy Father will declare that a specific saint is patron of something, but there are also unofficial patrons that evolved from popular devotion. In the case of patron saints of cities or countries, quite often the patron saint was born/buried or lived/died there, but as I said, this is not always the case and patronage can be based on popular devotion (e.g. St. Joseph being the patron saint of Canada, even though there are canonized Canadian saints and martyrs. Actually, these saints and martyrs were well known for their devotion to St. Joseph!)

You can ask any saint to intercede for you in whatever you like, but that on its own doesn’t make them the patron of that. If you were baptized/confirmed with the name of a saint, then they are your special “patron” saint(s), and you share a connection with them in name. You are correct that often saints do have a common experience in life with whatever they are patron of (such as St. Joseph of Cupertino who would levitate/fly through the air and aviators), but this is not always the case (e.g., St. Gerard Majella is called the patron saint of the falsely accused since he was falsely accused, but he is also popularly acclaimed the patron saint of mothers despite the fact that he was obviously never pregnant/trying to conceive. Usually this title is attributed him for the miracle he obtained for a mother during his lifetime.)

I hope this helps. God bless you.

Thanks to both of you! :slight_smile:

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