Why Have a Patron Saint?

Why Have a Patron Saint?


Stephen calling from Scotland, you
are on with Jimmy Akin. Hi, guys, how are you guys doing this afternoon? Very well.
Just fine. Great. So I tried calling in last night, but
there was just so many calls, just wasn’t able to get to me.
So my question is, I had a couple Protestant friends come to me and ask me
about patron saints, and how patron saints might be more significant than,
let’s say, another saint’s intercession on my behalf. Now my, you know, name being
Stephen, was taking on St. Stephen as my patron saint; how is he more
significant than, let’s just say, St. Paul or Saint Patrick or someone else? I
wasn’t sure exactly how to…really…um… The the idea of having a
patron saint pray for you or a community or whatever, depending on what the
saint is patron of, it isn’t that we know this saint is higher up in Heaven or
anything like that. We don’t know what the heavenly hierarchy of saints is, we
leave that to God. But it can be presumed that someone who has a similarity to you,
in one way or another, would be willing to pray for you and interested in
praying for you; if you have a special connection with someone, then it can be
assumed that that person would have a special interest in praying for you.
Like, I mean–to give an example: your own parents. Let’s suppose your parents have
passed away and gone to be with God in Heaven; well, you’re their child, and so,
presumably, they would have a special interest in praying for you. Now any
saint–I mean, all the saints are perfected in charity in Heaven, so,
you know, they’re all willing to pray for us–but, you know, those who have
a special connection to us, it makes sense to ask them to pray for us. And so
if your name is Stephen, then it makes sense to ask Saint Stephen to pray for
you. That’s a connection you have with him. If you are–I know you’re from
Scotland, but if, for people who are from Ireland, St. Patrick was the evangelist
who evangelized Ireland, he was the main initial evangelist, and so
he had a special care for Irish people in this life; you’d expect him to have a
special interest in praying for them the next life.
Similarly, Saint Ambrose, from Milan, Italy, well, he was the Bishop of Milan, and so
if you’re a Milanese Catholic today, it would be natural, just like he had
special care for the Milanese of his day, to ask him to pray for you and the other
people of Milan today. So it’s really just based on connections and
similarities and experiences that various saints had in their life. For
example, Sts. Peter and Paul, they were both martyrs. So if you were,
God forbid, in a situation today where you were about to be martyred, it would
be natural to pray to Sts. Peter and Paul and other martyrs, because they had
undergone the same experience that you’re now faced with, and they would
presumably have a special interest in praying for you–although as we said,
since the Saints are all perfected in love, they’re all willing to pray for
whoever wants them to–but it still makes sense on a human level that there may be
some special connections. Aye, alright. Thanks so much, I really appreciate it. I
was not quite sure how to really best ward that situation, because I had
heard a couple different people talk about it, just wasn’t sure. Well, that’s how I’d
present it.

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