Useful Notes / Patron Saints

All around the cathedral, the saints and apostles look down as she sells her wares.
Although you can't see them, you know they are smiling each time someone shows that he cares.
Mary Poppins, from Mary Poppins, written by the Sherman Brothers.

Real Life saints who have been invoked as patrons in fiction.

Many such saints have many legends accrete about a bare kernel of fact, such as a name listed as a martyr. Real legends that help explain their patronage may also be included below. An important theological underpinning is that these saints are intercessors. Having died and been canonized, the Church tradition says that each of these saints is in heaven with God. Then, in their state of grace, these saints pray to God on behalf of the faithful who pray to them. Think of them as heavenly advocates who have some "insider perks" with the Almighty. Worshiping a saint is right out — also known as "putting other gods before God," which you might notice is not looked upon kindly. Anyway, saints aren't gods — they're just ordinary people who were extraordinarily holy.

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     Designations of Sainthood 
Aside from the archangels, who are immortal by human standards and live outside of time, the first saints to exist are the evangelists and the apostles. These are two extremely exclusive groups: Evangelists wrote the Gospels, and there are exactly four of them: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (apocryphal writers don’t count). The apostles number twelve, all men. They are the hand-picked among Jesus’ followers to be His closest students, and the leaders of His Church after His Ascension. (The Church doesn’t recognize any female apostles, but women were a part of Christ’s ministry at the very beginning, including Mary, His Mother, Mary of Magdala, and more.)

After Christ’s Ascension, as Christianity grew in numbers, they began to face persecution by the Roman Empire. This led to the second chronological body of saints: Martyrs. The Roman Empire got extremely creative in its punishment of those who failed to honor the Roman gods (though reports about being fed to lions seem to have been greatly exaggerated). Those who continued to profess their faith even unto the moment of death were said to have borne witness to the divinity of Christ, and thus Christians called them “martyrs,” the Greek word for “witness.”

History turned onward, Constantine had a vision, and with one thing and another Christianity became the dominant faith of the Roman Empire, and then of Western Europe. Obviously as Christians were in power, the martyrdoms stopped — unless you were trying to convert non-Christians to the faith, and died by the hand of said non-Christians. Then you could still be called a martyr.

Different models of holiness rose into prominence. Confessor then was the title given to those who “confessed” the word of God in their words and deeds. Abbots and Abbesses founded and ran monastic communities dedicated to contemplation, or learning, or helping the poor. Stylites decided to remove themselves from the world as much as possible, by climbing to the exposed tops of pillars and staying there for years at a time, not unlike other saints who self-flagellated and mortified their flesh. Women who pledged their chastity to God and protected it with their life were given the title Virgin. And, of course, Popes are always popular candidates for Sainthood.

     Feast Days 
Every day in the calendar, in the eyes of a strict Catholic, is the Feast Day of some saint or another (or a few). Some dates are the known anniversaries of births, deaths, or miracles. Others were older, pagan festivals of local deities that had been Hijacked by Jesus. And some days there doesn’t seem to have been any rhyme or reason, but there was an empty day and a Saint to spare, so just put them together, and you have another feast day to celebrate.

A baby born on a saint’s feast day might be named after that particular saint, and gender is no obstacle. A little girl born on March 19th, the feast day of St. Joseph, would be named Josephine, for instance. The patron saint then acts as a sort of guardian angel (though not strictly angelic) for their little namesake’s protection and guidance. Also frequently seen is that when Catholic churches are founded, they are named after the Saint on whose feast day the Church was consecrated, or founded, or when the first stone was laid, or so on. An icon or statue of that Saint will be placed prominently within the space, to remind the congregants who their patron is.

     So You Want to Be a Patron Saint… 
The first step in becoming a Catholic saint is... to be Christian.note  Be a baptized, practicing Christian, preferably one of the Catholic denominations (depending on which Pope you'd like to have canonize you). The second step is to live a good, virtuous life, to radiate God’s love and sanctity, and to be an inspiring example to others. The third step is to die.

Catholic tradition holds that the souls of the blessed reside even now in Heaven with the Almighty. We have precious few tropers editing this wiki in Heaven, so we have to stick with earthy matters of a process called ‘’canonization.’’ Canonization is lengthy and complicated, and takes years. The candidate’s life is thoroughly examined, and those who knew the candidate in life testify to their holiness, while a Devil's Advocate looks into the most sordid elements of the candidate’s life, and accounts for why they are not worthy (yes, this is where the term comes from – Devil’s Advocates are actually employees of the Vatican).

If your candidate passes this level, they are declared Venerable. The second threshold is passed when the candidate’s intercession (through prayer, or the use of a relic) brings about a miracle. After an investigation to be sure it was a miracle, and not a mistake, the Church then declares that the candidate is in heaven with God, and they are declared Blessed, or Beatified. Their recognition won’t extend beyond their home diocese note . However, if the intercession of the candidate brings another miracle, then the candidate can be canonized, given the title of Saint, and recognized throughout the Catholic world. They might even get their own Feast Day.

     Imagery, Relics, and Holy Miscellany 
Pretty much wherever saints appear, they are designated by their particular iconography. Evangelists, for example, carry a scroll or book and a quill, and their symbolic companion stands or floats beside them. Martyrs traditionally hold a palm, and often are depicted holding the weapons that killed them, sometimes even their own dismembered body parts. It’s gruesome, but they stand triumphant, prevailing forever over the cruelty of the world. Saints whose patronage extends to entire nations will typically carry or wear national symbols. Separate saints have their own iconography, too much to get into here. The Other Wiki serves as an excellent resource, for the curious.

Several saints, including St. Francis of Assisi, are recognizable for bearing the stigmata. The stigmata is a Wound That Will Not Heal which mirrors the wounds of Christ's Passion, and it has five parts: the wounds from the nails driven into Christ's wrists and ankles, and the spear cut sliced into His side. Occasionally depictions include the punctures from the crown of thrones, and Maronite Catholicism recognizes an additional wound, the bruise on His shoulder from carrying the cross. God "blesses" sufficiently holy souls with the stigmata in recognition of their holiness and their desire to emulate Christ. Sometimes the stigmata causes great pain and stink, other times people report a saint's wounds as smelling sweet, with the "Odor of Sanctity." The wound can be partial; St. Rita of Cascia wore a thorn wound on her forehead, but nothing else. The Stigmata is frequently included in icons of Christ, and it's common for saint iconography, as well.

Relics are, in addition to frequent MacGuffins from old time Age of Empires campaigns, objects that are imbued with so much of the saint’s sanctity that they are themselves revered (not worshipped, mind – just revered). Different relics are credited with miraculous healings, or have served as omens or oracles. There are two kinds: items touched by the saint, such as clothing or objects for Mass, and actual body parts of the saint, preserved behind glass and on velvet cushions. Some saints’ bodies are even credited with “incorruptibility,” meaning they’ve been exhumed years post-mortem and their bodies are not decayed – sometimes even fresh. (Catholicism is hardcore, man.)

Note that Catholic Saints avert One Steve Limit hard — Saints are frequently given an extra title, such as their home town, to help distinguish them.

As a final note, although this page tries to talk about Christianity and saints with benevolence and very little irony, the communion of saints is not stainless, just like many other aspects of the Roman Catholic Church. While we can all agree that feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless are good things to do, other saints' legacies are contested. Let the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment apply, in case of controversies.

The Communion of Well-Known Patron Saints

Note: The list is ordered according to their earliest date of celebration in the General Roman Calendar, a list of saints celebrated globally by the Roman Catholic Church. "RC" stands for the Roman Catholic Church, "Orth." for Orthodox churches in general, "Angl." for the Anglican Communion, and "Luth." for various Lutheran churches.

  • Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, Queen of All Saints. Mary bore and raised Jesus, assisted in his ministry, witnessed his resurrection, and was (according to Catholic tradition) assumed bodily into heaven. That'd be miraculous enough for anyone, but Mary wasn't content with that. She's had an astonishingly active Biblical career, according to pious legend. She is, among other things, patroness of Mexico, of the United States (the US being hostile to Catholics until one became President, the American Church must have figured that they needed the biggest guns they could find), and of France (that's why many prominent French cathedrals are entitled Notre Dame, "Our Lady"). Known by a myriad of titles — you can find an "Our Lady of" just about anything. Beloved and revered in many ways all around the world. Her major feasts are January 1 (her motherhood, celebrated by Roman Catholics, as substitute for the feast of the circumcision of the newborn Jesus, held as per Jewish tradition eight days after his birth), May 31 (her visit to her cousin Elizabeth, who was also pregnant with John the Baptist [see June 24]), August 15 (the anniversary of her Assumption), August 22 (the eighth day after the Assumption, celebrated by Roman Catholics as her queenship), September 8 (her birthday), November 21 (her presentation in the Temple of Jerusalem, according to an apocryphal account), and December 12 (her conception, nine months before September 8); in addition, Roman Catholics also celebrate her apparitions at Lourdes in France (February 11), Fátima in Portugal, (May 13), Mount Carmel in Israel (July 16), and Guadalupe in Mexico (December 12), as well as her titles as Our Lady of Sorrows (September 15) and the Rosary (October 7).
  • January 2Basil (the Great) of Caesarea (329-379) and Gregory of Nazianzus (329-390) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: Bishops and noted theologians from from Cappadocia (modern-day central Turkey) — the former was bishop of Caesarea Mazaca (modern-day Kayseri) and a staunch defender of orthodox Christianity against the Arian schism, which rejects Christ's equality with God; the latter, archbishop of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) and a philosopher who weaved Hellenism into Christian thought.
  • January 7Raymond of Penyafort (1175-1275) [RC]: Patron of canon (ecclesiastic) lawyers; a Spanish Dominican friar who composed the various laws passed by Pope Gregory IX.
  • January 13Hilary of Poitiers (310-367) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: Bishop of Pictavium in Gaul (modern-day Poitiers, France) and a staunch opponent of Arian schism.
  • January 17Anthony the Great (251-356) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: The Trope Maker for Christian monasticism, having spent most of his adult life in contemplation in the deserts of Egypt. Generally depicted as either enduring temptation or serving as swineherd.
  • January 20Pope Fabian (236-256) [RC / Orth.]: Bishop of Rome and martyr under Emperor Decius; famous for healing a rift between followers of his predecessors, Pontian and Hippolytus.
  • January 20Sebastian (258-287) [RC / Orth. / Angl.]: Patron of soldiers and athletes. A Roman soldier and covert Christian who tended to his fallen fellow believers until he was exposed and executed. Popularly depicted as being tied onto a tree and shot with arrows.
  • January 21Agnes (of Rome) (291-304) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: Patron of girls, chastity, and rape victims. Died at the tender age of twelve after she was publicly humiliated and nearly raped for refusing to worship the Roman gods.
  • January 22Vincent of Saragossa (d. 304) [RC / Orth. / Angl.]: Deacon of modern-day Zaragoza in Spain and patron of Lisbon and Valencia, where he became the first Spanish martyr during the massive persecution campaign of Emperor Diocletian.
  • January 24Francis de Sales (1567-1622) [RC / Angl.]: French bishop of Geneva during the Protestant Reformation, albeit quartered in nearby Annecy, famous for his gentle approach to the delicate religious situation of his constituency, torn between Roman Catholics and Calvinists.
  • January 26Timothy (17-97) and Titus (d. 96 or 107) [RC, Angl. and Luth. / Orth., August 25 for Titus]: Saint Paul's protégés (to whom he wrote three letters, all recorded in The Bible) and first bishops, respectively, of Ephesus (modern-day Selçuk, Turkey) and Crete.
  • January 27Angela Merici (1474-1540) [RC]: Italian nun and founder of the Ursuline order, dedicated to the education of girls. Patron of the handicapped and orphans.
  • January 28Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) [RC / Angl. / Luth.]: Dominican friar and arguably one of the most influential philosophers and theologians not just in Christianity, but throughout the Western world, integrating Aristotelian philosophy with basic Christian tenets. Patron of the intellectual class and centers of learning.
  • January 31John Bosco (1815-1888) [RC / Angl.]: Patron of juvenile delinquents, having spent most of his life rescuing and educating street children from rapidly-industrializing Turin.

  • February 3Blaise (d. 316) [RC / Orth.]: Bishop of Sebaste (modern-day Sivas, Turkey) and martyr. Usually invoked against throat diseases.
  • February 3Ansgar (801-865) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen and missionary to Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Revered for his determination to spread the Gospel despite multiple political and religious setbacks.
  • February 5Agatha (of Sicily) (231-251) [RC / Orth. / Angl.]: Patron of Malta and San Marino, reputedly martyred for her faith by having her breasts cut off (thus she was also invoked against breast cancer).
  • February 6Paulo Miki (1562-1597) and the 26 Martyrs of Nagasaki [RC]: Jesuit Japanese convert and one of the earliest victims of the wave of persecutions under Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
  • February 8Gerolamo Emiliani (1486-1537) [RC]: Italian priest and founder of the Somaschi Fathers, which tended to orphan boys, for whom he is their patron.
  • February 8Josephine Bakhita (1869-1947) [RC]: Patron of her native Sudan (specifically, Darfur), from which she was sold as a slave until she found refuge as a Canossian sister in Italy.
  • February 10Scholastica (480-547) [RC / Orth.]: Sister (and alleged twin) of Saint Benedict. Patron of nuns and protection against storms (legend has it that before she died she prayed that a storm interrupt the departure of the then-visiting Benedict, wanting him to be by her side in her last moments).
  • February 14Cyril (826-869) and Methodius (815-885) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: Brothers and missionaries to Eastern Europe. Patrons of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Macedonia and Slovakia, and as of 1980 two of the six Roman Catholic Patrons of Europe, stemming from their missionary zeal.
  • February 17Buonfiglio dei Monaldi (Bonfilius), Giovanni di Buonagiunta (Bonajuncta), Amadeus dell' Amidei (Bartolomeus), Ricovero dei Lippi-Ugguccioni (Hugh), Benedetto dell' Antella (Manettus), Gherardino di Sostegno (Sostene) and Alessio de' Falconieri (Alexius) [RC]: Seven merchants from Florence who gave up their wealth to found the Order of Friar Servants of Mary (Servites) in 1233 and live in contemplation of the sorrows of the Virgin Mary.
  • February 21Peter Damian (1007-1072/1073) [RC]: Reformer of the Benedictine order and placed by Dante in The Divine Comedy in the highest levels of Paradiso (Heaven).
  • February 23Polycarp (69-156) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: Bishop of Smyrna (modern-day İzmir, Turkey), martyr, and allegedly disciple of Saint John, one of Jesus' twelve apostles. Invoked against ear ache and dysentery.

  • March 3Casimir [Jagielion] (1458-1484) [RC]: Patron of Lithuania and a prince of the Kingdom of Poland who spent his short life in devotion and charity.
  • March 7Perpetua and Felicitas (d.203) [RC, Angl. and Luth. / Orth., February 1]: Two of the earliest and most popular martyrs from Carthage (modern-day Tunis, Tunisia) — the former a noblewoman, the latter a pregnant slave — and the subject of a popular hagiography.
  • March 8John of God (1495-1550) [RC]: Patron of hospitals and nurses and founder of the Brothers Hospitallers, a religious order dedicated to caring for the ill.
  • March 9Frances of Rome (1384-1440) [RC]: Benedictine oblate (not technically a nun, but a commoner who has adopted a semi-monastic lifestyle) and patron of widows.
  • March 17Patrick (5th c.) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: A British slave turned cleric, who late in life returned to Ireland, where he was brought as a slave, to preach to its peoples. Patron of Ireland, Nigeria, New York, Boston, and engineers. Popularly depicted driving out snakes from Ireland (as there are no native snakes there, it is thought of as an allegory of him driving out paganism).
  • March 18Cyril of Jerusalem (313-386) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: A distinguished theologian of the early Church, who wrote extensively on the Liturgy and instruction of catechumens (people receiving formal religious education).
  • March 19Joseph (90 BC - 18 AD, apocryphal): Carpenter and foster-father of Jesus by way of his marriage to Mary. Sometimes depicted as a very old man to symbolize his chaste marriage. Patron of all manual laborers (Pope Pius XII dedicated May 1, Labor Day, to him as a worker), fathers, immigrants (for guiding his family through the journey to Bethlehem and the Flight into Egypt), Canada, Croatia, Korea and Vietnam, and of a peaceful death (tradition has it, stemming from his sudden disappearance in the Gospels, that he died peacefully sometime before Jesus' ministry).
  • March 23Turibius of Mogrovejo (1538-1606) [RC / Angl.]: Spanish-born Archbishop of Lima. He is best known for his missionary efforts, traversing the vast expanse of Peru to personally administer to his realm, as well as a defender of rights of indigenous peoples.

  • April 2Francis of Paola (1416-1507) [RC]: Founder of the Friars Minim, which follow an ascetic lifestyle and known for his gifts of prophecy.
  • April 4Isidore of Seville (560-636) [RC / Orth.]: Archbishop of the Spanish city, best known for converting the Visigoth royalty from Arianism and setting the foundations of representative legislation, as well as his Great Big Book of Everything, the Etymologiae, which recorded extracts from various classical literature, giving him a reputation as patron of the Internet.
  • April 5Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) [RC / Angl.]: Spanish Dominican friar and patron of construction workers, so-named for his efforts to rebuild the Church.
  • April 7Jean-Baptiste de la Salle (1651-1719) [RC]: French priest, educator and patron of schoolteachers and founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (Lasallians), having been a pioneer of educational reform stemming from his programs for children born in poverty.
  • April 11Stanislaus (of Szczepanów) (1030-1079) [RC]: Bishop of Kraków and patron of Poland, best known for his rivalry with King Bolesław II, which ultimately led to his death.
  • April 13Pope Martin I (598-655) [RC / Orth.]: Byzantine pope, declared a martyr for his exile to Chersonesus (modern-day Sevastopol, Crimea) by Emperor Constans II, a supporter of the Monothelite sect (which taught that Jesus had two natures, divine and human, but only one will, which ran counter to the orthodox stance of Jesus having two natures and wills) against which Martin wrote several letters.
  • April 21Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) [RC]: Benedictine scholar and bishop of Canterbury, famous for asserting the Church's independence from politics and pioneering work on scholasticism.
  • April 23George (280-303) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: A very popular preacher, legionary, and dragon-slayer. Patron of England, Portugal, Greece, Bulgaria, Catalonia, Georgia, and... just about half of Europe; a ridiculous number of cities; armored units; and the Boy Scouts.
  • April 23Adalbert (of Prague) (956-957) [RC / Orth.]: Patron of Poland, Bohemia and Hungary, having served as Bishop of Prague and later killed during missionary efforts to Baltic Prussia.
  • April 24Fidelis of Sigmaringen (1577-1622) [RC]: Capuchin friar and missionary to Calvinist Switzerland, where he met opposition and, ultimately, a violent death.
  • April 25Mark (d. 68): One of the earliest Christians and patron of Venice (where his remains are said to be held) and Egypt (it is said he was the first bishop of Alexandria). Reputed to be a disciple of Saint Peter, from whom he wrote his account of the life of Jesus (which became one of The Four Gospels).
  • April 28Peter Chanel (1803-1841) [RC]: French missionary to the Pacific islands, martyred in Futuna, and patron of Oceania.
  • April 28Louis Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716) [RC]: French mystic and a prolific writer on the subject of the Virgin Mary.
  • April 29Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) [RC / Angl. / Luth.]: Italian Dominican mystic and theologian; she mortified herself greatly for her faith, and is most famous for having a vision of a holy marriage to the infant Jesus. Patron saint of those ridiculed for their piety, of protection in childbirth, of nurses, and against fire. Declared one of the six Roman Catholic Patron Saints of Europe for her efforts to bring back the papacy from Avignon in France back to Rome.
  • April 30Pope Pius V (Antonio Ghislieri) (1504-1572) [RC]: Dominican pontiff responsible for instituting the Council of Trent, which served to respond to the challenges of the Protestant Reformation with the Roman Catholic Church's own reformation.

  • May 2Athanasius of Alexandria (296~298/373) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: Bishop of Alexandria best known for his ardent defense of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity against the Arians, and Christianity in general against persecutions, earning him the title "Athanasius Against the World". Generally credited with the recognition of the 27 books of the Christian canon, or New Testament, of The Bible.
  • May 3Philip (d. 80) and James, Son of Alpheus (d. 62) [RC / Orth., November 14 (Philip) and October 9 (James) / Angl. and Luth., May 1]: Two lesser-known members of Jesus' inner circle. Philip was said to have reached as far as Greece and eventually martyred in Hierapolis in Anatolia (near modern-day Denizli, Turkey), and is patron of Cape Verde and pastry chefs; James, meanwhile, served as leader of the Church in Jerusalem, and is patron of apothecaries. Both are also declared patrons of Uruguay.
  • May 12Nereus and Achilleus (late 1st c.) [RC]: Legendary martyrs and bodyguards of Flavia Domitillia, niece of Emperor Domitian and herself a later convert.
  • May 12Pancras (of Rome) (289-303/304) [RC]: Teenage martyr under Emperor Diocletian. Not much is known about him except that he lent his name to a district of London.
  • May 14Matthias (d. 80 AD) [RC and Angl. / Orth., August 9 / Luth., February 24]: A later addition to the twelve apostles to fill in the place of the traitorous Judas Iscariot (who committed suicide shortly after handing Jesus over to his death). Patron of tailors, carpenters and recovering alcoholics.
  • May 18Pope John I (470-526) [RC]: Martyred under the Arian Visigoth king Theodosius for alleged conspiracy with Emperor Justin of Byzantium, despite having been sent by Theodosius in the first place to Constantinople to secure a moderation of Justin's policies against Arians.
  • May 20Bernardino of Siena (1380-1444) [RC]: Italian Franciscan friar famous for his tracts. Patron of advertisers and the public services sector.
  • May 21Cristóbal Magallanes Jara (1869-1927) [RC]: Mexican priest, executed on trumped-up charges of agitating the Cristeros, a group of pious Catholic peasants rebelling against state anti-clericalism.
  • May 22Rita of Cascia (1381-1457) [RC]: Augstinian nun and patron of impossible causes and battered housewives. Having spent many years enduring an Awful Wedded Life with an abusive, unfaithful nobleman (who was later killed amidst one of the many feuds he was caught up in), she took the habit after her two sons died before they can avenge their father, and spent her life in meditation.
  • May 25Bede (673-735) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: Benedictine abbot of Jarrow in northeastern England and one of the most eminent English historians.
  • May 25Pope Gregory VII (Hildebrand of Sovana) (1015-1085) [RC]: Enforced celibacy among the clergy and affirmed the sovereignty of the papacy.
  • May 25Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi (1566-1607) [RC]: Italian Carmelite nun who suffered throughout her short life even amidst multiple mystical visions.
  • May 26Philip Neri (1515-1595) [RC]: Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Oratory (Oratorians) for secular priests (i.e., those not belonging to any monastic order) and a reformer, as well as a patron of humor.
  • May 27Augustine of Canterbury (d. ~604) [RC / Orth. / Angl.]: Benedictine priest and very first bishop of Britain, sent by Pope Gregory I as part of a massive missionary effort.

  • June 1Justin Martyr (100-165) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: Early apologist (defender of religious tenets) who wrote several books in defense of the moral legitimacy of Christianity using tenets of classical philosophy.
  • June 2Marcellinus and Peter (d. ~304) [RC]: Popular but historically ambiguous martyrs — the former a priest, the latter an exorcist — during the persecutions of Emperor Domitian.
  • June 3Charles Lwanga (1860-1886) and the Martyrs of Uganda [RC / Angl.]: Court member of and victim to the wave of persecutions under King Mwanga II of Buganda, in a complicated combination of politico-religious conflict and colonialism.
  • June 5Boniface (675-754) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: First archbishop of Mogontiacum (modern-day Mainz) and missionary to the Germans, killed by bandits during a trip to Frisia.
  • June 6Norbert (of Xanten) (1080-1134) [RC]: Bishop of Magdeburg and founder of the Premonstratensian order of semi-monastic priests.
  • June 9Ephrem (the Syrian) (306-373) [RC / Orth. / Angl.]: Deacon of Edessa (modern-day Şanlıurfa, Turkey) and patron of spiritual directors on account of his massive collection of written poems, hymns and sermons.
  • June 11Barnabas (d. ~61): One of Saint Paul's companions and reputed founder of the Church in his native Cyprus. Generally counted as an apostle despite not being part of the original twelve (or the renewed group, with the death of Judas and his replacement by Matthias).
  • June 13Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) [RC]: Franciscan monk and patron of his native Portugal, Brazil, miracles, the postal service, search for lost things, and the elderly and the oppressed on account of his charitable work. Generally depicted carrying the infant Jesus on his arms, alluding to his contemplative life.
  • June 19Romuald (951-1027) [RC / Orth.]: Benedictine monk responsible for the revival of monasticism and founder of the Camaldolese subgroup of monks and nuns.
  • June 21Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591) [RC]: Jesuit novice and patron of AIDS victims, having died at a very young age tending to victims of a plague.
  • June 22Paulinus of Nola (354-431) [RC / Orth.]: Roman senator who turned to religious life (becoming bishop of Nola, near Naples in Italy), setting a precedent for other men of privilege who aspire to turn to the habit.
  • June 22John Fisher (1469-1535) and Thomas More (1478-1535) [RC / Angl.]: Martyrs of the English Reformation under King Henry VIII — the former was bishop of Rochester, near London; the latter, a statesman and counselor to King Henry — for refusing to acknowledge Henry's usurpation of papal authority over the Church of England (all because Rome decline to grant his request for annulment from Catherine of Aragon in favor of the fertile Anne Boleyn). While Roman Catholic by orientation, Anglicans have recently given them reverence as martyrs for personal conscience and unfortunate victims of the politico-religious chaos of the period.
  • June 24John the Baptist (d. ~31-36): Jesus' slightly older second-degree cousin, who spent much of his adult life as a desert-dwelling prophet exhorting penance in preparation for the Messiah. Adapting a similar Jewish rite for gentile converts, he began the practice of baptism for the forgiveness of sins and induction into a new faith by immersing believers in the River Jordan. Jesus asked to be baptized by John to signify the start of his own career. This date is the celebration of his birth; his other, lesser, feast is August 29, commemorating his execution at the hands of Herod Agrippa for his criticism of his illicit marriage to Herodias, ex-wife of Herod's still-living brother Philip. Patron of Jordan, Puerto Rico, and many other places.
  • June 27Cyril of Alexandria (376-444): Patriarch of Alexandria, leading his local church in a period of politico-religious strife with which he often got embroiled in.
  • June 28Irenaeus (130-202): Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul (modern-day Lyon, France) and martyr, as well as a major source for what much of the world knows of Gnosticism through his polemical writings.
  • June 29Peter and Paul
    • Peter (d. 64/68): Arguably the most notable of Jesus' twelve apostles, by way of his boisterous nature and eventual position of leadership in the post-Pentecost Church. Reputedly also served as leader of the Church in Rome, where he was eventually executed by being crucified upside-down (as per his request not to die like Jesus), and was honored by the Roman Catholic Church as the very first pope. He is also patron of fishermen (having been one before joining Jesus), bakers, Rome, Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Saint Petersburg.
    • Paul (5-67): A novice Pharisee charged with witch-hunts on Christians, until a blinding vision of Jesus changed his mind and turned him instead into one of the early Church's most ardent missionaries across most of Asia Minor (modern-day Asiatic Turkey) and Greece. Patron of newspapers, writers and publishers, on account of his extensive body of writings which made much of the Christian canon.

  • July 3Thomas (d. 72): One of Jesus' twelve apostles, infamous for an episode of incredulity to the news of Jesus' resurrection until the latter personally appeared to him. Said to be the farthest-traveled of the apostles, reaching and being martyred in India, of which he is patron (as well as of Sri Lanka).
  • July 4Elizabeth of Portugal (1271-1336) [RC]: Franciscan layperson and queen consort of Portugal who spent her life as a widow doing charitable work to the less fortunate of her realm.
  • July 5Anthony Maria Zaccaria (1502-1539) [RC]: Founder of the Barnabite Order of priests, dedicated to reforming the Church in Milan, as well as a later agent of the Catholic Counter-Reformation.
  • July 6Maria Goretti (1890-1902) [RC]: Patron of victims of rape and crime in general, having died forgiving her attempted rapist and eventual killer.
  • July 9Martyrs of China [RC]: A commemoration of Christians killed from the 16th century onwards. In particular, Roman Catholics venerate Augustine Zhao Rong (d. 1815), a diocesan priest.
  • July 11Benedict of Nursia (480-543) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: Pioneer of Western monasticism, whose life and teachings inspired the creation of a confederacy of autonomous monastic groups adhering to his precepts. He is also one of the six Roman Catholic Patron Saints of Europe on account of his lasting contributions to the growth of the medieval Church.
  • July 13Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor (973-1024) [RC]: Benedictine oblate who, together with his wife, Cunigunde of Luxembourg, led lives of chaste matrimony, holiness and charitable work.
  • July 14Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614) [RC]: Italian priest and patron of hospitals, nurses and physicians, having founded the Ministers to the Infirm (Camillans) to tend to the sick.
  • July 15Bonaventure (1221-1274) [RC]: Italian Franciscan theologian and philosopher, famed for his extensive body of works on many scholarly subjects.
  • July 20Apollinaris of Ravenna (1st c.) [RC]: Patron saint of epileptics and gout sufferers; reputedly vested by Saint Peter himself, Apollinaris served as a Church leader until his execution during the persecutions of Emperor Nero.
  • July 21Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619) [RC / Orth.]: Capuchin friar and theologian, who was not only active during the Counter-Reformation, but also during the defense of Hungary against the Ottomans.
  • July 22Mary Magdalene (1st c.): One of Jesus' most notable female disciples and one of the first witnesses to his resurrection. Mentioned in the Gospel of Luke as having been healed by Jesus of her possession by seven demons, later commentators interpreted this as her having led a sinful life (or even a prostitute), later spending the rest of her life in mournful repentance. Popularly depicted with Rapunzel Hair and perfume bottle, and is the patron of prostitutes, converts, and those who live a contemplative life.
  • July 23Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373) [RC / Luth.]: Founder of the Order of the Most Holy Savior, a religious order open to men and women alike, and patron of her native Sweden, as well as Europe in general, on account of her mystical visions and pilgrimages.
  • July 24Charbel Makhlouf (1828-1898) [RC]: Lebanese hermit and one of the few saints recognized from the Maronite Church, an Eastern Catholic sect (that is, in full communion with the Western Church while retaining its particular rite, of which there is an abundance throughout the eastern Mediterranean) unique to Lebanon and its diaspora.
  • July 25James, Son of Zebedee (d. 44) [RC, Angl. and Luth. / Orth., April 30]: One of Jesus' twelve apostles and older brother of fellow apostle John. Revered as the patron of Spain (as well Nicaragua and Guatemala), with his reputed remains in the city of Santiago de Compostela in the northwestern Spanish region of Galicia being a focal point for epic pilgrimages since the 9th century.
  • July 26Joachim and Anne (1st c. BC) [RC and Angl. / Orth., September 9 for Joachim): Parents of the Virgin Mary according to apocryphal accounts. Both are revered as patrons of grandparents, on account of their advanced age when they bore Mary, with Anne in particular having a wider range of patronages, including Canada, Brittany, Detroit, and childless parents.
  • July 29Martha (1st c.) [RC, Angl. and Luth. / Orth., June 4]: A close friend and frequent host of Jesus during his visits to her native Bethany (together with her younger sister Mary and their older brother Lazarus), reputed dragon-slayer, and patron of housewives.
  • July 30Peter Chrysologus (380-450) [RC / Orth.]: Bishop of Ravenna, famed for his many homilies (spiritual lessons during Mass).
  • July 31Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) [RC / Angl.]: Basque priest and founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a missionary order that focuses on education and the order of the current Pope, Francis; patron of soldiers (having been one before finding his spiritual calling while recovering from a Career-Ending Injury) and spiritual retreats (on account of his writings on meditation and spiritual exercises).

  • August 3Alphonsus Maria de' Liguori (1696-1787) [RC]: Italian bishop, founder of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists) and patron of confessors, stemming from his extensive body of work on meditations on the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • August 2Eusebius of Vercelli (283-371) [RC]: Bishop of Vercelli, between Milan and Turin, and an ally of Athanasius and Hilary in their defense of orthodox Christianity against Arianism.
  • August 2Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868) [RC]: French priest and advocate of the adoration of the Holy Eucharist (a small piece of unleavened bread which symbolizes the body of Jesus offered to humanity as forgiveness of their sins).
  • August 3John Vianney (1786-1859) [RC]: French cleric and patron of parish priests, revered for his tireless service to the town of Ars-sur-Formans in France, contributing to its moral transformation.
  • August 7Pope Sixtus II (d. 258) [RC]: Martyred under Emperor Valerian with six of his deacons. Also known for reconciling with the African and Byzantine churches after the rift caused by the Novatian schism, which rejected readmission of Christians forced to lapse during persecution without re-baptism.
  • August 7Cajetan (1480-1547) [RC]: Italian priest and patron of the unemployed and gamblers, having founded a bank for the poor of Naples as an alternative to loan sharks; also, patron of Argentina.
  • August 8Dominic (1170-1221) [RC / Angl. / Luth.]: Castilian priest and founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), which helped spread Christianity and scholasticism during the Middle Ages. Also the patron of astronomers as well as the Dominican Republic.
  • August 9Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) (1891-1942) [RC]: German Jewish philosopher and later a Carmelite nun, executed during the Holocaust. Declared one of the six Roman Catholic Patrons of Europe as a victim of the violence of the twentieth century on account of her Christian and Jewish heritages.
  • August 10Lawrence of Rome (225-258) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: Protégé, treasurer, and the first deacon of Pope Sixtus II, executed three days after the Pope and his six fellow deacons, famously by being roasted alive, for refusing to hand over the treasury of the Church. Patron of the city of Rome, Canada, students, librarians, cooks, chefs, and comedians (by way of claiming the poor and destitute of Rome, to which he was assigned to take care of, as the true treasures of the Church, and later his Gallows Humor, sarcastically suggesting to his executioners to roll his body over once one side is burnt enough).
  • August 11Clare of Assisi (1194-1253) [RC / Angl. / Luth.]: Founder of the Order of Poor Ladies (now known as the Poor Clares), a monastic order for women inspired by that founded by her compatriot Saint Francis. Patron of television, having had a vision of Mass being celebrated while she was bedridden with an illness.
  • August 12Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641) [RC]: French baroness-turned-nun, widowed after a short but fruitful marriage, and a friend of Saint Francis de Sales, with whom she founded the Congregation of the Visitation (Visitandines) for women rejected by other orders due to illness or age, for which she was declared patron of forgotten people.
  • August 13Pope Pontian and Hippolytus of Rome (d. 235) [RC / Orth. / Angl.]: Martyrs under Emperor Maximimus. Having been bitter enemies in life, the latter leading the Greek-speaking Christians in Rome and later leading a schismatic group rivaling that of the former, both men eventually reconciled while sentenced to hard labor in Sardinia.
  • August 14Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941) [RC / Angl. / Luth.]: Polish Franciscan friar and a martyr of the Holocaust, having been sent to Auschwitz for his anti-Nazi rhetoric and sheltering Jews in his convents, and eventually committing a Heroic Sacrifice by taking the place of a father sentenced to be one of ten men starved to death as punishment for the escape of a prisoner. Patron of prisoners, especially those of the political variant.
  • August 16King Stephen I of Hungary (975-1038) [RC / Orth.]: Founder and patron of Hungary, highly revered for his political and religious advocacy to unite the Hungarian people.
  • August 19John Eudes (1601-1680) [RC]: French priest and mystic, as well as an advocate of the veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, celebrated currently on, respectively, the Friday and Saturday after the second Sunday after Pentecost.
  • August 20Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) [RC / Angl. / Luth.]: French abbot and reformer of the Cistercians, an order of monks adhering to a stricter form of Saint Benedict's rules for monastic life, later participating in The Crusades as spiritual advisor. Patron of Burgundy, Gibraltar and the Knights Templar.
  • August 21Pope Pius X (Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto) (1835-1914) [RC]: Conservative pontiff known for his opposition to modernist interpretations of Roman Catholic doctrine, but also for his charitable work. Patron of first-time communicants, catechists and Atlanta.
  • August 23Rose of Lima (Isabel Flores de Oliva) (1586-1617) [RC / Angl.]: The very first canonized saint born in the Americas; a Dominican laywoman who spent her life in severe asceticism and charity work. Patron of her native Peru, Latin America in general and its indigenous peoples in particular, gardeners and florists.
  • August 24Bartholomew (c. 1st century) [RC, Angl. and Luth. / Orth., June 11]: One of Jesus' twelve disciples, said to have spread the Gospel in Armenia and eventually executed by being flayed alive. Patron of Armenia, butchers and bookkeepers.
  • August 25King Louis IX of France (1214-1270) [RC / Angl.]: The only sainted French royalty, being a Franciscan layman whose Christian convictions influenced his policies. Patron of France and New Orleans.
  • August 25Joseph Calasanz (1557-1648) [RC]: Spanish priest and founder of the Order of Poor Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools (Piarists), the oldest Roman Catholic order dedicated to education and patron of all Roman Catholic schools.
  • August 27Monica (322-387) [RC and Angl. / Orth. and Luth., May 4]: Mother of Saint Augustine, responsible for helping her son return to orthodox Christianity from a life of hedonism. Patron of people suffering from difficult family situations.
  • August 28Augustine of Hippo (354-430) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: Bishop of Hippo Regius (modern-day Annaba, Algeria) and patron of North Africa, brewers, printers and theologians. He wrote extensively over his extremely hedonistic lifestyle before his conversion due to the efforts of his mother, Monica, as well as his advisor, Bishop Ambrose of Milan, eventually settling as a bishop himself, writing books on theology that would shape Western Christian thought for centuries to come.

  • September 3Pope Gregory I (the Great) (540-604) [RC / Orth., Angl. and Luth., March 12]: A nobleman who used both his experiences as prefect and monk to lead the Church efficiently. Besides writing a lot of books (more than any other pope ever since), he helped establish a school system of education (in contrast to apprenticeship of centuries past), reformed Christian liturgy, and initiated a massive missionary effort to Britain. Patron of teachers, musicians and singers, on account of having reputedly invented Gregorian chant.
  • September 9Peter Claver (1580-1654): Catalan Jesuit priest and missionary to Colombia, revered for his love for and defense of rights of slaves. Patron of Colombia, slaves, seafarers, and ministry to African Americans.
  • September 13John Chrysostom (349-407) [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: Archbishop of Constantinople and a prominent figure of the post-apostolic Church, famed for his sermons and gift of eloquence, for which he earned the title "Chrysostom" (literally, "golden-mouthed"). Patron of public speakers and Istanbul, as well as the namesake of a prominent liturgical rite among the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
  • September 16Pope Cornelius (d. 253) and Cyprian (200-258) [RC / Orth.]: Bishops of Rome and Carthage, respectively, who dealt with the Novatian opposition to readmitting lapsed Christians.
  • September 17Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) [RC]: Italian Jesuit bishop and a leading figure in the Counter-Reformation, as well as an Inquisitor, in particular handling the cases of Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei on account of their support for the heliocentric Copernican model of the solar system.
  • September 19Januarius (d. 305) [RC / Orth.]: First bishop of Benevento, northeast of Naples, and martyr under Emperor Diocletian. Patron of Naples and blood banks (said city holds a vial of what is thought to be his coagulated blood which liquefies thrice a year).
  • September 20Andrew Kim Taegon (1821-1846), Paul Chong Hasang (1794-1839) and the Martyrs of Korea [RC / Angl.]: Two of the first martyrs of the Church in Korea during a time of conflict between Christian egalitarianism and Korea's Confucian philosophy of social hierarchy. The former was the first ordained Korean priest; the latter, a layman.
  • September 21Matthew (c. 1st century) [RC, Angl. and Luth. / Orth., November 16]: One of Jesus' twelve disciples and one of his four biographers. Patron of bankers, tax collectors and accountant, by way of his former profession as tax collector to the Romans, a much-despised profession that made him a traitor to his fellow Jews' eyes before Jesus recruited him.
  • September 23(Padre) Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968) [RC]: Italian Capuchin friar and mystic, famous for bearing the stigmata (wounds of Jesus on his hands and feet) throughout his life. Patron of civil defense volunteers and people under stress.
  • September 26Cosmas and Damian (d. 287) [RC / Orth.]: Twin brothers and martyrs from Aegeae (modern-day Yumurtalık, Turkey). Famous for their volunteer medical work, for which they are revered as patrons of surgeons, physicians, pharmacists and dentists.
  • September 27Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) [RC / Angl.]: French priest and founder of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians or Lazarists), famed for his charitable work to the poor.
  • September 28Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia (907-935) [RC / Orth.]: Nobleman famous for his benevolent rule and his tragic death at the hands of his own brother, Duke Boleslaus I (who later deeply regretted the fratricide). Patron of Prague, Bohemia and the Czech Republic.
  • September 28Lorenzo Ruiz (1600-1637) [RC]: Filipino altar boy and member of an ill-fated Dominican mission to Japan, where he was executed for his unwavering faith. Patron of his native Philippines, migrant workers and the poor.
  • Setpember 29Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels
    • Michael [RC, Angl. and Luth. / Orth., November 8 (new calendar) or 21 (old calendar)]: General of God's armies and Knight in Shining Armor extraordinaire. Chief guardian of the Church and patron of police officers, soldiers, mariners, paratroopers, firefighters, paramedics, Germany, France, Ukraine, Brussels and Kiev.
    • Gabriel [RC, Angl. and Luth. / Orth., November 8]: Messenger of God who informed Mary that she was pregnant with Jesus. Patron of telecommunications workers, radio broadcasters, messengers, ambassadors and diplomats.
    • Raphael [RC / Orth. / Angl. / Luth.]: An angel introduced in Tobit (a book deemed canonical in Roman Catholic and Orthodox versions of The Bible, and deemed apocryphal elsewhere) and a traveling healer. Patron of travelers, apothecaries and blind people.
  • September 30Jerome (347-420) [RC, Angl. and Luth. / Orth., June 15]: Hermit famous for his herculean feat of translating the entirety of The Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, which was compiled as the "Vulgate", as well as commentaries on the Gospels. Patron of biblical scholars, archeologists, translators, archivists and librarians.

  • October 1Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897) [RC]: French Carmelite nun widely venerated for her life of great simplicity and humility. Patron of France, Russia, Alaska, gardeners, and AIDS patients (having died young after a bout of tuberculosis).
  • October 4Francis of Assisi (1181/1182-1226) [RC / Angl. / Luth.]: Italian friar and founder of the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans) and other associated orders dedicated to mendicancy (an avowed life of poverty and ministry). A son of a merchant who cast aside his wealth to live in meditation, and also had a gift with animals, even preaching to birds and calming wolves. He was a humble lover of nature, and the first recorded Christian to receive the stigmata. Arguably one of the most beloved saints throughout Christianity and namesake of the current pope (formerly Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires), he is the patron of Italy, San Francisco, animals, the environment and merchants.
  • October 6Bruno of Cologne (1030-1101) [RC]: German priest and founder of the Carthusians, an order of enclosed monks and nuns following a rule different from that issued by Saint Benedict. Famed for his humility, going so far as to decline a bishopric from his former pupil, Pope Urban II. Patron of Germany, Calabria (whose see he declined) and monastic communities.
  • October 9Denis (d. 250/258/270) [RC / Orth. / Angl.]: First bishop of Paris, famously depicted carrying his own severed head after his execution during the persecutions of Emperor Decius, preaching repentance for a few hours before finally dying. Patron of France, Paris, and sufferers of headache.
  • October 9Giovanni Leonardi (1541-1609) [RC]: Italian priest and founder of the Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca, as well as a friend of Saint Philip Neri, who spent his life in devotion to the Virgin Mary.
  • October 11Pope John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli) (1881-1963) [RC / Angl., June 4 / Luth., June 3]: Pontiff under whose reign the Second Vatican Council was convened to reform the Roman Catholic Church for the 20th century, as well as an advocate of ecumenism. Well-loved for his genial nature. Patron of papal delegates (having previously served as one to Greece and Turkey) and Christian unity.
  • October 14Pope Callixtus I (d. 223) [RC]: A former slave turned Bishop of Rome. Patron of cemetery workers, having spent his early years in the priesthood tending to catacombs where Christian martyrs were buried.
  • October 15Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582) [RC / Angl. / Luth.]: Spanish Carmelite nun, mystic and theologian, responsible for the reformation of her order and famous for her visions and works on mental prayer. Patron of sufferers of headaches, lace makers and workers, people in religious orders, and people ridiculed for their piety (having suffered such from her superiors for her lifestyle).
  • October 16Hedwig of Silesia (1174-1243) [RC]: Bavarian-born duchess revered for her tireless service for the poor and refugees from the many wars that rocked Central Europe throughout the thirteenth century. Patron of orphans (earning her a very famous avian namesake), Berlin, Brandenburg, Poland, Kraków, Silesia and Wrocław.
  • October 16Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) [RC]: French Visitandine nun responsible for the modern veneration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Patron of polio victims.
  • October 17Ignatius of Antioch (35-108) [RC, Angl. and Luth. / Orth., December 20]: Bishop of Antioch (modern-day Antakya, Turkey) and one of the most respected apostolic-era writers, many of which written en route to Rome where he was executed by being fed to the lions. Patron of the particular Churches of the eastern Mediterranean and North Africa.
  • October 18Luke (d. ~84): A companion of Saint Paul, and reputed author of two books in The Bible, a Gospel bearing his name and the Acts of the Apostles. Widely believed to be a Greek physician (explaining his Gospel's focus on Jesus' miracles) and an acquaintance of the Virgin Mary, whose image he painted. Patron of artists and physicians.
  • October 19Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649) and Isaac Jogues (1607-1646) [RC / Angl.]: French Jesuit missionaries to the indigenous peoples of Canada and the first martyrs of the Americas. Co-patrons of Canada.
  • October 19Paul of the Cross (1694-1775) [RC]: Italian priest and mystic, and founder of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ (Passionists), an order dedicated to the meditation on the death and resurrection of Jesus.
  • October 22Pope John Paul II (Karol Józef Wojtyła) (1920-2005) [RC]: First Slavic and first non-Italian pontiff in 500 years. Arguably one of the best-known and most-loved popes on account of his many international travels (more than any other pope before him) and a lengthy 26-year reign (by the standards of popes, majority of whom are elected at an advanced age). Patron of Kraków, where he served as archbishop before his ascent.
  • October 23John of Capistrano (1386-1456) [RC]: Italian Franciscan friar, theologian and inquisitor, as well as a crusader leading the defense of Belgrade against the Ottomans. Patron of jurists, military chaplains, Belgrade and Hungary.
  • October 24Anthony Mary Claret (1807-1870) [RC]: Catalan bishop and confessor to Queen Isabella II of Spain, and founder of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Claretians), a community of priests dedicated to charity and education for the poor. Patron of textile merchants, the Canary Islands and technical/vocational educators.
  • October 28Simon the Zealot (d. ~65/107) and Jude (c. 1st century) [RC, Angl. and Luth. / Orth., May 10 (Simon) and June 19 (Jude)]: Two of the lesser-known members of Jesus' twelve apostles. The former is reputed to be a member of the Zealots, the principal anti-Roman La Résistance of first-century Judea before joining Jesus, as well as patron of sawyers (he is said to have been executed by being sawn in half). The latter is not to be confused with Judas Iscariot, and is said to have brought the Gospel to Armenia; contrary to his obscurity (or perhaps because of it), he is declared patron of lost causes, desperate situations, Armenia and hospitals.

  • Saint Barbara, patron saint of those in dangerous occupations (including Russian rocketeers) and anything involving Stuff Blowing Up. An early convert to Christianity, she refused her pagan father's commands to recant, and he beheaded her. He was shortly thereafter struck by lightning and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.
    • She is the patron saint of all occupations where imminent and violent death is ubiquitous, including miners, artillerymen, military engineers and steelworkers.
  • Saint Bernadette, patron saint of the sick and poverty-stricken.
  • Saint Cecelia, patroness of musicians.
  • Saint Christopher, who carried Christ across a river, patron saint of travellers, and a medal of whom is usually featured in a car, is often the butt of car-related jokes.
  • Saint Dismas, the traditional name of the thief crucified to Jesus's right. Patron of prisoners on Death Row and of criminals who wish to reform.
  • Saint Dymphna. Historically, there is evidence of a martyr of this name. She picked up a legend of having repulsed her father's attempts to rape and murder her — like the Fairy Tale "All Kinds of Fur" Donkeyskin, and their variants — and is the patroness of the mentally ill and emotionally disturbed.
  • Saint Jadwiga/Hedwig of Poland. Named for Hedwig of Silesia. King of Poland 1384-1399, she also converted her husband Władysław II Jagiełło (and thus all of Lithuania) to Catholicism. There is a famous story about a miracle in her lifetime about an apron full of roses, which has various explanations. She is the patron saint of queens and of a united Europe.
  • Saint Joan of Arc, co-patron saint of France (Saint Denis is the original patron) and archetypal Action Girl, the Jeanne d'Archétype. She's also the patron saint of prisoners and, more famously, of military personnel, including soldiers, women who have served in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), and Women's Army Corps.
  • Saint Joseph of Cupertino, who reputedly levitated while praying, and was ordered to pray in private so he wouldn't scare other worshipers and had a run-in with the Inquisition because of it. He has been declared the patron saint of air travelers, aviators, astronauts, people with a mental handicap, test takers and poor students.
  • Saint Nicholas, a.k.a. Santa Claus (a lot of Multilingual Memetic Mutation was involved), who surreptitiously gave gold to the poor, patron saint of children; also patron of (repentant) thieves and of bankers, moneylenders, and financiers (including pawnbrokers—hence the three golden orbs.) His Feast Day is December 6th, which used to be the day when children would receive presents (Christmas itself was reserved for liturgy and feasting).
    • The most famous legend is that a poor father had three daughters with no dowry, and therefore no marriage prospects, and a likely eventual fate as prostitutes. Nicholas the Bishop helped them under cover of night, by throwing bags of gold down their chimney, one for each daughter, saving their futures.
  • Saint Olaf, formerly a uniting King of Norway, now its patron saint. Legend credits him with converting his country to Christianity; modern historians are less certain, and speculate that he may have been a bit more pagan and bloodthirsty than sainthood usually warrants. History is silent on whether or not he liked warm hugs.
  • Saint Pantaleon, a saint of the Orthodox church. The legend of his martyrdom says that he forgave his persecutors even as they were killing him. For this reason, he is also called "Pantalaimon," which means "All-Compassionate." His patronage includes physicians and lottery ticket holders.
  • Saint Thomas More, patron saint of politicians, statesmen, and lawyers.
  • Saint Veronica, patron saint of photography. During Christ's passion, Veronica wiped his face with a cloth, and the cloth miraculously bore Christ's image.
  • The Internet claims as patron saints Gabriel, Charles Borromeo, and (officially) Isidore, who began work on the Etymologiae, a Great Big Book of Everything, in the 7th century CE.
  • Should you ever need an intercessor fast while editing This Very Wiki, another saint who can help is Saint Clare of Assisi, the patron saint of television. The legend goes that one day she was lying too ill to attend Mass, but by a miracle was permitted to see and hear the service as if displayed on the wall of her room. She is also prayed to for help with telegraphs, telephones, and to ensure nice weather. And if you're wondering, yes, she knew St. Francis of Assisi, in fact they were close friends and colleagues.
  • ...and other saints with unusual patronage. There can be a lot of overlap in patronage, particularly in issues that cause people to pray a lot.
    • In a strange but ubiquitous bit of trivia, many martyrs ended up becoming patron saints related to their method of martyrdom. For example, Saint Lucy's eyes were gouged out, but restored miraculously. Now she's the patron saint of eye problems. And so on and so forth. This makes sense — if you have trouble with your health, you want an intercessor with first hand experience — but then this bleeds over into professions. St. Bartholomew, who legend says was skinned alive, is the patron saint of tanners and leatherworkers. And St. Lawrence, who was traditionally martyred by roasting alive on a grill (and made a joke about how he was done on one side and needed to be turned over) is the patron saint of cooks (and comedians). Odd... One wonders if some recorder on the way had a rather dark sense of humor.
  • Saint Jude's Children Research Hospital, who treats and hopes to find cures for things like cancer. Other common patrons for hospitals are Saint Luke (who according to St. Paul (Colossians IV, xiv.) was a physician) and Saint Mary under her title of "The Immaculate Conception" is also the Patron Saint of the United States.
  • Saint Barbara is the patron saint of Heavy Artillery and Artillerymen (as well as fireworks, rockets, and other stuff involving gunpowder that go boom).
  • St. Nicholas, in addition to children and repentant thieves, is also the patron saint of sailors. Russian navy, in particular, has a habit of naming ships and installations after St. Nicholas, which recently led to some chagrin as a new nuclear missile submarine was rumored to be named "St. Nicholas," at the idea of a ship capable of raining death in form of ICBMs around the world being named after the patron saint of children (there already was and still is a Russian attack submarine named St. Nicholas, in the Pacific Fleet, however).
    • In the end, the nuclear missile submarine was eventually named after Prince Vladimir of Kiev, not St. Nicholas. Of course, Prince Vladimir is himself a saint, being responsible for Christianization of Eastern Slavic nations, and is a patron saint of Russia itself.
  • Emperor Norton is the only real-life person considered to be a Discordian saint.
  • St. Philip Neri is patron of the US Special Forces.
  • Lots of cities are named after saints: St. Paul, San Francisco, etc.
    • Saint Paul is interesting in that he gets two fairly-important cities named after him: the capital of Minnesota, and São Paulo (aka the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere).
  • There are patron saints for, among others, Fireworks (St. Barbara) and Translators (St. Jerome).
  • St. Sebastian, Patron Saint of snipers (well, archers) and plague victims. Also unofficial (for obvious reasons) patron of the gay community, as he is one of the few saints generally depicted in the (nearly) nude (unless, of course, one suspects an obscure "penetration" pun).
  • St. Mark is the Patron Saint of Venice, and the Venetian Battle Cry is "Vive San Marco".
  • St. George is the Patron Saint of England, and the English Battle Cry is "Saint George for Merry England!"
    • In recent years, various people have called for St George to be replaced as Patron of England on the grounds that he had nothing to do with the place. The problem is that choosing a replacement will probably upset more people than it pleases - Saints Alban, Edward the Confessor note , Edward the Martyr and Edmund the Martyr all have sizeable followings to name but a few, all having been recognised in some capacity as Patrons of England *prior* to St George. Just make things even more complicated, Roman Catholics and some Anglicans would argue that the Virgin Mary also has a stake - prior to the Reformation, Marian devotion was so strong in England that the country was referred to as the "Dowry of Mary".
    • As St. George was originally a Greek-speaker from the Middle East (born in now-Israeli city of Lod), probably a Semite who would now be considered an Arab Christian, he has a large following in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, being the patron saint of such countries as Georgia, Greece, Ethiopia, Serbia, and Palestine, as well as the cities of Moscow and Beirut. George came to England via the returning Crusaders, especially Richard the Lionhearted.
    • St George is not alone among British patron saints. The only one who was actually a native of the country they patronise was St David. St Patrick at least lived in Ireland, but Andrew the Apostle would never have heard of Scotland.
  • St. Dionysus (Dennis, Denis) is the Patron Saint of France, and the French Battle Cry is « Montjoie Saint Denis ! » ("Mountjoy" is a word of uncertain origin.)
  • St. James (the Greater) is the Patron Saint of Spain, and the Spanish Battle Cry is —¡Santiago, y cierra España!— ("Saint James, and close with them, Spain!")
    • St. James the Greater is also the second Patron Saint of the United States, although nobody ever mentions it.
  • St. Thomas More was made the Patron Saint of lawyers and statesmen. If The West Wing is ever remade and the President is still Catholic, there should be an icon of More in the Oval Office, don't you think?
  • Bartholomew the Apostle, who - among other things - presides over mental and neurological disorders. There's got to be someone of that name with a mental disorder...right?
    • St. Dymphna is also considered a patron saint of mental and neurological disorders, seemingly just because the majority of healings reported at her shrine were that.
  • There is a traditional grouping of saints invoked together as protectors against certain ills, the "Fourteen Holy Helpers" often honored together in one church or shrine: St. Agathius, St. Barbara, St. Blaise (on whose feast day Catholics used to have their throats blessed against disease), St. Catherine of Alexandria (she of the wheel, which was commemorated in the Catherine-wheel firework), St. Christopher, St. Cyriacus, St. Denis of France, St. Erasmus, St. Eustace, St. George, St. Giles, St. Margaret of Antioch (who was swallowed by a devil in the form of a dragon, made the sign of the Cross, burst out of its stomach, and became patroness of childbirth), St. Pantaleon, and St. Vitus (he of the dance, i.e., the disease choreia). Their most famous shrine, the Basilika Vierzehnheiligen near Bamberg (Bavaria, Germany), is a very well-known work of Baroque architecture by the famous Balthasar Neumann.
  • One theory of the origin of the nautical legend of Davy Jones' Locker is that Davy Jones is actually a bowlderized version of Saint David of Wales, whom Welsh sailors would beseech for aid in times of danger. In this interpretation, Davy Jones is not punishing, but helping sailors, by keeping their souls safe in his Locker.
  • Joseph of Cupertino (who had a reputation for levitating during Mass) is the Patron Saint of Spacers. Yes there is already a patron saint of spacers despite it being a rather new occupation. And any would-be Space Opera writers among the tropers can use him in your Mythopoeia.
  • Thomas Aquinas is the Patron of Scholars, and Intellectuals. In other words he is the official geek saint. He is One of Us.
  • The US presidential election in 2000 involved controversy over the vote count due to improperly punched pieces of ballots known as "chads." It was jokingly suggested that perhaps the appropriately named St. Chad of Mercia could become the patron of disputed elections, since he humbly resigned a contentious appointment to a bishopric. (In reality, of course, there is no actual patron of elections, which may explain a few things. However, Thomas More is the patron saint of politicians.)
  • Saint Thomas (the doubting one) is patron saint of architects, builders, and doubters. He's also considered the patron saint of forensic investigation and medical examiners because he didn't believe Jesus had returned from the dead until he examined His wounds.
  • Saint Simeon of Emesa is the patron saint of Obfuscating Insanity, or to use the theological term "Holy Fools". He acted as a lunatic, practicing outlandish and disruptive behavior such as going around half-naked, dragging a dog carcass tied to his waist, and throwing walnuts at people in church, doing all his works of charity and miracles out of the public eye. This was a ploy to help preserve his humility, and other Holy Fools or yurodivy followed his example.