-> ''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 ''Film/MaryPoppins'', written by the Sherman Brothers.

RealLife 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.

If you'd like to know more, click a folder.

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Kinds 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, including the evangelists. They are the hand-picked among Jesus’ followers to be His closest students, and the leaders of His Church after [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence 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 [[ColdBloodedTorture punishment]] of those who failed to honor the Roman gods (though [[DatedHistory 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. 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.
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[[folder: 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 HijackedByJesus. 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 [[DeadGuyJunior named after that particular saint]], and gender is no obstacle. A little girl born on 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.
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[[folder: So You Want to Be a Patron Saint…]]
The first step in becoming a Catholic saint is... [[CaptainObvious to be Christian]]. 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. [[RuleOfThree The third step is]] [[HesDeadJim 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 DevilsAdvocate 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. Their recognition won’t extend beyond their home diocese. 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.
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[[folder: 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 [[EmpathyPet symbolic companion]] stand or float beside them. Martyrs 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. TheOtherWiki 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 WoundThatWillNotHeal 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 "[[BlessedWithSuck 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 {{MacGuffin}}s from old time ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpires'' 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.)
[[/folder]]

Note that Catholic Saints avert OneSteveLimit 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 [[RousseauWasRight benevolence]] and [[SincerityMode 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 RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment apply, in case of controversies.
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!! The Communion of Well-Known Patron Saints Includes:

* The 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) [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence assumed bodily into heaven]]. That'd be miraculous enough for anyone, but Mary wasn't content with that. She's had an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marian_apparition astonishingly active Biblical career]], according to pious legend. She is, among other things, patroness of the United States (the US being hostile to Catholics until [[JohnFKennedy one became President]], the American Church must have figured that they needed the biggest guns they could find), and of France (that's why the most prominent church in all of France -- and many more besides -- are called ''Notre Dame,'' "Our Lady"). She is also the patroness of Mexico. Known by [[IHaveManyNames a myriad of titles]] -- you can find an "Our Lady of" just about ''anything''. Beloved and revered in many ways all around the world.
* Saint Agnes, patron saint of girls, chastity, and rape victims. She lived in Imperial Rome, and when she refused to worship the Roman gods she was publicly stripped, dragged to a brothel, and her persecutors attempted to rape her, but they were struck blind.
* Saint Anthony (of Padua -- there are others), known as the Saint of Miracles; patron saint of Portugal, the postal service, elderly people and the oppressed, among many other things. Best known as the finder of lost things due to his prodigious memory.
* Saint Barbara, patron saint of those in dangerous occupations (including [[RedsWithRockets Russian rocketeers]]).
** 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 Catherine (of Siena -- there are others), a great mystic and theological writer who is now one of the Doctors of the Church; 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.
* Saint Cecelia, patroness of musicians.
* Saint Christopher, who [[IFightForTheStrongestSide 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 thieves
* 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 FairyTale "All Kinds of Fur" Literature/{{Donkeyskin}}, and their variants -- and is the patroness of the insane and emotionally disturbed.
* Saint Francis of Assisi, a popular and recognizable saint. He [[DefectorFromDecadence cast aside his worldly riches to live in severe poverty]], and was [[FriendToAllLivingThings known to have 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 [[WoundThatWillNotHeal stigmata]]. He is the patron saint of animals and the environment (and those who care for the same, like veterinarians and conservationists), merchants, and the Cub Scouts, as well as the city of [[MeaningfulName San Francisco, CA]].
** Interesting current events trivia, Bishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio, when he was called to the Church's highest office, took the name Francis in emulation of the Saint, becoming ''Papa Francisco'' -- and the first Pope to take that name. So far, he has won acclaim for his humility in dress and his emphasis on service and good works, rather than haggling over doctrine, so he is doing his namesake proud.
* Saint George, the [[GeniusBruiser preacher, legionary, and dragon-slayer]], patron saint of England, Portugal, Greece, Bulgaria, [[OverlyLongGag Catalonia]], Georgia, and...screw it, let's just say half of Europe; a ridiculous number of cities; [[TankGoodness armored units]]; and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking the Boy Scouts]].
* Saint Hedwig of Silesia, who reigned briefly as Duchess. She was tireless in her efforts to help the poor and the displaced refugees of the many wars of Central Europe in the thirteenth century (including the Mongol invasion of Poland!). Perhaps this is why is the patron saint of orphans, which earned her [[Literature/HarryPotter a very famous avian namesake.]] Also a patroness of Berlin, Brandenberg, and Poland.
* Saint Jerome, patron saint of translators - with good reason; that he translated the Bible (which, whatever one may think of it or the beliefs described therein, is an extremely complex, long and culturally detailed book) would already be quite a feat even WITH computers and translation memory software and so on; imagine [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome WITHOUT, BY HAND]]. Considered to be one of the fathers of the Church for that precise reason.
* Saint JoanOfArc, co-patron saint of France (Saint Denis is the original patron) and archetypal ActionGirl, the JeanneDArchetype. 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 Jude, ''not'' to be confused with Judas Iscariot; might be the most unfortunate victim of the [[OneSteveLimit One Yehuda Limit]]. One of the twelve Apostles, sometimes called Thaddeus, who is credited with having brought Christianity to Armenia. He has a special designation as patron saint of Lost Causes, in fact, [[Music/TheBeatles there's even a song dedicated to him]]. [[Film/TheUntouchables And he's the patron of police officers.]]
* Saint Mark, [[Literature/TheFourGospels the Evangelist]], patron of Egypt, Venice, and barristers/litigators.
* Saint Martha (of Bethany). Patron saint of housewives, because Jesus visited her frequently (along with her sister Mary and her brother Lazarus), and when they did, Martha was always the generous hostess while her siblings listened and learned. Also legendarily attributed with having killed a dragon.
* Saint Michael the Archangel, highly regarded for being a KnightInShiningArmour and general of God's army. Patron saint of police officers.
** The Church also recognizes two other Archangels and designates them as saints along with Michael: Gabriel, the messenger angel who informed Mary that she was pregnant with the Messiah, and Raphael, featured in the Book of Tobit [[note]]which is found only in the Catholic Bible, and in the Apocrypha[[/note]], who is associated with healers and the protection of travelers.
* Saint Nicholas, a.k.a. SantaClaus (a lot of [[RecursiveTranslation Multilingual]] MemeticMutation 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 Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland. As there are no snakes native to Ireland, this is taken to be [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic symbolic]] of driving out the pagan influences (that, or he was [[JustSoStory very, very thorough]]).
* Saint Peter, portrayed as standing at the [[FluffyCloudHeaven Pearly Gates of heaven]] and acting as God's bouncer, as it were. Famously crucified ''upside-down'' (which is why if you wear an upside-down cross to be "Satanic," [[DanBrowned you are doing it wrong]][[note]]An upside-down ''crucifix'', on the other hand, since it actually displays Jesus Christ, is still very much is a sacreligious symbol though, so be careful with this one.[[/note]]). Patron of the Papacy, as he also has the distinction of being [[UrExample the first]] [[ThePope Pope]].
** He and Saint Paul tag-team as the patron saints of Rome and the Vatican.
* Saint UsefulNotes/ThomasMore, 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 GreatBigBookOfEverything, in the 7th century CE.
* Should you ever need an intercessor fast while editing ThisVeryWiki, 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, [[EveryoneWentToSchoolTogether she knew St. Francis of Assisi,]] in fact they were close friends and colleagues.
* ...and other saints with [[OddJobGods 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 [[ColdBloodedTorture method of martyrdom.]] For example, Saint Lucy's [[EyeScream 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 [[GallowsHumor 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 [[BlackComedy had a rather dark sense of humor.]]
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