What Is A Patron Saint?
When you are baptized, the priest says the name chosen for you by your parents. However, when you are confirmed, in the Latin Rite of the Church, you get to choose a “Confirmation Saint.” This saint is a special patron saint which you have chosen to be a special protector and guardian over your life.
Patron Saints cover areas of our lives which are important to us: our own name, our job, churches, countries, causes, ailments, or hobbies. As early as the 300s A.D., churches and people were being named after the 12 Apostles and martyrs for Christ.
Why Do We Choose A Saint For Confirmation?
We choose a patron saint for ourselves in the Sacrament of Confirmation because the saints are our heroes. They accepted God’s tremendous love with great receptivity. They cooperated with God’s grace and helped bring the world more in line with Christ and the Gospel. In Confirmation, we are called to do likewise. We are called to be soldiers for Christ. In fact, the older form of the ritual had the bishop lightly slap the face of the newly confirmed saying, “You are a soldier for Christ.”
These chosen patron saints remind us of our own call to holiness. But as Catholics, we understand the reality that the saints are very much alive in God in Heaven. And, so, they are not merely role models or spectators; they can be our true intercessors. They pray for us, inspire us, guard us, guide us, and help us.
How To Choose A Confirmation Saint?
So, how do we go about choosing a Confirmation Saint? The first step is prayer. We should ask the Holy Spirit to guide us to the Patron Saint who will be a particular good fit for us. Then, we can begin reading the lives of the saints and learning what these holy men and women did in their lives. This exercise can bear great spiritual fruit as we learn more about the heroes of the Church.
A way to narrow down our search might be to begin with our own namesake. Of course, these saints are already our personal patrons. For example, St. William is my patron saint by virtue of William being my first name, and St. John is also my patron by virtue of my middle name being John.
Next, we might look to our local Parish for inspiration, or we can see who is the patron of our home country? Who is the patron saint of our ideal job in the future? Who is the patron of our interests and hobbies? If we suffer from a particular illness, who is the patron saint of that ailment? There is no right answer: all the saints are great choices! However, we should do our due diligence to pick a patron saint to whom God leads us.
When I chose a saint, I did not do my due diligence, to be honest. I chose St. Francis of Assisi because I liked animals and because my elementary school was run by Franciscan brothers when I was younger. Perhaps there are worse reasons to choose a saint. Little did I know how amazing this holy and strong saint is. Nor did I know God’s plan that I would end up studying at Franciscan University.
After narrowing it down to a few saints and researching a bit about their lives, seek the guidance and counsel of those who know you best. Our parents, youth ministers, pastors, and teachers are often able to provide valuable insight beyond our own understanding based on what they know of us and what they know of the saints.
Do not stress too much about choosing the “right” saint. As I said, they are all wonderful. Studying the lives of the saints will reveal that to you. Simply do your due diligence: pray about it and think about it. When you think you’ve finally chosen a saint, begin asking for their intercession in your confirmation process and enjoy the journey together!
Further Resources To Help You Choose A Confirmation Saint:
Books To Help You Pick A Confirmation Saint
- Saints Around The World | Meg Hunter Kilmer
- Pray for Us: 75 Saints Who Sinned, Suffered, and Struggled on Their Way to Holiness | Meg Hunter Kilmer
- Lives of the Saints| Alban Butler
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