By Colleen Pressprich
One of my very favorite things about being Catholic is having access to the entirety of the communion of saints. There are thousands of men and women who have come before us that we can lean on during our own journey to Heaven. And not only can we as individuals have patron saints, but we can choose a patron saint for our family.
If you’ve never chosen a patron saint (or saints, you can have more than one!) for your family, here are a few tips that might help you find just the right person for you.
Think about your family’s hobbies and culture
Every family is different. Some of us are sweet; some of us are on the spicier side. Some families are quiet and introverted, preferring peaceful nights at home; others always seem to be hosting a party. Some families are competitive, playing sports and board games for hours on end. Others might rather work together on a project.
There are patron saints for activities and hobbies of all kinds. Both Blessed Giorgio Frassati and Pope St. John Paul II were avid hikers and might be a good fit if your family loves the outdoors. The latter was also a playwright, so consider him if you love movies and theater as well. St. George, of dragon-slaying fame, is also the patron of books, in case your family has a literary vibe. And if you’ve got a lot of snark in your crew, make sure you check out St. Genesius. Google any of your hobbies or prominent family traits and you are bound to find someone who is the patron saint of it!
Consider important family dates
Does your family have important dates you remember year in and year out? Perhaps your wedding anniversary, the date of a big move or life change, your “gotcha” day? Check them out on the liturgical calendar. Every day of the year has a saint whose feast day it is, and most will have several to choose from.
Consider your family’s charisms
Some families have special faith traditions that they hold especially dear. Perhaps you pray a nightly rosary together. In that case, St. Dominic might be your man. Or if you love attending Adoration, perhaps consider Padre Pio or Bl. Carlo Acutis. Maybe your family volunteers at a local soup kitchen. If that’s true, you’ll love Blessed Solanus Casey.
Location, location, location
One of the simplest ways to choose a patron saint is based on location. Every country has a patron saint. Taking a look at your city’s or region’s history might surprise you - there are saints from all over the map.
Who’s following you?
Sometimes we don’t choose our patron saints; they choose us. Is there a saint whose name has come up in conversation more than a few times lately? Or someone whose writing you stumbled upon that just seemed to be exactly what you needed? Consider the possibility that one of the saints has chosen your family.
You can never go wrong with the Blessed Virgin
I’m a big believer in the power of Mary’s intercession, so if all else fails and you’re stumped as to who your perfect patron would be, run to your mother. There are about a thousand different devotions to and names for Our Lady out there to choose from. You can choose a title from the Litany of Loreto or pick an apparition that you love. The possibilities are endless!
Having a patron saint for your family can be such a blessing, especially in these rocky times. I hope and pray that you are able to find the right fit for yours!