Saturday, January 08, 2005

Who's Your Patron Saint?

Even though I'm not Catholic, the idea of patron saints has always fascinated me. There's evidently some sort of heavenly bureaucracy, and you get best results if you take your prayers to the right department.

My grandmother's favorite saint (and she, by the way, is Catholic) is St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes. My mother-in-law (also Catholic) is a big fan of the Santo Nino, which is a very elaborately dressed baby Jesus holding a ball with a pointy cross on it that I would never dream of giving to a child that young for fear he'd poke his eye out with it. Although the Santo Nino is technically not a saint, she nevertheless asked me to wear a Santo Nino charm (which had a very itchy chain) while I was pregnant. The Portuguese turn to Queen St. Isabel, who happens to be an ancestor of mine. It is her devotion to the Holy Spirit that is celebrated in the annual Festa, held on Pentecost.

There is a patron saint for each of many, many categories of people, so if you're looking for a patron saint, you're bound to find one that fits your needs. There are patron saints of journalists, mothers in need of help raising children, even racial harmony. The mentally ill can turn to St. Dymphna for help, the frenzied to St. Peter, and lumbago sufferers to St. Lawrence. Leather workers' prayers are heard by St. Catherine of Siena, and all you countesses out there can pray to St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Even enemies of religion have a patron saint.

I think the patron saint of bloggers might be St. Paul, although I don't know for sure. But St. Paul is the patron saint of writers and publishers, so I imagine that he would be the patron saint of bloggers too. But if you could suggest a better patron saint, please do so in the comments.

If you're Catholic, who's your patron saint? If not, who would be your patron saint?