How to Choose a Patron Saint

Saint Matthew is the patron saint of bankers.
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Patron saints are chosen to be special guardians or protectors. Roman Catholics believe that the saints who have died and gone to heaven can intercede with God on behalf of people still on earth. When Roman Catholic children are baptized, they sometimes are given the name of a patron saint. Before receiving the sacrament of Confirmation, candidates choose a patron saint. Churches are named after a patron saint. You can choose a patron saint for a marriage, new job or any enterprise. The process of choosing a patron saint involves prayer, study and discernment.

Pray to God for guidance before beginning the process of choosing a patron saint.

Ask family members for names that have strong family associations. Look at lists of saints' names to see if any saints bear the family name or whose name appeals to you.

Research patron saints for your country and the countries your ancestors are from.

Look up the patron saint associated with your profession or interests. Patron saints can be found for various jobs and hobbies.

Read about the lives of the saints. Do any of them have a personality trait you admire or would like to see more of in yourself? If so, that saint may be a good patron saint for you.

Look through your compiled list. Read about the saints, pray and listen to the inner prompting within your heart. One of the saint's names will stick out more than the others.

Susan Peterson is the author of five books, including "Western Herbs for Martial Artists and Contact Athletes" and "Clare: A Novel." She holds a Ph.D. in text theory from the University of Texas at Arlington and is an avid cook and gardener.