During the Middle Ages, when Catholicism permeated Europe, the idea that God would protect you extended beyond the church building (the practice of naming a church after a venerated martyr or saint went back to the 4th century) to all aspects of life: your family, your house, your city, your kingdom, your trade. Those that had gone before you into heaven were called upon in prayers to intercede on your behalf. Saints, in particular, were looked to for protection, and so it was that monasteries, convents, military units, guilds, towns, charities, and events each came to adopt an intercessor.

The saint designated the protector and guardian of the persons, places, or things under his or her purview:
St. George is the patron saint of Barcelona, St. Dymphna is the patron saint of sleepwalkers, St. Isidore is the patron saint of the internet.

Patron Saints A-G - Patron Saints H-N - Patron Saints O-Z

Saints were chosen sometimes based on an actual connection between the saint and his or her protectee (As her martyrdom included having all her teeth broken, St. Apollonia is the patron saint of toothaches), but they might also be chosen merely for their piety or for a play on words (St. Expeditus, an early martyr, is prayed to for urgent matters). Different locations in Europe might have differing patron saints for the same subject, leading Rome to issue proclamations to sort out the official patrons.


In the nonprofit world, a nickname for a donor or volunteer (patron) who makes an especially generous contribution.


Sources:
Parkinson, Henry. "Patron Saints." The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI. 1911. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11562a.htm> (24 October 2002)

Patron saints are selected from the roster of recognized saints of the Catholic Church as special protectors or guardians over a specific activity or facet of life. They may include occupations, illnesses, churches, countries, causes. The first evidence of naming patron saints comes from the 4th century where churches were named after apostles and martyrs. In recent times patron saints are named by the pope, but any group or even an individual may select one.

The practice is to appeal to the saint for help and intercession and the area of his specialization. Listed below are a few patron saints and the area of their expertise.

Some of the brethren and sistren at E2 have suggested that the Saints be hardlinked. Yes, it would be nice, but it's really a formidable job. I haven't counted them, but I suspect there must be a couple hundred of them here -- at least. In addition, if I used zen noding, you would be disappointed more than half the time linking to non-existent nodes. If I checked for links before creating them, I would do nothing else for perhaps a week. E2 is like academe, there is always the press to publish, publish! I do promise I'll start linking the Saints on off moments when I need a little entertainment.

A

Abdominal pains
Erasmus (Elmo)
Accountants
Matthew
Accused (falsely)
Raymond Nonnatus
Actors
Genesius, Vitus
Advertisers, advertising
Bernardine of Siena
Air travelers
Joseph of Cupertino
Altar servers
John Berchmans
Americas
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Rose of Lima
Animals
Francis of Assisi, Nicholas of Tolentino
Archers
Sebastian
Arms dealers
Adrian of Nicomedia
Artists
Luke, Catherine of Bologna, Bl (Fra) Angelico
Astronauts
Joseph of Cupertino
Asylums (for the mentally ill)
Dymphna
Athletes
Sebastian

B

Bakers
Elizabeth of Hungary, Nicholas of Myra, Honoratus
Barbers
Cosmas and Damian, Louis, Martin de Porres
Barren women
Anthony of Padua, Felicity
Beggars
Alexius, Martin of Tours, Giles
Birds
Gall
Blind people
Raphael the Archangel, Thomas, Apostle, Cosmas and Damian, Lucy
Book trade
John of God
Boy Scouts
George
Brewers
Augustine of Hippo, Luke, Nicholas of Myra, Amand, Wenceslaus (and see Patron Saints of Beer)
Brides
Nicholas of Myra
Broadcasters
Gabriel the Archangel
Businesswomen
Margaret of Clitherow

C

Cab drivers
Fiacre
Canada
Anne (Mother of Mary), Joseph
Cancer
Saint Peregrine
Carpenters
Joseph, Thomas, Apostle
Cattle
Roch
Chemists (pharmacists)
Cosmas and Damian
Childbirth
Gerard Majella, Margaret (or Marina) of Antioch, Raymond Nonnatus, Leonard of Noblac, Erasmus (Elmo)
Childless women
Anne (Mother of Mary)
Children, illegitimate
John Francis Regis
Church
Joseph
Coffin-bearers
Joseph of Arimathea
Communication Workers
Gabriel the Archangel
Construction workers
Thomas, Apostle
Contagious diseases
Roch, Sebastian
Cooks
Martha

D

Dairy workers
Bridgid of Ireland
Dancers
Vitus
Death, happy
Joseph
Dentists
Apollonia
Desperate situations
Jude, Gregory the Wonderworker, Rita of Cascia, Eustace
Diabolical possession
Cyriacus, Dymphna
Difficult situations
Eustace
Diseases, nervous
Dymphna, Vitus
Doctors
Luke, Cosmas and Damian, Pantaleon
Dying
Joseph, Benedict, Abbot, James the Lesser, Apostle, Lebuin (Liafwine), Maximus, Nicholas of Tolentino

E

Earthquakes
Emygdius, Francis Borgia, Gregory the Wonderworker
Ecologists, ecology
Francis of Assisi
Eczema
Antony the Abbot
Editors
John Bosco, Francis de Sales
Emigrants
Frances Xavier Cabrini
England
George, Michael the Archangel
Examination candidates
Joseph of Cupertino

F

Farmers
Isidore the Farmer
Firemen
Florian, John of God
Flight crew
Mary, Our Lady of Loreto
Florists, flower growers
Therese of Lisieux, Rose of Lima, Bl. Rose of Viterbo
Funeral directors
Joseph of Arimathea

G

Garage, or gas station workers
Eligius (Eloi)
Gardeners
Adelard, Fiacre, Rose of Lima, Adam
Girls
Agnes, Maria Goretti
Golden-Toungued orator
Peter Chrysologus
Gravediggers
Anthony the Abbot, Joseph of Arimathea
Grocers
Michael the Archangel
Gunners
Barbara


H

for hemorrhoid sufferers
Fiacre
Hairdressers
Martin de Porres, Cosmas and Damian
Headaches
Teresa of Avila, Denis, Bishop of Paris
Health inspectors
Raphael the Archangel
Heart patients
John of God
Hernia sufferers
Cathal
Hoarseness
Bernardine of Siena
Hopeless (or desperate) cases
Jude, Rita of Cascia, Gregory the Wonderworker
Horticulturalists
Adam, Fiacre
Hospitals
Camillus de Lellis, John of God, Vincent de Paul
Hotelkeepers
Amand
House hunting
Joseph
Housewives
Anne (Mother of Mary), Martha
Hydrophobia, or rabies
Hubert, Ubald

I

Illness (mental)
Dymphna
Immigrants
Frances Xavier Cabrini
Impossible Cases
Rita of Cascia
Infertility
Rita of Cascia
Information Workers
Archangel Gabriel
Innocent people (falsely accused)
Raymond Nonnatus
Insanity
Dymphna
Invalids
Roch
Ireland
Patrick, Columba, Bridgid of Ireland

J-K

Journalists
Francis de Sales
Justice, social
Martin de Porres
Juvenile delinquents
Dominic Savio

L

Laborers
Isidore the Farmer, James the Greater
Lame, the
Giles
Learning
Ambrose, Catherine of Alexandria
Lecturers
Justin Martyr
Lepers
Giles
Librarians, libraries
Jerome, Catherine of Alexandria
Lightning, protection against
Magnus of Fussen, Vitus
Lost articles
Anthony of Padua
Lost or desperate causes
Jude
Lovers
Valentine

M

Maids
Zita
Marriages (unhappy)
Gengulf
Married women
Monica
Medical profession
Cosmas and Damian, Luke, Pantaleon
Medical technicians
Albert the Great
Mentally ill
Dymphna
Miscarriage prevention
Catherine of Sweden
Moral theologians
Alphonsus de Liguori
Motorcyclists
Mary, The Madonna of Castaliazzo or Our Lady of Grace and of Crete
Motorists
Frances of Rome, Christopher
Music, musicians
Cecilia, Gregory the Great, Dunstan

N

Nearsightedness, short-sightedness
Clarus, Abbot
Neighborhood watch
Sebastian
Nervous diseases
Vitus, Dymphna
Numismatists
Eligius (Eloi)
Nurses
Agatha, Camillus de Lellis, and John of God


O-Q

Orphans
Jerome Emiliani, Ivo of Kermartin
Painters
Luke, Bl (Fra) Angelico
Parenthood
Rita of Cascia
Pensioners, old age
Mary, Our Lady of Consolation, Teresa of Jesus Jornet e Ibars
Pets
Antony the Abbot
Pharmacists/Druggists
Cosmas and Damian, Raphael the Archangel
Philatelists
Gabriel the Archangel
Philosophers
Catherine of Alexandria, Justin Martyr, Thomas Aquinas
Physically Disabled
Giles
Physicians
Cosmas and Damian, Luke, Pantaleon
Poets
David, Columba
Police, local, municipal
Sebastian
Poor
Anthony of Padua, Lawrence, Ferdinand III of Castile
Possession (by the Devil)
Cyriacus, Dymphna, Michael the Archangel Andrew Avellino
Postal workers
Gabriel the Archangel
Pregnant women
Gerard Majella, Margaret (or Marina) of Antioch, Raymond Nonnatus
Priests
John Vianney
Prisoners
Dismas, Leonard of Noblac, Roch, Vincent de Paul, Ferdinand III of Castile
Puerto Rico
Mary, Our Lady of Divine Providence

R-S

Rabies
Hubert, Ubald
Radio and radio workers
Gabriel the Archangel
Rain, excessive
Genevieve (Genofeva)
Robbers, danger from
Leonard of Noblac
Sailors
Brendan, Erasmus (Elmo), Francis of Paola, Nicholas of Myra
Scholars
Bridgid of Ireland, Thomas Aquinas
School teachers
John Baptist de la Salle
Schools
Thomas Aquinas
Scientists
Albert the Great
Security guards
Matthew
Seminarians
Charles Borromeo
Senior citizens
Mary, Our Lady of Consolation, Teresa of Jesus Jornet e lbars
Sick
John of God, Camillus de Lellis, Michael the Archangel
Skin diseases
Antony the Abbot
Social justice
Joseph, Martin de Porres
Social workers
Louise de Marillac, John Francis Regis
Souls in Purgatory
Nicholas of Tolentino
Stamp collectors
Gabriel the Archangel
Stenographers
Cassian of Imola
Stomach disorders
Timothy, Erasmus (Elmo)
Storms, protection against
Vitus
Students
Catherine of Alexandria and Thomas Aquinas, Gabriel Possenti
Students (examinees)
Joseph of Cupertino
Students, women
Catherine of Alexandria
Surgeons
Cosmas and Damian, Luke, Roch

T

Tailors
Homobonus
Tax collectors
Matthew
Taxi Drivers
Fiacre
Teachers
Gregory the Great, John Baptist de la Salle
Telecommunications
Gabriel the Archangel
Television
Clare, Gabriel the Archangel
{Theater|Theatrical profession]
Genesius
Theft, thieves
Dismas
Theologians
Alphonsus Liguori, Augustine of Hippo
Thieves, danger from
Leonard of Noblac
Throat ailments
Blaise, Lucy
Toothache
Apollonia
Travelers
Raphael the Archangel, Nicholas of Myra, Anthony of Padua, Christopher, Joseph

U-W

Undertakers
Dismas
United States of America
Immaculate Conception of Mary
Unmarried women
Nicholas of Myra
Veneral disease
Fiacre
Vermin, protection from
Magnus of Fussen
Veterinarians
Eligius (Eloi)
Vintners
Amand, Morand, and Vincent of Saragossa
Waiters, waitresses
Martha
Wales
David
War victims, civilian
Mary, Queen of Peace
Widows
Frances of Rome, Paula
Women, childless
Anne (Mother of Mary)
Women giving birth
Margaret (or Marina) of Antioch
Women in labor
Anne (Mother of Mary), Erasmus (Elmo)
Workers
Joseph
Writers
Francis de Sales

Y-Z

Youth
Aloysius Gonzaga, Maria Goretti, John Berchmans, Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother, Raphael the Archangel, John Bosco, Stanislaus Kostka
Young people, students
John Berchmans, Maria Goretti

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