Patron Saints

From the earliest times following the generation of Jesus & His Apostles, many, many Christians have regarded the dead in Christ as having become very much alive and exalted to positions of authority over the Church and the World, having supplanted the former principalities & powers of Ephesians 6:12. Such doctrines are a tacit witness to the position of global, historic Christianity that some form of the First Resurrection occurred around the time of the disappearrance of the Apostles. even though the Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead yet remained future, at the end of the Millennium in which they saw themselves living. Around the time of the Council of Nicea in 325AD, such beliefs came into full bloom throughout global, historic Christianity and are strongly held throughout the bulk of Christianity even today: (Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Anglican, etc.) It is partly what is meant by the Apostles' Creed, "I believe ... in the communion of the Saints." This accords well with the 56AD predictions of Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul and with what Christ's exiled Apostle John had foreseen around 63AD in the predictive vision of the book of Revelation. It was all expected to shortly come to pass after the New Testament was written.

1 Corinthians 6:2-4 ~written around 56AD by Christ's persecuted Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?

Revelation 20:4-6 ~foreseen around 63AD in the predictive vision to Christ's exiled Apostle John about "those things shortly to come to pass," Rev 1:1 & Rev 4:1
4 And I foresaw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I foresaw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.


Patron saint

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Saint Quentin is the patron saint of locksmiths and is also invoked against coughs and sneezes.
Saint Quentin is the patron saint of locksmiths and is also invoked against coughs and sneezes.

In those denominations of Christianity that believe in the intercession of saints, the patron saint of a particular group of people is a saint who has special affinity for that group and its members. Prayers by such people are considered more likely to be answered by their patron saint. Some consider it a special devotion to God by displaying humility in asking a saint for intercession rather than expecting to be answered themselves, calling to mind Job 42:8, which implies God's favour to the virtuous.



[edit] Known saints

For example, Saint Christopher is generally thought of as the patron saint of travelers. Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and the Irish, as well as of the profession of engineering, and Saint James the Great is the patron of rheumatics and of Spain. Eastern Orthodoxy generally similarly associates saints with places, occupations and activities, but to a much lesser degree, and usually that association takes place locally. The "Three Hierarchs", for instance (Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom), are the traditional patron saints of education in the Orthodox world, St. Nicholas the patron saint of Russia, St. Demetrius the patron saint of the city of Thessaloníki, etc. Association with a particular area or profession can be found with tutelary deities from other religions as well. St. Lawrence is the Patron Saint of cooks, so bestowed because he himself was roasted alive by the Romans who prosecuted him. He never lost his sense of humor, even making a quip shortly before his death by crying, "I think I am done on this side!"

The feast day associated with a saint is often marked by those who have the saint as patron; this is especially the case with a national patron, whose feast day may be a public holiday. In some cases the celestial patronage is not assigned to a canonised person, but to a liturgical feast and/or (often associated) aspect of God or the Virgin Mary which is held in similar reverence (though unlike a saint it cannot actually intercede with God), such as:

Certain patron saints have only a nominal relationship with the trade or group that they represent, as is the case with Saint George of England. Saint Fiacre is the patron saint of taxi drivers, supposedly because the first hansom cabs in Paris were hired outside the Hotel Saint-Fiacre and, indeed, were known as fiacres.

[edit] Patron god

A counterpart in some polytheistic religions is that of a patron god or a matron goddess. Athena, for example, was the matron goddess of Athens. The most striking difference between patron gods and the Christian concept of saints is that a) saints are/were still human, and if they displayed/ experienced anything supernatural, it was not through their own personal ability; b) sainthood is a title conferred upon an individual, sometimes centuries after their death, rather than assumed simply upon birth, as is usually the case for godhood.

[edit] Criticism

Main article: Intercession
Main article: Saints

Some Protestant Christian denominations regard the belief in patron saints as latent polytheism and heresy. The belief in a patron saint for certain things is a reminder of the pagan gods and goddesses, they say, and is in their view condemned by the Bible. In some cases, the practice of praying to these saints instead of directly to Jesus or God, the Father, is considered a serious act of blasphemy.

These denominations refer, among others, to 1 Timothy 2:5 states that "there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus". The defenders of the intercession of saints refer at the same time to Paul who asks for prayer repeated in his epistles, showing that individuals can mediate for one another. Also, in Revelation, particularly chapter 8 verse 3 it can be seen that the prayers of saints are offered to God via an angel.

Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians and some Protestant denominations view saints as heroes of virtue and draw inspiration from their lives. Additionally, saints are sometimes considered as people who, while they have passed from this life, are already enjoying eternal life as promised by Jesus in the New Testament. As with all those who have entered heaven they are still members of the Church and thus are still capable of praying on petitioners' behalf.

[edit] Other uses

"Patron saint" can also be used in a jocular, non-religious sense as a person that serves as an emblem for a certain subject. For instance, the British actor Robert Newton is considered the "patron saint" of pirates by the founders of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, as Newton influenced many modern perceptions of pirates.

[edit] Lists of patron saints

The Saint Honoré Cake Shop, Hong Kong. Saint Honorius (Honoré) is the patron saint of bakers and confectioners.
The Saint Honoré Cake Shop, Hong Kong. Saint Honorius (Honoré) is the patron saint of bakers and confectioners.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links