Ask a Franciscan

Where Can I Find Patron Saint Lists?

Some saints are traditionally considered patrons of various occupations: Thomas Aquinas (teachers), Cecilia (musicians), Thomas More (martyrs), Luke (physicians), Isidore (farmers). Is there a publication that lists the saints and their patronages?


Patron saints are another way of talking about God’s providence, that no person, place, occupation, or group of people is beyond God’s love and care. There is no patron saint of murderers, of course, but there are people who committed that sin, repented, and then went on to become saints.

In fact, very few patron saints are formally designated by the Church. Exceptions include Francis of Assisi and Catherine of Siena (patrons of Italy), Thérèse of Lisieux and Francis Xavier (patrons of the missions), and so on. Most patron saints have been linked to a certain occupation or condition of life by people doing similar work or facing the same life challenges.

For example, St. Nicholas of Lyra (d. 350?) is the patron of bakers, brewers, brides, children, Greece, grooms, merchants, pawnbrokers, Russia, and travelers. You’ll find a good list here.


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