Why do we have patron saints? And why are they celebrated?


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Kim Snowling Profile
Kim Snowling answered

Patron Saints are considered by many Christian denominations as a  "heavenly advocate" of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family or person.  For example in the 19th Century, Saint Veronica was made patron to photography, when her veil miraculously received the imprint of Christ's face after she wiped the blood and sweat off his face.

There are plenty of them -

  • Saint George - England
  • Saint Patrick - Ireland
  • Saint Andrew - Barbados
  • Saint Medard - Toothache
  • Saint Yves - Lawyers
  • Saint Winnoc - Fever
  • Saint Ansovinus - Gardeners
and so the list goes on.

The one Saint that probably gets celebrated the most is Saint Patrick. In the early 17th Century it was made and official feast day.  The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as the culture of Ireland in general.  It is common now for parades, festivals, church services and celebrations to take place all over Ireland on this day, as it has become a public holiday.  Even the restrictions of Lent are lifted for this one day.  Saint Patricks day is now celebrated all over the world.

Why do we celebrate Patron Saints?

I think it really depends on how the Christians celebrated them back in history. Obviously Saint Patrick was set a special day to honour his achievements  where Saint Magnus of Fussen, Patron Saint of Caterpillars was not so lucky.

I think that as I live in England, the English should celebrate Saint George's day more.  We are a nation of tradition and I find it quite bizarre that we do not do more.

I think we should all take it upon ourselves to find out who our Patron Saint is (whether it is a city, job, interest or country) and we should celebrate them!  Enjoy our history and have fun!

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