Believe! And Get Yer Patron Saint!

Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand. For this too I believe, that unless I first believe, I shall not understand.
Saint Anselm of Canterbury (c. 1033 – 1109)

Saint Anselm is my Patron Saint for 2012, along with Saint Dominic. Anselm came from someone kind enough to “pull” a patron for me, and Dominic came from Jen Fulwiler’s Saints Name Generator. He is my second Dominican patron in as many years, so that’s interesting, but then again, Saint Anselm was a Benedictine!

I am excited about putting myself under the tutelage of both of these great monastics and saints!

Have you got a patron for 2012, yet?

Speaking of Dominicans and Monastics: Our friends the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ have debuted their online “cloister shoppe”, so check it out! I actually bought a really nice statue of Dominic from them last year. Groundwork, perhaps! :-)

about “pulling saints” and learning from them

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • jkm

    Thank you, Anchoress, for introducing me to such a wonderful practice!

    I used the Saint’s Name Generator and was given St Andrew Dung Lac, priest and martyr, as my patron for 2012. At first I thought there couldn’t be a less suitable pairing. He was a convert from his parents’ native Vietnamese beliefs who stayed faithful unto death; I’m a cradle Catholic who strayed for half my life and is now a revert who struggles with staying faithful every day. He lived simply, fasting often; I like my little luxuries. He endured horrific torture before being beheaded; I’m a wuss who’s complaining because she has a cold.

    But the more I look, the more I see the grace in randomness. Andrew used his gifts as a catechist, learning Chinese and Latin (as well as the French and Vietnamese he already had); that’s been my own ministry, if haltingly practiced, and I am inspired by his passion to find the language to share the Word. His death in 1839 inspired a resurgence of missionary activity, including the mission to Vietnam of Theophane Venard, the martyr whose witness moved Therese of Lisieux to volunteer for the Carmelites’ mission in Hanoi. With a good friend’s help, I am working out my own ambivalent relationship with Therese, so being under the patronage of someone who inspired the one who inspired her can only help with that. And all those things that Andrew is that I am not? They are things I want to be, and what better reason to seek patronage?

    Lastly, I live in my head a lot. Way too much. I hope that putting my 2012 under the guidance of St Andrew Dung Loc, who gladly lost his head for Christ, will help me get out of mine for the same reason. Thank you!

  • Ellen

    I have Blessed Miguel Pro. He was executed by firing squad during the Mexican persecution of the church. He’s probably the first martyr whose death was photographed – his killers hoped he’d beg for his life, but he extended his arms in the form of a cross and said, “Viva Cristo Rey”

  • Sarah

    The first Sunday of the year, my parish draws saints’s names. this year I got St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother. I generally believe in all that “magical thinking” stuff, so I have a feeling St. Gabriel, though I know very little about him, is just the right saint for me this year.

  • Stefanie

    Blessed Margaret of Castello — blind from birth, a dwarf, very deformed, rejected by her parents (who walled her up in a castle chapel wall because they were so embarrassed by her appearance) although she was able to attend Mass and to receive Holy Communion. Lay Dominican. Got nothing really in common with her, though I note she has been ‘waiting in the wings’ for sainthood since 1609. Maybe my keeping her in mind this year will provide the miracle needed for her sainthood to be declared!
    She is a patron of those who are rejected — the disabled, the aborted unborn, the impoverished. Researching her led me to the Novena Prayer for Reparation due to Roe v Wade. The Novena is from January 14 to January 22. I’ve not had an abortion, but know a Catholic friend who did when we were 16 years old. Maybe this will also be the year that she reconciles herself to that decision (we’re both 55 now). I will commit that daily prayer to Blessed Margaret as well!
    Thanks for the reminder, Elizaeth!

  • Manny

    Oh I need a patron but I wish her program wasn’t a random generator. I would like one specific for me and my interests. I’ll have to do some research.

    [Don't you trust the Holy Spirit to know what you need? ;-) Believe it or not, every Patron I've ever been assigned and chosen blindly or randomly has ended up specific for me and my interests. You don't pick the saint; the saint picks you. _admin]

  • The Ranter

    I don’t know if comments are being moderated, but I do a patron saint pull for anyone who asks for one. Here’s the link, with explanation:

  • Peggy Bowes

    That was fun! I am very devoted to the saints and have “met” many of them. I can never choose one patron saint as I need many of them throughout the day. The saint generator chose St. Catherine of Sweden for me. I’ve heard of her but didn’t know much. It’s interesting that she’s the patron against abortion and miscarriage as I am very pro-life. My husband won’t like to hear that St. Catherine and her husband practiced chastity in marriage though.

  • esc

    hmm…i got st jean de brebeuf. interesting.

  • Victor

    Anchoress and what an anchor you are!

    Anyway, my mom God bless her soul, told me once that we all had a saint and our own star and I’ve always believed that although me, myself and i still don’t really know any of them but as we live, we’re searching.

    Call me crazy but in 1977 when I was selling Real Estate, some of the saints must have been fooling around with me cause I didn’t think that there was anything wrong with me but obviously this older doctor must have felt that I needed help so when they brought in the human dolly for a patient, I literally jumped on “IT” and said out loud, “Welcome to the Victor, Harvey, Alphonse, Joseph comedy special” but long story short, I later broke into tears when the alien gods incharge of our world locked me UP in a patten cell.

    I hear ya! Trust me Victor! “IT” was done for your protection.

    You think? :)


  • Bertha

    I have been waiting for this post since January 1! I was thinking about who my saint for 2012 might be and St. Paul of the Cross got me early this morning during adoration. I was repeatedly drawn to a prayer card image of him with his heart blazing fire. He seemed to be saying, “Don’t look away, I am yours, I am yours.” I could not resist. And then I open this post and think, “ok, why not go for two?” The Holy Spirit is at work because then Mary Magdalen got me. One a mystic and the other a patron of contemplation, something I am trying to practice. I feel like I have hit the jackpot. And so I pray to both of them, “Teach me what you know.”

  • Antonius

    St. Ferdinand III of Castile. Very interesting choice, and I do believe God has made a choice for me. I did pray during the “process”. I am more than happy to fight for God’s kingdom, and lead other to do so as well.

  • Manny

    “Don’t you trust the Holy Spirit to know what you need? Believe it or not, every Patron I’ve ever been assigned and chosen blindly or randomly has ended up specific for me and my interests. You don’t pick the saint; the saint picks you. _admin”

    Ok, good point. Let’s put faith in the Holy Spirit. The selection for me was St. Guy of Anderlecht. Who’s that? LOL.

    Wikipedia says the following:
    “He is the patron saint of Anderlecht, animals with horns, bachelors, convulsive children, epileptics, laborers, protection of outbuildings, protection of sheds, protection of stables, sacristans, sextons, work horses; and is invoked against epilepsy, against rabies, against infantile convulsions, and against mad dogs.”

    Outbuildings? Is that an outhouse? LOL. There’s not much there I have in common. I will have to pray.

  • Gayle Miller

    Saint Joan of Arc and St. Ignatius are my two patrons – always have been. My middle name is Joann and I’ve always been partial to St. Ignatius for reasons lost in the mists of memory.

  • Diane

    Sacred Heart of Jesus!

  • Anna

    Ah yes the scholar and theologian Anselm of Canterbury, one of the populous race of Medieval theologians that some people deny the very existence of. Take note those certain people, there indeed WERE theologians in the Middle Ages, and no they did not think the earth was flat, or that disease was caused by demons.

  • Anna

    St Bede (672-735) theologian, historian, astronomer and monk of Jarrow Abbey, Northumbria. His work ‘The Ecclesiastical History of the English people’ the penultinate work of history of the entire Anglo Saxon age, and still a must-read for history students today. His other work ‘On the Reckoning of Time’ one of the foremost scholarly works on the subject of astronomy, science and time. A textbook for students throughout the Medieval period.

    St Alcuin of York (c730/40-804) prominent figure at the court of Charlemagne, friend of the emperor himself and eminent scholar who wrote extensively on everything from theology to classical literature and political theory.

    Both Anglo-Saxons from the period often known as the ‘dark ages’.

  • Regina

    Thanks so much for posting this again. Last year’s was St Brigid and this year’s patron is St Adelaide of Burgundy.

  • kevin

    This program always amazes me. I got St Raphael, patron of those with eyesight issues among other things. I’ve been being treated for an eye muscle issue for the last 6 months.

  • jkm

    @Manny, St Guy of Anderlecht loved, really LOVED sweeping up after people. From what I’ve seen, you enjoy performing a similar function for commenters. Perhaps God is calling you to be the sacristan of the comboxes! :)

  • Andrew

    I got Andrew Avelllino. Same first name as mine. Patron of stroke victims, apoplexy, and sudden death. That really cheered up my day…

  • flodigarry

    Last year I was fortunate to have Saints of whom I was unfamiliar with to partner with through the year. This year I anticipated becoming acquainted with some
    new (to me) faces. Imagine my surprise when St. Patrick chose me. It is a felicitous pairing as he always seems to be there when I need him most. My mother was recently diagnosed with oral cancer and we have quite a journey ahead of us.

  • Maureen

    I got St. Jane de Chantal, whom I always heard about as a “grumpy saint.” But it turns out that she really was about generosity, and a lot of wisdom about dealing with troubles and anger. I can use that.