Monday, December 6, 2010

Who is Your Patron Saint?

A patron saint is regarded as a heavenly intercessor of a person, nation, occupation, organization, or activity.  As Orthodox Christians, we should have a patron saint (usually its your first or middle name which you share in common with a Saint of the Church). 

A great article was posted internationally with The National Post concerning Orthodox Christians and their patron saints.

Apostle Paul, my patron saint

Image Source

Recently, in our High School Sunday School class I asked our teens if they knew who the name of the patron saint, his/her feastday on the Church calendar, any information about the life of this saint.  The variety of response was astonishing!  Some easily responsed, like answering correctly in school, others simply recited their first name, but knew nothing else, and yet some were completely lost at the question.

Our Life in Christ is a very tangible.  While in Church, we smell the incense, hear the words read, chanted, or sung, see the icons, liturgical "tools," and colorful vestments, hold in our hands a bulletin or prayer/service book, and so much more.  Our knowledge of a personal patron saint is very tangible in a sense.  We learn about his/her life; how their struggles relate to our own and can receive special guidance when dealing with temptation.

Examples of Patron Saints:

Your Parish Community bears the name of a Saint (St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church Houston, TX)
Teen SOYO (St. John Chrysostom)
Orthodox Christian Fellowship (St. Catherine of Alexandria)
Fellowship of St. John the Divine
Order of St. Ignatius
Chefs or Cooks (St. Euphrosynos)
Physicians (St. Panteleimon)
Iconographers (St. Luke)
Soldiers (St. George)
Travelers (St. Nicholas)
Singers (St. Romanos the Melodist)

If you have a patron saint, increase your knowledge about his/her life and make an effort to include this saint in your Liturgical Life.

If you don't have a patron saint or don't know of one, discuss with your parents, godparents, and parish priest.

There are numerous traditions associated with having a patron saint, such as attending services on their feast day, having their icon in your house, and reading/singing their troparion in your daily prayers.

For more information regarding patron saints, visit HERE.

- A Day in the Life of the Youth Director

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