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When I was nearing the end of my time in RCIA, the facilitator started asking us about our discernment of patron saints. Excitement was building for Easter, and the facilitator was considering purchasing patron saint medals for all of us as our Confirmation presents (which didn’t end up happening because several people chose very obscure saints). At the time, I was convinced I wanted to pick one of the Saint Elizabeths. St. Elizabeth of Hungry was my first choice, probably because she was royal but also because her story is beautiful. However, the real reason I wanted to have a St. Elizabeth as my patron is that I really love the name Elizabeth. At the time I even wanted to name my first girl Elizabeth-Faith. Anyhow, it occurred to me that – maybe – really loving a name wasn’t a good enough reason to pick someone as a patron saint. So I went back to the drawing board.
When I dropped the Elizabeth idea I really felt stuck for a while. There are just so many different saints to choose from, and for so many different reasons. I felt partial to having a female patron, which excluded the patrons of writing/authors. I didn’t have any other professions in mind, so I wasn’t sure how to find a saint I would have a personal connection to.
That was when I remembered by grandmother. She was an inspiration to me. Although she died when I was 18 months old, I have also felt a close connection to her. My family always told me how she was a very strong Catholic, loved doing crafts, and basically never threw anything away (when she died my aunts found a jar of little crayon stubs). Basically her and I would have been like twins if only I’d been able to get to know her. Her name was Katherine, but everybody called her Rita. And when I thought about her place in my heart and how happy she would have been that I was being received into the Catholic Church, well, the answer was obvious: I chose St. Rita of Cascia as my patron saint.
St. Rita has a couple different patronage’s; however, the most popular is “advocate of the impossible.” Since my first communion and confirmation at the Easter Vigil in 2013, whenever I’ve felt like something was going to be impossible, a little alarm goes off in my head. It goes something like this:
“Ding-ding-ding, you just thought the word impossible”
“Wait a minute, my patron saint is the advocate of the impossible”
“Oh! Great! Then it’s not impossible, it’s actually totally going to happen!”
“This is so exciting!!!”
“Saint Rita, advocate of the impossible, pray for us…”
It’s really a great feeling when you remember that anything that feels impossible is not impossible at all, but really quite likely, because the God of the whole Universe can make anything happen. Having St. Rita as my patron has helped me grow in trust in God. She is also a great example to me in regards to suffering and appreciating Christ’s passion, and I still have a lot to learn from her as a wife and mother.
So who is your patron saint? If you haven’t got one, is there anyone you’re thinking of picking? Why is that saint important to you? Let me know in the comments!