From the Patron Saint of Lost Causes to the Patron Saint of the Fear of Mice, men have conceived of every imaginable situation or need for which a patron saint could be desired. Patron saints are the conception of the Roman Catholic Church and are recognized by many Christian denominations. A patron saint is a person who during his or her lifetime exhibited a phenomenal interest or attachment to a certain place or circumstance, and who as a beatified soul intercedes with God for those who have a need in that certain place or circumstance.
Many cities have their own patron saint, especially in countries where Catholicism is prominent, like Spain. Every village and barrio has its own patron saint who guards and protects the citizens and who is celebrated with joyous festivals. Certain professions were practiced during the lifetimes of canonized people who then become the patron saint for that profession, and there are many uncommon circumstances in which a tutelary saint maintains a special status.
Here are a few of the most remarkably uncommon patron saints:
Patron Saint of Lost Causes: Saint Jude
When all else fails, call upon the Patron Saint of Desperate Cases, the Saint of Lost Causes, the Apostle Saint Jude Thaddeus. One of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, Jude Thaddeus preached the Gospel of Christ all over Samaria, Libya and Mesopotamia, and was martyred for his beliefs. The aid of St. Jude is sought when there seems to be no hope, such as in serious health matters and life-or-death circumstances. People who pray to St. Jude customarily make a vow that if the help they ask for is received they will publish a notice of gratitude in the newspaper. You might see an ad in the Personals section that simply says: “Thank you, St. Jude.”
An excerpt of the Prayer to Saint Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus:
“Pray for me, for I am so helpless and alone…Come to my assistance in this great need.”
Patron Saint of Juvenile Delinquents: Saint Dominic Savio
Teenagers who are facing troubled times, possibly heading along a pathway of dangerous behavior should look to St. Dominic Savio for aid. This young Italian boy was a student of Saint John Bosco, and became a choir boy at age 5. Dominic was said to display “heroic virtue” throughout his short life and was studying for the priesthood when he became ill of pleurisy and died at 14. He was the youngest non-martyr to become a saint.
Patron Saint of Comedians: Saint Genesius
A Roman actor of the third century, Genesius was a comic actor who performed in plays mocking Christianity. During one such performance, Genesius was subject to a vision from God that showed him the truth of Christianity. He announced his conversion on stage, and when he refused to renounce his new faith on the order of the Emperor Diocletian, he was then beheaded. Genesius is the Patron Saint of Comedians, as well as for all actors, including dancers, clowns, musicians and even lawyers.
Patron Saint of Occultists: Saint Cyprian
Did you say saint of occultists? It just goes to show you that no one is beyond redemption, not even Satanists. Cyrpian was a pagan sorcerer in Antioch during the same time as the aforementioned Genesius, who practiced the black arts. Cyprian fell in love with Justina, a beautiful Christian girl, and he thought he could just take her with the aid of his demon minions.
Justina halted the attempted sexual assault by making the Sign of the Cross, breaking the evil power of Cyprian and actually freeing him from the dark spirits. He became a priest, and was a brother in Christ to Justina when the pair of them were tortured by the same Emperor Diocletian who beheaded Genesius for his faith. Saint Cyrpian can intercede for anyone facing harm or needing redemption from black magic or the occult.
Patron Saint of Drug Dealers: Saint Jesus Malverde
This saint may not be officially canonized in the Roman Catholic Church, but thousands of faithful flock to his shrine in Culiacan, Mexico to pray for miracles. Jesus Malverde was a sort of Robin Hood figure who was popular with the poor. He became a folk hero when he was killed by police in 1909, although there are numerous stories about how and why he died. One legend has it that Malverde was a bandit who was betrayed for a reward by a man he called friend and then hung; another tale holds that he was shot down in a ferocious gun battle. Irregardless of the facts, drug dealers are drawn to his outlaw image and pray to Saint Malverde to keep them safe from the DEA.
Patron Saint of Alcoholics: Saint Monica
We seem to be following a theme here, but we’re back on track with officially canonized saints with Saint Monica, who was also the mother of a saint, Saint Augustine. Monica was given in an arranged marriage to a pagan named Patricius who was an alcoholic with a bad temper. For a time, Monica fell into a drunken stupor herself, but then reformed and began to pray constantly for her husband as well as her wild son. Her husband converted on his deathbed, and her son gave up his wild ways and reformed himself.
Those who are dealing with alcoholism can ask Saint Monica to intercede on their behalf, both as alcoholics and as the family members of alcoholics.
Patron Saint of People with Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Saint Fiacre
Yes, there really is a saint for STDs. Although it is somewhat ironic that the Patron Saint of STDs was a hermit who banned all women from entering his hermitage in the forest. Fiacre felt as if he was called to live alone in the forest, so he went to France in search of some land. Legend holds that Bishop Faro offered him all the wooded land that he could clear in a single day. Apparently Fiacre had a magic spade that helped him to uproot trees, so he had his clearing and called it a miracle.
Saint Fiacre was a healer who could cure diseases like leprosy, blindness and tumors by touch, and he could also cure venereal diseases, hence Patron Saint of STD. He’s also the Patron Saint of Gardeners, perhaps because of the magic spade.