Patron saint

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A patron (of lat . Patronus "patron, attorney") after the Roman Catholic and Orthodox understanding of a saint , who in a special way to his intercession is invoked for a specific place, a region, a profession or a state. This special protection relationship is known as patronage . The term patron saint is used for female patron saints , and more rarely the Latin expression patrona .

The Holy

According to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches , believers are allowed to invoke saints for their intercessory prayer to God or the Holy Trinity , but the saints are in no way worshiped, nor are they attributed divine powers.


European cartridge . Above from left to right the hll. Methodius, Catherine of Siena, Cyrill. Below the hll. Birgitta of Sweden, Benedict of Nursia and Teresia Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein).

Based on this understanding, representatives of individual countries, regions, places, livelihoods and professions entrust themselves to certain saints as their patron saint, to whom they feel a special bond: carpenters such as St. Josef , ferrymen to St. Christophorus . The Archangel Michael is considered the patron saint of Germany. Leopold III. (Austria) and Niklaus von Flüe are supposed to protect Austria and Switzerland. If a saint in particular is called upon from a place, one speaks of a place patron. This relationship usually arises from the fact that the local church is subordinate to the patronage of the patron saint. There are mostly sculptures or relics of the saint. Sometimes there are several local or church patrons. Churches can also be named according to the patronage of the angels or according to secrets of faith. All churches are consecrated to the Triune God.

Secular patron saint

In addition, a knight was sometimes referred to as the patron saint , who had to protect church buildings and monasteries from secular attacks. Regular secular patrons of monasteries and founders were called bailiffs .

See also


  • The patron saint and oracle of the peasants . In: The Gazebo . Issue 11, 1867, pp. 165–168 ( full text [ Wikisource ]).
  • AM Pachinger : About disease cartridges on images of saints. In: Sudhoffs Archiv , 2, 1909, pp. 351–374.
  • Oskar Rosenthal: miraculous healings and medical patronage. Leipzig 1925.

Web links

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