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Patron Saints: 'O'

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Patron Saint
Oaxaca, Mexico Our Lady of Solitude
Oblate Vocations Our Lady of Sorrows
Oblate aspirants Stanislaus Kostka
Oblates of Saint Joseph Joseph
Oceania Peter Chanel
Ohio, USA Our Lady of Consolation
Oklahoma, USA Our Lady, Queen of All Saints
Orators John Chrysostom
Order of Saint Lazarus Lazarus
Order of the Garter George
Ordnancemen and Cannoners Barbara
Oregon, USA Our Lady of the Woods
Orphans Jerome Emiliani, Ivo of Kermartin
Oslo, Norway Hallvard
Oudenarde, Belgium Walburga
Oversleeping, protection against Vitus
Oxford, England Frideswide
oaths Pancras
obsession Raphael the Archangel
obstetricians Raymond Nonnatus
oil refiners Honorius of Amiens
old-clothes dealers Anne
open sores Peregrine Laziosi
opposition of Church authorities Elizabeth Ann Seton, Joan of Arc, Teresa of Avila
oppressed people Anthony of Padua

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What is a patron saint?

Patron saints are chosen as special protectors or guardians over areas of life. These areas can include occupations, illnesses, churches, countries, causes -- anything that is important to us. The earliest records show that people and churches were named after apostles and martyrs as early as the fourth century.

Recently, the popes have named patron saints but patrons can be chosen by other individuals or groups as well. Patron saints are often chosen today because an interest, talent, or event in their lives overlaps with the special area. Angels can also be named as patron saints. A patron saint can help us when we follow the example of that saint's life and when we ask for that saint's intercessory prayers to God.

For example, Francis of Assisi loved nature and so he is patron of ecologists. Francis de Sales was a writer and so he is patron of journalists and writers. Clare of Assisi was named patron of television because one Christmas when she was too ill to leave her bed she saw and heard Christmas Mass -- even though it was taking place miles away.

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