Easter is just around the corner! Students of Catholicism are preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. At the Easter vigil adults coming into the Catholic faith will be baptized, receive their first communion and be confirmed.
The list below is twenty five male patron saints which men might be interested in as they choose their patron saint for confirmation.
Young Catholics will receive the sacrament during the Easter season, when the Bishop of their diocese visits their parish.
The sacrament of confirmation is one of the three sacraments of initiation. First is baptism which is often received shortly after birth. Second is Communion or Eucharist, which received at age of reason, usually seven or eight years of age. The third is confirmation. The age for confirmation is decided upon by the Bishop of the Diocese and can range from age of reason to high school.
When confirmed, the person is "sealed with the Holy Spirit". The sacrament makes the person a full member of the Catholic Church. It's history goes back to Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. On Pentecost the Apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and their confusion was lifted. The Apostles received gifts from the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are the following: 1.Wisdom, 2.Understanding, 3. Counsel, 4. Courage 5.Knowledge 6. Reverence, 7. Wonder and awe. Not everyone receives the same gifts.
The fruits of the Holy Spirit come when we make use of the gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are the following: 1. Charity 2. Joy 3. Peace 4. Patience 5. Kindness 6. Goodness 7. Generosity 8. Gentleness 9. Faithfulness 10. Modesty 11. Self-control 12 Chastity
The person being confirmed chooses a patron saint. The name of the saint is the name the bishop will use when he anoints him/her and lays hands in prayer on them. The saint is to be a role model and guide for the person throughout their life. In good times and bad, we ask our patron saint to pray with us and for us.
View each photo to learn about the twenty five of the most popular male saints.
St. Andrew the Apostle
Feast day: Nov. 30
Patron of fishermen
Apostle and martyr
St. Andrew was the brother to Simon Peter. They were both fishermen. Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist and the first apostle to be called by Jesus. When Andrew asked Jesus where he lived Jesus responded "Come and See." Andrew then told Simon Peter about Jesus saying "We have found the Messiah!"
After the resurrection, St. Andrew preached in Greece.
St. Andrew was martyred by crucifixion.
St. Anthony of Padua
Feast day: June 13
Patron of lost items and missing persons
Doctor of the Church
St. Anthony was born in Portugal in 1195. He joined the Augustinian Order. Later he joined the Franciscan Order at age 26. He is called "The hammer of the Heretics." His preaching was simple and easy to understand. The Infant child Jesus miraculously appeared to him.
St. Anthony was canonized less than one year after his death in 1231.
St. Augustine of Hippo
Feast day: Aug. 28
Patron of Brewers
Father of the Church
St. Augustine was the patron of brewers because of his lifestyle which included loose living and parties. His mother was St. Monica, who prayed for him for many years. He finally converted after reading a passage of scripture which said, "put away all impurity and live in imitation of Jesus." This passage helped him to decide to return to the faith.
He was baptized by St. Ambrose. Eventually, he became the Bishop of Hippo. He is know for the poem "Too late have I loved You."
In the year 430, he fell ill. He spent his last days in prayer, dying on Aug. 28.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Feast day: Aug. 20
Doctor of the Church
Patron saint of mountaineers, The Alps
St. Bernard was born in Burgundy, France. After his mother's death he entered the Cistercian Order. He founded a monastery known as the Abbey of Clairvaux. He was the Abbot. He refused offers to become a bishop. In 1128, he participated in the Council of Troyes. He was known for fighting against heresies.
In 1139, he assisted in the Second Council of the Lateran. He encouraged Lectio Divina and contemplation on scripture.
Feast day: Aug 8
Patron of Astronomers
Founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans)
St. Dominic was born in 1170 into a wealthy family at Calaruega, Spain. As a priest he preached against the Albigensianism heresy. He also helped to reform the Cistercians.
He organized the Order of Preachers, known as the Dominican Order. They were traveling preachers who practiced a life of prayer and penance.
St. Dominic spread the Marian devotion of praying the Rosary.
St. Dominic died on Aug. 6
St. Francis of Assisi
Feast day: Oct. 4
Patron of environment and animals
Founder of The Franciscan Order
St. Francis was born in Assisi, Italy in 1181 into a wealthy family. He lived a wild life when young, becoming a soldier. However, God appeared to him in a dream telling him to go home.
Later, in prayer, God said "Francis, repair my church." Francis took this literally, and began to repair the church buildings which were falling down. Eventually, it led Francis to leave his family, founding the Franciscan Order. Franciscans took a vow of poverty and served the sick and poor.
St. Francis loved animals and nature. Birds and wild animals had no fear of him. He also composed music.
St. Francis died in 1226.
St. Gregory the Great
Feast day: Sept. 3
Patron saint of students, teachers, musicians
Doctor of the Church
St. Gregory became a prefect of Rome before the age of 30. The pope chose him to be one of his seven deacons. At age 50 he was elected pope. He is know for reforming the liturgy. The Gregorian chant is attributed to St. Gregory.
Pope Gregory became a Benedictine monk living in his own home. He founded six monasteries after five years in office. He also re-energized the missionary work of the church.
Pope Gregory died in 604. He was declared a saint by popular acclamation.
Feast day: Sept. 30
Patron of librarians, students, and orphans
Doctor of the Church
St. Jerome was born in 342 in Aquileio. He is the most educated of the Church Fathers. He was baptized by Pope Liberius in 360.
Wanting a religious library, he copied St. Hilary's books. He is most famous for his translation of the Bible from Hebrew into Latin (the vulgate). He also wrote many commentaries on scripture. He was a priest, confessor, theologian and historian.
St. Jerome died near Bethlehem on Sept. 30, 420.
In art he is shown as one of the four church fathers (Augustine of Hippo, Ambrose, Pope Gregory the Great and Jerome).
St. John the Baptist
Feast day: June 24
Patron of prosperity, baptism and conversion
Cousin to Jesus
John the Baptist was the cousin to Jesus. He was the son of Elizabeth, who miraculously conceived in her old age. Zechariah was his father.
At age 30 John began to preach in Jordan against evil behavior. He called everyone to penance and baptism, saying the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand. He baptized large crowds of people. Eventually, he baptized Jesus, saying. "It is I who need baptism from You."
It is John who identified Jesus as "The Lamb of God".
John the Baptist is considered the last of the Old Testament prophets.
John was beheaded at the request of the daughter of the king on June 24th.
St. John the Evangelist
Feast day: Dec. 27
Patron of Book sellers, printers, art dealers
St. John was a Galilean, born to Zebedee. His mother was Salome. He was the Brother to St. James the Greater. John and James were known as "the sons of thunder." St. John is also known as "The beloved disciple" and "The Apostle of Charity".
John was with Jesus at the marriage feast of Cana. He was given the honor of sitting next to Jesus at the Last Supper. He was also with Jesus during all of his suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and at the crucifixion. He was the only Apostle who stood with the holy women at the foot of the cross.
Jesus spoke about him from the cross, saying "Woman, behold thy son". John took Mary the mother of Jesus into his home after Jesus' death and cared for her.
St. John was the first Apostle to recognize Jesus when he appeared to them on the shore.
St. John worked in Jerusalem and at Ephesus after the death of Jesus, living in Asia Minor. He wrote the fourth Gospel, three Epistles, and possibly the Book of Revelation.
St. John of the Cross
Feast day: Dec. 14
Patron saint of poets, mystics, and contemplatives
Doctor of the Church
John of the Cross was born in Spain in 1542. After the death of his father he attended a school for orphans. His mother kept the family together inspite of being homeless. At the age of 14 he took a job caring for hospital patients who suffered mental and terminal illnesses. From poverty and suffering John found beauty and happiness not in the world but in God.
St. John joined the Carmelite Order. He met and became a friend to St. Teresa of Avila. She asked him to help him reform the order. Threatened by the change John envisioned, he was captured and imprisoned by members of his own order, being locked in a small room and beaten regularly. After nine months he escaped, taking only his mystical poetry with him. This poetry includes The Dark Night of the Soul.
St. John of the Cross died in 1591.
Feast day March 19, May 1
Patron of fathers, a happy death, workers, foster children
Foster father of Jesus
Husband to the Blessed Virgin
Joseph was engaged to be married to Mary, when she was found with child. He was going to divorce her quietly to avoid scandal, however an angel appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do no be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Mat: 1: 20-21
Joseph immediately took Mary as his wife.
The angel appeared to Joseph a second time. This time he was told his family was in danger. They fled to Egypt where they stayed until the angel told him it was safe to return.
Joseph worked as a carpenter. He was the foster father of Jesus, loving him and providing for him and Mary. Jesus, Mary and Joseph are referred to as "The Holy Family".
We celebrate two feast days for St. Joseph. The first is on March 19; Feast day of St. Joseph, husband of Mary. The second feast day is May 1; Feast day of St. Joseph the worker.
St. Joseph is the patron for a happy death because tradition tells us that he died with Jesus and Mary at his side.
St. Jude Thaddaeus
Feast day: Oct. 28
Patron of desperate causes
Apostle and martyr
St. Jude was an apostle of Jesus. He was brother to St. James the Less. He is not the same person as Judas who betrayed our Lord.
St. Jude is the author of an epistle in the Bible. Because he stressed the need to persevere during difficult times, he is considered the patron of desperate causes.
Tradition tells us that he suffered martyrdom along with the apostle Simon the Zealot in Beirut, a province of Syria. In art he is shown with an ax which was used in his execution.
St. Justin Martyr
Feast day: June 1
Patron of philosophers
Father of the Church
St. Justin Martyr lived from 100-165. He was born a Gentile at Flavia, Neapolis. He converted to Christianity and defended the faith in Asia Minor and Rome. He wrote two "Apologies". These were attempts to explain the faith. His first Apology is one of the earliest records teaching the meaning of the Eucharist.
St. Justin was a student of philosophy. After his conversion, he continued to debate philosophy publicly with his fellow students. A rival philosopher turned Justin in to authorities because of his faith. He was put on trial and then executed. He was beheaded in the year 165.
St. Justin Martyr is considered a Father of the Church.
Feast day: Oct. 18
Patron of physicians and surgeons
Author of the Gospel of Luke and The Acts of the Apostles
St. Luke was a gentile who spoke Greek. He followed Paul after the Resurrection of Jesus. He accompanied Paul to Macedonia. When Paul was imprisoned, St. Luke stayed near him.
St. Luke was born at Antioch in Spain. He is referred to as a physician by St. Paul, St. Jerome and St. Irenaeus. He is referred to as "the beloved physician" by Paul in Col. 4:14.
The Gospel of Luke focuses on God's mercy and forgiveness of sinners. Only in the Gospel of Luke does the story of the Prodigal Son appear.
St. Mark the Evangelist
Feast day: April 25
Patron of attorneys, prisoners, notaries
St. Mark was a disciple of Jesus who traveled with St. Paul. He accompanied Paul and Barnabus on their missionary journey.
St. Mark wrote the second gospel when Romans requested that he write down the teachings of St. Peter. Tradition says that he was present at the Miracle of Cana when Jesus turned the water into wine.
Tradition also tells us he was martyred in the year 68 by being dragged through the street with a rope around his neck.
He is portrayed as a lion because his Gospel begins with John the Baptist crying "Make ready the way of the Lord".
The relics of St. Mark are in Venice.
Feast day: Sept. 21
Patron saint of bankers and accountants
St. Matthew was one of the twelve called to be an Apostle. He was a tax collector before Jesus called him to follow him. He is also known as 'Levi".
The Gospel of Mathew was written in Aramaic which the Hebrew tongue. The Gospel of Mathew has the most parables of the Gospels. It also has the Beatitudes which are in the Sermon on the Mount. Tradition tells us that he worked in Ethiopia.
Tradition tells us that St. Matthew died a martyrs death, being killed with an ax.
St. Michael the Archangel
Feast day: Sept. 29
Patron of police, paratroopers, mariners, sickness
The name Michael means "Who is like God." St. Michael is the leader of the good angels. He is considered a warrior angel. In the Book of Revelations it is St. Michael who is the leader during the final battle between good and evil at the end of time.
St. Michael is the patron of police because of his battle against evil. St. Michael defend me in battle is a popular Catholic prayer.
St. Michael has appeared in three places: the cave of St. Michael in Italy, Mont St. Michel in France and The Grotto of St. Michael in Mexico.
Feast day: March 17
Patron of Ireland, slaves
St. Patrick was born in Kilpatrick, Scotland, in 387. At age 14 he was captured by a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave. As a slave, he tended to the sheep. He turned to God in prayer. His prayer "The Breastplate of St. Patrick" is well known.
Patrick was a slave until the age of 20. He received guidance in a dream. He was led to sailors who took him to Britain. In another dream, the people of Ireland asked him to return.
He became a priest, then a Bishop. As Bishop he was sent back to Ireland. Many people converted under his guidance. He is known for using the shamrock to explain the Trinity.
He died in Saul, where he built his first church, on March 17, 461.
Feast day: June 29
Author of 14 Epistles
Patron of converts, authors, writers, publishers
St. Paul is known as the Apostle of the Gentiles. He is also known as Saul of Tarsus. Before his conversion, he was persecuting Christians. In the Book of Acts his conversion story is told. Paul hears a voice saying "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" Paul replies, "Who are you, Lord?" "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up enter the city and you will be told what to do." Acts 9: 4-6
After this experience Paul was baptized, and he began preaching that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. He fled Damascus returning to see Peter. Paul traveled on several missionary journeys, accompanied by Barnabus.
He was imprisoned in Caesarea and then in Rome, being kept in chains. After his release he went to Spain. He was imprisoned again and beheaded in the year 67.
St. Paul wrote 14 Epistles which have greatly influenced the Christian faith.
St. Peregrine Laziosi
Feast day: May 1
Patron of cancer victims
St. Peregrine was born to wealthy parents in Forli, Italy in 1260. He was active in politics when he was young, being a member of the anti-papal party. After striking St. Philip Benizi in the face at an uprising he repented and converted to Catholicism.
St. Peregrine received a vision of the Virgin Mary, after which he followed her instructions to join the Servites, observing silence and solitude.
He was afflicted with a tumor on his leg which the doctors wanted to amputate. He spent the night before the operation in prayer. The following morning he was completely cured and the tumor was gone. The miracle became well known.
St. Peregrine died at the age of 85.
Feast day: June 29
Patron of fishermen
Apostle and martyr
Peter's name at birth was Simon. He was from Bethsaida and the brother to St. Andrew. Both Simon and Peter were fishermen. It was Andrew who told Simon that he had found the Messiah. Jesus then called Simon to follow him.
Jesus gave Simon the name of Peter which means "rock". When Peter acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah, the son of the living God, Jesus said to him, "You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Peter is always listed as the first of the Apostles in all of the New Testament accounts. Peter, along with James and John were present at the transfiguration, the raising of Jairus' daughter and the Agony in the Garden.
At the crucifixion Peter denied Jesus three times.
When Jesus appeared to Peter after the Resurrection, he told Peter three times "feed my sheep".
After the Resurrection, Peter appointed the replacement of Judas. He preached to the Gentiles.
Peter died in Rome during the reign of Nero. He was crucified upside down because he declared himself unworthy to die in the same manner as the Lord.
Feast day: Jan. 20
Patron of archers, athletes and soldiers
St. Sebastian was born in Gaul. He became a soldier in the Roman army. Sebastian converted many people to the christian faith. He is also known for curing a deaf mute.
St. Sebastian was named captain of the guards. When they learned he was Christian, he was ordered executed. He was shot with arrows and left to die. The widow of St. Castulas found him still alive and nursed him back to health. Soon after, he was beaten to death on the Emperors orders.
St. Sebastian is considered the patron saint of athletes because of his physical endurance and energetic way of defending the faith.
St. Thomas the Apostle
Feast day: July 3
Patron of architects
Apostle and Martyr
St. Thomas was born into a Jewish family. Jesus called him to be one of the twelve disciples.
He is most remembered for not believing that Jesus had risen from the dead, saying "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger in his side I will not believe. John 20: 25
Jesus appeared to Thomas a week later saying "Peace be with you. Put your finger here and see my side. Do not doubt but believe." Thomas answered "My Lord and my God!"
St. Thomas is remembered as Doubting Thomas.
After Pentecost, Thomas was sent to evangelize the Parthians, Medes, Persians, and India.
St. Thomas was speared to death at Calamine.
St. Vincent de Paul
Feast day: Sept. 27
Patron of Charitable Societies
St. Vincent was born in 1581 to poor parents in Gascony, France. His first school was led by Franciscans. He was ordained a priest in 1600 after studying at the University of Toulousse.
St. Vincent was captured by pirates while he was at sea. They held him prisoner for two years. He escaped, going to Rome and then returning to France.
St. Vincent founded the Sister of Charity who served the poor through corporal and spiritual works of mercy. He then founded the Vincentians. Their mission was to serve the poor in smaller towns and villages. He also conducted retreats for clergy and established seminaries.
St. Vincent died at the age of 80.