I am very interested in saints and have a very large collection of books about saints, but I don't retain information so well, so I constantly have to refer to all my books.  There are several questions I have:  some saints are the "patron saint of..." and then it will list 5 or 6 different things, and some of them overlap.  How do you know which saint is best for a particular situation?  I read one book and it says one thing, and I read another book and it talks about a completely different saint.  

Also, I am looking for the patron saints of a few personality traits/qualities, and I can't find the answers.  A lot of times they are just listed under a synonym that I did not think of.  Could you help?  I will list the traits here:  Empathy, Charity (not as in charities, or charity workers, but charity as in the personality trait - faith hope and charity), Hope, Loyalty, Faith, Bravery/Courage, Naivety, Innocence, Wisdom, Healing, Dreams/Imagination, Resilience.  

And this is the last part of my questions.  I often refer to the Patron Saints Index on Catholic Forums, which I assume is reputable, but how can they have the patron saint of the Green Bay Packers, or the Patron Saint of the Girl Scouts - how can they be so specific?!  About modern things?  

I know this is a lot to ask, but I really hope you can help!

Hi, Darcy:

Thanks for the question.
Typically certain Saints are remembered for something in their life; perhaps negative things from before the time of their conversion, and then positive things from some help they gave to a particular thing for which they are remembered.  I would say that the "best" Saint for a particular situation would be that you feel some special affinity or attraction for something about the Saint.  Then you ask that Saint to pray for you and with you.
I don't have any practical tips for you on how you could better search for the traits and qualities of a Saint such as their Faith, Hope, and Charity.
Lastly, sometimes people attribute something to a Saint's patronage that may not necessarily be something "officially" promoted by the Church.
I hope this helps!

Fr. Timothy Johnson


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