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Author Topic: List of Oriental Orthodox Patron Saints?  (Read 1273 times) Average Rating: 0
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braish
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« on: November 27, 2012, 11:58:15 PM »

Forgive me brothers and sisters, I've tried searching the forum and the internet, but does anyone know of a list of Oriental Orthodox patron saints and what they are known to intercede for?  Sorry for this poorly worded question, but for example, the West has St. Christopher as the patron saint for travelers- is there an Oriental Orthodox equivalent?

Many thanks and I pray you and yours are having a blessed season preparing for our Lord's Advent and Nativity!

In Christ,
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Salpy
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 12:07:41 AM »

I don't think we have the concept of patron saints the way the West does.  That being said, if there is a saint who suffered something you are going through, it makes sense that you would ask him for intercession.
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2012, 12:17:06 AM »

I'm new to the Church myself, but when I asked this question of people at my church (after reading a little bit about this idea on OC.net, actually; I hadn't previously associated it with any form of Orthodox spirituality), it was explained to me as being foreign to OO tradition. We do have patron saints, but they're for churches (e.g., the church I go to is named for St. Bishoy, so he is our patron saint, and referred to as such in our prayers), or for people (e.g., this biography of HH Pope Kyrillos VI mentions that he took the name "Mina" after his patron saint, St. Mina, when ordained as a monk). I'm not sure that we have patron saints for causes as the RCC does. Certainly particular saints are known for certain aspects of their lives that we might relate to at a given point in our own, as Salpy writes, but that's not quite the same thing. In fact, when I mentioned to a friend from church that Catholics pray to St. Anthony of Padua when they have lost something, he didn't believe me. After I convinced him that this is true, he said that we don't do such things, and then went on a bit of a diatribe about how the RCC would be great if it weren't so modern. Oops.  Undecided
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 12:21:15 AM by dzheremi » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2012, 12:21:10 AM »

I think the Orthodox have some national and local patron saints. I'm sure you know a lot more about this than I do, but St. Nicholas is the patron saint of Russia, St. Andrew is the patron of Greece, true? Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2012, 12:24:12 AM »

I have heard that, too, and although those aren't Oriental Orthodox nations, I guess the same principle (the evangelist of the nation becomes the national patron saint) would hold for St. Mark and Egypt, St. Thomas and India, etc. Hmm.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 12:24:41 AM by dzheremi » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2012, 12:56:12 AM »

While the concept of patron saints is extremely rare in the OO Church, speaking from experience, people in Egypt have either went on pilgrimages to and/or sought prayers from HH Pope St Kyrillos VI as a "patron" saint for students before their exams.  Not sure why him, but I seem to have picked it up from my cousins and aunties as you can tell in my avatar.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 12:56:39 AM by minasoliman » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 01:03:37 AM »

Hmm. Come to think of it, I have been told by Coptic friends to pray to Anba Karas before exams. I always figured they were young and/or being colorful. Still I think this is a far cry from having a list of "pray to saint X if you are in profession/situation Y", as the Western churches apparently must have for the OP's question to make sense. (I don't recall seeing anything like that when I was RC, though; the St. Anthony of Padua thing was actually something I remember my grandmother telling me, and I later confirmed it with a Catholic girl I once dated. Meh.)
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 01:08:45 AM »

I'm new to the Church myself, but when I asked this question of people at my church (after reading a little bit about this idea on OC.net, actually; I hadn't previously associated it with any form of Orthodox spirituality), it was explained to me as being foreign to OO tradition. We do have patron saints, but they're for churches (e.g., the church I go to is named for St. Bishoy, so he is our patron saint, and referred to as such in our prayers), or for people (e.g., this biography of HH Pope Kyrillos VI mentions that he took the name "Mina" after his patron saint, St. Mina, when ordained as a monk). I'm not sure that we have patron saints for causes as the RCC does. Certainly particular saints are known for certain aspects of their lives that we might relate to at a given point in our own, as Salpy writes, but that's not quite the same thing. In fact, when I mentioned to a friend from church that Catholics pray to St. Anthony of Padua when they have lost something, he didn't believe me. After I convinced him that this is true, he said that we don't do such things, and then went on a bit of a diatribe about how the RCC would be great if it weren't so modern. Oops.  Undecided

That's interesting about St. Anthony of Padua.  I have an Armenian friend who asks the intercession of St. Antony the Great (the desert father) when she loses her keys.  This must be a Catholic influence.
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2012, 01:13:34 AM »

I think the Orthodox have some national and local patron saints. I'm sure you know a lot more about this than I do, but St. Nicholas is the patron saint of Russia, St. Andrew is the patron of Greece, true? Smiley

Armenians have that too.  St. Gregory the Illuminator is the patron saint of Armenia. 

Also, as dzheremi indicated, people celebrate the feast day of the saint whose name they have, and parishes celebrate the feast day of the saint they are named after.
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2012, 01:22:27 AM »

Very fascinating! I thought I might have overlooked an old thread or missed a list of patron saints somewhere on the internet.  Thank you all for your answers and many years to the Coptic Church's new Pope, His Holiness Theodoros II!
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2012, 01:29:09 AM »

I celebrate St. Shenouda the Archimandrite every day. Grin

The more I think about this issue, it seems like a good micro-level example of the differences between the Orthodox and Western Christianity -- while we clearly have some of this to a very limited degree, what we don't have, as far as I know, is a saint "for" every occasion, profession, situation, affliction, etc. I have to believe that what my Coptic friend was reacting against when I told him about Anthony of Padua is the idea that we should view and employ the saints in that way. Probably because at its most ridiculous, it leads to "patron" saints of clowns, people with STDs, hangovers and other such things that really seem...well, wrong. Undecided
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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2012, 01:34:21 AM »

I celebrate St. Shenouda the Archimandrite every day. Grin

The more I think about this issue, it seems like a good micro-level example of the differences between the Orthodox and Western Christianity -- while we clearly have some of this to a very limited degree, what we don't have, as far as I know, is a saint "for" every occasion, profession, situation, affliction, etc. I have to believe that what my Coptic friend was reacting against when I told him about Anthony of Padua is the idea that we should view and employ the saints in that way. Probably because at its most ridiculous, it leads to "patron" saints of clowns, people with STDs, hangovers and other such things that really seem...well, wrong. Undecided

Doesn't appear to be a Western thing, according to the OrthodoxWiki, the Eastern Orthodox also have a tradition of it: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Patron_saint
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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2012, 01:40:27 AM »

Yeah, I know. As I explained in my first post, before I came here, I didn't think any Orthodox formally embraced this idea. Regardless, you asked about the non-Chalcedonians in particular, so I don't really think what EO do has anything to do with anything, barring some very basic similarities that have already been pointed out by Biro and Salpy about national saints.
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2012, 02:24:21 AM »

Another very common thing among Copts is to pray to Anba Wanas when you have lost something.
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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2012, 02:27:56 AM »

Couldn't be an Anthony, huh...Copts always have to be different like that... Tongue
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« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2012, 10:43:00 AM »

I'm new to the Church myself, but when I asked this question of people at my church (after reading a little bit about this idea on OC.net, actually; I hadn't previously associated it with any form of Orthodox spirituality), it was explained to me as being foreign to OO tradition. We do have patron saints, but they're for churches (e.g., the church I go to is named for St. Bishoy, so he is our patron saint, and referred to as such in our prayers), or for people (e.g., this biography of HH Pope Kyrillos VI mentions that he took the name "Mina" after his patron saint, St. Mina, when ordained as a monk). I'm not sure that we have patron saints for causes as the RCC does. Certainly particular saints are known for certain aspects of their lives that we might relate to at a given point in our own, as Salpy writes, but that's not quite the same thing. In fact, when I mentioned to a friend from church that Catholics pray to St. Anthony of Padua when they have lost something, he didn't believe me. After I convinced him that this is true, he said that we don't do such things, and then went on a bit of a diatribe about how the RCC would be great if it weren't so modern. Oops.  Undecided

That's interesting about St. Anthony of Padua.  I have an Armenian friend who asks the intercession of St. Antony the Great (the desert father) when she loses her keys.  This must be a Catholic influence.
When I was in WV, I lost my cell phone, and this nice Catholic lady helped me find it after telling me about St. Anthony of Padua in a rhyme:

"Tony, Tony, please come down.
Something is lost and cannot be found."

She didn't tell me "Padua", so for the longest time, I assumed it was St. Anthony the Great for a while. lol
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« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2012, 11:28:39 AM »

I celebrate St. Shenouda the Archimandrite every day. Grin

The more I think about this issue, it seems like a good micro-level example of the differences between the Orthodox and Western Christianity -- while we clearly have some of this to a very limited degree, what we don't have, as far as I know, is a saint "for" every occasion, profession, situation, affliction, etc. I have to believe that what my Coptic friend was reacting against when I told him about Anthony of Padua is the idea that we should view and employ the saints in that way. Probably because at its most ridiculous, it leads to "patron" saints of clowns, people with STDs, hangovers and other such things that really seem...well, wrong. Undecided

Doesn't appear to be a Western thing, according to the OrthodoxWiki, the Eastern Orthodox also have a tradition of it: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Patron_saint

I think it is a western thing and I was certainly always told we don't have such patrons. There are certain saints who at has become customary to ask for intercession for certain things but they're few and far between and generally its down to some relevant aspect of their lives and I've never heard a saint referred to as a patron saint of profession X or malady Y. I've certainly never before seen a list like that one you referred to and just because you find such a thing in an eastern church (I note that the source appears to be Russian in this instance) doesn't make it non-western - the west has had quite an influence on eastern churches at some times and in some places.

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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2012, 07:52:20 AM »

As each Church within the OO communion recognises different local saints, this may be hard to come across.
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