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jmbejdl
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Great Martyr St. John the New of Suceava


« on: February 02, 2005, 11:28:05 AM »

Hi all,

I'm just interested to know who converts chose as their patron saints and why (if any of the catechumens here know who they'll be taking as patrons, I'd love to hear from you, too).

For my part, whilst I was a catechumen I was basically given a list of all the Sts. James, told I should read their lives and pick one. Having been brought up a pretty low church Protestant, I knew pretty much nothing about any of them (except the obvious!) and so I thought it would be really difficult - I didn't just want to take a lucky dip, but rather have a good reason for my decision. In the end, though, it was surprisingly easy and I chose St James the Persian.

I chose St. James for a number of reasons. Firstly, because just as St. James was inspired to return to the faith and his eventual martyrdom by the words of his wife, I was prodded to finally stop procrastinating and become a catechumen by mine. Secondly, his martyrdom was so awful and so awe-inspiring that I really thought that his was the sort of example that was worth following. Thirdly, the fact that he'd been a member of the Church, then denounced his faith and finally returned to it - and was so clearly a good Christian despite his previous wavering (rather like St. Peter, I think) gave me hope that I, having denounced Christianity (albeit of the Lutheran variety) and wandered in the wilderness for years, could still become a good Orthodox Christian. One day I might even achieve that aspiration!

Finally, and least importantly, his feast day turned out to be on 27th November, the day after I was born. This was not so much a factor in choosing him as my patron saint, but more a sort of confirmation of my decision. I know many traditional Romanian families name their children after saints on or near whose feast day they are born. Finding that St. James's feast day was so close to my birthday made me wonder if he'd somehow always been my patron saint and, rather than choosing him, I'd merely discovered him on entering the Church. Does that make sense to anybody else at all, or does it make me sound like some sort of crank (I would have said 'nutter', but most of you here seem to be American and I don't think you use the word)?

For anyone who doesn't know the life of St. James the Persian, you can find it here:

http://www.holycross-hermitage.com/pages/Orthodox_Life/st_james_persian.htm

I look forward to hearing others' stories and hope I haven't come across as irredeemably insane.

James
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St. Anastasia


« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2005, 11:45:34 AM »

If anyone's story is insane, I must say it's mine.

My given name, Kimberly, is obviously not attached to any saint.  When I was confirmed in the RCC I took the name Angel, because of its genericness and it is also my fathers middle name (and the bishop had no qualms).  While looking into Orthodoxy, I knew I'd have to have a patron, and I'd have to start from scratch.

I've always liked the name Anastasia, I just thought it was nice-sounding.  I eventually learned that it means resurrection.  There is actually a Greek girl in my class named Anastasia Christos.  Quite a complete name if you ask me!  At any rate, I am also a pharmacy student, and I chose this field not solely because it is the same as my parents, but because I feel a great pull to try and heal and help people in any way I can.  The unmercenaries Sts. Cosmas and Damian along with the other healing saints were the ones I admired most upon learning of them.  I managed to encounter an icon of St. Anastasia in an exhibit in NYC.  The title she is given is Pharmakolytria-Deliverer from potions.  In my twisted mind, I said "She's a pharmacist, just like me!"

I read up on her life and was deeply humbled.  I now ask for her prayers and intercessions as my patron and I'd like to shape my career into trying to emulate her and all the other healers and unmercenaries.

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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2005, 11:57:58 AM »

Here's what I'm wondering:

Is there a catalogue of various Saints and their corresponding patronages in the Orthodox Church like there is in the Catholic Church?  If so, where can I find one?
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jmbejdl
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Great Martyr St. John the New of Suceava


« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2005, 12:01:38 PM »

Here's what I'm wondering:

Is there a catalogue of various Saints and their corresponding patronages in the Orthodox Church like there is in the Catholic Church? If so, where can I find one?

I thought that sort of patron saint was something peculiar to the Roman Catholic church. I've certainly never heard of Orthodox patron saints of, say, doctors, firemen or soldiers. If anyone does know of such a thing as you're asking about, I'd be interested to know, too.

James
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2005, 12:20:25 PM »

Patron saint to Invoke when confronting the heresies of Catholicism...
Saint Photios, patr. of Kon/Poli
Saint Mark of Ephesus
Saint Gregory Palamas
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2005, 12:25:29 PM »

for some reason I thought you were OO.  I guess not since you invoked St. Gregory Palamas.

But I know that St. Xenia of St. Petersburg is the patron Saint for finding employment, who has often been very helpful to me.
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St. Anastasia


« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2005, 12:28:57 PM »

I'm sure we can ask even the most obscure saint to pray for us no matter what our vocation or circumstance. We just learn about each of the saints, how they lived their lives and what they did so that we can emulate them, in the way they emulated Christ. That's all I think the purpose of a patron saint is. You ask for prayers of specific people because their lives relate to what's going on in your life at the moment.

Just a thought
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2005, 12:32:01 PM »

for some reason I thought you were OO. I guess not since you invoked St. Gregory Palamas.

But I know that St. Xenia of St. Petersburg is the patron Saint for finding employment, who has often been very helpful to me.

She's also invoked for marriages and finding chicks.
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2005, 12:35:53 PM »

Excellent.  That one ought to be useful to me. Afro
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2005, 12:38:28 PM »



I thought that sort of patron saint was something peculiar to the Roman Catholic church. I've certainly never heard of Orthodox patron saints of, say, doctors, firemen or soldiers. If anyone does know of such a thing as you're asking about, I'd be interested to know, too.

James

I'm not sure how the western church deems a saint to be a patron of something, but I do know many saints in the East are identified as being patrons. St. Paraskevi with the blind or St. Nicholas of Myra with sailors for instance, while others are considered special intercessors for certain things such as St. Nektarios the Wonderworker with cancer.

I don't think there is any one way name saints are chosen for converts. I know some priests discourage taking an alternate name if one already has a Christian name, some acting as a spiritiual father choose a saint they think matches with the personality of the catechumen and some I think just leave it up to the individual to pick a saint they feel an affinity for.
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2005, 12:45:05 PM »

I was named Anthony after my grandfather. When it came time to choose a patron saint, I kept my birth name and chose Saint Anthony the Great as my patron.  Smiley

In Christ,
Anthony
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2005, 01:05:58 PM »


I've always liked the name Anastasia, I just thought it was nice-sounding. I eventually learned that it means resurrection.

I picked Anastasia as my RC confirmation name because I thought it sounded cool.  I had a friend whose middle name was Anastasia which she found so embarrassing that she would never reveal her middle name.  Weird. 

Eventually I too learned it meant resurrection which is totally cool, IMHO.  I'm a bit attached to it now because of the resurrection connection.  But my first name is english variation of Genevieve who is the patroness of Paris (very chic!) and my middle name is Ann (and what better saint that Jesus's grandmother?) so I'll have a hard choice to make. 
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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2005, 01:32:33 PM »

St. John Chrysostom.

Why? He ownz the whole liturgy.

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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2005, 01:45:54 PM »

St. John Chrysostom.

Why? He ownz the whole liturgy.



Blah..so does Saint Basil and Saint James.

and I'm hoping saint James takes all the sundays back.
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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2005, 03:29:53 PM »

So, OK --

I thought I had had it all planned out.  I was gonna be named after the prophet David.  Why?  First name's always been David.  Birthday's December 27th, and David's commemorated on the first Sunday after Nativity, so right around the same time.  Also, he struggled with sexual sins, and what guy hasn't/doesn't?  He also writes songs/poetry, has a very deep, personal devotion to God, in tune with worship...I thought it'd be a good fit.

Was talking during Holy Week with the priest who chrismated me (Holy Sat. '01), and we were going over things to mention in my first confession.  It was very emotional, and after I had calmed down some, he asked if we'd had a saint picked out for me.  I told him about my plans to use the name David, and he said, "I'm thinking about changing it."

"Oh, yeah?  To what?"

"Peter."

"Really!"

"Yeah...go home, think it over tonight, talk to me tomorrow at service."  So I did.  And laughed at myself.  As a Protestant, I don't know how many times I'd held Peter up as someone I could really relate to.  To me, the walking on the water passage seems to be the most potent icon of faith and works functioning together in salvation of anything out there.  He was always talking, even when he couldn't think of anything meaningful to say (like on Mt. Tabor).  He was way dramatic and serious (the quote "I'll DIE for You before I'll deny You!" and the mischief with the sword in Gethsemane come to mind) and pretty impulsive (jumps out of boat in pretty much just his underwear to go swim to Jesus...I imagine the other disciples just looking at each other for a beat, sighing, then calmly starting to row to shore).

And yet...the Holy Spirit changed this man.  He knew he was a sinner.  He knew he loved the Church.  And he knew he loved His Lord, and wanted His Lord to see it.  He used that fire inside to push through imprisonment, ridicule, torture and upside-down crucifixion.

I figure he's a way better fit than what I had planned.

Plus...it stinks to be a Christmas baby; I like getting stuff in June!  Grin
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2005, 08:38:01 PM »

My patron is the Theotokos. Here is why:

My given name is Donna. I come from an Italian family, and I was baptised Donna Rose (Rosa is my grandmother's name) in the RCC as a baby. In Italian, Donna means, literally, "woman." Then later I came to the understanding that my name is a derivative of one of the titles for the Theotokos in Italian, La Madonna, Our Lady, etc. My RC faith was a huge part of my life for all of my life leading up to my encounter with the Orthodox Church. When I discovered the exalted place that the Orthodox Church gives to the Theotokos, something about her pervasive (in a good way) presence in my new spiritual life was very comforting. When it came time to become a catechumen, my priest asked me, matter of factly: "So, will you choose Mary as your patron, since your name is Donna?" Without even having to think, I answered: "Yes." The Theotokos, for me, has been the model for Christian womanhood, which has been extremely helpful for me, going to a college where there are very, well, bizarre and rather un-Christian ideas of womanhood. I sought to embrace my womanhood, not shy away from it as if it were something to "overcome." The Theotokos has helped me in this. I just have to look to her as the epitome of faith in God (i.e. not questioning, just offering oneself for service to Him) and also of motherhood, which I feel deeply called to.

So, yea, that's why the Theotokos is my patron. Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2010, 11:22:38 PM »

I wanted St Constantine b/c he is cool and one of the only saints I knew anything about (I grew up protestant.)

So when I finished my classes with my priest I asked him who my patron saint should be, and if I should pick it. Well, my name is Christopher so he said I should look up Saint Christopher. I did, and found myself being able to relate to his life a good bit and was very pleased.
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