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Author Topic: anyone have a favorite St. Michael?  (Read 1991 times) Average Rating: 0
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spedrson
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« on: February 10, 2006, 03:18:32 PM »

This may be getting ahead of things, but in a sense it's not. As I adjust to the whole saint business, one thing I'm generally lacking is a patron saint. I've considered Anna of Novgorod and Sigfrid of Wexlow, since I'm of Swedish and English background. (Sigfrid was an English missionary who planted Christianity in Sweden, and Anna was a Swedish princess who married Russian.) But neither one is really clicking. I guess when it comes down to it, I've never felt as Swedish as some of my older relatives do. Plus, I really find myself drawn to Orthodox culture, so it feels better to me to go with a more "eastern" saint.

Another option is a name saint. I figure if one day I actually convert, I will need an Orthodox name. Someone has said that a person who already has a Christian name has already been living under the intercession of their name-saint, so it's best to honor them by keeping the name one already has. I can't find a saint Trevor, but my middle name is Michael, which seems like a good alternative. So the next question is, which St. Michael? I guess the first thing I'm wondering is, is it appropriate to have an angel as one's patron saint? It doesn't seem like it, but maybe I just haven't picked up on it before.

There have been several St. Michaels in Orthodoxy. Some are sort of obscure, but I've come up with two good possibilities--St. Michael the first Metropolitan of Kiev, and Holy Prince Michael of Chernigov. It's kind of neat, IMO, that one was instrumental in founding Russian Orthodoxy (which was first centered in Kiev), while the other seems to have been the last free ruler of Kiev before the Tatar invasion that effected the shift of dominance to Moscow. I like the missionary emphasis of Met. Michael, but I also like Prince Michael's testimony as a confessor and martyr, and the way that he had to deal with both Islam and the West in his efforts to protect his subjects. I guess I'm leaning more in the direction of Prince Michael, but I'm curious if others have thoughts on picking Orthodox names and patron saints in general, or on preferences for one St. Michael over another.

thanks,
Trevor
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2006, 03:31:59 PM »

It is completely acceptable to have the Archangel Michael as your patron saint; it is the most common choice amongst the Greeks (not that this fact means anything).  You would celebrate November 8th.  There are many miracles associated with the intercession of the Archangel Michael, I even know one from a personal friend:

Georgia (my friend) and some of her friends were coming back from a party late.  None were intoxicated, but the weather was a bit bad, and lots of rain ahd come down before they were driving (it had stopped by the time they were driving).  They are from rural Maryland, and were on some of the winding country roads.  As it happened, they passed around a bend and the lead car spun out into a ditch.  It was damaged pretty badly; the other car stopped close behind.  As they all got out to check out the damage, a car pulled over to the other side, and out stepped two fairly tall men with blondish hair.  They called over to the kids to see how they were, and then offered to call for help if they would all come over to the car.  Georgia and her friends went to the car of the strangers, and about a minute later a drunk driver came from the other direction and smashed into the car in the ditch, destroying both it and the car behind it.  If they hadn't been on the other side of the road, my friend and her friends would have died.  The police came shortly after, and the kids went with them to the other side to the scene.  When recalling the story to the officers, they said that they were saved by the two men; but these two men by now had disappeared, without anyone seeing where they went.  The following Sunday after Liturgy Georgia went to venerate the icons on the iconostasis - and when she got to the deacon's door and saw the Archangel Michael, she recognized one of the men that had saved her.

May the Lord guide you well in your quest - through the intercessions of the bodiless powers and all the Saints!
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2006, 04:35:38 PM »

  When I was looking for a patron saint, I already had some in mind, such as St. Patrick.  Then one day I came across the story of a saint that was really odd.  It was odd because the more I read about him the more I felt like I personally knew him, like I had known him all my life- I knew I had found my patron saint, St. Seraphim of Sarov.  I don't know if that is the sort of thing that happens to everyone, but I think that when you find him/her, you know.  (As a side note, St. Katherine is a saint that I sometimes feel a need to ask for intercession from - I have no idea how that got started.)
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2006, 05:16:48 PM »

  ...I don't know if that is the sort of thing that happens to everyone, but I think that when you find him/her, you know. 

That is how I came to know and love St. Alexis Toth.

I love St. Seraphim as well! and St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, and......

Warm regards,
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2006, 07:09:56 PM »

Hey spedrson.. looks like we have something in common. I too am in the process of joining, and my name is also Michael. I had the same question too about having an angel as a patron saint. I'm interested to see the rest of the responses to this thread.
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2006, 07:53:02 PM »

Georgia (my friend) and some of her friends were coming back from a party late.  None were intoxicated, but the weather was a bit bad, and lots of rain ahd come down before they were driving (it had stopped by the time they were driving).  They are from rural Maryland, and were on some of the winding country roads.  As it happened, they passed around a bend and the lead car spun out into a ditch.  It was damaged pretty badly; the other car stopped close behind.  As they all got out to check out the damage, a car pulled over to the other side, and out stepped two fairly tall men with blondish hair.  They called over to the kids to see how they were, and then offered to call for help if they would all come over to the car.  Georgia and her friends went to the car of the strangers, and about a minute later a drunk driver came from the other direction and smashed into the car in the ditch, destroying both it and the car behind it.  If they hadn't been on the other side of the road, my friend and her friends would have died.  The police came shortly after, and the kids went with them to the other side to the scene.  When recalling the story to the officers, they said that they were saved by the two men; but these two men by now had disappeared, without anyone seeing where they went.  The following Sunday after Liturgy Georgia went to venerate the icons on the iconostasis - and when she got to the deacon's door and saw the Archangel Michael, she recognized one of the men that had saved her.

Great story! I never knew angels drove cars  Grin
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2006, 02:27:38 AM »

If you are ever in Texas go to the Greek Orthodox Monstery in Kendalia Texas about 50 miles west of Austin, Holy Archangels Monastery visit the Church their and look at their beautiful iconostasis.  There is a carved wooden icon in the Iconostasis depicting an event there at that monastery that ocurred a less than 10 years ago.  Some Mexican laborers, who were not Orthodox, were working near the gate of the monastery when one of them saw the ArchAngel Michael protecting the monastery. It frightened him  very much that his fellow workers took him to the abbot to whom he related the story.  He was shown some Othodox icons of the Heavenly Powers and pointed to St. Michael from the icon as being the archangel he saw---the icon was in Greek and he could not have read the inscription.

In Christ,
Thomas
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2006, 09:30:02 AM »

Spedrson:

Saint Aidan is English and pre schism.

Ask your priest, he could give you good advice assuming he has come to know you. My patron is St. Nicholas which is my middle name.

Dan
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spedrson
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2006, 02:07:58 PM »

Spedrson:

Saint Aidan is English and pre schism.

There's actually a rather extensive list of European saints, many of them from Western Europe, at http://www.orthodoxengland.btinternet.co.uk/hp.htm, which is where I found out about Sigfrid. But the bottom line is that I don't feel very culturally connected to my European heritage. My parents are both first-generation Christians, and both of their families have been in the States for several generations. If there were a saint associated with Western New York State, that might be something to look at, but otherwise I don't feel all that connected to any geographical area.

Trevor
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2006, 06:39:58 PM »

Dear Spedrson,

I have always has a special devotion to St. Michael, the Arch Angel.  I feel that he, or my guardian angel, has looked over me for many, many years.  He is the patron saint of the country of my birth, where his feast day is celebrated on September 29th.  The Eastern Church also celebrates a miracle of St. Michael on this day.

It is okay to take a saint from your middle name.  My wife's name is Donna Jean, so St. John the Baptist is her patron saint.

You also mention being of English and Swedish background.  St. George is the patron saint of England, and everyone loves him!  Food for thought!   Smiley

In Christ,

Michael
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2006, 10:52:06 PM »

Dear Spedrson,
First of all, great to learn about more people converting to Orthodoxy.
I would recommend to double check about the existence of St. Trevor with some expert source. Also, as someone else pointed in this forum, after your conversion, which I sincerely hope will transpire soon, you still can continue to use your first name even if you selected a patron saint with a totally different name.
Regarding Saint Michael. Any of (3) variants would be great. Of course, the Arch Angel is traditionally respected in Orthodoxy. Definitely, most of Saint Michael’s Orthodox churches (and I believe, all in USA) are named after him. Actually, other (2) Saints connected to Ukraine, where I am originally from. Churches in their honor can be found in Ukraine, but I don’t recall such cases here. Saint Metropolitan Michael was a Greek missionary, who orchestrated Christianization of my native country. He completed a hard work with excellent results. Saint Michael of Chernyhiv, a prince from one of the major Ukrainian cities, also was a person of a great integrity.
Therefore, you would not make mistake with any decision.
Also, you can consider some other favorite Saints your additional protectors.
Best wishes in any case.
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