Patron Saints may be personal or general.
A patron saint is personal for the christian whose name he or she bears. Hence St. Gregory the Great is a patron saint for one whose name is Gregory.
A patron saint may also be general for a group of people, e.g. St. Jerome is the Patron of Librarians while St. Anne is the Patroness of Canada. As such a saint may be a patron or a protector for those in particular professions or occupations or may be invoked in times of special need.
"..The Saint chosen acts in the role of sponsor for the person (people) in the courts of heaven....our patron saint follows our earthly career with more than kindly interest. Do you know the life of your patron saint? You should, because he or she is your firm friend before the throne of God."
- Richard Cardinal Cushing.
By taking a Christian name, we not only honor "the saints who have suffered and been glorified with Christ," but we also "seek from the saints example in their of life, fellowship in their communion, and aid by thier intercession. A true spiritual patrimony is given to the christian; "his saint" is not just a name, but also a pledge of a lifelong patron, a special intecessor or friend in heaven.
(extract from Patron Saints by the Daughters of St. Paul, St. Paul Books and Media, Boston.)
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