I’m not Roman Catholic, so I’ll be displaying some rampaging ignorance here (hey, isn’t that what care giving is all about?)
Today is the Feast of All Saints on the church calendar. So I did some quick googling, and found this definition of a patron saint:
“A Patron Saint is one who has been appointed by the Vatican as special protectors or guardians over different circumstances and areas of life. Most of the time, they are patrons of professions or circumstances that the saints themselves have experienced or dealt with personally during their own lives. A patron saint can help us when we follow the example of that saint’s life, and when we ask for that saint’s intercessory prayers to God.”
But the site where I found that didn’t list a patron saint for care givers. Carnival workers have one – they’re close to care givers alphabetically and, like them, our lives can have both fun houses and halls of horror. So maybe we can borrow their guy, one Julian the Hospitaller.
Googled some more and found:
- Professional care givers seem to have assigned saints; but there’s nobody for us amateurs.
- There’s Elizabeth of Hungary as patron of volunteers – but face it, none of us signed up for this care giving gig. It kinda landed on us.
- Tried Catholic Online – nothing for care givers but Cartagena, Spain has one named Modestus. And we’re all such modest, self-denying types, right?
Then I ran into a site for a particular care giving situation – people caring for aging parents– and they invoke St. John the Evangelist, to whom Jesus entrusted his mother as he was dying on the cross. They agree that there’s no official patron saint, but John worked for them.
Whether you take the Catholic position that saints are specially blessed and recognized individuals, or the Protestant interpretation that all members of the church are the saints, may you be blessed to find friends who pray for you as you care for others. As we say up there at the top of the blog, “Don’t be alone and don’t give up.” Or as a great All Saints’ Day hymn puts it,
And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.