patron saint

In some religions, a patron saint is a holy figure that protects a place, person, or group. If you lose your keys, try praying to Saint Anthony — the patron saint of lost items.

Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians believe that patron saints (who were so virtuous while they were alive that after death they live in heaven and advocate for people with God) offer protection to specific groups. There are patron saints of places (like Joseph, the patron saint of Belgium); of illnesses and problems (Paulina, patron saint of diabetes); and of professions (Dominic, patron saint of astronomers). Patron comes from the Latin patronus, or "protector."

Definitions of patron saint
  1. noun
    a saint who is considered to be a defender of some group or nation
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    Father Christmas
    the legendary patron saint of children; an imaginary being who is thought to bring presents to children at Christmas
    Saint Christopher
    Christian martyr and patron saint of travellers (3rd century)
    Saint Crispin
    patron saint of shoemakers; he and his brother were martyred for trying to spread Christianity (3rd century)
    Saint David
    patron saint of Wales (circa 520-600)
    Saint George
    Christian martyr; patron saint of England; hero of the legend of Saint George and the Dragon in which he slew a dragon and saved a princess (?-303)
    Saint Patrick
    Apostle and patron saint of Ireland; an English missionary to Ireland in the 5th century
    type of:
    defender, guardian, protector, shielder
    a person who cares for persons or property
    a person who has died and has been declared a saint by canonization
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