First take a look at what a "saint" is in the Catholic Church. Saints in the Catholic Church are all those who are baptized. But more specifically, the Catholic Church recognizes by canonization, people whose lives were, after much research and discovery, conclusive of them absolutely being in Heaven. When someone dies, we do not know for sure if they are in Heaven or not, as God is the only one who can read our hearts. He is the final judge on that. But, there are some people who lived holy lives who have died, and through prayer to them asking for their prayers to God for us, miracles have occurred. Catholics believe that if a miracle has occurred through the intercession of a particular dead person then it could have only happened through them if that person were WITH GOD, meaning absolutely in Heaven.
Now we can take a look at what a "patron saint" is. A Patron Saint is someone who did some great religious things when they were alive and when they were dead they were put up on a pedestal for being a great person. a canonized saint in the Catholic Church who based on their life experiences (i.e. was a teacher, writer, etc) is classified under that experience for us here to ask for their intercessions. For example, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is the patron saint of Catholic Schools. Why? Because she was the person who opened the first Catholic school here in America. Catholic School teachers, principals and students can say a prayer to her, asking for her to pray for them to God for their intentions (i.e. we need more money to replace the windows in the school, etc.) St. Peregrine is the patron saint of cancer, so people affected by cancer can ask St. peregrine to intercede for them.
Saying that we put people on pedestals for being great people is wrong. The pedestal is the last place these saints would want to be.
Answer Catholic definition: "Patron saints are chosen as special protectors or guardians over areas of life." Answer Catholics believe that the saints are before the throne of God and He loves the prayers of His Saints, and these include those in Heaven and those on earth. It is biblical to believe in the Communion of Saints and to ask that through the merits of Our Lord, that we pray for one another, in Heaven as well as on earth. Too often there are those who would script the power of the living God, in this case that being the efficacious prayers of the saints about us and those in Heaven. That being said, St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is especially honored because he is the patron of families. Ask him to pray for an adoption and that all would go well.
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