Who is the patron saint of gays and lesbians?

As per the Patron Saint Index, there is no official Patron Saint of Gays and Lesbians. To receive the patronage for anything a saint must be named so by the Vatican and no such statement has ever been issued for such a patron saint. Until the Church says it's so, it ain't so.

Saints Sergius and Bacchus were a homosexual couple who truly loved each other. They are regarded as patron saints of homosexuals and are almost always depicted together. Some say Saint Sebastian was also homosexual, and he is often regarded as a patron saint of homosexuals as well, though it isn't exactly official yet.


The Catholic Church has alloted no official patron saint of homosexuals. Gay activists groups have been lobbying for one since the papacy of John Paul II.


The alleged homosexual relation of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus is the work of a sole historical revisionist, the late John Boswell. The two saints had an extremely close relationship, being both soldiers and secret Christians in a bodyguard attachment. In the ancient text of their martyrology they are called "erastai" in the Greek, or "lovers". That definition can also mean "brothers" or "united in heart". It was both the custom and belief in the ancient world and specifically in the east that men could love each other as brothers in a non-sexual context with a greater intensity based on honor and loyalty than a man and a woman could ever love each other, for only another man could know the virtue and strength of another man's heart and convictions. There is a complete lack of support for Boswell's claim other than the timeliness for his declaration, for currently it is quite vogue to look for such things in every quarter. The quote of C. S. Lewis would seem to be appropriate here that "it has actually become necessary in our time to rebut the theory that every firm and serious friendship is really homosexual."


Homosexuals also look to St. Sebastian although this is not so much because he is claimed to have been a homosexual so much as the gay movements desires to honor him as their patron.


The great difficulty with this issue is that the Catholic Church believes homosexual behavior to be gravely sinful, and as such, it would not seem appropriate to name a patron. If the Church did name a patron it would probably not be appreciated by the homosexual community as the Church would assign a saint whose intercession would be to strengthen those with homosexual tendencies from giving in and engaging in such behavior as it has done in the case of prostitutes and other such things. As a result, the Church has acted diplomatically and remained silent in regard to pleas to name a patron saint one way or the other.


According to the "Roman" Catholic Church. The Old Catholic Church (Ultrajectines, Union of Ultrecht) does not consider homosexuality or being a part of the "Alphabet Soup" (GLBTIAQ) in general to be a sin.

While erastai could mean "united by spirit"-- it was also widely used for more physical sorts of romantic relationships between men in the literature of the time as well. So really it's a 50/50 call either way. It's worth noting that the Roman Catholics have more to lose if they admit this, given their ongoing and sometimes rabid persecution of homosexuals.

My personal opinion? I think either as friends united with a single heart, or blessed lovers (it is mentioned they went through the uniting ceremony that once existed in the Catholic Church for same-sex partnerships. This ceremony was employed many times, for both men and women. The last record of it's use was a female couple just after the Catholic Church began a more widespread campaign against homosexuality in the 14th century (a reaction to the Black Plague. Homosexual couples did not produce children to work fields for the nobility who in turn funded churches. This papal condemnation led to homosexual figures such as Sir Galahaut, a Christian and one of Arthur's knights, being erased from popular culture of the time through successive retellings of the legends. Galahaut today is so marginalized that most do not know of him at all when prior he was one of Arthur's greatest knights, mentioned before even Gawain in song.)-- after this the ceremony is no longer allowed. Today, many Catholics don't know it existed at all.), St.s Bacchus and Sergius would be perfect official Patrons. As a Catholic who happens to be bisexual, I certainly pray for their intercession, as well as St. Valentine (1). St. Sebastian is more about the will to never give up the fight-- he was executed for spreading Christianity, healed from his mortal wounds by St. Irene and went after Diocletian to chastize him for his persecution of Christians, only to be executed again. Any other person might have run, but Sebastian just kept on doing what he felt was right even though it cost him his life twice. That's definitely something we Catholics of the GLBTIAQ can relate to.

Catholic Answer

Not per se, the saints that would be used in this instance would be those who were well-known for personal chastity. The saint most often invoked as a patron for male chastity is St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Others who could be considered would be St. Augustine of Hippo, who led a very promiscuous life before his conversion (his motto at the time was, "Lord, grant me chastity, but not yet." For women, the Blessed Mother, and St. Maria Goretti, who fought to her death rather than allow an attack on her chastity.