One of the best parts of working with Discount Catholic Products is that I’ve learned a lot about a variety of Saints that I would not have otherwise have learned. I am a speech and debate coach by day and so I thought I’d try to find the patron saint of public speaking.
One might think this is an easy task, especially since we now have Google. Additionally, I have a good high-school friend who is a priest and I could always go and ask my cousin who is a cannon lawyer. It’s not for a lack of options that made my search difficult. The problem is almost too many options.
For example, there is St. Bernardine of Siena. He is considered the patron saint of Public Relations among others. While this is close, not quite. There is the Angel Gabriel, who is considered the announcer of Gods intentions. He is the one who spoke to Mary about bearing Jesus. So Gabriel is the patron saint of broadcasters (for obvious reasons), radio and telecommunications. Again, close, but not quite what I was looking for.
That is when I cam upon St. John Chrysostom – the patron saint of Orators, Preachers and speakers! Here was the saint I was looking for. What is interesting is that I had never heard of St. John Chrysostom before my research. However, once I started doing some research I was amazed at what I had found and am proud to have him as the patron saint of what I pour most of my life into.
In my research, I found that he studied rhetoric under Libanius, a pagan, the most famous orator of the age who was also a sophist. Unless you are a fan of ancient political philosophy like me, you probably don’t care about sophistry. The sophists were a group of greeks who taught people who to speak eloquently and Libanius was the most famous at the time of his teaching of John. Libanius is said to have spoken on his death bed who he would like to suceed him and he said “John, had the Christians not gotten him.”
While he is well known in the Orthodox Church as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs, the Catholic Church still views him as an important saint for his works and his dedication and service to God.
What I like most about St. John Chrysostom is what he stood for. He emphasised charitable giving and was concerned with the spiritual and temporal needs of the poor. He also spoke against abuse of wealth and personal property:
- Do you wish to honour the body of Christ? Do not ignore him when he is naked. Do not pay him homage in the temple clad in silk, only then to neglect him outside where he is cold and ill-clad. He who said: “This is my body” is the same who said: “You saw me hungry and you gave me no food”, and “Whatever you did to the least of my brothers you did also to me”… What good is it if the Eucharistic table is overloaded with golden chalices when your brother is dying of hunger? Start by satisfying his hunger and then with what is left you may adorn the altar as well.
He reminds me a lot of Pope Francis and his focus on the poor and how we should focus on that more than what we have been focusing on.
Who is your patron saint? Have you found one? Did you have to search for one or have you had one since birth? Do you have a connection to your patron saint? I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on this and how they have come to find their patron saint.
Thanks for reading and have a blessed day!