How to Pick a Patron Saint for Your Marriage

It was over. The hectic excitement and whirlwind of the wedding day…

…kisses, hugs, vows, rings, dancing the night away, and stealing off with my new spouse for the night. All over.

After a blissful night and morning, we hopped in the car again to make the drive for Sunday morning Mass. We had a special place to go to Mass the day after our wedding. The Cathedral of Saint Joseph the Workman.

We had chosen this cathedral for a reason: the dedication of our not-yet-day-old marriage.  

We arrived early to pray a rosary, and, kneeling there together, wrapped in my new husband’s arm under the enormous stone arches of the neo-gothic ceiling, I listened to the man I had vowed to love for the rest of my life pray a beautiful prayer straight from his heart.

He told Saint Joseph about our wedding, our hopes and dreams for our marriage, and how much we want to love each other more and love God and others better each day. How we want to serve God and others as Joseph himself had served the Lord so well. He asked this incredible saint to help make him the kind of husband and father Joseph himself had been. He asked for protection for our new family of two and for our extended family and friends.

I added a prayer of my own, and we entrusted and dedicated our marriage to the care of St. Joseph—foster father of Jesus, most chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Terror of Demons.

It was an incredibly special moment, and remains a huge comfort to reach out to this saint whenever we need him.

I won’t sit here writing on the benefits of praying to the saints—you can look many places for research on that. But I would encourage you and your significant other—whether serious girlfriend/boyfriend, fiance/fiancee, or spouse—to ask yourselves who you would choose as the patron saint of your relationship.

If this sounds appealing to you, here’s some practical ideas for saint-searching:

1. Think about saints that matter to you.

Lifelong love of St. Joseph is part of why we chose him. Perhaps you have a lifelong connection to a particular saint, and that will translate well into your marriage. Perhaps a certain saint brought you two together? Perhaps you already pray to a certain saint together frequently?  

Perhaps a certain cause or mission the two of you share attracts you to a patron saint of something, like artistsvictims of abuseadoptionmarriageengaged or young couples, or even starch makers.  Not even kidding, there’s a saint for that. It’s like the Catholic version of “there’s an app for that”—we have saints for everything.  

2. Pray about it.

It is amazing the insights you and your significant other can have by regular prayer and being open to the Lord’s (and the saints’) voices in your life. You can research saints together (there are MANY to choose from!), discuss them, and just dive deeper into your knowledge and devotions together.  This can even open a door to talking about what matters most to you both, and your most deeply held dreams and goals for a marriage relationship.

3. Take your time.

There’s no one right way to do this—or one “right” saint to choose!  Don’t stress about it. You might find a saint in a week, or it might take a few saints to find a good fit.  

4. Does the saint work for you AND your spouse?

You might adore the Blessed Virgin, but your husband has a more difficult time connecting with her. Or he might want to dedicate your marriage to his confirmation saint, but the patron saint of athletes doesn’t sound a chord with your bookworm soul. Don’t sweat it if it takes a while to come to a consensus.

5. Take it further.

Sure, prayer is awesome, and amazing, and there are so many different devotions to try. But you can do more if you like.

Have a party or special meal on your saint’s feast day, hang up art or a medal of your saint in your home, or volunteer for a cause close to your saint’s heart. Personally, my husband put up a St. Joseph medal in our door to protect our home (remember that “Terror of Demons” thing?). Taking this kind of action in your life will yield nothing but good things.

6. You don’t have to abandon other saints.

It’s fine to have a saint you chat to about your marriage, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore your other saint friends! Having different saints to talk to about different concerns is just as important as having different types of real life friends. Maybe you talk to one saint about your marriage, another about your job, another about your kids, and another about your health. That’s good! And know that you will certainly connect with different saints throughout your lifetime—just because you pick one at this point in your life doesn’t exclude the thousands of others down the road.  

-Morgan Taubel

continue reading: