patron saint

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  • IPA(key): /ˈpeɪtɹən ˈseɪnt/
  • Audio (US):(file)


Examples (protector or supporter)

patron saint (plural patron saints)

  1. (Christianity) A saint conceived as the patron (protector or supporter) of a particular place, group, person, or activity, for whom or for which his or her intercession is specially invoked.
    • 2014, Helen Mathers, Patron Saint of Prostitutes: Josephine Butler and a Victorian Scandal[1], History Press, →ISBN:
      When Aimé Humbert joined Josephine in Paris, he visited the Inspector of Police, and was so depressed by his meeting that she sent him to the Louvre ‘to look at the wonderful painting of St Marguerite, the patron saint of purity, trampling down the hideous dragon and looking so calm and peaceful’.
    • 2016 July 8, Wesley J. Smith, “St. John the Wonderworker”, in First Things[2]:
      My patron saint, St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco—also known as “St. John the Wonderworker”—is particularly noteworthy in this regard []
    • 2022 March 23, Paul Bigland, “HS2 is just 'passing through'”, in RAIL, number 953, page 41:
      Entering the tunnel, we pass a small shrine above our heads which contains a statue of St Barbara, the patron saint of tunnellers. It is traditional to have such shrines on every tunnel site.
  2. (figuratively) An exemplar: an individual who exemplifies some trait or group.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:exemplar
    Janet is the patron saint of procrastination. I'm thinking of erecting her a shrine of doughnut boxes in the breakroom.



See also


Further reading