Participants will use various print and online resources to research their patron saints.
Download Who's in Your Saint Posse? Family Handout
To print: 1 per family
Document: 6 pages
Download Who's in Your Saint Posse? Worksheet
To print: 1 per attendee
Document: 2 pages
For this activity center, you will need:
- Reference materials about saints
- Who's in Your Saint Posse? handout, one set per family
- Who's in Your Saint Posse? worksheet, one per participant (Be sure to keep some extra copies on hand!)
- Several volunteer “research librarians” to guide participants
- Pens and pencils
- One or more computers linked to the Internet (optional)
Key to the success of this activity center is a wealth of information on a wide variety of saints. One excellent resource is a group of volunteers with a deep love and knowledge of the saints. As “research librarians,” they will guide participants through the process of choosing five saints to be in their “posses.” The deeper their friendship with the saints, the easier and more fun the activity will be for everyone.
You will also want to have plenty of reference materials available so that participants can research and read about the saints on their own. If computers with Internet access are available to you, there are some outstanding resources online. Some suggested sites include
Computers are nice, but they are no substitute for books! Try to provide several different print resources for participants to browse. It is a good idea to have a few books geared toward children and a few books geared toward adults. Some suggested resources include:
Some Tips for Volunteer Research Librarians
For some people, choosing five patron saints will be easy; if anything, the challenge for them will be to narrow their list down. For others, thinking of more than one or two saints will be difficult. That's where the volunteers can be a real help—by suggesting saints based on the participant's name, interests, and other life factors. To illustrate the process, let's look at a sample case:
Stephanie is a 12-year-old girl whose interests include softball and playing the piano. She loves animals, especially her dog Sparky and her family's cockatiel Suki. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. She's a student at Saint Thomas Aquinas Middle School and attends Mass with her family at Saint Augustine.
Calling Our Saints by Name
“Is there a Saint Stephanie?” is the first question to answer. As a matter of fact, there is: Blessed Stephanie (Stephana) de Quinzanis, a 16th-century abbess and mystic. However, because Stephanie is the feminine form of the name Stephen, she could also choose any of the saints named Stephen, such as Saint Stephen the Martyr.
Saints Where We Live
Let's say that Stephanie lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. That fact alone presents several possible patron saints:
- Francis Xavier (Archdiocese of Indianapolis)
- Theodora Guerin (Archdiocese of Indianapolis)
- Our Lady of Providence (State of Indiana)
- The Immaculate Conception of Mary (United States of America)
Saints Who Share Our Interests
Look at the things Stephanie enjoys. Each one of her interests has at least one saint associated with it.
- softball: Sebastian, patron saint of athletes
- piano: Cecilia or Gregory the Great, patron saints of music
- animals: Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals or Antony the Abbot, patron saint of pets
- wants to be a veterinarian: Blaise, James the Greater, or
Our Lady of Coromoto, patron saints of veterinarians
Saints Just Because
There are no hard and fast rules for choosing a patron saint. Remember that just liking a saint is reason enough to consider him or her a patron. When helping a participant look for a patron, ask if there is a saint story that particularly speaks to him or her or a picture of a saint that comes to mind.