Can I Have A Confirmation Saint?


While I'm busy playing phone-tag with Fr. Anthony Mary, MFVA, I am going to attempt a long overdue answer to a question from Enbrethiliel of Sancta Sanctis

Here's her letter:

Dear Robert,

Thanks for your kind words.

I admit that the URL for Sancta Sanctis is a bit difficult. When I started 'blogging, I didn't think that I'd get any readers at all. My original intention was to link all the fascinating sites and articles I ran across, with some thoughts on each one, so that I'd have a handy personal resource for when I become a teacher. Well, I guess Antony had other plans!

Since you've mentioned Confirmation patrons, I'd like to ask you a related question. When I was confirmed, nobody told me about the practice of choosing a Confirmation saint and taking his or her name. I didn't learn about this devotion until many years later. Of course, I felt immensely cheated. After ranting and raving a bit, I had the idea of giving myself a Confirmation saint and name anyway, by looking up the saints whose memorials are on my Confirmation date. (I don't know if this is allowed, but it was the only thing that even remotely calmed me down.)

Having just reverted back to the faith, I couldn't even remember my Confirmation date and had to call an old friend who was confirmed at the same time to ask about it. She checked her Confirmation card and said that we were confirmed on 19 July. I looked up the saints for that day, discovered St. Macrina the Younger, considered my Confirmation name Macrina, and let it rest.

Unfortunately, it was not going to be that easy. A few months later, my family unearthed some old photographs. Two of them were taken during my Confirmation and both of them were dated 18 July. Oh, the frustration!

I've shared this story with Fr. O'Brien, who said many people take their baptismal names as their confirmation names anyway, so I can stick with Cristina. I still feel cheated, however.

Sorry for being so long-winded. Now here is my question: can I _still_ have a Confirmation patron, even this long after the sacrament was administered?

In Christ,



Absolutely. The Catholic Encyclopedia has this brief reference to taking a name during Confirmation:

The custom of giving a new name to the candidate is not obligatory; but it has the sanction of several synodal decrees during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Fifth Council of Milan, under St. Charles Borromeo, insisted that a candidate whose name was "vile, ridiculous, or quite unbecoming for a Christian" should receive another at Confirmation" (cf. Martène).

Now, this is saying that you don't need a name for Confirmation, but it is my belief that you do recieve a personal patron during your confirmation, even if you decide not to choose one for yourself. The question then becomes, "How do I get one?"

Well, the answer to that isn't so simple. My best answer is to pray about it. What saint really reflects the virtues you'd like to mirror? Is there some need that you have in your life that a particular saint could help with? I chose St. Anthony because I would lose my head were it not attached to me. But I discerned that he truly was my patron, because several specific events in my life always brought his name up. Amazingly, I didn't even know who he was before my confirmation, but he had always been there. Take some time, let Antony give you a bit of discernment, because your patron saint is actually better than a Gaurdian Angel. He ranks higher, and he is always there to help your Angel out with any prayers you may have for God.

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This page contains a single entry by Robert Diaz, MI published on April 12, 2004 6:33 PM.

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