Review: Patron Saints by Thomas J. Craughwell

Disclaimer: This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Patron Saints. They are also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.

Patron Saints by Thomas Craughwell

Uh, oh …. Halloween is MONDAY and that means All Saints Day is Tuesday … where the heck did October go?

OK, back to the review …

For Catholics, the month of November is a month to think about all the Saints (and little-s saints) in Heaven. We think about saints that have been in our situation, to ask them for their intercessions, to look to their lives for guidance with our own. Catholics have a panoply of saints to choose to learn from; folks who the Church has deemed worthy of our attention.

The problem is that sometimes we don’t know which of the myriad of Saints to turn to!

That’s one of the reasons I jumped at the chance to review Patron Saints: Saints for Every Member of Your Family, Every Profession, Every Ailment, Every Emergency, and Even Every Amusement by Thomas Craughwell. Receiving my review copy in time for our saints’ celebrations in November was an added bonus! Further, just before Advent, we each choose a patron saint for the year. Again, serendipity that this volume arrived in the mail last week.

This week, I’ve been poring through the volume, looking up different professions and amusements, seeing who is the patron for various aspects of our lives. This came in quite handy when our friend’s son was hospitalized for pneumonia — seems Bernardine of Siena is the patron saint for respiratory ailments!

I like this book — it’s got short paragraphs on the saint mentioned and scattered throughout are little side-bars about the Dominicans or the major monastic orders, the Arian heresy, and other “fun facts” all Catholics should know. It’s a great reference that will be used extensively every November and any other time we’re trying to find the right saint. I highly recommend this book for all Catholics.

That said, I do have to take exception to the subtitle of the book: this doesn’t list every profession, ailment, emergency or amusement. How could it when the book is only 275 pages. I first checked and couldn’t find knitters … or needleworkers … or seamstresses (altho he does have embroiderers) or lace makers … or weavers! Also, he doesn’t have a patron saint for homeschoolers.

Barring the lapse of not having every saint, this is still a great book to have around to get us all thinking about and praying to theSaints for their intercessions.

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