Friday, March 8, 2024

Offsite Post: ‘Do Patron Saints Still Matter?’


Patron saints are not very popular in the West today.  An athlete, a powerful, charismatic politician, a social media influencer – those are the kinds of people likely to get the attention of the average Westerner.

It is not like that everywhere in Christendom, however.  Some countries have escaped the heavier ravages of secularism.  Romania, in eastern Europe, is one of them, and therefore retains a vibrant love for their various patron saints.  The feast day of St. Demetrius the New, the Patron Saint of Bucharest, drew tens of thousands this year:


More than 40 Romanian hierarchs from throughout the country and the Romanian Church’s diaspora dioceses came together to celebrate Bucharest’s patron saint last week.


They were joined by Metropolitan Panteleimon of Veria of the Greek Orthodox Church and Metropolitan Naum of Ruse of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for the feast of St. Demetrius the New on October 26-27.


Every year, a week-long pilgrimage is held in honor of the saint, with processions and festive hierarchical celebrations. Met. Panteleimon brought relics of St. Demetrios the Myrrh-Gusher and the Panagia Sumela Icon from Greece for the pilgrimage this year.


More than 60,000 people had come to venerate the relics of St. Demetrius as of his feast day on Friday, though more came to venerate by the time the pilgrimage ended on Sunday.

The Western countries miss out on a lot by rejecting patron saints.  One thing may be seen quite readily in the report from Bucharest:  unity.  Sixty thousand people gathered together into one place to honor this holy man.  Is it likely that they agree on everything under the sun?  Not at all.  And yet through their desire to honor this saint, this friend of God, they are able to transcend their differences and assemble peaceably as friends.

Second, Western peoples are unable to receive the comfort and healing that patron saints give to their cities and countries.  St. Paraskeva of Iasi, Romania, is a wonderful example in this regard.  Her feast day gathers even more pilgrims than St. Demetrius, running into the hundreds of thousands.  And it is because she is so compassionate towards those who seek her help (as are all saints) that they resort to her in such large numbers:

 . . .

The rest is here:

And also here:


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

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