I saw a wonderful blog post about Patron Saints of Writing Professionals which lists 7 excellent patron saints and tells a bit about each one. Noting that not one of my favorite Saints were on the list, I decided that I needed to do my own blog post about my “7” patron saints for writers. Each of these Saints were writers who left behind a body of work that has had a deep impact on me. Their books are cherished volumes on my shelves and their prayers I request every day.
Saint John the Evangelist: writer credited with the gospel I love re-reading the most, the gospel of John, a couple of letters and Revelation–some pretty amazing books of the New Testament. One of the original twelve. The words of his gospel are so deeply amazing and beautiful. I wish every child would memorize it so that they could carry those incredible images inside them their whole lives.
The Three Holy Hierarchs: Saint Basil the Great, Saint Gregory of Nissa, and Saint John Chrysostom. Yes, this is a group, that is because in the Orthodox Churches, with whom we share these and other patristic Saints, these three Saints writings are often grouped together for study. I get a thrill out of reading anything from the patristic period, but these three in particular I ask to pray for me.
Saint Benedict: Founder of the Benedictines; wrote THE RULE OF SAINT BENEDICT which is still read daily by many people throughout the world and when they finish it, they start over. He understood work, and the need for it to be dedicated to God.
Saint Teresa of Avila: doctor of the Church, Carmelite reformer and foundress, and the writer of a whole lot of books, every single one of which is worth reading more than once! Top it off, she did all this writing while founding monasteries all over Spain and suffering a debilitating illness. She understood offering the writing up to God.
Saint John Paul II: This amazing Saint and Pope, wrote in all forms! He wrote poetry, plays, encyclicals, documents of all sorts, works of philosophy and theology, defender and preserver of culture, and an actor and lover of the outdoors and young people. I want him praying for my writing!
Saint Josemaria Escriva: again, this man was a writer. He fit his writing in around all his other ministry (like the founding of Opus Dei). He wrote extensively on offering your work to God, and letting your work, being well done, to be sanctified and sanctify. He taught about vocation, and as a writer, I have a vocation and I want it to be done perfectly and to be pleasing to God. This man understood writing and vocation.
Saint Edith Stein: philosopher and carmelite. This Saint wrote a LOT, and the books she left behind are deep and profound and amazing. She offered it all up to God. Every bit of it, and even her sisters in the monastery did not know that she was a world class scholar and writer. I want her praying for me too.
Beyond the Saints I ask to pray for me, there are others, who I do not include but perhaps ought to include. For example:
Saint Paul: who, while traveling, preaching, and spreading Christianity in a hostile culture, still found time in his busy life to write a huge percentage of the letters in the New Testament of the Bible. He clearly had a gift for writing, and the ability to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to produce writing that was worthy and pleasing to God. I won’t ever write scripture, but who better to be praying that my writing please God?
Saint Thomas Aquinas: another brilliant writer whose works are read today. His “Prayer Before Study” has long been a favorite of mine. The worth of his writing is unchallenged and ought to be studied by everyone. He wrote hymns and theology that are unsurpassed.
Saint Ephram the Syrian: poet, hymn writer, theologian, lived during the patristic period. His poetry is worth taking a look at, and such skill ought to make him a good patron for a writer.
I suspect I could find MANY others, but these are all Saints, and all writers whose work has lasted and who offered their gifts and words to God for His pleasure then shared them with the world. I pray we do the same.
Dear Lord, thank you for the many writers who are Saints; may they pray for those of us who are writers too, that our work be of the highest quality and please You oh Lord. +Amen.