As we embark on travels and fun in the sun, let’s remember to ask our friends the saints for their intercession for our various activities. We have a saint for everything! Here are fifteen saints to get to know in the summer:
The (future) patron saint of surfing
Servant of God Guido Schaffer grew up in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He loved surfing from an early age. He later went to medical school and became a general practitioner and had special care towards those with HIV. Later, Guido offered his skills to the Missionaries of Charity and met homeless people on the streets to tend to them. He joined the seminary and become known as the “Surfer Angel”. He died by drowning while surfing just a few weeks before his ordination and 35th birthday.
Here’s a prayer to Servant of God Guido Schaffer that you can say before you embark on your own surfing adventures or for the surfers in your life:
Dear God, our Lord, who through the life of your servant Guido Schaffer, who taught us, by his example and missionary fervor, to throw ourselves into the sea of faith, allow us, through his testimony as a young man, a doctor, a seminarian and a surfer, to announce Your Word with renewed fervor and through his intercession gain the grace we request (mention intention) so that we may one day have the joy of seeing him elevated to the glory of your altar. Through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The patron saint of boaters, mariners, and whales
If you saw this and thought, “Saint Brendan the Navigator”, you’re right! If you didn’t guess, well, now you know!
Brendan was given the name of Navigator after his legendary journey to the Island of the Blessed and setting out across the Atlantic Ocean to search for the Garden of Eden.
When you think of taking a cruise or just joyriding around a lake in a boat, say a prayer to Saint Brendan for a good trip!
Wondering where the whales come in? Brendan is the patron saint of whales because he recalled to St. Columba that he had encountered a great sea monster on his voyage.
The patron saint for swimmers
Saint Adjutor once fought in the Crusades and was taken prisoner by Saracens. Praying to his favorite saint, Mary Magdalene, she broke him free of his chains and showed him a way to escape. He then dove into the sea and swam for the shore of Crusader territory, being then able to walk the rest of the way.
When he went back to Normandy, he erected a chapel in honor of Mary Magdalene. The chapel was near a stretch of the River Seine that had a troubling whirlpool which terrorized boaters and swimmers. Adjutor and the local bishop went out in a boat towards the whirlpool armed with holy water which the bishop sprinkled on the outskirts of the whirlpool.
Adjutor then cast a link from his chain into the whirlpool and cried, “It is as easy for God to free people from this whirlpool as it was for Him to free me from my chains.” Immediately, the whirlpool calmed. So whether you go for swims in a pool, lake, ocean, or river, pray for safety to Saint Adjutor!
Yes, there’s a patron saint for BBQ
Of course, there’s a patron saint for this favorite summer pastime! Before you heat up the grill, think of Saint Lawrence! As you’re grilling your hot dogs and hamburgers or barbecuing pork, can’t you just hear St. Lawrence joking when the food is done, “Turn them over! They’re done on that side!”
Read more: 5 Ways to Have a Super Catholic Summer
While Lawrence never grilled food in such a fashion (or at least is not at all known for it), he was roasted to death. He’s known for joking with his executioners to turn him over because he was done on that side. Enjoy some good, dark humor while you’re grilling up your summertime favorites.
A possible patron for tea drinkers
The blog Tea & Culture proposes Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos as the patron saint of tea drinkers, and I think they’re on to something.
He was born in Germany at a time when some of the present-day tea brands were around. Francis may have actually had a cup of tea that we enjoy today! He eventually settled in New Orleans as a Redemptorist priest and ministered to many people.
You could almost picture him drinking a cup of tea while ministering to people! So raise a glass of ice tea to Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos this summer and pray for his intercession in your life.
You need to meet this patron saint of fireworks
Because her father was killed by lightning, Saint Barbara is invoked as protectress against lightning and being struck by it. From this, she came to be associated with explosions and from there, became recognized as the patroness of fireworks.
There are three occasions this summer to pray for her intercession: Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. But if you’re in Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you can invoke Saint Barbara every night!
Pay homage to this firecracker of a woman and ask her intercession for and protection of all fireworks technicians this summer. She’s also the patron saint of theme parks, so she pulls double duty for all those Disney Parks fireworks technicians!
A future patron saint for your summer movie nights
Looking for a patron saint of your summer screen time? I propose Blessed Giacomo (James) Alberione as the patron saint of filmmakers and movies.
He is the founder of such religious orders as the Daughters of Saint Paul (#MediaNuns!) and others in the Pauline family. James recognized the importance of all mass media in evangelization and utilized them all, even elevating them to apostolates. This charism can be seen still today in the Pauline orders and in the ministry and mission of Pauline Press. Read more about Bl. Giacomo Alberione’s life and work here.
Go to a drive-in, have a neighborhood block party and project a movie on a garage, stay in for family movie night and pray to Blessed Giacomo Alberione for more good movies that lift us up the heights of heaven!
We all need this patron saint for family reunions
Saint Eugene de Mazenod is technically the patron saint of dysfunctional families. He was often left unsupervised in his youth and then his parents separated and divorced (which was extremely uncommon in the early 19th century) despite his efforts to help them reconcile.
Family reunions are all about getting together with close and obscure members of our families and remember our common heritage and bond – which is something I think Saint Eugene de Mazenod would support full-force.
If you’re going to your family reunion this summer and are nervous for interactions with relatives you may not get along with, send up a prayer to St. Eugene to know how to handle any awkward situations that may arise.
This patron saint of football (soccer)
This patron saint is on the newer side, having been named the patron saint of football (soccer) in 2001 by Pope Saint John Paul II. He is Luigi Scrosoppi, who dedicated his life to serving poor boys and girls. He is known for founding orphanages and teaching orphans necessary life skills.
Luigi also encouraged them to play sports, especially soccer. As the kids suit up for summer soccer on fields across America and many soccer sporting events are still taking place (like the World Cup!), pray to Saint Luigi Scrosoppi to learn good skill and virtue from the game, to protect against related injuries, and maybe even for your favorite team to win!
A patron saint for America’s favorite past-time
Saint Rita is formally invoked as the patron saint of impossible causes, but she has an unlikely connection to America’s favorite pastime, baseball.
When attempts to strike oil in Big Lake, Texas failed repeatedly in the 1920s, the townspeople prayed for Rita’s intercession and they were then able to strike oil! Big Lake was later the hometown of unlikely major league baseball player Jim Morris (subject of the movie The Rookie). Morris was known to wear a Saint Rita medal. She helped him overcome many obstacles before he was finally signed to the Tampa Bay Rays at age 35.
Rita has other baseball connections, as well. So while you’re singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and enjoying a game (either at home or in the stadium), say a prayer to her for the success and protection of your favorite team and players!
Patron saints for hiking and camping
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and Pope Saint John Paul II are no-brainers for these summertime activities!
Pier Giorgio loved climbing mountains and coined the phrase, “Verso l’alto” (“To the heights!”). Pope John Paul II could often be found outdoors camping, hiking, skiing, and just enjoying nature and sporting.
There are no two better people to pray to while you’re embarking on your own journeys to the heights!
The patron saint for sunshine
Saint Medard is the patron saint against bad weather, which makes him the patron saint of sunshine by default. Pray to him for sunny days and good weather for all your summertime fun!
Patron saints for America and Canada
Both the United States of America and Canada celebrate their independence days during the summer. Actually, both are in July, too! It seems fitting to pray for our countries while we have our summer fun.
For America, we’ve got the Immaculate Conception. The United States bishops unanimously chose her as patroness in 1846. Her patronage was approved by Pope Pius IX the next year.
For Canada, we’ve got Saint Jean de Brebeuf. He as one of the North American Martyrs (collectively, they’re the secondary patrons of Canada).
These saints can help you have a fun, safe, and holy summer. Don’t forget that June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, July to the Precious Blood, and August to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. God literally has us covered all summer long!