Patron Saint of Grad Students

Caravaggio - San Gerolamo

Sometimes there is a bunch of stuff you can learn to be more successful in grad school*. But there are plenty of situations when you know everything you SHOULD do, and still can’t pull it all together and all that seems to be left is divine intercession**.

That is pretty much where I am at the moment.

With this in mind, I have identified five possible Catholic saints who whose patronage might be particularly relevant to grad students (and specifically anthropology grad students in one case):

Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Josse Lieferinxe

Saint Catherine of Alexandria by Josse Lieferinxe

  • Saint Jude ThaddeusPatron Saint of Lost Causes and Desperate Situations
    • called the Forgotten Saint because people stopped praying to him ‘cuz they mixed him up with Judas Iscariot, some people also say he was Jesus’ brother
  • Saint Catherine of AlexandriaPatron Saint of Libraries, Scholars, and Teachers
    • a pagan Roman princess who converted to Christianity and is often depicted sitting and reading or with a quill for writing since she was most known for her exceptional knowledge of the arts, sciences, and philosophy. Incidentally, she is one of the 14 Holy Helpers, aka the Extra Helpful Saints.
  • Saint JeromePatron of Archaeologists, Scholars, and Translators
    • born with the awesome name Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, this guy is the patron of archeologists because he spent a lot of time hanging out in crypts and tombs and restoring old stuff. Apparently he pissed off the Roman establishment by attracting a lot of women to the studious monastic life.
  • Saint UrsulaPatron Saint of Students and Teachers (particularly the education of women)
    Saint Joseph Calasanctius

    Saint Joseph Calasanctius

    • like Catherine, a martyred virgin princess (along with a group of other virgins who had the misfortune to run into the Huns at Cologne and get beheaded en masse), she is the namesake for the Ursuline Order, which takes as its mission the education of girls and women
  • Saint Joseph CalasanzPatron Saint of Universities and Schools for the Poor
    • opened the first free public school in Europe and had a lot of good ideas about pedagogy (like teaching in the vernacular, emphasizing math and science, and accepting all students regardless of religious identification or class)

The time I spent learning about these saints for this post was TOTALLY a good use of my time … and on a related note:


* Like pretty much anything posted on GradHacker
** Although this post is definitely meant to be taken lightly and is in no way an attempt to convert anyone (God forbid), I am totes going to actually break out the old rosary and chat with one or two of these guys after.

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4 thoughts on “Patron Saint of Grad Students

  1. Lol. Nana has been praying to San Judas Tadeo so I could find a job. I guess I am desperate and a lost cause too. HAHAHAH. This really makes me laugh.

    • Yeah, she’s pretty cool, but I really can’t decide which one I like best … it seems to depend entirely on my mood. At the moment I’m having a good day and optimistic about the course I’m TAing for and leaning towards St. Joseph Calasanz, yesterday was a much less good day and I was leaning more towards St. Jude. If I were feeling more productive and motivated I would be talking to St. Cat …

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