There’s nothing quite like seeing someone say goodbye to a spouse, family member, or friend in uniform at the airport.
A long, silent hug. A gentle wave. A tearful goodbye at the parting of ways.
One chin lifted bravely, a heavy bag flung over a shoulder—while the one left behind gives an encouraging smile and walks slowly back to the car.
At each goodbye, another prayer is lifted up: “Lord, keep them safe!”
Whenever I witness a scene like this, my heart aches. The men and women who serve in their country’s military, and those whom they love, make huge sacrifices. Both of my parents served in the U.S. Navy, and I can only imagine what those goodbyes were like.
While we can, and always should, ask God for our own protection and the protection of our loved ones, you may not know that the military has its own set of heavenly patrons!
There are even special intercessors for particular branches of the United States military or even for particular jobs associated with the military. I've pulled together some research so that you can find these patrons in one place.
You can read more about each saint by clicking their name. You can find medals, books, and prayer cards of these saints here.
General Patron Saints for the Military
These are some of the most common patrons for the military:
- St. Michael the Archangel (Click here to read about St. Michael's special connection to the military)
- St. George
- St. Ignatius of Loyola
- St. Joan of Arc
- St. Sebastian
Patron Saints for the U.S. Military
Several branches of the U.S. Military have adopted these saints as their specific patrons. Many countries have their own particular patrons.
- United States Army
- United States Army Special Forces
- St. Philip Neri: "St. Philip Neri was selected as the Patron Saint of Special Forces because he embodied the traits of the ideal Special Forces Soldier: Selfless, Superb Teacher, and Inspirational Leader. "
- Unites States Infantry:
- St. Martin of Tours
- St. Maurice
- United States Air Force
- United States Navy
- United States "Sea Going Services" (US Navy, US Coast Guard, US Marines, and US Merchant Marine)
- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
- United States Marine Corps (and artillerymen)
- St. Barbara: "Because of her connection with lightning, people often call upon St. Barbara for protection against thunder, lightning, and accidents involving explosions or gunpowder. This is why [Marine] artillerymen have an annual event to celebrate and give their thanks to this patron saint."
Special Military Patrons
A few organizations related to the military service have a patron as well:
- The Red Cross
- Prisoners of War
- Military Chaplains
- St. John of Capistrano
- Military Engineers
- St. Barbara
- Military Physicians
- St. Luke
May God bless our military, and all their friends and family!
Are you, or is someone you know, in the military? Are there certain saints that you turn to on their behalf?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!