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Are there saints that were excellent at performing their duties as professionals? Of course, there can be legends that Saint Joseph was perfect master, but there is no evidence of his dedication, skills and mindset that can be role-model for following. I feel that professional excellence and mastery is the hardest achievement that one can make and the ultimate virtue that benefit the others. Why the notion of holiness is so silent about it? Why we can not hear about professionals-saints?

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I am unaware of any patron saints of professional conduct. However, if there is one it might be the prophet Daniel; for it is recorded about Daniel (NIV)

Dan 6:3, 4 - Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.

On the other hand, another contender might be Joseph about whom it is recorded:

Gen 39:4-6 - Potiphar put him in charge of his household and entrusted him with everything he owned. 5From the time that he put Joseph in charge of his household and all he owned, the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s household on account of him. The LORD’s blessing was on everything he owned, both in his house and in his field. 6So Potiphar left all that he owned in Joseph’s care; he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.

Gen 39:20-23 - So Joseph’s master took him and had him thrown into the prison where the king’s prisoners were confined. While Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him and extended kindness to him. He granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden, who put all those held in the prison under Joseph’s authority, so that he was responsible for all that was done there. The warden did not concern himself with anything under Joseph’s authority, because the LORD was with him and gave him success in whatever he did.

Gen 41:39-41 - Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my house, and all my people are to obey your commands. Only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” Pharaoh also told Joseph, “I hereby place you over all the land of Egypt.”

Thus, both Joseph and Daniel were exceptionally good at their government positions as recognised by the sovereign in both cases.

  • Thanks! I have thought exactly that! Is it allowed for catholic to pray for the intercession of the prophet Daniel and Joseph? And what about king Solomon? – TomR May 26 at 21:30
  • @tomr that question has been [asked here] (christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/52640/…) and the catechism has a pretty good answer: CCC 61: The patriarchs, prophets and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honored as saints in all the Church's liturgical traditions. – Peter Turner May 27 at 2:21
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St. Thomas More (1478-1535) was, "Besides being an excellent Christian," "also a good father of family, and a highly respected professional" lawyer. He defended the sacrament of matrimony against King Henry VIII and is "the patron saint of attorneys, statesmen and politicians" (source: St. Thomas More Society of Catholic lawyers).

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Before going on, lets look at what Wikipedia has to say about saints:

A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

And now for Wikipedia on what is a patron saint:

A patron saint, patroness saint, patron hallow or heavenly protector is a saint who in Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism or Eastern Orthodoxy, is regarded as the heavenly advocate of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family or person.

Although the above definitions are somewhat generic, they do allow us the ability to resolve the problem of a patron saint of professionalism and holiness.

First of all there is no particular patron saint for genuine holiness because that is one of the things that all patron saints are occupied with for those under their protection. Thus our names day saint is very concerned with our true holiness before God.

A name day is a tradition in some countries in Europe, Latin America, and Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox countries in general. It consists of celebrating a day of the year that is associated with one's given name. The celebration is similar to a birthday.

The custom originated with the Christian calendar of saints: believers named after a saint would celebrate that saint's feast day, or in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the day of a saint's death. Name days have greater resonance in the Catholic and Orthodox parts of Europe; Protestant churches practice less veneration of saints. In many countries, however, name-day celebrations no longer have connection to explicitly Christian traditions.

Patron saints can be named for various professional trades and these particular saints should be invoked that we may execute our duties with professionalism and holiness. Thus a patron saint for professionalism excellence and holiness do not exist.

But let us not stop here. We are always free to take on a new patron saint unto ourselves due to some particular devotion or incident in our lives.

It is in this sense that many have taken to have a devotion to St. Saint Therese of Lisieux, "The Little Flower".

The world came to know Therese through her autobiography, "Story of a Soul". She described her life as a "little way of spiritual childhood." She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God's love. "What matters in life," she wrote, "is not great deeds, but great love." Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love. She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love. Therese's spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

Her inspiration and powerful presence from heaven touched many people very quickly. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925. Had she lived, she would have been only 52 years old when she was declared a Saint.

"My mission - to make God loved - will begin after my death," she said. "I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses." Roses have been described and experienced as Saint Therese's signature. Countless millions have been touched by her intercession and imitate her "little way." She has been acclaimed "the greatest saint of modern times." In 1997, Pope John Paul II declared St. Therese a Doctor of the Church - the only Doctor of his pontificate - in tribute to the powerful way her spirituality has influenced people all over the world. - Saint Therese, "The Little Flower"

But, then depending on how one view's things, St. Expeditus who is the patron saint of speedy cases, emergencies, expeditious solutions, against procrastination, merchants and navigators may fit better for you.

Or perhaps St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe who is the patron saint of families, imprisoned people, journalists, political prisoners, prisoners, pro-life movement, Esperantists, Militia Immaculatae and as Pope St. John Paul II declared of him: "The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century".

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