Blessings and prayers can be yours if you believe in the custom of patron saints. Because my patron saint is John, the Apostle and Evangelist, whose feast is today (December 27), my sisters at the monastery greeted me with a happy day and best wishes and prayers.
Anyone’s name that is derived from “John” is also eligible. For example, Jean, Jeannie, Janet or Janine, even Jeannette, is celebrated today, as well. Of course, those named John or Johnny are also remembered and honored.
Yesterday was the Feast of Saint Stephen (December 26). So, Stephan, Steffie, Stephanie or Steven were blessed and prayed for. I am sure there are other derivatives, but at present, I do not know them. Maybe you have a name derived from Stephen?
Isn’t this a wonderful custom? I just love it because it means it is a second time in a year when everyone remembers and prays for me!
A couple of other really notable feasts already passed earlier this month, but I want to point out the Feast of Our Lady, Immaculate Mary—when any derivative of Mary was a name day and was especially honored, even if you did not know it!
And lastly, let us not forget Saint Lucy, the martyr whose feast day is December 13. All you Lucy’s out there, we prayed for you on Tuesday!
Mary Jane Berger, OSB