There’s a patron saint for practically everything in the Catholic Church, whether it’s gravediggers, stress relief, or protection against pirate attacks. But did you know there’s a patron saint for television – and she’s from the 13th century?
By the end of the 1950s, it was clear that television was becoming one of the most important new forms of media in modern society. And Pope Pius XII wanted to offer both the Church’s blessing and protection for the new technology. So, in 1958, he issued the document Apostolic Letter Proclaiming St. Clare Patron Saint of Television.
In it, he proclaims that the Church supports technological innovation and advancement, and he recommends the use of modern technology for the proclamation of the Gospel. He acknowledges that television is capable of both good and evil, which is why he wants it to have a patron saint for spiritual protection.
So he chooses the 13th century St. Clare of Assisi, associate of the famous St. Francis of Assisi, and for a fascinating reason.
He tells the story that on one Christmas, St. Clare was sick and unable to leave her bed to attend Mass. Yet, miraculously, God gave her a vision of the Mass in her convent in real-time – sort of like a spiritual television. So she’s the perfect patron!