So what are saints?
The first thing to understand is why you are being asked to choose a saint. The saints aren’t just dead people that you see in stained glass windows and on holy cards. The Communion of Saints is:
[The] communion of “holy persons” (sancti) in Christ who “died for all,” so that what each one does or suffers in and for Christ bears fruit for all. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 961)
Saints are our extended family that persevered in faith and the Church has chosen to recognize their heroic virtue and said they are worthy to imitate.
Why Should I Choose a Confirmation Saint?
We choose a saint to have someone who will pray for us on earth. We also believe that the particular virtues in which they excelled in we too have a share in that virtue(s).
How do I pick one for Confirmation?
First of all, don’t treat this as a box to check off and pick St Francis just because you have a vague idea about his life. The first thing you should do is pray. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in choosing a saint that will be best for you. The second thing you should do is some research. Here are a few sites to investigate:
While you are reading about the saints ask yourself why you are drawn to some more than others. Is it because they were courageous in speaking about the Faith? Were they drawn to helping the poor? Did they have an occupation that you are interested in or have a family like yours?
As you start to narrow down the saints you are interested in, think again about the reasons to choose one. Is this someone I look up to and want to emulate? Is this someone who I want to spiritually “have my back”?
When I was trying to choose a patron saint, I ended up choosing St. James the Lesser. He was the namesake of my Confirmation sponsor Monsignor James McMurtrie. St. James is the author of the Epistle of James and was the Bishop of Jerusalem. He was known for his prudent decision-making and the defense of the poor and the outsider. A man after my own heart!
Start asking your saint for guidance and the courage to take your reception of the sacrament of Confirmation seriously.