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Catholic Dictionary




A person who supports, maintains, or protects another person, project, or enterprise. According to canon law, a patron is one who builds or maintains an ecclesiastical benefice. If church revenues constitute a benefice, then anyone donating the land, building the church, or maintaining it is a patron. Since the right of patronage is of a spiritual order, it is subject to ecclesiastical jurisdiction. (Etym. Latin patronus, protector.)