Popular devotion, often with official Church approval, seeks the intercession of certain Saints in Heaven in certain particular needs or to watch over certain groups. Among all the particular patrons, Mary and Joseph are set apart as the universal patrons of all people in every situation. Mary is the Mother of the entire Church and Joseph is the Patron of the entire Church. They are models for those called to the state of marriage, as well as those called to the state of virginity, since they uniquely and simultaneously lived both these forms of loving. Immaculate Mary, the Mother of God, is unquestionably the closest to Jesus in Heaven, and St. Joseph by his vocation of close association with Jesus and Mary is the greatest Saint next to her. Together the Holy Spouses are the most powerful intercessors of all and for all.
Of course, multiple particular patronages follow as a consequence of this general patronage. Some of the many particular aspects, groups, or virtues under their patronage are: