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Putting the Sorting Hat on the Saints

Putting the Sorting Hat on the Saints

Over 20 years after the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, fans still seek to determine which Hogwarts House they belong to, wearing their House merch proudly. The Sorting Hat of Hogwarts, who determines your House, sorts individuals based on personality traits.  


The four Houses of Hogwarts – Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw - definitely give us a feeling of having found our “tribe.” While some houses have a reputation for being all good or all bad, the books show this is hardly a fair portrayal.  God created our various personalities and gifted us with the free will to determine how we use them. This means our unique personalities were created for the greatest good but can be used for harm if we refuse to let God in to develop them. It is not what traits we possess that make us good or bad, but how we refine, channel, and devote them. This is what enabled the few rogue Hufflepuffs who did go bad to do so, and what enabled Slytherin to produce one of the most self-sacrificing heroes of the entire Harry Potter franchise – Severus Snape. We can’t choose our personalities or our House, but we can find real role models from our Houses to help us develop our personalities in life-giving ways.


The same is true of the saints.


We don’t always choose our saint friends. More often, they choose us. We can be drawn to any saint who has, in whatever mysterious way God ordains, been entrusted with interceding for us. As we journey towards heaven, let’s take a cue from Harry Potter and look to those who’ve walked before us for companionship and guidance! If you’re searching for an intercessor who has known the abilities and struggles that are most natural to you, check who is sorted into your House. And if you are seeking an intercessor to challenge you with a different personality, check who is sorted into other Houses. May you find among these sorted saints a friend and guide as you refine, channel, and devote your unique personality to the Kingdom of God.


(Haven’t been sorted into a House yet? Scroll to the bottom for a personality-based Sorting Hat quiz)

Hogwarts House Crests



“You might belong in Gryffindor,

Where dwell the brave at heart,

Their daring, nerve and chivalry

Set Gryffindors apart.”

– the Sorting Hat (The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling, 1997)


“I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9


Saints in Gryffindor can be noted for their steadfast courage in the face of difficult circumstances. They had a daring that drove them to do surprising things, either publicly or in secret.  Each one placed their hearts in the hands of God, trusting unfailingly that their hearts were safe there no matter what happened around them.  This trust is the hallmark of their courage.


Saints in Gryffindor: St. Stephen, St. Lawrence, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, St. Andrew Kim Taegon, St. Thomas More, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, St. Charles Lwanga, St. Marianne Cope, St. Frances Xavier, St. Mark Ji Tianxiang, St. Maximilian Kolbe


Photo from Sisters of St. Francis from Syracuse, New York. All rights reserved. 

Highlight: St. Marianne Cope

Marianne showed great bravery and loyalty since childhood, leaving school to help support her family and waiting to enter religious life until all her siblings were able to support themselves.  She was the Superior of the Sisters of St. Francis, when she received a message from the King of Hawaii begging for sisters to help care for those suffering from leprosy on his islands – over 50 other religious communities had refused, fearing the disease.  But Sister Marianne had an unshakeable trust in God that he would provide for her sisters wherever he called them. She accepted and led the first group to the islands herself. She established medical homes and schools for leprosy patients and cared for St. Damien of Molokai as he was dying. She never contracted the disease, dying at the ripe old age of 80. This German-born American immigrant is buried in Honolulu and is greatly beloved by the people there for her refusal to fear and her determination to love.


Look to Saint Marianne Cope to cultivate: Patience, Listening, and Love



“You might belong in Hufflepuff,

Where they are just and loyal,

Those patient Hufflepuffs are true,

And unafraid of toil.”

– the Sorting Hat (The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling,1997)


“The way of loyalty I have chosen; I have kept your judgments.” -Psalm 119:30


Saints in Hufflepuff are dedicated to deepening their relationships with God.  Some lived in the limelight, some in the shadows, but all were focused on loving God ever more deeply and guiding others to do the same.  They all grew in humility throughout their lives so as to unite with the poor and humble Christ. Focused on giving their all, they inspired others through the example of their love.  Whether they were highly educated or had learning disabilities, their sincere self-gift is the hallmark of their love.


Saints in Hufflepuff: St. Francis of Assisi, St. Rafqa, St. Josephine Bakhita, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Juan Diego, St. Andre Bessette, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Martin de Porres, St. Benedict the Moor, St. Anthony of Padua, Ven. Augustus Tolton, St. Elizabeth of Portugal


Photo from Canossian Daughters of Charity - Cristo Rey Province. All rights reserved. 

Highlight: St. Josephine Bakhita

Kidnapped from Sudan as a child, Bakhita was so traumatised she forgot her name. The slave traders dubbed her “Bakhita,” which means “fortunate.” Sold to several masters throughout her life, Bakhita endured much cruelty, but she worked hard and never lost her heart. Eventually gifted to an Italian, she served the family loyally and gave her heart to their little niece when she was made her nanny. When she and the niece stayed with a group of nuns while the family went abroad, Bakhita discovered a love she had been searching for her whole life. With the same loving loyalty she had given to the family, she now resolved to serve her only true Master. Bakhita legally sought her freedom, was baptised with the name Josephine, and entered the Canossian Sisters. Unschooled, she struggled with the Italian language and literacy but was always able to make herself understood and served her community faithfully. She endeared herself to her sisters and the town, where local kids loved her so much that they began to call her their “black mother.” She gave of herself freely and sincerely until the end, praying especially for the people of her beloved Sudan, and died in her late 70s. She lived each moment in wonder and gratitude for all the Lord had done for her and considered her belonging to him to be the greatest treasure of all.


Look to Saint Josephine Bakhita to cultivate: Courage, Wonder, and Love



“Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,

If you've a ready mind,

Where those of wit and learning,

Will always find their kind.”

– the Sorting Hat (The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling, 1997)


“But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” -John 3:21


Saints in Ravenclaw are known for their contemplation and wisdom. Many were highly educated, while others simply gained wisdom from everyday life. All were dedicated to pursuing, sharing, and loving Truth.  They were guided in their pursuit of wisdom by dependence on the Holy Spirit, fully aware that they could come to true knowledge no other way.  A humble devotion to Jesus Truth is the hallmark of their wisdom.


Saints in Ravenclaw: St. Ambrose, St. Charbel, St. Hildegard von Bingen, St. John the Evangelist, St. Benedict, St. Scholastica, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Padre Pio, St. Dominic, St. Cronan the Wise, Julian of Norwich, St. Pope Paul VI


St. Thomas Aquinas, from the Demidoff Altarpiece, tempera on poplar by Carlo Crivelli, 1476; in the National Gallery, London. All rights reserved.

Highlight: St. Thomas Aquinas 

Thomas Aquinas may have had a top-notch brain, but that isn’t why he’s the highlight of Ravenclaw. Thomas went against the wishes of his family to follow a call to religious life. He valued the dreams of God over the worldly expectations of even those he loved. He devoted himself to learning, not only acquiring knowledge from religious before him, but also recognizing the legitimate knowledge of scholars from other faith traditions as well. Thomas recognized the wisdom of others. Thomas also understood the wisdom of asking, seeking, pondering… and listening.  When Thomas posed his difficult theological questions, he didn’t just reason through them - he also prayed.  He depended totally on Christ, whom he knew to be Truth and Wisdom incarnate.  He was known to lean his head against the Tabernacle to pray for help in solving intellectual questions and struggles. Thomas Aquinas left a legacy of profound thought and insight, not because he was a brilliant mind, but because his brilliant mind knew and loved Truth and Wisdom incarnate and would serve and follow Him until the end. 


Look to Saint Thomas Aquinas to cultivate: Devotion, Humility, and Love



“Or perhaps in Slytherin,

You'll make your real friends,

Those cunning folk use any means,

To achieve their ends.”

– the Sorting Hat (The Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling, 1997)


“Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)


Saints in Slytherin can be identified by their remarkable drive and goal-oriented approach to life.  They knew what they wanted and directed their entire lives toward making it happen. Natural ambition and cunning may have gotten some into trouble in their early lives, but those same qualities, partnered with true humility from a real encounter with God’s love, drove them to pursue the goal of salvation for all people with a determined love that is truly inspiring. Their unrelenting love is the hallmark of their drive.


Saints in Slytherin: Bl. James Alberione, St. Augustine, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Mary of Egypt, St. Moses the Black, Bl. Bartolo Longo, Bl. Charles de Foucauld, St. Ignatius of Antioch, St. Jerome, St. Edith Stein, St. Ignatius of Loyola, Servant of God Dorothy Day


Blessed James Alberione. Photo by Society of St Paul. All rights reserved. 

Highlight: Blessed James Alberione 

James Alberione was an extremely driven, focused, and goal-oriented individual.  He had big dreams and he pursued them. Once in seminary, he was consumed by the idea of bringing Christ to the world. But he also became bent on reading to such an extent that it tore him away from his studies and prayer and got him kicked out of seminary. A local priest got him into another seminary on probation. James bore the humiliation, knowing all was for love of God. Because of his heart for people, he was made spiritual director of the seminary while still in his 20s. When Jesus spoke to him one night from the Tabernacle and gave him the initial inspiration to found a religious order dedicated to spreading the Gospel to all people through the means of communication, he followed the call doggedly- through sickness, debt, discouragement, disasters, and doubt- to bring the Lord’s love to others. Fr. Alberione struggled at times with his temper and could make rather hasty decisions, but his genuine love for people and his unfailing devotion to his Lord endeared him to those around him. He also had a knack for creative problem solving and talking himself out of trouble. He knew how to work the system, but his humility and love ensured his honesty and fidelity to the Church. He understood that all was the Lord’s, and he rejoiced in the work Christ had done in him!


Look to Father Alberione and cultivate: Humility, Gentleness, and Love


Have yet to be sorted? Try this personality-based test








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