Hi, Sister! My friend is about to get confirmed and needs a saint. There's a picture of Clare of Assisi in our church, and in the picture she is holding a cat. My friend was interested because she loves cats, but I have no idea why there was a cat in that picture. Do you? (My friend also loves American literature, in case there's a saint for that...) Thank you!
So exciting for your friend to become a Soldier of Christ! Is your friend a couch potato? Because St. Clare is also the patron saint of television. And embroidery. My mother embroiders while watching television. And right now, our little statue of St. Clare appears to be watching television because whoever dusted the TV stand put her back down facing the tube.
But I digress. St. Clare's cat and his busy job falls under the category of the miracles of St. Clare. Jars of olive oil miraculously filled as she passed by. The sick were healed by her prayers. When she was too sick to leave her bed, the Mass being celebrated miles away appeared on her sick room wall. She could even name everyone who was in attendance. (Hence her patronage of television. Long before anyone thought of "Mass for Shut-ins". It's a sin, by the way, to "attend" Mass for Shut-ins if you're not shut in.)
And she had a cat. This cat would bring her whatever she needed when she was so ill she couldn't get up. Isn't that nice? Because, you know, cats really don't behave that way.
For a saint for American literature, I think we're going to have to extrapolate a bit and say that, as we look to American literature for that which is uniquely American, we should look for a saint who is uniquely American. I would proffer St. Elizabeth Seton, the very first American Saint. We have other saints who lived in America and are considered to be American saints (the North American Martys, Mother Frances Cabrini), but they were born in other countries. Elizabeth, born in New York in 1774, was the first person from America to be canonized. She founded St. Joseph's Academy which became St. Joseph's College. I would imagine her students also read American literature. She is the patron saint of Catholic schools.