What is Patron?

Legal Definition
Eccles. law. He who has the disposition and gift of an ecclesiastical benefice. In the Roman law it signified the former master of a freedman. Dig. 2, 4, 8, 1.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
In ecclesiastical law. He who has the right, title, power, or privllege of presenting to an ecclesiastical benefice. In Roman law. The former master of an emancipated slave. In French marine law. The captain or master of a vessel.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
One having the right of presentation to a benefice. Sec Advowson.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary