Shortly after deciding that I wanted to adopt a patron saint with the new year, I came across an engrossing story* about the early life of the medieval saint, Catherine of Siena, and my decision was made.
As I read, what drew me to her went deeper than the fact that we share our name. It was her fiery blend of qualities as well as a hunch that our personalities would have meshed well. I think she would have been a delightful friend and encouraged my faith in action.
Just a few initial impressions:
Despite her middle-class background, Catherine treated nobles and poor alike with the same degree of approachability and kindness.
Known as a peacemaker, she was often called on to mediate family feuds in her town of Siena.
She was frank in speaking the truth – she didn’t mince words.
When the plague struck her town, she cared for the sick and dying with strength and courage, steeling herself through feelings of nausea from the human pestilence and decay.
Such was her faith and conviction that “men and women, lay and clergy, rich and poor wanted to learn from her.”
She often faced opposition, unwarranted criticism and even slander in response to her charity, but she responded with humility and kindness.
Her guidance and reward came through spiritual insights. In her book The Dialogue, she recounts that God instructed her to serve anyone who needed help, regardless of their temperament or how they treated her in return, in the same way that God shows his infinite mercy.
I look forward to learning more about this woman who would go on to become an influential theologian and doctor of the Church, though she died at only 33.
- Do you have a patron saint, or just a saint who you pray to?
- What drew you to him/her?
- How has that saint impacted your faith and your life?
*The Word Among Us, November 2018, by Christopher M. Bellito
3 Thoughts on “Who I selected for my patron saint this year…”
How I love that quote by St Francis de Sales! I’ve just saved it on my phone so I can read it often.
And I so agree with you! I would not be able to limit myself to ONE saint, though I will make St Catherine my ‘go to’ on a regular basis this year. My other ‘friends and saints’ include St Monica -who never gave up praying for her wayward son, St Augustine,and was rewarded so gloriously for her perseverance and faith. Her life is a good one for ALL mothers!
Cathy- great article! St. Catherine of Siena is one of my favorites too and I do love the idea of picking a Saint for the year, but there are so many I turn to that it would be hard to pick just one! St. Padre Pio, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Therese of Lisieux and of course, St. Teresa of Avila and some of my “go-to” friends! For now, I’ll share with you & our fellow sisters – one of my favorite is Saint Francis de Sales and I joyfully share a beautiful prayer that helped me through the years. “Be at peace. Do not look forward in fear to the changes of life, rather look to them with full hope that as they arise, God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His arms. Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you today and everyday. He will either shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.”
I love your idea of selecting a patron saint for the year and sharing your reflections with us. I encourage all our readers to consider a patron saint and share with others how the saint has inspired them. Maybe we will be inspired too!