I want to tell you about the practice of picking a saint at random to be your “holy protector” for the year. Actually, the saint is the one who chooses us though. The tradition of letting a saint “pick you,” is not a new one. St. Faustina wrote about it in her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul.
I don’t draw the saints. I will merely pass on your name or screen name to her so that she will draw a saint for you. Also, I will pass on the name of any of your family or friends that would like to participate. This isn’t superstition. St. Faustina did the same thing! Last year dozens of people received saints to be their special patron, and there were miraculous connections. It was truly amazing. We pray that this year the Holy Spirit will again work so that all participants receive a saint that they will be able to pray to for aid throughout the entire year.
I’ve enjoyed chummin’ with St. Vitus this year. Nothing miraculous has happened…or has it? Is the miraculous always in your face, right there with a neon sign, out there in the open? Could it be that St. Vitus helped me to not oversleep so much? Could it be that he helped me keep my good humor in the face of not-so-funny situations? I wrote, back in July, “St. Vitus might be just the saint for me. I have felt of late that there are lions waiting for me,” and his patronage might be what helped me face those lions.
Now, St. Anthony is a special saint for me anyway. I am always losing things, and I have found him to be a great helper as I do the typically Catholic thing… “Tony, Tony, come around; something’s lost and must be found.” I think most of us know that St. Anthony is the patron of lost articles. But there’s a lot more out there about him.
Saint Anthony was canonized (declared a saint) less than one year after his death.
There is perhaps no more loved and admired saint in the Catholic Church than Saint Anthony of Padua, a Doctor of the Church. Though his work was in Italy, he was born in Portugal. He first joined the Augustinian Order and then left it and joined the Franciscan Order in 1221, when he was 26 years old. The reason he became a Franciscan was because of the death of the five Franciscan protomartyrs — St. Bernard, St. Peter, St. Otho, St. Accursius, and St. Adjutus — who shed their blood for the Catholic Faith in the year 1220, in Morocco, in North Africa, and whose headless and mutilated bodies had been brought to St. Anthony’s monastery on their way back for burial. St. Anthony became a Franciscan in the hope of shedding his own blood and becoming a martyr. He lived only ten years after joining the Franciscan Order.
So simple and resounding was his teaching of the Catholic Faith, so that the most unlettered and innocent might understand it, that he was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946. Saint Anthony was only 36 years old when he died. He is called the “hammer of the Heretics” His great protection against their lies and deceits in the matter of Christian doctrine was to utter, simply and innocently, the Holy Name of Mary. When St. Anthony of Padua found he was preaching the true Gospel of the Catholic Church to heretics who would not listen to him, he then went out and preached it to the fishes. This was not, as liberals and naturalists are trying to say, for the instruction of the fishes, but rather for the glory of God, the delight of the angels, and the easing of his own heart. St. Anthony wanted to profess the Catholic Faith with his mind and his heart, at every moment.
He is typically depicted with a book and the Infant Child Jesus, to whom He miraculously appeared, and is commonly referred to today as the “finder of lost articles.” Upon exhumation, some 336 years after his death, his body was found
to be corrupted, yet his tongue was totally incorrupt, so perfect were the teachings that had been formed upon it.
From Catholic Online
He’s the patron of more than just lost articles, including these:
- against starvation (This might be good for my family, because I’m not a great cook, and I struggle with getting dinner on the table!)
- American Indians (My dad always insists we’re part Indian. I think he’s stretching things a lot, but it’s interesting to see it here anyway.)
- animals; domestic animals; lower animals (Does this mean my Jack Russell Terror is safe from my killer tendencies?)
- asses (OK, I know this means the donkey, but I’m a donkey plenty of the time…so the miracle of 2007 might just be making me less of an ass!)
- barrenness; sterility (This is a special intention of mine, because I seem to know an inordinate number of women and couples who struggle with this, and I pray often for them.)
- elderly people (My Gran comes to mind, and I am thinking of how I keep meaning to spend more time with her. Maybe with St. Anthony’s help next year, I’ll be able to prioritize with that in mind.)
- expectant mothers; pregnant women (These are a special group of women for me, and I am always praying for a list of people I know who are pregnant.)
- faith in the Blessed Sacrament (This speaks to me, and I have great hopes for an increase in my faith and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament in 2007.)
- fishermen; mariners; sailors; shipwrecks (My husband’s favorite when-he-has-time pastime is fishing; my brother is in the Navy; I’d like to go on a cruise again someday…)
- harvests (No accident, I’m sure, that we live on a farm, and harvest is one of my favorite times of the year. But I can’t help but think too of spiritual harvest, of reaping what we sow with our prayer life…)
- horses (I have always had that love of horses, and funny thing, so does my husband.)
lost articles (Yes, yes!)
- mail (A hint to send more?)
- oppressed people
- paupers; poor people (Ah, this feels like me of late…which is dramatic, I know. Once Hubby starts back to school, though, it might become more true than not!)
- travel hostesses; travelers (We love to travel to visit our family, and we love to host them when they come to our neck of the woods.)
So it should be an interesting year. I think I’ll add a prayer for St. Anthony’s intercession to my daily prayers for 2007. It can’t hurt, and it might be nice to talk to him about more than just what I’ve lost…