Skip to main content

Patron Saint

Depending on how you were raised in your Catholic faith, you may or may not have a strong sense of identity with a particular saint. Outside of those with lay celebrations associated with their feast days such as St. Patrick, St. Valentine, or St. Nicholas, a Catholic’s first real consideration of the varied saints recognized by our church might be when they choose a patron saint for a Confirmation name. We choose a saint at this time to be a special protector, to pray with us when we ask for intercessions. We may choose to study and focus on their lives, following their example for how we live our own faith today. Many of us also have a saint’s name in our given name from our Baptism.

Late last week while listening to SQPN podcast Catholic Weekend, I heard them talking about a new Patron Saint generator that would be an easy way for a person to receive a patron saint for the year. I’d nearly forgotten about it when Lisa linked a post by Elizabeth Scalia aka The Anchoress titled “Get Your Patron Saint for 2011” to our Of Sound Mind and Spirit Facebook page. I eagerly clicked the link, briefly noticed that St. Philip Neri appeared at the top of the Anchoress’ blog post as her saint from 2010, and then followed the link to Jennifer Fulwiler’s Patron Saint generator.

With a brief moment’s hesitation and a quick prayer, I clicked the link and anxiously waited to see which Saint I would receive to study and pray with throughout the year.

St. Philip Neri.

Huh? Didn’t I just see him on The Anchoress blog. I had sort of hoped for someone I recognized, but I don’t know anything about St. Philip Neri. I’ve never heard of him. Why would I get him? For a long minute I considered clicking the generator again, but stopped. What would that lead to? Clicking it over and over if I didn’t recognize or “like” the Saint given to me? Instead I scrolled quickly through the catholic.org biographical sketch, without anything really sinking in, wondering “What am I going to learn from this guy?”

Then I reached the end and read:

In his footsteps: We often worry more about what others think that about what God thinks. Our fear of people laughing at us often stops us from trying new things or serving God. Do something today that you are afraid might make you look a little ridiculous. Then reflect on how it makes you feel. Pray about your experience with God.

Prayer: Saint Philip Neri, we take ourselves far too seriously most of the time. Help us to add humor to our perspective -- remembering always that humor is a gift from God. Amen

And I knew.

I’ve always been a very serious person, very conscientious of what other people think about me. To the point that I’ve been hesitant to try new things, worried about how I’ll appear in public. Worried about what I look like. Scared of failure, always seeking approval. On occasion I have tried to “lighten up,” but to be honest, I don’t truly understand a lot of what passes for humor in the world and rarely does anyone laugh at my attempts to tell a joke.

I also had a big birthday this weekend. One of those that ends with -0. The kind of birthday that you shouldn’t take too seriously, even though you suddenly find yourself taking stock of what you’ve contributed to this life. These past two years have marked a change in the direction of my life in many different ways. Maybe studying the life of St. Philip Neri will offer a particular insight that guides my path.

So I’ve printed the page about St. Philip Neri and will continue to seek out other resources about him this year with the faith that he will inspire me to greater devotion to the Lord.

Popular posts from this blog

My Favorite Catholic Children's Bibles

How do you select a Catholic Children's Bible?  Which children's bible is best for my kids?  Those are questions I get asked all the time.  Searching in my house I discovered almost a dozen different Catholic Bibles for kids or youth on our shelves. When looking for a children's bible or book of bible stories for children, there are several things to take into consideration.  How old is the child?  Do you want something easy to read in story form or a bible with scripture text?  How big or heavy is the book? Is the children's bible a keepsake to commemorate a special event like a baptism, first communion or confirmation? And the answers to these questions might change as the child grows and develops or you have multiple children. With those questions in mind, I'll delve into the Catholic Children's Bibles and Bible Stories we like best of those in our home. My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories Compiled by Hei

Prayer to End the School Year

Another school year is coming to an end.  And what a year the 2017-2018 school year was..... The events of the last 9 months have made me not only thankful to see it end but needing to get on my knees to Thank God for many things.  This school year began with Hurricane Harvey hitting our area and ended with the devastating school shooting at nearby Santa Fe High School. In the middle of the crisis around us there were so many beautiful things, events and people that touched and changed our community and family for the better.  Let's just start with the teachers and administrators who have interacted with my kids this year...  A special social studies teacher that made a fast friend out of my geography obsessed daughter, an ELA teacher who slowly won my oldest daughter over with her love of the written word, a soccer trainer who pushed my son harder than he thought he could handle, and then helped him recognize how that hard work paid off.  What about a school nurse who repeated

12 Quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta

St. Teresa of Calcutta made a deep impression on me as a young girl as I watched her on tv and in news. Who doesn't remember the iconic picture of Mother Teresa with Princess Diana splashed across all magazines, newspapers and news shows?  To me, Saints were people who lived a long time ago, but here she was, a saint in the making.  Mother Teresa was a role model of how to become a Saint in our modern world, by giving her life to God through her dedication to the poor. On her feast day, I want to share with you a few of my favorite quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta.   Her words are seemingly simple and straightforward but packed with meaning.  My selection comes out of a new favorite book I picked up called, Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom by Carol Kelly-Gangi.  This little book contains hundreds of quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta centered around specific themes as well as a summary of her biography and quotes about her from others.  "God does not demand that