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Oh when the Saints...

This past week on November 1st, we celebrated All Saints Day.  This is one of my favorite feast days because I get to celebrate a bunch of my favorite people all on the same day: St. Genevieve, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, Padre Pio, Mama T, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Philomena, JPII, St. Michael, St. Raphael, and St. Gabriel...

Growing up, besides choosing a Confirmation Saint (St. Genevieve FYI), I didn't understand that we could have a relationship with the saints.  When I chose Genevieve as my Confirmation saint, it was the ordinary things we had in common that attracted me to her, like how she liked to go to church at night & pray by candle light.  I, as a night owl, love to spend time in prayer at church in the night, that's when my adoration hour is!  So this little aspect of her life spoke to me along with many others.  I chose St. Genevieve (or at least I think I did), but sometimes saints choose us instead.

I used to only be interested in "cool" saints, modern saints that a lot of people loved and cared about that were popular and had awesome conversion stories or great miracles  For me, St. Bernard of Clairvaux was not that person.  I thought he was lame.  I had learned that I shared my birthday with his feast day and hated it. I wanted to share it with someone cool like Mother Teresa, or Mary, or Maria Goretti!  I had zero interest in St. Bernard, but during the summer of 2012 he pursuaded me to change my mind about him.  St. Bernard, who in my naivety I found to be beyond lame, offered me a friendship that I couldn't turn down. I spent the summer of 2012 working as a camp counselor at Totus Tuus Camp in Lyons, KS.  That summer I fell in love with praying the Memorare. I hadn't really prayed it much before but I was consistently drawn to that prayer. Well guess who wrote it? St. Bernard.  I was also introduced to the story of St. Bernadette by one of my coworkers. Her story with Our Lady of Lourdes is beautiful. Did you know that Bernadette is the feminine version of the name BERNARD! Well, it is.  I had received a prayer card from a friend about the Guardian Angels and the last line of the card was a quote about the angels from? You guessed it, St. Bernard!  My friend and I went in to the Catholic book store to buy a few things for camp that week and when she walked in she walked right up to this table and picked up this little green box and told me she felt like it was something I just had to have.  It was a medal of St. Bernard, the ONLY St. Bernard thing in the whole store.

St. Bernard was saint stalking me!  The more I was aware of St. Bernard in these different aspects of my life the more I noticed him calling for my friendship.  He had something to teach me. You see St. Bernard had a deep devotion to Our Lady and at the time, apart from loving the Memorare, I did not.  So through his example, his writings, his prayer, I saw my own love for Mary grow.  This saint friend of mine who I had tried to avoid was only trying to draw me closer to our Blessed Mother. 

That's what our friends the saints do, they want to help us draw closer in relationship with Christ and His Church. Do you not have a saint friend yet?  That's okay, Maybe I can help!  Start by finding a saint who intrigues you.  Is there a saint who sparks your curiosity?  Makes you uncomfortable?  A saint you're resisting getting to know? A saint you just don't "get"?  Let these questions drive you deeper into who they are.  Don't worry about needing to know ALL of the saints, just choose one or two and get to know them, really know them, not just know about them.  Seek out their advice, pray for their intercession, look in to their life for insight into what's going on in your own.

The saints are already pursuing you.  They are humble and don't always draw attention to themselves, but if you pay attention you'll begin to notice the saints are walking with you already!  Reach out to a saint who inspires you and make a new spiritutal BFF!  Imagine your reunion with them in heaven when that time comes!

In Him, through Her,

Cassi FitzGerald 

 

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