With back-to-school season upon us in droves, I have noticed something this week: spiritual unrest. Here in Western New York, my children did not go back to school until after Labor Day, plus I work at a college campus that did not return to classes until the final week of August. Needless to say, there has been a big transition to busyness in our household this past week, and the environment at my job has been downright stressful.
My interior struggle with all of this led me to thinking about how much devotion to the intercession of the saints means to me, and how I have worked to instill that in my children. The kids really seem to gravitate toward stories of the saints and the wacky things they encountered in their lifetime. St. George battling a dragon, anyone?
So I thought I would make a list of the saints that are important in my life, and really call upon those saints to pray for us as we all adjust to this new routine. It’s always good to learn about new saints, in my opinion, or learn more about someone you never paid much attention to. I am a big fan of lists, so let us get ourselves organized:
Baptismal saint: Sadly, I have none. My mom used to iron her hair on an ironing board and wear bell bottoms, so this gives you a sense of when I was born, and saint names were not as popular then! I read in a Catholic baby-naming book that Tiffany is derived from Epiphana, and so I take St. Epiphana (an early martyr) as my patron and celebrate my feast day on the Epiphany in January each year. I see her as a courageous example in the early days of the faith, and call upon her when I need an extra dose of bravery to face my day.
Confirmation saint: St. Cecilia, and I will be honest: I picked her because I thought the name was pretty, and I never really loved my given name. Pretty superficial, but in time, St. Cecilia came to play a significant part in my adult reversion to the faith. I feel very close to her now, especially in November each year near her feast day. I feel that she looks out for me as winter approaches, and I am very grateful to her and her bold witness of love for Jesus and the Church.
Saints I have grown close to in my adulthood:
St. Therese of Lisieux. Her “Little Way” really appeals to me as something easily applied to the everyday life of ordinary Catholics. She is also a patron for my daughter, Anne, who has Therese as her middle name!
St. John Paul II. I adore this man. His pontificate shaped my life and young adulthood. He was the only pope I knew for most of my life and his example of emotional strength in suffering continues to inspire me daily.
St. Kateri Tekakwitha. She is key to my family’s faith story and I have been to her shrine in central New York where I truly felt her presence. I always feel close to her in my heart, and I hope to return to her shrine to share her example with my children.
Saints I have come to know via my children:
St. Maximilian Kolbe. I think that he is my son Henry’s absolute favorite saint. We acquired yet another children’s biography of St. Maximilian for our nighttime reading pile, and Henry just never tires of the bravery in his story. He is a twentieth-century martyr with a powerful impact.
St. Isidore the Farmer. I think it is the part of his story about the angels plowing the field in his stead while St. Isidore attended morning Mass that draws my Henry to him so much. We should all strive to see the angels in this way, present in our daily lives!
St. Nicholas of Myra. Several years ago, we started celebrating the feast of St. Nicholas on December 6, leaving the kids’ shoes by the hearth, and we all loved it. I like emphasizing to them that this example of love and charitable generosity is really what Santa Claus is all about.
That is my list. Who is on your patron saint list? Please let me know in the comments!
Copyright 2017 Tiffany Walsh