I am in my last month of pregnancy. Only a few weeks to go before I hopefully deliver a safe and healthy baby girl. I have two other daughters and this is the first pregnancy I’ve really embraced the saints and truly entered into a spirit of spiritual pregnancy reflection. Maybe it’s because this is a rainbow baby after having an ectopic pregnancy, or maybe it’s because I’ve been on a personal journey of growing in relationship with the saints and developing my prayer life. Whatever it is, I feel more focused on the spiritual side of pregnancy this time around than ever before and wanted to share my experience.
Five Saints for Pregnant Moms
There are five saints that I have been praying to for a healthy, complication-free pregnancy and delivery: St. Zelie, St. Felicity, St Perpetua, St. Gerard, and St. Raymond.
St. Gerard is the typical saint that I believe many people think of in relation to pregnancy. He is the patron of expectant mothers but I didn’t know why until I looked it up. There is an awesome story about how he gave a young girl his handkerchief and told her she would need it someday. Years later, after he had already died, the girl was pregnant and was going to lose her child through labor complications. She applied his handkerchief to her body and was able to miraculously have a healthy child!
St. Gerard is really the only saint I had prayed to during my previous pregnancies. But this time around, I’ve added four more. I just recently found out about St. Raymond from a fellow Catholic blogger at Now One Foot. He is the patron saint of expectant mothers because he was born by cesarean delivery and his mother, unfortunately, died in childbirth.
St. Felicity and St. Perpetua are patronesses of both mothers and pregnant mothers. They have come into my life this year through The Friendship Project Book Club. The chapter I was given to review happened to be about these two saints. I was thrilled this was the chapter picked for me to reflect on because my daughters had recently started watching a show on formed.org about Felicity and Perpetua. It’s become their favorite saints show. Learning more about their story as mothers who left their babies in order to be martyred for their faith has been inspiring to me. As I go through the emotions of my own pregnancy, I am amazed at their heroic courage and motherly sacrifice.
St. Zelie has come into my life more recently as well. Ever since she was canonized with her husband Louis, I’ve been intrigued by her story and have wanted to read the book of letters between her and her husband: Call to a Deeper Love: The Family Correspondence of the Parents of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. I can relate to her as a mother of multiple strong-willed daughters and as a woman who grieved the loss of babies. She also was a work at home mom like I am. She ran a lace-making business out of her home while I do medical billing from home. I am in a Catholic moms group on Facebook and the small discussion group I was added to was providentially named after St. Zelie! Can you tell she is my new favorite saint?
Two Prayer Books for Pregnant Moms
Along with regularly praying to these five saints over the past months, I’ve been reading meditations for each week of pregnancy. It’s a book my mom gave me that she read when she was pregnant with me. It’s called The Glory to be Revealed Within You and it’s a wonderful spiritual companion during the months of maternity.
The other book I have, which I use as part of my morning prayers, is a Mother’s Manual. This one has all sorts of prayers for moms at different stages of life and there is a specific section dedicated to pregnant mothers. It includes a prayer for a happy delivery, a prayer in thanksgiving for pregnancy, a prayer for a mother’s doctor, a prayer for a growing infant and thoughts for an expectant mother. It’s definitely a prayer book I would recommend for all mothers!
If you wouldn’t mind sending up a quick prayer for me and my impending labor, I would be most appreciative and if you are pregnant, I would love to hear about it in the comments!
Copyright 2017 Hannah Christensen
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