All Saints Day
Oct 30, 2018
Since All Saints day is coming up (Nov 1), I knew I wanted this blog to be about the Saints. However, my thoughts were quite jumbled and finding a good place to start was eluding me. So, I looked up the Patron Saint of Writers. It happens to be St. Francis De Sales. I said a little prayer asking for his intercession, guidance and inspiration. Well, the heavens did not open and there was no audible chorus of angels singing “halleluiah” but the blog entry is started and will hopefully be successful. That’s enough for me.
Catholics are often asked about St. Mary and the rest of the Saints. As an RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) instructor, I was often asked why we pray to them. The answer is because they “have our backs”. The saints are there to intercede for us through our prayers. Think about it; when there’s something you really need or want, you tell everyone you can think of that you need or want whatever it happens to be. For example, imagine a little boy who really wants a bicycle. He prays for a bicycle. Every time he sees a bicycle he tells his parents that he wants a bicycle. Then, he tells his grandmother he wants a bicycle for his birthday. At Christmastime, he tells Santa that he wants a bicycle. Eventually he may get the bicycle. This is what the Saints do for us. We can ask God for what we need or want, but our voice becomes louder if there is a myriad of Saints also asking God for the same thing. Now add His own Mother to the list- who can easily deny a mom when she asks her son for something? Eventually our prayer will be answered. (See the blog post from June 19, 2018 for my thoughts on “Answered Prayers”)
Saints are like Hallmark cards – there’s one for every occasion. When something is lost, a prayer to St. Anthony may help. Ask St. Peregrine for help for people living with cancer. As an accountant, St. Matthew is my guy. Love your pets? St. Francis of Assisi is the Patron of animals.
Saints come from every background imaginable. Saint John Paul ll began his seminary courses in a clandestine seminary in Cracow during WWll. Born to a wealthy family, St. Agnes was martyred for refusing to marry, stating that “Jesus Christ is my only Spouse.” St. Augustine was a party animal who only wanted to have a good time. He may be of some help if you are struggling with a particular vice or habit. His mother, St. Monica – the patron saint of Mothers – prayed for many years for her son’s conversion.
We are all called to be saints and that’s a good thing! As the world evolves and changes, so do the needs and prayers of its inhabitants. As more saints are made, the more people we have on our side to intercede for us. The communion of Saints are your best friends. They will pray for you constantly and tirelessly and will not get weary of you asking for help. They only ask for your love and devotion to God in return.
If you are interested in the lives of the Saints, there’s “Butler’s Lives of the Saints”, an encyclopedic set of books about, you guessed it, saints. If you would rather read on a computer/tablet/cell phone, I would suggest www.catholic.org. They have a seemingly endless listing of saints. They will also send a ‘Saint of the Day by Email’ if you want.
Next time you are at Mass and you ask “….all the angles and saints to pray for us to the Lord our God” think of how many people you are asking for help and how vast the team is that backs you. It’s mind boggling. We are so lucky to have all those who have gone before praying for us as we finish living here on earth and make our way to living in paradise forever.