01 January 2006

My Saints for the Year

At A Catholic Life, Moneybags passed along an invitation to request a Saint's name to be drawn for 2006. I had never heard of this custom, but felt led to put in my request. As so many others have expressed in their comments, I'm surprised and humbled by my selections: St. Joseph and St. Martin de Porres.

I knew virtually nothing about St. Martin de Porres, so I just now read the article about him at Catholic Forum. I have been working to make good housekeeping practices part of my life's routine, so I laughed when I saw that St. Martin was known as "the Saint of the Broom"! This is also a selection surely guided by the One who knows me best: I have always been attracted to the Dominicans (and, in fact, spent quite a bit of time last night reading the websites of Dominican contemplative nuns, before I even knew of St. Martin's selection); devotion to the Eucharist contributed to my conversion in my teens; care for the sick is one of my gifts; and I'd already planned to contribute to a dog rescue! I look forward to getting to know St. Martin better this year, and letting what I learn about his life improve the way I live mine.

And St. Joseph... wow.

My natural father and I were estranged from the time he divorced my mother through the end of his life. His birthday was March 19, St. Joseph's day. "Though my father and mother forsake me, yet will the Lord receive me." (Ps. 27:10)

St. Joseph is the patron of workers. I've already been deeply blessed by God by an assignment which I start next week which assures me that I will do work which is perfectly suited to my gifts, for the first time in my life. I'm excited and grateful, but I still need to cultivate the discipline of just doing what needs to be done, and not wasting time. St. Joseph was willing to immediately get up and do what God told him. He is also a patron against doubt and hesitation.

I live in solitude. It comforts me to think that I can invite St. Joseph to watch over me as he watched over Mary and Jesus.

St. Joseph is the patron of protection of the Church. One of my resolutions for this year is to quit indulging in uncharitable thoughts and words about those members of the hierarchy whose choices and teachings give scandal and seem to be so detrimental to the Church. Instead, I shall pray to St. Joseph, and let him take care of it for me. That's a big weight off my mind! ;)

There are other, even more personal, reasons why it's evident that St. Joseph chose me, and not the other way around.

Oh, and get this: a bit more research reveals that
The Josephite Fathers and Brothers or more properly, the Society of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart (abbreviated post-nominally as S.S.J.) is an American Society of priests and brothers, founded in 1892, when priests who had been members of the English Foreign Mission Society of Saint Joseph (also known as the Mill Hill Fathers, and abbreviated post-nominally as C.J.) decided to work permanently in the United States as an apostolate dedicated to newly-freed black American slaves after the Civil War. (emphasis mine) (via Wikipedia)
In his homily given at St. Martin de Porres' canonization, Pope John XXIII said, "For the poor he would provide food, clothing and medicine. He did all he could to care for poor farmhands, blacks, and mulattoes who were looked down upon as slaves, the dregs of society in their time."

As a final, small connection, my dear maternal grandmother was born in 1892, when the Josephites were founded.

This has been such a meaningful exercise. I'm so grateful to Moneybags and to the woman who kindly selected the names. I'll remember them and their families in my prayers.

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