My patron saints (and what I ask them for)

JMJ1

Happy feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (a first-class feast, by the way!)! With today being so special, it’s inspired me me to write up a quick post about my patron saints and patronal feast days.

Over the past few months, I’ve had the fun privilege of helping some dear moms I know organize special personal dates throughout their year (many of them to do with Baptisms and patron saints) and put them into customized planners.

Reading through all their lists inspired me to type up all the patronal feasts I have the privilege of celebrating each year (not to mention my Sacramental anniversaries, and the feast days of other saints who are special to me).

Thanks to these mothers, I’ve been strongly reminded of the importance of maintaining (not to mention increasing) devotion to these saints with whom I have the honor to be specially connected! Because the thought struck me: when I’m making a home of my own with my future husband, when we are raising our family, what feasts will I want to have in my own planner to remember and cherish–especially those of my own patron saints? And what graces will I want to remember to ask my patron saints for?

February 11th: Our Lady of Lourdes

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Being named after the Blessed Mother is such a privilege! Although when I was young (“and foolish”), I thought it would be so lovely to be named Jana or Katherine, I would never, ever want to change my name now πŸ˜‰

My parents named me specifically after Our Lady of Lourdes, and every year we celebrate her feast as my Name Day. She is my Queen and, for every reason, is the foremost of my patron saints! I pray she will obtain for me a special love of penance.

June 15th: St. Alice of Shaerbeek

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My middle name is Allison; and almost from the very start of our courtship I’ve been made aware by The Dash that he has a very high opinion of that name ❀ While we were in the car for our family Baptism trip last weekend, we were discussing names in general (it might just have been in the context of possible future children’s names, but I digress) and I began wondering out loud if there were even a Saint Allison. I was aware that the name means Truthful (not bad!), but I hadn’t really stopped to wonder, until that moment, if I could have another patron saint due to my middle name.

After some online research, I discovered that, in the realm of name meanings and of patron saints, the name “Allison” is categorized as a derivative ofΒ  “Alice,” which eventually led me to St. Alice of Shaerbeek. I had never heard of her before! Apparently, she was never formally canonized, but her cultus of devotion was approved by Pope St. Pius X in 1907. I think her story is so beautiful and I am thrilled to start invoking her as one of my patrons!

In contemplating certain trials I have been experiencing lately, and of all the trials I have yet to suffer in the future, I pray that St. Alice will obtain for me the grace of always seeking out the Eucharist as my consolation in suffering (whether it be physical, spiritual or emotional), instead of running to any other empty comforts the world may offer.

June 24th: St. John the Baptist

I was born on the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist, so after Our Lady of Lourdes, I consider the Precursor of Christ very highly on the list of my patron saints. What a privilege to belong, in a special way, under his care! And . . . since I was born on his Martyrdom, it is very difficult for me to ignore his Nativity πŸ˜‰ So I consider today a small patronal feast day as well!

August 29th: St. John the Baptist, St. Sabina

My birthday falls on the feast of not one, but two martyrs. St. John the Baptist comes first; having always heard it on that day, I will forever mentally connect my birthday to the Gospel narrative of St. John’s martyrdom. The fact that Our Lord allowed me to come into the world on the great feast of His Cousin’s martyrdom humbles me, even now, to think of. Whenever I think to pray to him, I am always moved to ask for the gift total zeal for Our Lord, and total self-abandonment to His Will.

The Lord hath called me by my name from the womb of my mother, and He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He hath protected me, and hath made me as a chosen arrow.

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And then I also have St. Sabina, widow and martyr, as my patron saint! Few details are known of her, but I love her all the same . . . a courageous Roman widow, a keeper of the home, who rescued her martyred Christian slave’s remains, interred them in her own mausoleum, and then died for the same Faith in the second century. I pray that she will obtain for me the courage and fortitude I need as I prepare to enter my state in life as a homemaker, and similar graces for when I am living it!

October 5th: St. Faustina

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St. Faustina is my Confirmation patron . . . you can read the rather amusing story about how I chose her as a 13-year-old here πŸ™‚ But now, at nearly 22, I especially pray that she will help me maintain a devotion to the Divine Mercy and to foster such a devotion in my future children, God-willing. I would love for my future family to regularly pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3pm (maybe as a way to wrap up homeschooling for the day? Who knows!), but I know I will need grace to make it a consistent reality. The Chaplet has been a mainstay for my family and I during very difficult and even physically dangerous times (we have very narrowly escaped being hit by several devastating tornadoes, which we credit to the Divine Mercy Chaplet). I pray she will help me to not forget its efficacy and the need I have for this devotion in my life.

October 7th: Our Lady of the Rosary

I made my Total Consecration on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, which makes it another quite obvious patronal feast day πŸ™‚ While I did not specifically plan to make my Total Consecration on this feast for any other reason than that it was the closest upcoming feast available to me once I discovered Total Consecration . . . now I am so grateful it fell on this day.

On a similar vein to St. Faustina, I pray that Our Lady of the Rosary will obtain for me the fortitude of devotion to the daily Rosary. It is such a struggle to make this a reality. And it is almost entirely thanks to my mother and father that our family came to be able to pray the daily Rosary after several spurts of attempts across the years. My mom renewed the effort to make the devotion and my dad leads it nightly. It has been the pillar of our (usually) evenings for several years now, Deo Gratias!

Within a year (God-willing), it’s highly likely that I’ll be married and become the queen of my own home. On my feminine heart will fall the responsibility of keeping the fire of devotion to the Rosary burning in our family hearth . . . and this is a huge responsibility. My husband, as the head, will lead us all in it and keep us grounded there; but my wifely duty of keeping devotion to the Rosary in the home will be incredibly, permanently real. I pray that Our Lady of the Rosary will help me to always, always keep the daily Rosary in my future home, because there will be times in which it will seem so easy to skip it. I have a strong feeling the survival of our future family will depend to a great extent on the Holy Rosary. I pray she will help me!

And . . . there we have it! My patron saints, and what I ask them for! I must say this was an eminently enjoyable post to write πŸ˜‰ I pray you all have a wonderful, blessed and peaceful Sunday.

Sig

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Baptismal joy (now I have two Godsons!)

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JMJ1

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Pictures are by my brother πŸ™‚

Time for some news! πŸ™‚ This Sunday I had the privilege of becoming Godmother to another precious little boy (who also happens to be my second cousin)! What a joy it is to be a Godmother! My awesome cousin (baby’s uncle) was the Godfather. It was so wonderful to be able to visit with family over the weekend, celebrating Father’s Day, my grandmother’s birthday, and the newest member of the Body of Christ, all at once!

I’m still contemplating how being a Godparent is a tremendous responsibility. It’s something I never thought would happen to me while still being a single woman, and yet here I am with two adorable Godsons! It can be easy to focus on the happiness of the Baptism and the fun of being known as a Godmother . . . and forget that being a Godparent means so much more. Twice now, I’ve solemnly promised, before God, to help the parents of two sweet boys raise them in the Faith. Depending on what happens in life (although, God-willing, it would never come to this!), there’s the possibility I would wind up becoming become the primary leader for either Godson in living a life of grace, in obeying God’s commandments, and in knowing the teachings of the Church.

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Me with Baby, the Godfather, and some extended family πŸ™‚

And even if it (hopefully!) never comes to that, I’ll still always feel the responsibility of praying for them every day and of being a loving, encouraging, Godly presence in their lives as they grow into young men. I want to be able to radiate a motherly love of God to them in whatever way I can. Only Our Lord knows how this will look over the coming years, but I pray I’ll be ready for whatever is asked of me.

I’ve been an Associate Member of the Confraternity of Christian Mothers ever since I was nineteen or so, and I look forward to being enrolled as a full member (who participates in the graces of the Confraternity) as soon as I’m married! Becoming a Godmother has brought me into a special state of spiritual motherhood, however, and I’m grateful for the prayers of the Confraternity, especially in light of the two Godsons in my life. I pray this prayer every night for them!

O Mary, Immaculate Virgin and Sorrowful Mother, commend our beloved children to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Who refuses nothing to His Mother.
Holy Guardian Angels, pray for them.
St. Joseph, powerful patron, pray for them.
St. John, beloved disciple of the heart of Jesus, pray for them.
St. Augustine, pray for them.
St. Anthony, pray for them.
St. Aloysius, pray for them.
St. Anne, mother of Mary, pray for them.
St. Elizabeth, pray for us.
St. Monica, pray for them.

Sig

More about our courtship!

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A little plaque I photographed on our family trip to Missouri . . . how true it is . . . πŸ˜‰

JMJ1

Hello, friends! Happy feast of St. Vitus! I’m just quickly dropping in to announce that . . .

1) The blog has a new look! (Gray/purple/blue . . .? My sisters and I can’t decide. But in any event, I really like it!)

2) There are several brand-new pages up, with more details about our courtship!

I wasn’t planning to accomplish either of these projects, but I rather fell into them yesterday morning and didn’t climb out again for several hours. I’m so happy it worked out for me to bury my head in the blog for a little while . . . while I’ve been able to post here and there this month, I really haven’t had time to have a nice sit-down with Benedic for too long.

You may notice that my blog’s “subtitle” (for lack of a better term) has changed a little. I started this site almost two years ago . . . and a lot has (happily) changed in my life since then! I find myself scribbling so often about topics relating to Catholic courtship and healthy relationships, and that wasn’t something on my radar in 2016. So now, my subtitle reads:

Endless ramblings of a young Catholic woman at home, especially on all things relating to courtship, femininity, and the beauty of home life.

I think it strikes a nice note πŸ˜‰

And under my blog banner, you’ll now find a new tab, called “Our Catholic Courtship (Click here to start!)”, and beneath it, “The Rational Side of Courtship,” “Boundaries,” and “Spiritual Life.” More pages are forthcoming as I extract time to write them πŸ˜‰

(In case it piques your interest, I also brushed up the ubiquitous “About me” page a touch . . . πŸ˜‰ )

I pray you have a blessed weekend!

Sig

Gentlest of Saints (and invoking the patron of your special someone)

JMJ1

In the nave, our parish has a beautiful statue of St. Anthony caressing the Child Jesus, and I pass it during every Mass on my way to the Communion rail. I suppose it could be termed a “passing relationship,” so to speak — in which I pass by, look at him, and every time feel the need to ask for his intercession and remind myself that, in moments, I will be holding Christ even more intimately within myself than did St. Anthony when he held the Infant Jesus in his arms. And there are other things that I launch his way without words.

Today is special for a number of reasons . . . it’s a patronal feast day for several good friends, including The Dash (who, of course, is even more than a friend πŸ˜‰ ), along with it being his Baptism anniversary. I think it’s so unfair amazing to have such a fabulous two-in-one spiritual punch like he does. But we can’t all be The Dash, now, can we?

I admit it . . . I would secretly pray to St. Anthony specifically for The Dash’s physical and spiritual well-being back when we were just getting to know one another, months before courtship. (Because, of course, I already liked him.) Most nights, I would offer the prayer I linked to in this post from last year:

To thee we have recourse, most powerful worker of miracles, in whose breast burned a sublime fire of charity towards God and the poor. To thee, who wast deemed worthy to hold in thy arms the infant Jesus, who chose to be born poor, to thee, full of confidence, we betake ourselves, that thou mayest pray the good Jesus to have compassion on us in our great tribulations. Oh! obtain for us the favor which we humbly implore (here state the favor needed). If thou dost obtain it for us, O glorious St. Anthony, we will offer thee bread for the poor whom thou didst love so greatly on earth. Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be. (An indulgence of 100 days, once a day.)

And I feel rather badly that, since that time, I’ve waned from the practice. I know I can only have so many devotions before I simply become terrible at all of them; but I do truly want to have a better devotion to St. Anthony 1) because he is one of the Church’s greatest saints, and 2) he is a patron saint of the man I love and so, God-willing, will become a patron saint of our future family.

In fact, I made myself a PDF holy card with a prayer to St. Anthony a month or so ago. I was going to print it out and stick it in my Missal . . . only, I forgot to print it out . . . until today! There’s nothing like the present moment for getting things done.

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The prayer on the back, “Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony,” reads thus:

Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.
O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and charity for His creatures made you worthy, when on earth to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request).
O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours.

Amen.

So my resolution is to pray this prayer for The Dash each day. I feel as if I can only begin to imagine the graces that can come from invoking the patron saint(s) of your special someone on his/her behalf!

Happy feast of St. Anthony! πŸ™‚

Sig

7 Rambling Monday Takes, Vol. 14 :: Mondays are for . . .

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JMJ1

Enjoy previous rambling installments here πŸ™‚

1.

Mondays are for . . . Falling asleep during a thunderstorm and waking up to quiet, and being so blessed as to feel happy, refreshed and well. Getting up, offering morning prayers, carrying down my dirty laundry, and spending a few minutes with Lena at the kitchen table while I eat breakfast and read a few paragraphs from Sophia House and she works on a book of recipes.

“Up those stairs, quickly,” he said, pointing to the back of the room. The boy ran through a maze of floor-to-ceiling shelves loaded with books, found the staircase, and scrambled up frantically, leaving a trail of wet shoe prints. Staring through the dusty panes of the display window, the shopkeeper watched the soldiers working their way long the street toward him, banging on every door, smashing those that were locked, and entering each one. It would take them a few minutes to arrive at his door. Losing no more time, he wiped the floor with a rag, and when the trail had been erased he seated himself at the sales desk by the front entrance. When the soldiers threw open the door with a bang, he looked up from a book, met their eyes over the rim of his spectacles, and asked politely in German, “Ja, mein Herr?”

“Bookseller,” one barked, “have you seen a Jew boy run this way?”

2.

Mondays are for . . . Washing dishes at the sink and enjoying it. Last night Mom and Lena cooked an amazing meal, fit for both a Sunday and for The Dash and I’s one-year anniversary of having met for the first time. (After swimming for a few hours, the entire family was famished.)

Anyway, a few dishes had to be soaked overnight: two glass 9x13s, crusted with oven-fried chicken remains, and our two-handle pot with the remnants of homemade macaroni and cheese (maybe because of the way we make it, this always, always has to be soaked overnight). Methodically wiping and scraping and scrubbing until everything’s clean. Then cleaning off the cluttered island and sweeping up a little, and then starting on my laundry loads before sitting at the table (again) and chatting with Mom about planners and such.

3.

Mondays are for . . . Dusting my desk. Somehow, whenever I thoroughly dust my desk (or almost thoroughly: a thorough dust job entails taking off all the books. An almost-thorough dust job entails dusting around the books, but taking off everything else. I chose #2.), I find the need to change my lock screen picture, wallpaper picture, accent color, etc. on my computer. I guess it’s the closest I can come to digital refreshment.

And then cleaning the girl’s bathroom . . . everything gets wiped down, scrubbed over, and swept up. It’s so satisfying (even if I can’t get our shower as miraculously spotless as I would like to).

And then folding more laundry . . . my laundry, as well as all the swimwear from yesterday, which gets put away into the plastic bin in the laundry room until we swim again. (Soon, I’m going to try and make a post about the swimwear we Donellan girls use . . .)

4.

Mondays are for . . . Humming while I clean, listening to Frank Sinatra (just because) and J.J. Heller, because her sweet simplicity and gentleness of voice have been such a balm to my soul lately. She has some gems, including “The Very Thought of You,” “Control,” “Boat Song,” and “Until You Came Along.”

 

5.

Mondays are for . . . Reading various articles and blogs, trying to expand my mind, and somewhat failing to avoid galloping down multiple rabbit trails of interest and indulging in general skimming (I should try to be a more disciplined reader . . . sanguine weaknesses). However, recently, I’ve come across Mariette at The Natural Catholic Mom and I have wholeheartedly enjoyed her posts and been so uplifted by her perspective!

6.

Mondays are for . . . Thinking about how grateful I am for The Dash and our courtship. One year of knowing each other and nine months of courtship have seen a lot of beautiful things. Our nine-month milestone fell on the Feast of the Sacred Heart (which I knew was going to happen) as well as Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom (I did not know this was going to happen; we’ve had a special devotion to her!). Being able to spend a joyful day together yesterday only renewed my gratitude for all God has done for me and for both of us!

7.

Mondays are for . . . Thinking about how much I enjoy I Am David. I had heard of the film years ago, but was reminded of its existence earlier this week while browsing through The Natural Catholic Mom. We wound up streaming it off Prime on Friday night.

I’ve never seen a movie like it. If you look up reviews for it, you’ll find a mixed bag of moderate enjoyment of the story, along with fairly heavy criticism of its execution/ acting/ story portrayal. There might, admittedly, be some technical flaws to the film (and it isn’t a big movie; if you go in expecting it to be a smaller effort, you’ll be much more pleased, I think), there is a quiet, persistent thematic beauty to I Am David, and enough layers of character, interest and emotion to the story, all of which I find entrancing and warming. I would rank it in my top 10 favorites. Watching David’s inner and outer journey taps into my maternal instincts . . . I just want to hug him! But honestly, I love the cinematography of the film most of all.

And as for Jim Caviezel . . . after watching his character in David, I am convinced that he would make the perfect cast for Pawel Tarnowski, the bookseller and main character of the aforementioned Sophia House.

7.

Mondays are for . . . Getting off the computer and back to more important things πŸ˜‰ I pray you have a blessed rest of your Monday!

Sig