I am what you call a “saint-aholic.” I love meeting new saints, reading saint biographies, and asking saints for help. There is literally a saint for almost everything. Grumbling over household chores? St. Martha and St. Zita were housekeepers. Looking for a relationship? St. Raphael the Archangel is known for being a great matchmaker. Taking a test? St. Joseph of Cupertino’s got you covered. Can’t find your car keys? Ask St. Anthony of Padua for help.
Catholics are often mistaken for worshipping saints, but in reality, the saints are essentially the best friends you can ask for. When you look beyond the stained glass and really look into the lives of the saints, there are aspects in their lives that you can relate to. St. Thomas the Apostle is well-known for being the “doubter,” which means that we aren’t alone when we doubt our faith. Feeling ugly or unpretty? St. Germaine Cousin was born with a withered right arm and disfigured skin. Asthmatic? So was St. Bernadette. Struggle with anxiety or overwhelming emotions? St. Therese of Lisieux knew those problems all too well.
There are many saints who can act as role models and show that women don’t have to join a convent or be a martyr in order to be holy. St. Gianna is a great example of a modern day saint because she was a wife, a mother, and established a career as a pediatrician at a time when most women just stayed in the kitchen. St. Monica struggled with trying to keep her son Augustine in line and wouldn’t give up until his heart belonged to the Catholic church. St. Margaret of Cortona was a single mother who worked and lived in a Franciscan monastery because her family wouldn’t support her. These women led very different lives, centuries apart from each other, and yet we can learn something from each of them.
Every saint I met throughout the years has taught me something or helped me to improve on something. St. Monica taught me prudence. St. Joan of Arc taught me courage. St. Faustina taught me what it meant to trust in God. St. Therese showed me how to be grateful for the little things. St. Maria Goretti showed me what it meant to forgive and what forgiveness feels like. St. Gemma Galgani was an example of great perseverance in spiritual life.
Learn about the lives of the saints. There’s a lot of great books out there that go beyond just an encyclopedic-type biography. Don’t be afraid to ask a saint for their intercession. They are always praying for us in Heaven. Who knows? You might just make a new best friend today.
Reflect: Who are some saints that you know? What was their presence in your life? What do you think you can learn from them? Reflect on a time when you asked a saint for their intercession and you received an answer from them. What happened?
Act: Want to get to know a new saint? Check out the Saint Name Generator. See what you can learn from a saint you may have never heard of before or look deeper into a saint that you’ve heard of, but never really got to know.