Thursday, February 14, 2008

Patron Saint of the Year


While looking at some blogs that were suggested on other blogs, I stumbled upon an interesting blog called "The Patron Saint of the Year Ministry". I started reading the blog and thought that I should let a Patron Saint pick me. I wrote an email to Marianne to ask the Saints to chose myself and each member of my family. She was on holidays and I received the long awaited email today. I really wanted to wait until I had my Patron Saint of 2008 before I wrote about it on my blog. The following is an excerpt from the blog and from St. Faustina's diary.

The tradition of letting a saint “pick you,”is not a new one. St. Faustina wrote about it in her diary, "Divine Mercy in My Soul".The excerpt is below.

“There is a custom among us of drawing by lot, on New Year's Day, special Patrons for ourselves for the whole year. In the morning, during meditation, there arose within me a secret desire that the Eucharistic Jesus be my special Patron for this year also, as in the past. But, hiding this desire from my Beloved, I spoke to Him about everything else but that. When we came to refectory for breakfast, we blessed ourselves and began drawing our patrons. When I approached the holy cards on which the names of the patrons were written, without hesitation I took one, but I didn't read the name immediately as I wanted to mortify myself for a few minutes. Suddenly, I heard a voice in my soul: ‘I am your patron. Read.’ I looked at once at the inscription and read, ‘Patron for the Year 1935 - the Most Blessed Eucharist.’ My heart leapt with joy, and I slipped quietly away from the sisters and went for a short visit before the Blessed Sacrament,where I poured out my heart. But Jesus sweetly admonished me that I should be at that moment together with the sisters. I went immediately in obedience to the rule.”
Excerpt from "Divine Mercy in My Soul, the Diary of St. Faustina"

So what have I been doing all afternoon? Finding out things about our Saints of the year so that I can tell everyone about them at the dinner table tonight. I was a little shattered when I saw who our Patron Saints were. The only one I had ever heard of was my husband's Saint, Saint Andrew the Apostle. After a little research, I began to find out some interesting things about our Saints.

My Patron Saint: Saint Ischryion Feast Day December 22

DH Patron Saint: Saint Andrew Feast Day: November 30

DS Patron Saint: Saint Margaret of Antioch Feast Day: July 20

DD Patron Saint: Saint Pantaleon Feast Day: July 27

DS Patron Saint: Saint Vitalis Feast Day: April 28

Now do you see what I mean? How many of you have heard of these Saints? Well, I found out that all of them were Martyrs.

Saint Ischryion was a Christian who lived in the third century. He was a lowly attendant to an Egyptian magistrate. When one day his master commanded him to offer sacrifices to idols, Ischyrion refused. Furious that his servant would dare to refuse him, the magistrate had him killed in a most savage way; a stake was run into his bowels, impaling him.

Saint Andrew was one of the fishermen of Bethsaida, and brother, perhaps elder brother, of St. Peter, and became a disciple of St. John Baptist. He seemed always eager to bring others into notice; when called himself by Christ on the banks of the Jordan, his first thought was to go in search of his brother, and he said, "We have found the Messias," and he brought him to Jesus. It was he again who, when Christ wished to feed the five thousand in the desert, pointed out the little lad with the five loaves and fishes. St. Andrew went forth upon his mission to plant the Faith in Scythia and Greece, and at the end of years of toil to win a martyr's crown. After suffering a cruel scourging at Patræ in Achaia, he was left, bound by cords, to die upon a cross. When St. Andrew first caught sight of the gibbet on which he was to die, he greeted the precious wood with joy. "O good cross! " he cried, "made beautiful by the limbs of Christ, so long desired, now so happily found! Receive me into thy arms and present me to my Master, that He Who redeemed me through thee may now accept me from thee." Two whole days the martyr remained hanging on this cross alive, preaching, with outstretched arms from this chair of truth, to all who came near, and entreating them not to hinder his passion.

St. Margaret of Antioch, according to an untrustworthy legend, she was the daughter of a pagan priest at Antioch in Pisidia. Also known as Marina, she was converted to Christianity, whereupon she was driven from home by her father. She became a shepherdess and when she spurned the advances of Olybrius, the prefect, who was infatuated with her beauty, he charged her with being a Christian. He had her tortured and then imprisoned, and while she was in prison she had an encounter with the devil in the form of a dragon. According to the legend, he swallowed her, but the cross she carried in her hand so irritated his throat that he was forced to disgorge her (she is patroness of childbirth). The next day, attempts were made to execute her by fire and then by drowning, but she was miraculously saved and converted thousands of spectators witnessing her ordeal-all of whom were promptly executed. Finally, she was beheaded. That she existed and was martyred are probably true; all else is probably fictitious embroidery and added to her story, which was immensely popular in the Middle Ages, spreading from the East all over Western Europe. She is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, and hers was one of the voices heard by Joan of Arc.

Saint Pantaleon is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers; died c.305. According to legend he was the son of a rich pagan, but was instructed in Christianity by his mother; he studied medicine and became court physician to Emperor Maximianus; he was denounced to the emperor as a Christian by envious colleagues, but resisted firmly the temptations offered him to apostatize, was condemned to death, subjected to atrocious tortures from which he remained miraculously immune, and was finally decapitated. Patron of physicians and midwives; invoked against consumption. Relics at abbey of Saint Denys, near Paris; his head is at Lyons.

Saint Vitalis was a citizen of Milan, and is said to have been the father of Sts. Gervasius and Protasius. The divine providence conducted him to Ravenna, where he saw a Christian named Ursicinus, who was condemned to lose his head for his faith, standing aghast at the sight of death, and seeming ready to yield. Vitalis was extremely moved at this spectacle. He knew his double obligation of preferring the glory of God and the eternal salvation of his neighbor to his own corporal life: he therefore boldly and successfully encouraged Ursicinus to triumph over death, and after his martyrdom carried off his body, and respectfully interred it. The judge, whose name was Paulinus, being informed of this, caused Vitalis to be apprehended, stretched on the rack, and, after other torments, to be buried alive in a place called the Palm-tree, in Ravenna.

Sources: The New Catholic Dictionary, Butler's Lives of the Saints, Catholic Online

If you would like to know who your Patron Saint of the year is contact Marianne through her blog It isn't too late. God Bless.

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