Linking up with the lovely Kelly. To wrap up this week devoted to priests and religious saints, I'll give you seven more of my favorites - rapid fire style. I'll share with you why I love them, but if you want to know more about them, you can click their respective links. Ready?
St. Anthony of Padua is probably my favorite male saint. He is best known as the patron saint of lost things (and he and I are excellent friends for that reason alone) but he is also just a powerful intercessor for so many other things. Some saints you just feel a natural closeness to, and that is how it is with Anthony and me. :-)
St. Clare of Assisi is all around amazing. The girl ran away from the security of home, and even cut off her own long beautiful hair so that she could follow St. Francis! She started the Franciscan sisters. I love her most because of her incredible faith in the Eucharist. As the story goes, invaders were coming to attack the monastery, and the sisters were freaking out. Clare kept her head, and went and retrieved the monstrance, and elevated it at a window. Their enemies couldn't harm them. She knew her spouse wouldn't abandon her! Which leads me to...
...St. Francis of Assisi! St. Francis is a well-known saint, but it sometimes drives me crazy that the "green" movement has tried to claim him for their own. His association with ecology isn't a trendy one - he believed that all of creation proclaimed the glory of God, and would preach to the birds for that very reason. Why do I love Francis so much? Because he was radically in love with Christ, and he didn't care what people thought of him for it. I also love that he was eager to do what God asked of him, once he had his conversion moment. Before his conversion moment, he was passionate for the things of this world, but when God called him - he was radically passionate for things of God. He's also my sister's other patron saint, and so I have long, long loved him.
If you want to know more about Blessed James Alberione you should click here. I recently found him, and I absolutely love him! This priest was the founder of the "Pauline Family" which includes the Pauline Sisters (some of whom live near us!) and Pauline Books and Media. He believed it was important to use modern media to spread the Gospel, and is a special patron of those who do so. As someone whose main apostolate is a blog....I absolutely love him!
St. Scholastica was almost my Confirmation saint, because I love her so much! She was the twin sister of St. Benedict (and as a fellow twin, that scores her huge byou treat rownie points!) and founded the Benedictine sisters. My favorite story about her was when she and Benedict were hanging out for their yearly day together, and as night drew near, she asked Benedict to hang around longer and talk with her more about the joy of heaven and the love of God. Benedict was all, "Uh, no. Gotta get back to the monastery." So she puts her head on the table, prays a minute, and suddenly a huge thunderstorm breaks out and Benedict can't go anywhere. "Sister, what have you done?!" he says. And she responds that if he wouldn't hear her request, then God would (and did!). A few days later, she died. The lady did NOT mess around. Which leads me to...
...St. Teresa of Avila, also known as "Big T." (Little T is, of course, St. Therese.) This lady basically reformed the Carmelite Order, with the help of St. John of the Cross. This lady was a powerhouse of faith. She came to a deepening of her faith when she was middle-aged, but once she saw the importance of living entirely for God, she held nothing back. I love her the most, though, for her sense of humor. One of my favorite one-liners of hers she dropped when she was traveling and fell in the mud, "Lord, if this is how you treat your friends...it's no wonder you have so few of them!" You have to be really close to God to be able to talk to him like that. ;-)
I would be totally remiss if I didn't mention one of my most favorite saints, St. John Paul II. I could go on forever about why I love this man so much. For one, he's Polish. ;-) But seriously, his vocation story is beautiful and fraught with opposition, and I highly recommend that you read it. I love him for how real he is, and how he shows us how if God calls us to something - you can guarantee that he will use all your gifts to spread the Gospel. Karol wanted to be an actor, or an academic - but as John Paul, God used all those gifts of his to change the world. I absolutely love his story!
Please continue to pray for vocations with us!
O God, Father of all Mercies,
Provider of a bountiful Harvest,
Provider of a bountiful Harvest,
send Your Graces upon those
You have called to gather the fruits of Your labor;
preserve and strengthen them in their lifelong service of you.
Open the hearts of Your children
that they may discern Your Holy Will;
inspire in them a love and desire to surrender themselves
to serving others in the name of Your son, Jesus Christ.
Teach all Your faithful to follow their respective paths in life
guided by Your Divine Word and Truth.
Through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary,
all the Angels, and Saints, humbly hear our prayers
and grant Your Church's needs, through Christ, our Lord. Amen. (source)