Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Patron Saint of my Year

Several people (forgive me if I don't name them all) recommended this Patron Saint Generator to me. Now I've spent a good deal of my career writing about saints and I have a few special favorites, but the idea of randomly being assigned a saint for the year appealed to both my hagiographic and my geek side.

So I'm writing this in one browser window as I get ready to click the button in another.

And the winner, er, patron is.....

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

She is the patron against In-Law Problems; against the Death of Children; against the Death of Parents; People Ridiculed for Their Piety and widows.

I almost chuckled when her name came up because in my upcoming book I write about her struggle with finances and this past year has been a financial struggle for me, as it has for a lot of people.
One of the things I wrote about her was:

A final lesson from Elizabeth’s life might be categorized as a cross between a warning and an encouragement. Earlier we talked about how sometimes our suffering can be self-generated. Even saints aren’t immune from this. At least some of St. Elizabeth’s financial woes were created because she went against her own better judgment. When the doctor suggested a trip to Italy might help William’s failing health, Elizabeth had her doubts, but she sold all their possessions anyway. Had she not done so, had they not made the voyage, her life might not have had as many financial stresses. However, “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28), and had she not made the voyage, she might never have converted, never have founded the Sisters of Charity and never have become a saint.
Her example can be a comfort to those of us who have made inopportune financial decisions; even in the midst of our trials and suffering, blessings can still emerge. We may have to endure the consequences and subsequent pain that results from our choices, but, in Elizabeth’s words, “We know certainly that our God calls us to a holy life. We know that he gives us every grace, every abundant grace; and though we are so weak of ourselves, this grace is able to carry us through every obstacle and difficulty."

Even finances.

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