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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Say Thank You to Your Patron Saints Today!

All Saints Day is the perfect time to give special recognition to your patron saints. I am truly blessed to have been named for our Blessed Mother and her mother, St. Anne. I was born the day after the feast of the Annunciation so Mary was an obvious and appropriate choice. (Most of my siblings also have names associated with a saint whose feast day is near the date of their births.) How I love the feast that celebrates what I can only consider the most significant day in human history when the Word became flesh and began His journey among us. Without Mary's yes, the Incarnation, and the passion, death, and resurrection of our Divine Lord we would remain spiritually dead in the primordial muck of original sin. Thank you, Mary!

St. Anne, Mary, and the Lamb of God
Leonardo da Vinci
What we know about St. Anne comes from tradition. We hear nothing about her and Joachim in the gospels, but tradition tells us she and Joachim were childless like Hannah in the Old Testament. They were blessed in old age with their single child, Mary, who was consecrated to the temple at a young age (and possibly raised by Anna of Phanuel who witnessed to the divinity of baby Jesus at the Presentation).

While we don't know for sure that Anne lived long enough to see her grandson (She is never shown present at the Nativity.), there are depictions of her with the child Jesus. Leonardo da Vinci painted the three generations together. But one of my favorite depictions of St. Anne is the birth of Mary by one of my favorite artists, Esteban Murillo.
Birth of Mary by Esteban Murillo

My confirmation saint is St. Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers and devotee and popularizer of the holy rosary. What a blessed influence he's been in my life! I spent years doing presentations on abortion showing the marvels of the baby in the womb and the atrocity of abortion. I think he must have been at my side inspiring me in answers to those willing to sacrifice babies on the altar of choice.

I had a great devotion to Our Lady as a teenager getting up to go to early Mass with my mother before school. I have to think it was due to the inspiration of St. Dominic. How many teenagers rise earlier than they need to instead of clutching that last five minutes in bed?

And today, as I fight for the faith against so much modern dissent, I often turn to my friend and mentor for help. Pray for me, St. Dominic!

Don't forget to honor and thank your patron saints today (and remember your guardian angel as well). Only on Judgment Day will any of us fully realize how much these special friends have interceded for us and guided us on our journey toward God.

All you angels and saints, pray for us!

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