Written by Kathy DeVet
I love the saints! They are so interesting and inspiring! They are like older siblings in the faith who can lead the way and give a helping hand (by interceding). Sometimes, like older siblings, they can make me feel like I’ll never measure up or be as good as they are. But most of the time, they just inspire me.
When I was a kid, I loved to read saint stories. My mom found these really fun books written by Joan Windham who liked to use capital letters when she wrote her saint stories. For example, she’d say something like, “And St. Peter was Quite Distressed that all of the people had Nothing to eat.” I found that charming. Plus, she was a really great storyteller.
Anyway, that pretty much sold me on saint stories, and I kept reading them and getting to know the saints. I have special friend saints that have lasted my whole life, like St. Joseph. There are other saints who were very important to me at certain times in my life, like St. Gerard who is the patron saint of pregnant women.
You know what else the saints are good for besides being inspiring? Being advocates. I love to ask the saints to intercede for me when I need something. I’m always calling on the saints: from St. Anthony to help me find my keys, to St. Jude when something seems impossible, to my sons’ patron saints when they are struggling, to the guardian angels when I am afraid.
But the saints I call on the most are Mary and Joseph. They are married. They are parents. They are pretty much the highest saints. Mary has so many titles—Our Lady of the Highways, Our Lady Undoer of Knots, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, Queen of the Angels, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Refuge of Sinners…anything I’ve got going on, my mother Mary can handle.
One time especially stands out. Our family went on a trip of a lifetime along with my parents, so we were traveling with an 8-year-old, a tween, a teen, my husband and me and my 72-year-old parents. I had planned a three-week adventure and was feeling the pressure that everyone would have a good time. My anxiety was out of control! One night, early in the trip, when I was having trouble falling asleep, I had a little talk with my mother Mary. I told her I just couldn’t handle my emotions, and I needed her help. In that moment, all of my anxiety left me and I was able to enjoy our time as a family. I have such great memories of that trip, but the love and care of Mary made it all possible.
And guess what? Saints are regular people who encountered and responded to God’s love. They kept responding to God and that totally transformed their lives for the better. So that means…we can be saints, too!
We can ask Mary to help us trust in the promises of God. We, like St. Therese, can run to Jesus when we fall and say,
“I love you.”
We can pray for St. Monica’s intercession for children who have left the Church. We can ask St. Augustine and St. Maximillian Kolbe to intercede for our children’s chastity. We can get to know all kinds of saints and increase our community and our circle of holy friends. We can recognize our need for God just like the saints recognized their need for Him. We can become saints!