Friday, February 6, 2015

My Family's Patron Saint, 2015

St. Angela Merici

A common Catholic tradition for some families is to choose a different patron saint each year to pray to for intercession.  As I didn’t grow up with this tradition in my family, it was new to me when I heard of it this past Advent season.  So this is the first year my husband and I decided to adopt this tradition with our family.  My husband diligently looked up some saints who are no strangers to change, since the theme in our lives this year is all about change.  And we chose our family's patron saint of 2015 to be St. Angela Merici, as she seems the perfect fit for us.

St. Angela Merici lived in the late 1400s through the mid-1500s.  She helped found the Ursuline sisters along with St. Ursula and spent most of her life dedicated to elevating the family by educating girls and mothers.  The reason this was so amazing is because in that time, education for females was reserved for the rich or nuns.  What a different life she gave so many children from poor families!
St. Angela is probably most well known for saying “no” to the pope when he asked her to lead a group of nursing sisters.  Instead, she knew deep down in her heart where the Lord was calling her, back to her hometown to continue her life-long passion of educating girls.

St. Angela is also reported to have experienced a miracle.  On a trip to the holy land she stopped and prayed at a crucifix on the Island of Crete when she went completely blind.  Rather than returning home, she continued on her pilgrimage and on her return to Italy, she stopped once again on Crete and prayed at the foot of the same crucifix where it is said that her eye sight was restored.  It is believed that this miracle served as her reminder from Christ not to become blind to the needs of others.

So why is she the perfect patron saint for our family?  Oh for so many reasons.  One, St. Angela was not afraid of change and created the change she wanted to see.  Our family’s motto is all about change this year.  Two, she was a huge proponent of education and a girl after my own heart.  I believe in the old adage “knowledge is power”.  In addition, this calendar year, we are embarking on our first year of homeschooling, a roller coaster I’m sure I will want to throw myself from many a time over the next 12 months. Ha!  Three, St. Angela knew where the Lord was calling her.  She never wavered from her purpose in this world.  Fourth and finally, she was never blinded to the needs of others.   So I pray to St. Angela to help open my heart and mind to the Lord’s call in my life and to help me see what Jesus is asking of me, how I can fulfill the needs of others, in my family, in my community, wherever He is calling me.

In my quest to learn more about St. Angel Merici, I found this amazing website, Catholic Playground, offering free downloadable coloring pages for numerous saints.  Check it out by clicking on the link above.

Did you choose a patron saint for your family this year?  Who is it?  Comment below!

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