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The Saints will find you when you’re not really looking for them.
They will make a big difference in your life without you even realizing it.
They will surprise you with the timeliness of their intercession.
Today, I want to share a few stories about the Saints and their influence in my lives. These are a few of my friends, the Saints.
St. Thomas More – a Saint of Strength and Bravery
St. Thomas More is one of the most familiar Saint names to me.
My grandfather was an extraordinary man of great faith. His influence on my spiritual formation as a kid is something I hold close to my heart to this day.
He founded an all-boys Catholic boarding school named after St. Thomas More. I grew up on the campus.
In elementary school, instead of getting on the bus, my grandfather used to pick me up, take me to daily Mass at his school’s chapel, bring me out to breakfast, then finally drop me off at school.
It was a time of peace and joy, feeling special, loved, and chosen.
I always associated St. Thomas More with the strength of my grandfather. And as I grew to learn more of the Saint’s life and death as a martyr defending the permanence of marriage, he just got stronger in my eyes.
Today, I remember with love my grandfather and his marriage to my grandmother. They used to teasingly argue with each other incessantly. My husband and I love to teasingly argue with each other, too.
This beautiful wooden St. Thomas More medal reminds me to pray for St. Thomas More’s intercession in our marriage – especially in today’s culture that’s all about attacking marriage.
And it reminds me to pray for the repose of the soul of my beloved grandfather, who inspired in me a love and desire for daily Mass, and showed me what it means to be a strong and holy Catholic.
When I got a little older, St. Thomas more made another appearance in my lift, solidifying my admiration for him as a witness of strength and bravery.
Let me tell you about the time I took a class at an all-boys school.
I was a high school senior in an all-girls academy. I needed to take calculus, which my school didn’t offer at the time.
Well, there’s something to be said for connections. I enrolled to take calculus at the all-boys school my grandfather founded, St. Thomas More.
Somehow I managed to wheedle extra study halls into my schedule, so I used that time to attend class with the boys as often as I could (because I’m SO studious).
And when I couldn’t make it to class, I went down to evening study hall to get some catch-up instruction from my teacher. The boys in my class were shockingly devoted to their homework at this time.
Years later, my teacher told me he had a deal with the boys – whoever got the highest grade on their test got to sit next to “the girl” until someone else scored higher than them.
Don’t worry, all chastity and modesty was observed during my time at the all-boys school.
All joking about teenage attractions aside, this opportunity made me feel bold and brave – like a pioneer.
I did something no one else had ever done before. This unconventional solution to my calculus dilemma helped me grow in confidence in doing great things despite the world’s expectations.
It was another layer added on to my association of St. Thomas More as a Saint of strength and bravery.
St. Maximilian Kolbe – Live Like a Saint
When Maximilian Kolbe was a kid, he received a vision of Our Lady offering him two crowns: the white crown of purity and the red crown of martyrdom.
He chose both that day. Then he continued to choose them. Every day, he chose purity. And at the end of his life, he chose martyrdom – to die at the hands of the Nazis at Auschwitz.
Knowing how he would die helped Maximilian Kolbe choose how to live his life. And in living his life, he didn’t put “normal” work aside.
He started a successful printing press, and he used that to evangelize the world he lived in. He was a great spiritual leader in his religious community. He worked HARD at his vocation and his “job” daily.
How do you choose to die? Do you choose to die a Saint? Then how do you choose to live? Because we all have this choice, every day.
Think of the daily work you do – at your job, or in your ministry, or in your family.
For me, it’s my vocation as a wife and mother, and my work in my faith-based ministries online. This daily work is the task of holiness God’s calling me to. It’s my path to the crown. It’s my opportunity to live as a Saint.
And it can be hard. It’s difficult to juggle life with a nursing baby and content deadlines. It’s hard to keep putting out inspiration after sleepless nights. It’s tough to let my self-imposed to-do list slide in order to spend a day playing with the kids.
But choosing to do this work every day – the work of a wife, a mother, and an evangelizer – and choosing to do it with great love, and my eyes on the heavenly prize, is how I’m following in the footsteps of this great Saint.
This photo is my baby sweetly hanging out with me while I attempt to finish my photo shoot. Check out the Maximilian Kolbe stickers, bracelets, and T-shirts here.
This is the reality of my ministry, serving my family and the online Catholic world simultaneously.
If you want to die like a Saint, you have to choose to start living like a Saint today.
St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina – A Saint for My Eczema
Padre Pio is a Saint with many marvelous things about him, but two that always struck me were his insights in confession, and his stigmata.
He spent hours in the confessional, reconciling men with God. And if someone “forgot” (or omitted) their sins, Padre Pio wouldn’t hesitate to “remind” them.
These stories both filled me with mild terror about the priest knowing more about me than I knew about myself in the confessional, and with a strong sense of the importance of making a good confession.
God knows it all anyways, and it’s for our benefit that he asks to lay it all at his feet in the sacrament of confession.
About the stigmata.
When Padre Pio’s stigmata was under investigation, a psychologist proposed that the reason for the stigmata was that Padre Pio spent too much time looking at the crucifix. And that somehow inflicted the wounds in him.
Padre Pio’s wonderful retort: “Go out to the fields and look very closely at a bull. Concentrate on him with all your might. Do this and see if horns grow on your head!” He cracks me up.
I suffer from eczema on my hands. It seems to be seasonal, allergy-related. Not curable, but manageable. Even then, sometimes I get flare-ups that make the tasks of daily life difficult.
Some days I can’t tie my shoes. Or open a jar. Or even have the strength to pull the velcro on my baby’s diaper when he’s in need of a change.
It may not be the Stigmata, but my eczema is still a chance for me to unite my suffering to Christ’s suffering on the cross, in reparation for my sins.
Padre Pio reminds me of the importance of redemptive suffering, reparation, penance, and the sacrament of confession. He is one of my favorite Saints, and I can’t wait to hang out with him in Heaven someday.
Tell Me About Your Friends the Saints
Do you have stories about the friendship, intercession, and power of the Saints in your life?
Please tell me about them in the comments!
And take a look at the beautiful Saint medals and stickers available at Kindred Forest co. I bet you just might find your favorite Saint there, waiting to hang out with you!