For New Years Resolutions Like This: Choose A Patron Saint for 2011

Earlier today I mentioned that I was dipping into the Communion of Saints for inspiration. And why not? I love these people and I’m glad they are praying for me. Later this afternoon I noted that Elizabeth Scalia, “the Anchoress” was wondering about her patron saint for the new year. Readers may have noticed that we have two full time patrons here at YIMCatholic: St. Joseph and St. Joan of Arc.

But we can always use someone else to pray for us too. And I really like this neat Patron Saint Generator that Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary came up with. Elizabeth gave it a try and guess which saint choose to represent her this year? St. Catherine of Siena. So I decided to give it a whirl too.

Jennifer’s application makes it so easy. Just click the button and off it goes. Putting out a call in heaven I reckon, “Patron Saint needed for the man on aisle three,” or something like that. Whoever shows up has chosen you, see? Don’t go second guessing the saint that arrives at your doorstep, because even if you don’t know why this saint should be your patron, invite them in and get to know them! Look over in the sidebar and you’ll see that St. Frances of Rome is my patron this year. Looking at the citation that arrived with her, I’ll just say that I am looking forward to getting to know her better.

I am so excited about this that I too am posting on it. When I got home from work, I gathered the family after dinner so we could all pick a saint for this year too. My youngest son went first and St. Aloysius of Gonzaga arrived on our doorstep. Wow, I said, that was your great-grandfathers middle name kiddo! My daughter was up next and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton rang our doorbell. Break out the fine china! My oldest son gave it a whirl and St. Jane de Chantal entered our little circle, and she can teach us a thing or two about forgiveness. Lastly, my wife was introduced to her patron for 2011, St. Margaret of Hungary—a princess no less!

Next, I let them all know that I want to know all about their patrons too and I want them to know them as well as they know their best friends. And when we say our prayers at night, we’ll ask our saints to pray for us. And Elizabeth had another great idea, which I shared with my family: we’ll also ask our patron saints to teach us what they know. Schools out, so saint school is in! I walked them over to the YIMCatholic bookshelf and showed them how to learn more. Then I went searching for more on their particular saints to see if there were any biographies written about them. 4 out of 5 ain’t bad, so 4 new classic books were added to the self too.

So join the club dear reader, and give Jennifer’s application a try. Don’t over-think this, just click it and open your door. Don’t forget how the apostles (after prayer) chose Matthias—they drew straws! Add the name of your patron that arrives on your doorstep in the comm box below, and I’ll see if I can find a book about them and I’ll add it to the YIMCatholic Bookshelf for you too.

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you…that’s what I’m singing now. Because the saints are Christian role models for us all.

Saints Be Praised!

  • Magister Christianus

    I prayed earnestly before doing this. I am still a Protestant moving closer to Rome. My saint for the year is Pope St. Pius V.

  • Anonymous

    Saint Mary of Egypt is my patron saint for 2011. I know nothing about her–but will try to learn!

  • Fran

    I got St. Frances of Rome – given that my name actually is Frances, well, it seemed appropriate.

  • Diane

    I did this and received St. Jude. It was amazing. There are times when I feel that things may be hopeless or lost causes. I had prayed to him in the past, and will pray to him this new year.

  • Frank

    A cursory glance on the YIMCatholic Bookshelf finds many references to the saints that chose each one of you. What a signal benefit Our Lord gives us by providing friends for us in heaven!

  • Mary R

    Saint Philomena is my saint of the year. Yea! Patroness of the Living Rosary, Patroness of the Children of Mary (this is a fraternity or group of people – I will need to find more info on them), patron of babies, children, youths, Priests, lost causes, sterility and virgins. She is a saint of whose life nothing is known, only the miracles that has occurred with her intercession.Thank you, God, for St Philomena

  • Frank
  • Jo Anne

    I can't stop smiling! I got St. Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz. Who is this guy, I asked. So I did some reading: 17th C. Jesuit in Paraguay; he and 2 brother Jesuits were the earliest beatified martyrs of the Americas. Well….okay….but maybe I'll try another spin…..why St. Roque?…what was the connection? Like Winny the Pooh, I'm holding my head saying "think, think, think"……..My journey to the Church, to my Home, started almost 4 years ago when I was living and working in Santa Barbara, CA….actually, I lived in a little neighborhood just north of the city named………San Roque! Go figure :) So now this not-even-one-year-old Catholic has a big brother in the faith and lots to learn in the year ahead. Cool! I can't stop smiling!

  • Frank

    @Jo Anne, pretty neat! I found this snippet,GONZALEZ DE SANTA CRUZ, Roque, South American missionary, b. in Asuncion, 1576; d. in Uruguay in 1628. He was bom of Spanish parents, entered the Society of Jesus in 1609, and was sent as a missionary to the Guaycurus. He effected numerous conversions, among them that of the cacique and his wife, and in 1611 determined to found a " reduction" or Indian colony on the river Jujuv, an affluent of the Bermejo, at 24 south latitude. He had already formed several Indians into a community when he was summoned in 1613 to take charge of the reduction of St. Ignatius, near the Parana. He subsequently converted a large body of Indians at Itapua, and, after visiting Asuncion for supplies, founded at the former place an Indian village containing nearly 800 families. In August, 1616, he founded a third colony on the St. Anne river. On 8 Dec., 1623, he laid the foundation of a colony which he called Conception, and which soon had a population of nearly 4,000. In 1626 he founded the colony of St. Nicholas, containing 400 families, and that of St. Francis Xavier, with 1,200, as well as several others. He was murdered by order of a cacique, who feared the missionary was undermining his authority.

  • Frank

    And did you know this? Suffice it to say that one thing led to another and I eventually found St. Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz, the Jesuit priest who inspired the saintly, nonviolent Father Gabriel played by Jeremy Irons in The Mission. Father Gabriel “conquers” warlike Indians in colonial Central America with his Christian love and the oboe on which he plays a haunting theme that soothes the savage breast.from Finding St. Roque Gonzalez de Santa CruzThe Mission is a great movie!

  • Karen

    I gave it a spin and got St. Patrick. My heritage is part Irish, and I've always felt a connection to him – as if he is somewhat responsible for me being Catholic today. Had my older son give it a click, and he got St. Josemaria Escriva. A good choice for a teenage boy.

  • Frank

    @Karen, there is a ton of stuff on St. Patrick over on the YIMC Bookshelf. For your son, have a look here.

  • Jo Anne

    Thanks for the additional info, Frank! I now have St. Roque's (yes, already on a first name basis :) picture on my desk and in my LOTH.St. Roque, teach me what you know!

  • Brian

    St. Vincent De Paul for me. This is after I have already decided to dedicate more time to working with the less fortunate this year. I guess this would of seemed like providence with most saints though…hah!

  • Frank

    St. Vincent de Paul?! Ever since I found this episode in his life, I've admired him with even deeper respect.

  • Stefanie

    St. Joseph Calasanz is mine — never heard of the guy, but he is from Spain (as is my dad's family way way back when) — and there was this tidbit in his writings:"All who undertake to teach must be endowed with deep love, the greatest of patience, and, most of all, profound humility. They must perform their work with earnest zeal. Then, through their humble prayers, the Lord will find them worthy to become fellow workers with him in the cause of truth. He will console them in the fulfillment of this most noble duty, and finally, will enrich them with the gift of heaven. As Scripture says, “Those who instruct many in justice will shine as stars for all eternity.” They will attain this more easily if they make a covenant of perpetual obedience and strive to cling to Christ and please him alone, because, in his words, “What you did to one of the least of my brethren, you did to me.” – from the writings of Saint Joseph CalasanzI'll be asking Saint Joseph Calasanz to help me to cling ever more tightly to Jesus. In church work (RCIA especially), it is so very easy to get side-tracked by others. I cannot please everyone. And obedience does not come easily for me. Yet I must remember that it is all for Jesus. I've never had a problem with zeal. Patience and humility…uh, need help there, St. Joseph C!Glad to have discovered a new buddy for 2011.

  • Anonymous

    I got St. James the Greater. An apostle I have never really even thought about. I don't know why but I have a year to find out. Thanks Frank. Rose

  • Frank

    St. James the Greater won't leave you "high and dry" Rose, as there are over 150 volumes on our shelf that refer to him when I searched in the window under St. Joan.

  • Brian Sullivan

    I was found by St. Sister Agostina Petrantoni (aka Sister Augustina Pietrantoni). Patron against impoverishment–here I am out of work again!–and for those ridiculed for their piety–I have a loooong way to go before that happens!

  • Katie

    I got St. John Ogilvie. Being as I have not yet converted, but seem to be advancing further on the journey practically by the hour, I was intrigued to learn that he himself is a convert.

  • Frank

    Katie, there are 15 books on our shelf that reference St. John Ogilvie, including a full biography. Enjoy getting to know him!