Because the Saints Sustain Us; Which Ones Are Traveling With You?

My beautiful friend Ann Burt, who I first met on these pages, (and later in real life in her hometown of Raleigh, NC!)  has found a vocation making retablos. The small devotionals are labors of love; Ann runs a decorative painting business for a living.  My husband and I gave a retablo to our son Gabriel, on his Confirmation day.

I have just ordered a slew of them for friends in my life who are marking milestones and who have special devotion to a particular saint. I was so excited when Ann emailed me this afternoon to say: “St. Bernard and his traveling companions are on their way. Sorry I tried to get him out this morning but was not quite finished :(“

How blessed we are to have this Communion of Saints to accompany us to our destinies. Some folks might think we Catholics worship saints; we don’t. We do ask them to pray for us. We meditate on their lives in Christ in an effort to draw closer to Him.  This week, all my retablo ordering got me wondering: Dear readers, who are your special saints?

In transit from Raleigh: For a girlfriend moving home to Milano, St. Bernard of Clairvaux; for a new teacher-friend who recently bought with her husband their first home: St. Joseph; for a School of Community friend who landed a job at Tulane University;  St. Anthony of Padua. And finally, for a high school senior and friend of our family: St. Cecilia. I’m hoping this trumpeter will hang the retablo of the patron saint of music in his dorm room at university, where he will study music.

Only when I read, at Webster Bull’s recommendation,  Fr.  James Martin’s spiritual memoir My Life with the Saints, did I understand what they might offer us. Writes Fr. Martin: “The lives of the saints, parts of which seem confusing, bizarre and misguided, are — when you know the whole story — really tales of love. And they can offer some important lessons for all of us. If we just let them.” So, once again, who is accompanying you toward your destiny, and why?

  • Sandy C.

    St. Monica has been a constant companion of mine since I began journeying with the saints. Her example of faithful prayer for her husband and son are quite an example to me. St. Padre Pio has been a force for my prayers that God will keep shaping me and prevent me from living in denial about sins and shortcomings. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton has been my intercessor for my teaching career. St. Thomas More is the intercessor for my son's possible career as an attorney. St. Therese of Lisieux is who I pray to for my daughter to grow closer to Christ and more receptive to Catholicism. Seeing this list makes me ever so grateful for these new traveling companions!

  • Dwija {House Unseen}

    St. Elizabeth of Portugal (in history called Isabel) has lately been very inspirational to me. She was a gentle peacemaker, yet showed great courage and fortitude in her actions. That combination of virtues is something I hope to aspire to. Both of those names (Elizabeth & Isabel) are very important in my husband's family as well, so it's quite fitting :)

  • Art4thesoul

    Wow Allison what a surprise! Thank you so much and what a beautiful article. If only we could help all to understand the true friends we have in the Saints! St. Joan is one who is near and dear to me and one of the first I created. God has given me a heart that desires to share these heavenly mentors with others. I thank him daily for this awesome gift! God bless you!