A November Resolution

“For me to be a saint means to be myself” (Thomas Merton).

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a “Saint buddy.” Someone who’s help I would call upon if I ever needed anything. Of course, as a child, those needs were miniscule. “St. Therese, please help me to get the role of Flower in the Nutcracker.” “Mama Mary, give me a sign that he likes me back.” Or better yet, “St, Anthony, please help me find my mom’s necklace that I borrowed without her permission.” You get the idea.

The faith that we have as children that these little prayers will be answered is admirable!! But somewhere along the way, as we grow up, we start to view those kind of prayers as naive. We fall for the lie that praying for ourselves is selfish. We forget that we have POWERFUL intercessors in heaven that want to help grant us the desires of our heart. We have real-life heroes and heroines who fought the good fight — whose lives we can model in our pursuit of holiness. That is the great pearl of the Christian faith: that we were not made to walk this journey alone. We were created for community, both here on earth and in heaven.

There are a few saints who have stood out to me throughout the different seasons of my life. St. Therese of Lisieux is my Confirmation patron, and she is my go-to gal for all things morality and the Christian life. When I am going through a season of suffering, I look to Bl. Chiara Luce Badano or Servant of God Antonietta Meo, both of whom died at a young age from bone cancer. Bl. Chiara, who died at age 18 in 1971, was a model of redemptive suffering, and one of my favorite quotes from her is, “At this point, I have nothing left, but I still have my heart, and with that I can always love.” Servant of God Antonietta Meo was only 7 years old when she passed away in 1937, and her letters to God are proof of mysticism; “Dear Jesus, I love you very much. I want to abandon myself in your hands. I want to abandon myself in your arms. Do with me what you want. Help me with your grace. You help me, since without Your grace, I am nothing.”

My favorite thing about both of these saints is that they are RECENT!! These are not 1st century martyrs. These are young girls who walked this earth less than a hundred years ago. And there are even more recent soon-to-be saints, such as Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and newly Blessed Carlo Acutis (who only died in 2006). This is PROOF to us that we are called to pursue sainthood right now, in our current state of life. When we think of the “Communion of Saints”, or “All Saints”, those phrases can be intimidating. It is true – there are hundreds of thousands of saints in heaven, many of whose names we do not even know. But that should also give us hope, that there is room for us. Salvation is not for the elite, the perfect, the cream of the crop. If you look at our saints, many of them led very normal lives before having conversions. It should encourage us that sainthood is attainable for every single one of us, no matter our social class, wealth, or past.

A way that I have been able to make the saints seem more personable to me is to choose patron saints of the year. You can even do this more frequently, like once a month or even once a week. There are many ways to pick a patron saint. A good place to start is your namesake, or your Confirmation saint! You can choose one who exemplifies a virtue you want to grow in, or one who lived the same state of life that you are currently in. There are patron saints of different hobbies or vocations. You can choose a saint who was around your same age, or from the same place as you.

It is a great tragedy that we go through our lives, forgetting our friends in heaven. I hope this All Saints Day, you will make a resolution to choose a patron saint, and call on them to help you and lead you home.

Contact the author

Sarah Rose hails from Long Island and graduated from Franciscan University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Theology & Catechetics. She is happily married to her college sweetheart John Paul. They welcomed their first child, Judah Zion, in 2019. She is passionate about her big V-vocation: motherhood, and her little v-vocation: bringing people to encounter Christ through the true, the good, and the beautiful. She loves fictional novels, true crime podcasts/documentaries, the saints (especially Blessed Chiara Luce Badano), & sharing conversation over a good cup of coffee. She is currently the Coordinator of Young Adult Ministry at St. Cecilia Church in Oakley, Cincinnati. You can find out more about her ministry here: https://eastsidefaith.org/young-adult OR at https://www.facebook.com/stceciliayam.