Thursday, February 12, 2009

My patrons for the year

Nearby to us is the Friary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, run by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. You might have seen them at Mary Victrix or Air Maria.

Anyway, they have a wonderful tradition on the Feast of the Epiphany. The friars make up a basket full of prayer cards to give out as gifts. Each card is different- a different image on the front, four saints or blesseds, a Marian title, a virtue to focus on and a maxim. The youngest member of the community disperses them to the people after saying a prayer to the Holy Spirit to guide him in choosing the right card for each person.

What's nice is that they usually choose at least one famous saint, one modern saint, one REALLY obscure saint, and a maxim or virtue that sets the bar pretty high. (Not for discouragement when we fail, of course, but to remind us of the ultimate sacrifice and duty we owe to God.)

This is my card this year. I posted links for the saints; feel free to learn more about them yourself. And if anyone has ANY information of Blessed Alcarius, hermit, I'd be much obliged if you sent it my way.

St. Catherine of Genoa Franciscan March 23

Ladislas of Gielnow Franciscan May 21

St. Michael Sept. 29

Bl. Alcarius, hermit Sept. 29

Marian Title: Our Lady of Beauraing (Belgium)

Virtue: Temperance

Maxim: Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 18:20 "Before judgement examine thyself, and thou shalt find mercy in the sight of God."

2 comments:

JB said...

Mike,

This is JB from the CathicVote.org site. I loved your postings today (here and the other site).

I don't know if you remember this from the past, but our 13 year old son died 20 months ago today. He had cancer and suffered with it for 22 months. Our family was NEVER convinced that God gave our son cancer. We always believed that Satan was the deliverer of that disease, and God allowed it for the GREATER GOOD that it brought. Our faith and TRUST in our Lord is so much GREATER now.

Reading your post on this site today was especially special. You see, our son walked with Jesus and St. Michael twice before he died. It was while he was under during two of his MANY procedures (bone marrow aspirates). He shared these visits with us. On one occasion, Jesus showed him a stack of papers that St. Michael was holding. Jesus told our son that these were the many people praying for him. We always wondered why Jesus kept record of that for our son. After reflecting back on it, I believe that Jesus was letting our son know of whom to pray for and be thankful for once he entered heaven. St. Michael was our son's patron saint, and in your post today it included a site all about St. Michael. The following of St. Michael was included; St. Michael: "To fight against Satan. To rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy, especially at the hour of death."

St. Michael came to walk with our son to let him know that he was in the fight with him against Satan. We are also convinced that St. Michael was with Jesus as they came to get our son at the moment of his death. Our son was so FAITHFUL, and the enemy was working very hard in ICU to separate us from our Lord. There was one doctor involved in a divide and conquor stance type situation in the ICU. Our son's team of doctors stood firm in their faith of our Lord and stood by our son's dieing with his faith and dignity in tack. When our son died, he looked into my eyes, then into my husband's eyes, and as a tear fell from his right eye and rolled down his cheek, he looked up above himself and took his last breath. As soon as the equipment and tubes were removed from our son, everyone could see a beautiful smile on his face, including his smiling eyes. We all (including the medical staff) stood with our son's body for hours in awe of our Lord and the gift he gave us by letting us know how instantly HAPPY our son is and the FULLNESS OF LOVE our son now has.

The site also included, "St. Michael: "To be the champion of God's people, the Jews in the Old Law, the Christians in the New Testament; therefore he was the patron of the Church, and of the orders of knights during the Middle Ages."

St. Michael came with Jesus to walk with our son because he was the champion of God's people. I think back and realize Jesus and St. Michael were letting our son know that he would win this battle with the greatest of rewards - HEAVEN.

Thank you so much for sharing this with me today. I will share it later tonight with my husband and family. It was a great gift today, on the 20th month anniversary of our son in eternal paradise, and with Valentines right around the corner. We TRULY have great HAPPINESS AND TRUE JOY for our son with our Lord in eternal paradise, but we do live the paradox of missing his physical presence everyday, moment by moment. (The human side of mourning.) We are more homesick for Heaven now more than ever.

Thank you for allowing God to help you to deliver a special gift to our family today.

Mike in CT said...

JB,

this is the fourth time I've tried to respond to you. Everything I've said just sounded so stupid and meaningless after reading the pain and joy in the story of your son's passing. My wife and I prayed for you and your family and will continue to do so.

Thank you for sharing your moving experience. While the pain is great, the consolation of Michael's final destination with Our Lord in Heaven will be His lasting gift.

Michael is one more example that God is not outdone in generosity nor in love.

My own mother's battle with cancer was also a time of great grace for her and those around her. She was diagnosed with multiple myeloma shortly after my father was miraculously healed of asbestos-induced lung tumor. While God showed his might in healing my dad, he showed his gentle love in tenderly walking with my mom all the way to the end.

In the months after her death, I found consolation and healing in the recognition that she walked the Stations of the Cross in her illness. Events in her journey corresponded exactly in order with every point in Jesus' walk towards Calvary. I wrote them out and will pray about publishing them here.

The lesson for us is to model Michael and my mom's trust in God, even when the end result is not what we had hoped for. God's purposes are for our everlasting happiness.

Thank you for your support on this site and still on Catholicvote. I look forward to talking with you more. You are welcome here anytime!

God bless.