If you’re a regular on the blog, then you may remember my post from last year about naming a spiritual board of directors. The original credit goes to the ever-awesome Lisa Schmidt. Hat-tip to you, my sweet Iowa friend.
I loved my board so much, I’ve decided to do it again. And, I can’t lie. I’m pretty darn excited about these eight and the awesome giveaway (scroll to the bottom!).
But first, let’s clear the air on one thing.
Catholics don’t worship saints.
There are definitely some extremists who really take the whole saint thing too far. That’s not me. And it shouldn’t be you, either. The great thing is that saints aren’t exclusively a Catholic thing. Shoot, you’ve probably heard of the most well-known ones: St. Luke, St. Paul or St. John ring any bells? One of the things I have always loved about the Catholic church is that we realize that God calls ordinary people to change the world, one beautiful heart at a time. Saints don’t live a life of privilege – in fact, most are persecuted – but they do live a life of faith. Some struggle with their spirituality, their health, their friendships, their vocations and many with their lives. But, in the end, love wins.
Almost every day, I lay my head on the pillow at night and tick off all the ways in which I failed my husband, my kids and myself throughout the day. It’s in the quiet moments of the evening hours, most recently when I’m nursing the newest Whitaker, that I turn to prayer and ask for a new start tomorrow. As I spend many wee hours praying, I’ll be invoking the intercession of these eight saints.
In return? I’ll be diving into their lives, why they were canonized and how they can help me live a life with greater purpose, less time-outs and more love.
Their purpose? To help guide my thoughts, words, actions and prayers this year. Much like we ask a dear friend or family member to pray for us, I’ll be asking these saints to pray for me and my family this year. Let’s meet the line-up, shall we?
All images (except St. William) courtesy of Portraits of Saints
St. Gianna, board chair. You may remember my amazing birth with my own Gianna. After Luke’s traumatic birth, this baby healed me in ways that I didn’t know I needed to be healed. Do you ever meet someone and you’re like, “Girl, you have got to stay in my life because you are just that awesome.” That’s St. Gianna. This baby has given me a part of myself back and I feel like it’s only fitting that she lead the way this year. So she shall. St. Gianna was a physician, a working mom and a pretty awesome wife. You can read more about St. Gianna here.
St. William was quite the saucy bishop. He called people, namely King Sweyn, to the carpet on their sins. Yeah, you can guess why he’s on my board this year. Time to pony up and admit the shortcomings. And, as an added bonus, he’s the namesake for our oldest, Will. Our Will embarks on a new adventure this fall – high school. I hope St. William has set aside some serious intercessory time, because I’ll have him on speed dial. You can read more about St. William here.
St. John Paul II has always been a person I admire. Back in 2000, we traveled to Italy and I captured this gem. Yes, we were really that close. His presence is one I have difficulty putting into words. Each time we heard him speak or offer Mass (and there were many from 2000-2002), I felt honored. Humbled, really. He’s on the board because he encouraged people to be unafraid. I think, perhaps, my second born has taken that to mean something wholly different. Our John Paul lives life on the edge and I dearly love him for it. So does the local ER. I expect this saint to remind me to challenge me in new ways. As the patron saint of young adults, I’ll be relying on him to carry me through these middle school and high school years. You can read more about St. John Paul II here.
St. Anne, mom to Mary and the patron saint for our sweet and sassy, Anna-Laura. In this season of motherhood, I believe this child needs me most. She turns ten this May and I can hardly believe it. I’m relying on St. Anne to give me the just-right words in the just-right moment. For years, I prayed that God would give me a daughter and now it’s time for me to be the mom she so richly deserves. You can read more about St. Anne here.
St. Clare won me over in Assisi nearly 15 years ago. I’m not looking for anyone to run away from home, but I am praying that her intercession leads me back to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on a more regular basis. Once upon a time I had a weekly date with Jesus. My heart misses that. Our own Clare is the sunshine of our home. She can see joy anywhere. Coincidence? I think not. You can read more about St. Clare here.
St. Luke has interceeded on behalf of our Luke countless times. I’m pretty sure he’s all “enough buddy.” Let’s just pray that we can stay hospital and specialist-free for a nice long stretch. I’m hopeful that St. Luke’s role on my board will allow me to be a better advocate for my children and their medical needs. There are some medical conditions that were put on the back burner for various reasons, but now it’s time to address them and find some solutions. St. Luke, do your thing! You can read more about St. Luke here.
St. Francis is Scott’s confirmation saint. Visiting Francis’ tomb in Italy was such a peaceful, amazing experience. I’m pretty sure I could retire in Assisi. Scott has really taken the lead in our home these past few months – spiritually, physically and emotionally. The commitment he’s shown in taking care of his health has really been inspiring and I know that comes from a place greater than our home. May St. Francis continue to show us what it means to be obedient. Who knows, maybe he’ll send us a dog. At least, that’s what the kids are hoping. You can read more about St. Francis here.
St. Bridget of Sweden is my confirmation saint. It’s amazing what saint you can find when you make a 911 call to your good friend’s mom just hours before your confirmation. Long story, another blog post. She’s sometimes known as the Patroness of Failures. And she became a saint. Not sure if I’m on the fast track to sainthood, but I do know that as the mom of eight we appreciate the struggles of one another. On the evenings when I feel like I got it all wrong, I pray she helps me see all the good. You can read more about St. Bridget here.
Now, it’s your turn. Please tell me who’s on your spiritual board of directors. And, AND, Portraits of Saints is offering THREE prayer cards of your choosing as this month’s giveaway. My kids received these as their spiritual Christmas gift this year. They were a tremendous hit. This art is just so stunning. I’ve never seen the saints depicted this beautifully.
Rafflecopter it up, y’all. Thanks, Kelly, for hosting!