Why Pray to the saints? The Church never meant for Christians to pray to the saints to use heavenly or godly powers to grant wishes. Prayer to the saints was meant to call on an advocate, gain spiritual support and provide spiritual companionship. The saints are sensitive advocates who pray with us making our prayers stronger.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Mary Mother of Jesus - Our Lady of Knock appeared to a group in the town of Knock in 1879 and remained there silently for hours. Message? Listen with your heart.
- St. Anne - Jesus' grandma. Grandma is one of my favorite roles.& My grandma's name was Anne and so is mine.
- St. Anthony of Padua- never fails me. My dearest buddy in heaven. Anthony was such a great orator and preacher that they say the fish in the sea used to come to the surface to listen. My favorite quote by Anthony, "Be like the sun. Shed light and warmth."
- St. Therese of the Little Flower - another dear friend who was a reluctant writer. She was ordered to write her memoir and she did so with great angst because she loathed the process of writing. Her writing was published in book form after her death. The Story of Soul has sold millions and changed many a life.
- St. Brigid of Ireland - One of the few women in the church to be ordained a bishop. Brigid is also the patron of hospitality and an open home.
- St. Brendan on Clonfert - the Navigator, patron of travel, tourists and tour guides... please, I need him so badly. :)
- St. Columba of Iona - love Columba because he was rich, used his power, was humiliated and then in disgrace, went into exile where he changed the world in his humble efforts.
- Mother Teresa of Calcutta - my favorite quote by her ... and I heard this myself when I saw her at St. Bernard's Church in Riverdale - "I see more smiling faces in the poor streets of Calcutta than I do in America. Americans are rich in sorrow and despair."
- St. Francis of Assisi - known to most for loving animals, known to many as seeing the great flaws in the church and rebuilding it through service and humility. Perhaps the greatest teacher since Jesus.
- St. Aidan of Lindisfarne- the patron saint of communications - known for his humility. When a brother returned to Iona after narrowly escaping death when trying to convert the heathens of Northumberland to Christianity Aiden commented, "You offered them meat when they were only ready for milk." Then Aiden traveled the same path and built up the serving community at Lindisfarne.
The image above is St. Anne, mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus - painted by Quentin Massys c. 1507. The original art is now in Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels.