Who is Your Patron Saint This Year?
Are you still racking your head to come up with several attainable New Year’s Resolutions? … or even with just one? Want to know something you can readily do throughout the year? Then follow this time-honored custom!
Many religious orders have had a tradition of picking a saint to be their patron saint for the year. In fact, St. Faustina Kowalska writes about it in her diary:
“Jesus likes to intervene in the smallest details of our life…There is a custom among us of drawing by lot, on New Year’s Day, special Patrons for ourselves for the whole year…” (Divine Mercy in My Soul, Notebook I: 360)
Saints names are placed in a container. Then, all pray for the intercession of the Holy Spirit in the saint selection. And, finally everyone draws a name. That saint becomes their special patron for that year. You, too, can participate in this tradition. You can put saints’ names in a container, pray for the Holy Spirit’s intercession, and then pick the name of a saint to be your special patron.
Of course, you must not throw the saint back into the container because you do not like them or because you know nothing about them! That would be cheating! Your job is to ask for their intercession and get to know them throughout the year. Granted, sometimes there isn’t much published on them – but that’s OK – a saint is a saint! An intercessor is an intercessor!
The great thing, in this electronic age, is that you don’t have to go through the trouble of writing down a bunch of names, cutting them out, and finding a container for them – unless, of course, you are interested in a particular spirituality, such as Carmelite or Ignatian or Dominican, etc. Going through all that preparation might also suit you if you are doing this as a family project and involve your children in this.
For the rest of us, there is an easier way. Jennifer Fulwiler has had a wonderful tool, a “Saints’ Name Generator” on-line a good number of years now. All you have to do is go to her site, pray, click, and a name is selected on your behalf. What a terrific and painless way to have God pick a special advocate for you!
I’ve done this annually for a while. The year I picked St. Maximilian Kolbe, Dan Burke asked me to be editor for this site. What has that got to do with St. Max? He himself was an editor and is also a patron saint of editors. Who knew? I clearly had no idea … until he became my benefactor that year.
So, if you’ve never done this, give it a shot! The very beautiful thing is that, because you will have prayed for the Holy Spirit’s help beforehand, you will have great consolation in knowing that God Himself has picked that saint especially for you.
Click here to access the Saints’ Name Generator. Please feel free to let us know, in the comments below, who your patron saint is this year. Thanks!
Wishing you a happy and holy 2018!
Love and blessings,
Art for this post on your patron saint for this year: Detail of All Saints, Willem Vrelant, early 1460s, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, published in the United States prior to January 1, 1923, Wikimedia Commons.