Sunday was the feast day of my patron saint Jerome. Today is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi – my middle name. I’ve always enjoyed having these feast days so close together. I’ll have to wait a few months for my confirmation saint…Dec 26 – do you know who that is? I’ll treat to DQ if you do.
As a gift from my parents one year I received the Picture Book Of Saints. I read it from cover to cover – many times – and have always had a desire to have a number of saints on a list to be able to ask them to intercede on my behalf. I still do to this day. If you’re ever up in the choir loft at STMM, stop by and look at the organ and piano. On the piano, you’ll see a picture of a woman who I came to love by listening to her radio program. Although she isn’t a saint yet, I have no doubt that someday she will be canonized. That picture is none other than Mother Angelica who founded the media “giant” EWTN. Why Mother Angelica? She had a great way a professing God’s message to many, many people and had a beautiful sense of humor. I believe thru her mission with her radio and TV programs, many souls have been brought back to the Lord.
Hop down a step to the organ and you’ll find a number of holy cards that line the instrument. I ask for their intercession often. Here is the list – in no certain order and why I’ve chosen them.
St. Cecilia. This one is a no brainer – she is our patron saint of music.
St. Blaise. Another no brainer. This was our parish growing up and may have had the most impact on my faith. It was here that I met a number of great people but one who was most definitely that window thru which I saw Christ was none other than Mr. Richard Lee. It was Mr. Lee who taught me piano and started me playing the organ. It was Mr. Lee who pushed me to accompany other classes for the PTA concerts we did performed for our parents. It was Mr. Lee who pushed me to play my first Mass as an organist back in January of 1978 (the week following the end of the Christmas season). I loved this man so much – our second son was named in his (and Sarah’s piano teachers) honor.
St. Thomas the Apostle. Why Thomas? He was a hands on guy – literally. And this was truly the first parish Sarah and I became really active after getting married and moving to Decatur, IL. I can’t tell you how much this parish meant to Sarah and I. Here is a small sample of what this parish meant to us…Fr. Kollross, the Petrak’s, the Kapp’s, the Bauer’s, Mike and Tutti, the Wayne’s, the Brown’s, Doc and Patti. That list only scratch’s the surface of the people in the parish. It was also the first parish that Sarah and I got to do Mass’ together as Cantor and accompanist (other than weddings).
St. Mary Magdalen. Could you find a more beautiful women to honor? The apostle to the Apostles. The moment she met Christ she believed and dedicated the rest of her life (and fortune) supporting His mission and the mission carried on by the Apostles.
St. Jerome, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Stephen. My birth name, my baptism name(s) and my confirmation name. The first two were given to me by my parents in honor of my Grandfather (Sheb) and the second one was chosen by me (after reading through the picture book of saints).
St. Mary and St. Joseph. As a parent – could I model my life around any better parents than this? I have always had a close relationship with Mary and in the past few years, have come to rely on the spiritual guidance of St. Joseph more and more. A humble, quiet man who took on one of the most important roles in all of mankind. Protecting the honor of his wife and raising THE Son of God. If God chose Joseph to raise His Son on earth, why on earth would I not pray for Joseph’s intervention and guidance to raise the children that God has blessed me with?
St’s. Michael, Gabriel and Rafael. Unlike Lucifer, these archangels chose to remain faithful to their God. I ask for their protection daily against the “ways” of this world.
So on the feast of St. Francis today, it’s great to reflect on how much I love the saints of God. We are all called to this greatness; I pray that we all are able to accept that call.
Do something great for our Lord today – know that you too can be a saint. Accept that and live your life accordingly.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.