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Do you have a favorite saint? Have you ever wondered why you were drawn to that saint? There could be a reason. People have said that we do not choose our saint, they choose us. Perhaps there is some truth to that.

My love and devotion for St. Therese of Lisieux, the Child of Jesus, began as a young adult. I was drawn to her philosophy of life that encourages people to do little things with a lot of love. This was also known as The Little Way. The older I became, the greater my devotion to St. Therese, one of the Doctors of the Church.

When life required me to adjust to retirement, calling upon St. Therese for assistance, and living the Little Way, propelled me forward. No longer involved with helping people in the community and creating meaningful projects that brought me great satisfaction, I found comfort and meaning in doing simple things, little things with love.

There have been times when I have felt her presence in daily life, especially when my husband and I were in France. We had a couple of opportunities to visit Carmel, where St. Therese lived in the convent, and where she now lies in repose for millions of pilgrims to see and pray for her intercession. Being 100 feet away from the body of St. Therese and seeing her was among one of the most special memories of being in France.

During our last trip in 2019 we visited the new museum where visitors could walk through the doorframe of her cell and step on a piece of the floor St. Therese stepped on each day as she left and returned to her cell. It was an indescribable feeling to walk on the same ground as my favorite saint. This brought me even closer to her. After many years of sharing a heavenly friendship with St. Therese, it felt like she was giving me a gift during this visit.

There was also another gift that I believe came from this little saint. I unexpectedly discovered that she may have played a role in my life before I was born. After the death of my mother, I was reading some letters that she wrote to my father before I was born, when my mother was finding it difficult to conceive a child. I learned something my mother never shared with me. Despite her fear of flying and being away from my father for the first time since they were married, my mother, a priest, and some friends flew to the National Shrine of St. Therese in Darien, Illinois.

There, she and her friends participated in a special novena to St. Therese. I cannot be sure that the novena was to have children, but I was born a few years after this, and seven years after that my brother was born. I am sure that St. Therese interceded for my mother's prayer requests just as this little saint has done for me, helping me to adjust to retirement and demonstrating my love for Jesus in new and different ways.

No matter who your favorite saints may be, they are all our special friends in heaven. They want to help us live a holy and saintly life so that we may join them among the communion of saints. The saints’ example of life can help us deepen our love for God. They are intercessors for us, bringing our prayers of petition and thanksgiving to God. They wait for us to call upon them for assistance.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (# 2683) tells us:

“The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him, and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their  Master, they were ‘put in charge of many things.’ Their intercession is their most exalted service to God's plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.”

If ever there was a time to call on our favorite saints in prayer, it is now.

Comments from readers

Valli Leone - 11/01/2021 11:59 AM
What a very lovely and insightful article you have written on the saints! When I was a child in Catholic school, most of the teachings of the lives of the saints we were taught never went deep enough into their personal lives. Yet I am always grateful that my early education whetted my appetite for more. As the years continue to unfold in my life, my love and appreciation for so many of them – – like Saint Teresa of Avila, Padre Pio, Saint Jerome, Saint Francis de Paola, Saint Clare and others too numerous to count — is totally enhanced. Oh, when the Saints go marching’ in, I want to be in that number! Thanks be to Jesus Christ that we can all have that opportunity, hope and vision. Alleluia! 🔆🕊🔆

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