Holy Help: Our Friends the Saints Are Ever Ready to Intercede for Us
There are saintly patrons for our every occupation, need and concern.
A holy card.
A painting of the Blessed Mother.
My Catholic heart is comforted when seeing Christ upon the cross, especially amid a particularly hectic day; a saint’s visage on a time-worn holy card prompts my heart to pray, imploring the intercession of a holy person who lived in this so-not-perfect world but persevered on this journey and who now beholds God; and a lovely representation of the Queen of All Saints calls to my mind the time-honored Memorare.
“Sacred images in our churches and homes are intended to awaken and nourish our faith in the mystery of Christ. Through the icon of Christ and his works of salvation, it is he whom we adore,” states the Catechism of Catholic Church, 1192.
“Through sacred images of the holy Mother of God, of the angels and of the saints, we venerate the persons represented.”
Our friends the saints are ever ready to intercede for 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” (2683).
Like many, I have received roses from St. Thérèse. She reminds me — when I need it most — of the need for childlike trust in God.
There are, of course, saintly patrons for our every occupation, need and concern.
I am so grateful for their holy help and feel close to them, for they truly understand all of life’s joy and sorrow, stresses and surprises. They are true heroes and heroines, which we are all in need of, as Notre Dame professor Abigail Favale recently tweeted about.
They prayed. They worked. They discerned. They were sad. They rejoiced. They cared for family and friends. They sometimes wondered why God allowed this or that to happen. They were grateful when God showed them the way.
And they are ever ready to assist us when we need encouragement or help. They come to our aid when we seek their support for difficulties and prayers for loved ones, co-workers, friends, the world and ourselves.
They are happy for us when we recognize God’s blessings in our lives.
Most of all, they show us the way to heaven.
I’m so thankful that St. Faustina shared the powerful prayer of “Jesus, I trust in you” with us.
She also reminds us to go to the Sacred Heart: “I must strive to make the interior of my soul a resting place for the Heart of Jesus.”
That’s a beautiful way to put it — for if we rest in the Heart of Jesus, we will be able to reflect, to seek and listen for his direction as we strive heavenward.
“Pray, hope and don’t worry.”
Padre Pio was so wise.
When we pray, we hope (which is a theological virtue), and we will be less anxious, and we will worry less. That doesn’t mean we will never worry, but it is a reminder to remain rooted in Christ.
St. John Paul II is such a beloved saint — I love him because he shared hope with the world.
He reminds us, “Never, ever give up on hope.”
He brought his hopeful witness to countless people worldwide, including to his beloved homeland under communist rule and to young people at World Youth Days.
Never, ever give up on hope!
St. Thérèse is one of my favorite saints — I love her holy witness of living the “Little Way” — loving God and others in the little things. I also draw inspiration from her writings. I particularly love this line from her autobiography, The Story of a Soul:
“My hope was never mistaken.”
She knew her hope was never mistaken if she stayed close to Jesus. And she reminds us to do likewise.
There is much to glean from the example of the Little Flower’s mother, St. Zélie Martin, too.
Amid her busy life raising five daughters and cultivating a Christ-centered household with her husband, St. Louis, she turned to God, even amid suffering the loss of some of her little ones and when enduring cancer.
St. Zélie reminds us: “Carry on bravely.”
This quote becomes a prayer when I need heavenly aid and a reminder that, with Christ by my side, I, too, can carry on bravely. And so can you.
St. Francis de Sales is one of my favorite saint friends, due to his patronage of journalists and writers like me.
I find encouragement in many of his writings, but I especially love this advice: “Bloom where you are planted.”
That lovely little quote is a beautiful reminder that we can indeed “bloom” where we are — right here, right now, following God along the way. We shouldn’t think that we could bloom better elsewhere, but work on focusing on how best to cultivate our unique way to bloom, using the gifts God has blessed us with — and to help others bloom, too.
St. Gianna is another dear saint friend. She is a holy example for me of the feminine genius and living well as a Catholic woman in the modern world, and I seek her intercession for such concerns as well as those related to health (she was a doctor, as well as a wife and mother).
My favorite quote of hers — and my favorite saint quote overall — is: “Live holy the present moment.”
Yes, sometimes it’s easier at certain moments than others to truly live the moment in a holy way. We all know that well. But it is still a wonderful goal for us each and every day. God will help us. So will our friends the saints.
And, of course, there is dear St. Joseph. He knew that dwelling in quiet was an opportunity to listen for God. He had to be quiet to hear the message of the angel in dreams that prompted him to keep Mary and Jesus safe. He shows us to follow God in all things.
Through it all, I strive to walk with Mother Mary, Queen of All Saints. She has calmed my anxieties, one Memorare at a time. She has helped me grow in trust of God. She has showed me more and more what it means to have “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”
That is what Mary, the Mother of God, always does: She draws us closer to Jesus.
So I will keep seeking the saints’ intercession, and, most of all, I will keep walking with Mother Mary — one Memorare at a time, just like St. Francis de Sales.
And I encourage you to do likewise.
St. Faustina, St. Pio, St. John Paul II, St. Thérèse, St. Zélie, St. Francis de Sales, St. Gianna, St. Joseph and Mother Mary, pray for us!
All you holy men and women, pray for us!
Editor’s Note: Parts of this blog were adapted from Amy’s talk from the “Listening for God” virtual conference.