Saturday, November 29, 2014

Patron Saint of 2015

I wait for this day every fall. It is the last day of the liturgical year; tomorrow begins Advent. And every year I have this custom to basically pull out of a hat (actually, to randomly select by computer program) a patron saint for the year.

It is almost disconcerting how excited I get about this.

And every year almost the same thing happens.

I greet the day with great anticipation, I go to get my new saint, and my initial response is something like Huh? Who? But as the year progresses and I do what I can to learn about this saint and ask his/her intercession, I develop some kind of fondness for him/her, and I also see how whatever glory was in his/her life speaks to me in my concrete circumstances. Sometimes there is an prophetic tone to the choice that I only recognize as the year moves along. And almost always I feel the transition from one patron to another with a tinge of bittersweetness. Yes, I have issues with getting emotionally attached even to patron saints.

My new patroness of 2015 is St. Catherine of Sweden. She was the daughter of St. Bridget of Sweden, was married young but persuaded her husband to a vow of virginity and was widowed soon afterwards. She accompanied her mother on pilgrimages for years after that, and concluded her life as Abbess of the convent her mother founded.

I'm going with this picture of her, since I like the headgear she's wearing. Looks very Scandinavian.

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