In the beginning of the year, I'll explain the practice of choosing a patron saint. Really, it's the saint choosing you. :)
I have them all pray to their brothers and sisters up in Heaven. I ask them to pray to their Guardian Angels to guide their hands. Then, I have them choose a saint from a box that contains about a thousand Holy Cards (which I purchased a few years ago from a faithful Catholic family, the Bonds, whose ministry involves spreading beautiful holy cards far and wide).
I then have them work towards building a relationship with the saint who "chose" them. I have them pray and meditate on why this saint may have chosen them. What lessons did they learn from this saint's life? What characteristics was God trying to highlight by having this brother or sister guide us towards Christ?
This year, my class fulfilled the first batch of saints. However, they won't be choosing their 2nd semester saints in this manner. Instead, they're doing projects on their Confirmation saint. This left me out of the mix. I could've chosen my own saint, sure... but I didn't. I figured if God wanted me to have a patron saint, He'd send one my way.
Well don't you know...
A wonderful prayer-friend of mine dropped this in the mail on the 3rd. Now these dates are pretty interesting, because I had a nagging voice in my head telling me to pick a saint for the year. All the bloggers were doing it, and I should have mine ready to go in time for the first week back to class after the Christmas break.
I pushed it off, though. Then, while in the ER on the 8th, I was walking through the halls when I heard the name "Philomena." I turned to the television, but whatever commercial said her name had already passed (I later found out they are releasing a movie with her name as title this year).
I thought it was odd, and even then I thought, "Oh, is that who you'd choose for me, Lord? A little girl who is way more chaste and faithful than I could ever hope to be?"
I shook my head at the cosmic joke and made my way back to my room.
The next day, I got her card in the mail.
So it wasn't a joke, after all! My sister in Heaven chased me down and insisted she walk with me for a little while as I made my way to Heaven.
I've known St. Philomena's story for a while. I've always liked it, but I never saw much of myself in her story.
I guess she begs to differ. Apparently God thinks we have enough in common that I should be looking to her for guidance this year.
So, this prayer card is the first for my 2014 office wall. I've got two sides to this wall... right and left. On the right are my regulars... holy cards, prayers and pictures that will always be close at hand.
The wall on the left is refreshed every year so new inspirations can take root. Apparently my little Saint Philomena wanted prime real estate by being first on board. :)
Thanks for the prayer card, Kathryn!