|The Calling of St. Matthew; Caravaggio; 1599-1600; San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome|
St. Jude and St. Therese have been unexpected novena friends. Today I realized that St. Matthew is the patron of accountants, and thus my pal now too. I always loved his conversion story.
Then there are the English martyrs that The Beau has been researching, like priest and poet Robert Southwell. Blessed John Henry Newman is more connected to my own "scholarship," and their spiritual descendant.
And then of course the strong women whose names I share. St. Philomena, the idealistic and brave teenager whom I claimed in Confirmation. Sarah, the patriarch's wife who laughed when God told her His plans. I like to think she regretted her hard-headed mistakes.
Also the Elizabeths - a queen of Hungary and an Episcopalian convert. Ms. Bayley Seton and I should be better friends - she lived in the early republic! She was a Vincentian! My high school is named for her! She's totally historically significant! Elizabeth Ann, please pray for your fellow American down here.
Since I'm a historian, the Communion of Saints is one of my favorite Catholic concepts ever. Those who went before us are not just words on a page - they're alive! We can talk to them, they can help us out just as if they lived down the street and sat a few pews over at Sunday Mass. There is such a tangible sense of power knowing I can make personal connections with the past.
All you holy men and women, pray for us.