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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Perfect Role Model

One of our readers asked what happened to our patron saint finder that I used to have on my sidebar. It was from the Aquinas Bookstore. I don't know what happened to it. I don't recall taking it off. Perhaps I did. I often don't recall what I did with things. Thank goodness St. Anthony is so very reliable.

Anyhow, I tried to put that patron saint finder back on and it just isn't working. I've contacted the Aquinas bookstore, but I haven't heard back from them yet. Patron saint for patience? We don't know, we can't find the saint finder.

I think all saints are the patron saints of patience (except maybe St. Peter), hence the term "the patience of a saint."

Dear Sister, Thank you so much for your blog! I love visiting here. Someone oughta give you a book contract -- the best writers always combine wit with their wisdom as you do. I have a simple question for you. One of those "please help me find just the right patron saint" questions. I run a blog for teens called No Question Left Behind. Actually, it started out as a book but that's a long story.

Anyway, I'd like put the blog under the patronage of a special saint but can't decide on who exactly. There are so many good saints for teens and also for apologetics. Here's what the blog is all about -- it's a question and answer format (which I know you can relate too!). I collected 200 questions from teens about the Church and about everyday teen life. Then I put together a team of teens and young-20s to answer the questions from a Catholic worldview. It's so much better for teens to hear answers from their peers than from old fogeys like me. (Though I should note that we do link to your blog as you are just way too cool.) We're continuing to take questions (the email addy is in the sidebar of the blog) so the blog should have a long future ahead.

The url is: www.noquestionleftbehind.blogspot.com I'd like to ask for prayers for the teens who send us questions, our readers, and the team members who answer the questions. Once the teens and I decide on a patron, we'll use the opportunity to promote devotion to our saint through the blog.

Sorry, it took me so long to get back to you on this. A saint popped right into my mind, so I wanted to think it over and make sure I wasn't just being lazy.

In the interest of not being lazy, I'll tell you my second choice first. St. Raphael, the patron saint of young people leaving home for the first time. The archangel Raphael had to run all over the place with Tobias, guiding him and protecting him and even helping him land a wife. That really seems like a perfect patron saint for your blog, doesn't it? Raphael is also the patron saint of young love, which I know from experience is high on the list of things teens think about.

And he's an angel, which makes him a wonderful personal guardian angel.

But he's not my first choice.

I'd go with St. Augustine because he really had some spiritual lockers that needed to be cleaned out. He jazzed around all over the place studying and promoting heresies while his sainted mother Monica (St. Monica, the patron saint of mothers of teens...that ought to tell you something right there) moaned and cried and wrung her hands and prayed back home.

St. Augustine is the patron saint of beer. He was a party animal, by his own accounts.

He was what is now commonly called a "baby daddy", meaning he had a child out of wedlock. He dumped that girl and took up with another, dumped her when he became engaged, and then took up with a new girl. ( He took up with the new girl after he became engaged to an underaged girl. He had the new girl while he was waiting for the underage girl to be old enough to marry.) Thus his famous prayer: "Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet."

Some prayer.

"Yet" finally arrived, though. His mother lived to see the day when he became a priest and then she dropped dead.

After all of that, St. Augustine is one of the most important saints of all time. He became a model of chastity and discipline. He founded the Augustinian Order. (Ironically, Martin Luther was an Augustinian!) He is a Doctor of the Church.

The whole point of a patron saint is finding a saint who maybe has had some of the same trials you have. I'll admit that some of them are a bit of a stretch. St. Sebastian is the patron saint of pin makers because he was shot full of arrows. I'm not making that up.

But St. Augustine...really, what didn't that guy do? Murder, I guess. Somehow he navigated his way through it all and came out a saint. Let's hope your teens do half as well.


Anonymous said...

Sister the political race is in need of prayer. Can you tell me the patron saints of politics and politicians? How about the patron saint of the USA?
I feel a strong need to pray for this country of ours.
Of course, I may be just another redneck clinging to my religion and my guns.
I'm so conservative I vote Pro-Life!!!
Thank you for your help and God Bless America.

dre said...

Who needs a patron saint for patience? Just pray the following prayer, direct to the Father:

God, grant me patience, right now!

I certainly can relate to St. Monica! They say the terrible twos are tough...these are just people who haven't yet lived to see the same children as teens and twenty-somethings! (I love 'em anyway, but I've worn out a few rosaries!)

Marilena said...

yes he is one of the most important saints. definitely!

Maureen said...

Thank you so much Sister. These are two we hadn't even thought of. I'll have the teens vote on it and I'll let you know. Hope you find your saint finder soon! Thanks again and keep up the great work. (My old pastor used to always say that when I was done with confession. I felt like if I had confessed to murder, he'd still say "keep up the good work"!)

Laura said...

Sister I just tried to link to the teen blog from your blog and it didn't work. It came up as http://www.blogger.com/www.noquestionleftbehind.blogspot.com
It has that extra www.blogger.com in front of it.

Thought you'd want to know.

Michael Hallman said...

Oh Sister, you make me so happy when you mention my beloved Augustine and his mother like that :-) I always say, of all the things I have in common with Saint Augustine, most of all is that we both had saints for mothers :)

But seriously, Augustine played a significant role in my return to the Church. And if I do decide to enter the priesthood, it will be as an Augustinian, largely because of him. I understand his "not yet" very well, and when I returned to the Church after 10 years away, it was reading his Confessions that really sealed the deal for me. As much as I love reading his theological works, most of all it is his story that is so compelling, and it is so relevant to the world today.

Sister Mary Martha said...

Maureen, I'd like to know who you were considering. That might make for an interesting discussion.

Maureen said...

Well, there's St. Maria Goretti but she's more just for the girls. St. Mark is a patron for teens, but I'm not sure why. Then there's St. John Bosco and his student St. Dominic, but they're more just for boys. And then there's St. Francis DeSales because he's the patron of writers and apologists, but that may be a stretch. And then there's St. Thomas Aquinas who I have a special love for and he is a patron of students.

I really love your suggestion of St. Raphael. He is just so cool and I think the teens will love him. But then I have a particular fondness of St. Augustine. Partly because I'm in St. Augustine Parish and partly because I so love his mother. Well then, there's also the whole coming back from the depths of hell to Doctor of the Church thing -- come on, you can't get cooler than that.

God has given us so many wonderful saints to choose from -- what a wonderful blessing!!!

Andy said...


I don't know about elections, but the patron saint of the USA is St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception. Yes, THAT Saint Mary.

Anonymous said...

On this page, you can find a link to a very comprehensive list of patronages.

Monica said...


Oh, you mean THAT Madonna. :)

Anonymous said...

Sister, can you recommend a saint to pray to for healing from child abuse and on behalf of children today who are being abused? Thank you!

Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

Saint Maria Goretti was martyred at the age of 11 for her resistance to the sexual advances of her landlord's 20-year-old son. Surely such healing is deep in her heart.

Maureen said...

Dear Sister,

I just put a poll up at the No Question Left Behind blog. The teens are torn between St. Augustine and St. Raphael. We decided to let our readers help out. If you or your readers want to vote, the poll is at the top in the sidebar.


I link to your post here (from today's NQLB post) to help people decide. Thanks for your advice -- it helped a lot!