It's not all chuckles and grins in the world of patron saint matching. We'll keep this reader in our prayers:
Dear Sister Mary Martha,
Love your blog!
My nephew and his wife recently had a baby boy. My nephew has been battling a rare form of cancer for several years and now the battle is over. He is preparing to die. Is there a patron saint for this situation?
How about a saint for restoring one's faith after it has been shaken to the core because of this set of circumstances?
Also, I am in the process of selling my small business and am wondering which patron saint I might pray to for a successful outcome. I found patron saints of business people, but couldn't find anyone to help with selling a business.
Your assistance is much appreciated!
We are so sorry for your family. How very sad. When we say God works in mysterious ways, we are not kidding. I'll spare you the platitudes about doors closing and windows opening, and instead call on the angels for grace and comfort.
Yes, of course are patron saints for your needs.
First up: St. Bernadette of Lourdes, who knew the healing spring was not for her. She spent her short life battling terrible and painful illness, but faced her seemingly cruel fate with grace and calm. Her life was certainly not what she would have chosen for herself. She would have preferred to be an anonymous peasant who got married and had children and died of old age in the village. Instead, she became wildly famous, vilified, questioned and harassed. She went to the convent because she could not stay in the secular world after Our Lady appeared to her. While in the convent, her Mother Superior treated her with relentless disdain until the day Bernadette died.
And yet, Bernadette was not unhappy or bitter. Whatever she wasn't given in life, she realized the enormous gift that had been bestowed on her. A message from Heaven.
Secondly: Faith Shaken. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her famous "dark night of the soul". She's not the only holy person who struggled with their faith. The term "dark night of the soul" is a very old one that speaks to the turmoil that seizes so many people who spend their lives trying to do God's binding, only to have life spit right in their faces again and again.
And that's true. In fact, that is the reason that the visionaries of Medjugorje have recently been suppressed. They had daily visits from Mary all these years, and the local bishop finally just said something to the effect of, "What's the matter with Mary that she can't get her point across?"
But for Mother Teresa, if wasn't just that Jesus no longer spoke to her. She felt as though He was gone altogether. She eventually came to terms with what this meant to her when her confessor pointed out that this was her opportunity to join with Jesus' suffering, specifically "the Agony in the Garden". She was happy with that, although it took her most of her career before she ever arrived at that thinking.
And yet, she did it anyway. She lived a beautiful and significant life in this world.
And finally, St. Joseph, the buyer and seller of real estate is good for buying and selling business. He is that patron saint of workers, after all.
But on your prayer hats, readers! This family needs you!