Sister, can you recommend a saint to help my 9 year old daughter to have some friends at school? Or to help her follow God's will, if He doesn't want her to have a "best friend" right now?
I can't imagine in my wildest imaginings that God wouldn't want a 9 year old girl to have friends at school. Jesus, God's Son and the Second Person in the Holy Trinity, was all about having friends. He was friends with people who no one on the planet wanted to visit.
Nine is a tough age. The tricky thing is to somehow help her understand how to be a friend, to be open and loving and compassionate, and not to expect anything in return. To let go of the hope of having a gaggle of friends or one or two close ones, and to just let the cards fall way they may, happy in the knowledge that you've been the best person you can be.
And to not make her lack of friends her fault.
Here's a good thing to learn to do: Listen.
When people talk to her, tell her to listen carefully to what they are saying, and then, rather than comment on it, or try to offer advice, simply to say what they just said back to them in her own words. Simply be compassionate to their feelings. Lend an ear. Lend a hand. The end.
People love a good listener. When you repeat to them in your own words what they've just said, it lets them know they have actually been heard. Who doesn't want that?
What she'll need is patience and a thick skin for all the times when she'll simply be ignored for all her good behavior. I'm going with St. Rita.
This may seem like an odd choice, as St. Rita is the patron saint for not so hot marriages and infertility. But here's the deal, St. Rita always wanted to be a nun and the nuns just didn't want her. At all.
But Rita never gave up and finally, angels came and flew her over the convent wall. That got her in. You'd think that once angels flew you into the convent, the nuns there would snap to attention and welcome her into the fold. They did not.
They gave her a task to demean her and to prove her mettle (!) and her obedience. They stuck a stick in the ground and made her water it every day. This went on for quite some time. And then one day the stick sprouted leaves and eventually grew into a tree. I think it's still there. Maybe not. How long do trees live, anyhow? I'll have to look that up.
One would think that after angels flew you into a convent and a stick grew into a tree, that the nuns would finally want you as one of their own. Nope. Rita was never accepted into the community in a loving way, because she had been a wife and mother, and her husband and sons were all not nice people (as in, involved with Mafia types, not nice). Back then, women who had been married and had children were not concerned nun material.
Finally, St. Rita received the stigmata, with a thorn in her forehead that festered and stank. Finally, the nuns understood her holiness, but now, what with the stench and all, Rita had to spend the rest of her life in her cell by herself. After she went to her Heavenly reward, her room began to smell of roses, and does to this day.
Patience and a thick skin. St. Rita reached her goal.
I'm sure your daughter will not have to water any sticks or stink up her room. But if she remains patient and compassionate, her loving nature will be rewarded.