We used Jennifer Fulwiler's Saint's Name Generator to choose patron saints for the whole family for 2012. I actually began seeking a yearly patron saint in 2009, when the Anchoress blogged about it. That year, via the Pious Sodality of Church Ladies, St. Lydia became my patron saint, and as I immediately saw a connection between her and a project I was considering, I adopted her as my patron for that project especially--indefinitely, it turns out, as I have not finished it yet. The next year, I was chosen by the formidable St. Ignatius of Loyola. I said a few January prayers asking him to be an example and mentor to me and promptly ignored him. Hey, the founder of the Jesuits is not someone you will easily get your head around. I'm afraid the impulsive St. John of God in 2011 did not fare much better with me.
Clearly, I have the same issue with the saints in heaven that I do with people here on earth--as much as I love them, I'm not coming out of my shell so easily.
Fortunately for me, the saints have perfect patience. And they share in the Beatific Vision of God. So I have to believe that they knew what they were getting into and chose to "patronize" me anyway. I'm adding pictures of all of our 2012 saints to our family's prayer corner, and I will make it up to my old patrons a little bit by including them in their own montage there. I know I still have something to learn from them; I believe they still have something they want to teach me. God knows what it is, but I have a hint or two, based on what I know of them.
St. Lydia, remember, is the patron of my project. It's a writing project, and perhaps she wants me to finish it. I think there's also something I can pick up from her history about opening your heart and home to the people God sends your way.
St. Ignatius Loyola, whom I find so intimidating, came to me with this quotation: If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you, and that He certainly intends to make you a saint. Maybe perhaps he was telling me to stop being so whiny and do something about sanctifying myself and the world. Maybe through spiritual direction, or maybe by confronting some of the errors in this world that irritate me so--speaking the truth with love, of course. I was assigned him with an exhortation to pray for military chaplains, a reminder I can continue to note.
I am bad about overthinking things, to the detriment of actually acting, so 2010's St. John of God seems obvious to me: be bold in love. Don't worry so much about whether it's the exactly proper thing for you to do. Act more quickly; there's such a thing as being too circumspect, if it causes your inspirations to go cold.
This year my patron saint is St. Isaac Jogues. A North American martyr, whose blood nourished the evangelization of the Mohawks, eventually in the person of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, who will be canonized this year. A French priest who, after being a victim of torture, chose to return to the places of his suffering for the love of souls. A handicapped person whose dignity and sacrifice after the example of Christ won him the recognition of the pope. So many interesting possibilities. What do you want to say to me, St. Isaac Jogues?
Update: Heh. The Anchoress blogs again, with some neat links.