Who is your “special Saint”?
Catholic.net reports of an interesting point made by the Holy Father from his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo: the beauty and utility of having a special Saint.
“Each one should have a saint that is familiar to him, to whom he feels close with prayer and intercession, but also to imitate him or her. Hence, I would like to invite you to know the saints better, beginning with the one whose name you bear, by reading his life, his writings. You can be certain that they will become good guides to love the Lord ever more and valid aids for your human and Christian growth.”
Besides being a beautiful thought in itself, this exhortation of the Holy Father leads us to some rather sad reflections about the neglect of a proper cult of the Saints, still another poisoned fruit of Vatican II. In the desperate effort of the Church to minimise Her differences with heretic communities and thus – as it was very naively thought – make their conversion easier, the Church has long downplayed this traditionally fundamental aspect of Catholic life. As a result, the Protestants have not become more Catholic but Catholics have surely taken Protestant habits or at least gravely neglected the Catholic ones. Cue the attitude of many Catholics toward transubstantiation, their understanding of the Mass as a celebration of their oh so beautiful community, their rather relaxed ideas about abortion, divorce, contraception, obedience in general. I wonder whether all this would have happened, had a robust veneration of the Saint continued to be encouraged.
Thankfully, this is slowly coming back and we can hope to see, in the next couple of decades, a full recovery of this most Catholic of religious habits.
Personally, my favourite Saint has been – for some years now – the wonderful chap you see in the image; a Saint whose visceral, relentless hate of Communism and homosexuality and whose very conservative political ideas are very near to my intellect, whilst his wonderful goodness and sainthood touch my heart in a very special way. Italian like me, by the way, and an exuberantly emotional chap like so many of us (which, whether you accept it or not, is what in the end makes us so popular 😉 ).
I encourage everyone who hasn’t any “special saint” to start on the path so beautifully described by the Holy father and hope that he will soon find – to use the words of the Holy Father again – a heavenly “travel companion”.