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[caption id="attachment_171385" align="aligncenter" width="1180"]"Turning to the saints" by Colleen Mallette (CatholicMom.com) By Didier Descouens - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons[/caption]

At the beginning of 2020, I accepted a New Year’s challenge to pick a saint to get to know throughout this year and pray devotedly to them. This was the first time I had heard of this challenge and felt it was a new and wonderful way to expand my prayer life.

As a new empty nester, I was immediately drawn to matronly saints when doing research on which saint to follow. I ended up choosing St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine. In my research I wasn’t able to find out much about Monica, other than how persistently she prayed for the conversion of the hearts of both her wayward son, and her abusive non-Christian husband.

I printed a prayer to Saint Monica and began the new year saying this prayer daily during my morning devotion time. It was a constant reminder that I have an additional heavenly mother looking out for me and my family.

[caption id="attachment_171384" align="aligncenter" width="1180"]St. Monica-Moonlight Sonata Image courtesy of MonasteryIcons.com. Used with permission. All rights reserved.[/caption]

It was comforting to say the prayer for my children who were all away at college and no longer in my home to mother and care for on a daily basis. It reminded me to be persistent in my prayers for them and their spiritual and physical wellbeing since I wasn’t able to help them otherwise.

It especially helped me feel productive when my middle son was put on several wait lists for graduate school. Praying for his uncertain future through St. Monica gave me a sense of peace, knowing her prayers for her son were eventually answered.

We are blessed as Catholics to have so many saints to call on as our intercessors and comforters. They provide for us the hope of God’s presence in tough times, confidence in His eternal reward, and examples of how to live holy lives.

Due to the coronavirus, we now have two of our three children living at home again. It is a blessing having them here and being an active Mom again on a daily basis. I still pray to Mother Mary and St. Monica however, as in these unusual times it is helpful to ask how to be a faithful, calm caretaker of my family. It is inspiring to remember Mary’s steadfast presence and love during her Son’s Passion, and the faith she exhibited when Jesus rose and conquered death. We too should follow her example of unfaltering faith in God’s presence every day despite uncertain, daunting circumstances, knowing He is in control and will conquer this virus!

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There are several other saints that we can turn to in these uncertain times: St. Dymphna, the patron saint of anxiety and depression; St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost causes; St. Christopher for protection; St. Bernardino for respiratory illness; St. Peregrine for healing from illness; St. Teresa of Kolkata for the poor; among many more. Pick one and turn to them daily in prayer for their intercession to provide love, peace, hope and faith.

Copyright 2020 Colleen Mallette