Communion of Saints, John Nava, 2002 O5H0166

A New Year – A Saint Companion 2014

As we approach another new year, people naturally start looking at what they can do to better themselves. Here are the Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions people have planned for this year:

resolutions10. More Family Time
9.  Fall in Love
8.  Help Others
7.  Quit Smoking
6.  Learn Something Exciting
5.  Stay Fit and Healthy
4.  Enjoy Life to the Fullest
3.  Spend Less, Save More
2.  Get Organized
1.  Lose Weight

(Source: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology)

Some of these are usual suspects in annual resolutions. But I thought number 6 was pretty neat – Learn Something Exciting. And I think I am going to adopt that one for myself! 

But I also wanted to share with you and annual tradition in our Canossian communities that might fit as a Category 6, Category 4 and Category 8 events for you:  

Make this year a great one by journeying with a Saint!

It’s a great opportunity to be inspired by someone who found the sweet spot between living life and growing toward holiness at the same time. You always have that saint accompanying you in your prayer and daily routine. The Church has so many examples to choose from … the question is, then, how do we pick one?

1.  A spiritual director told me once, “We don’t choose Saints; they choose us.” If this is the case, we should begin praying, asking our unknown saint to reveal him/herself to us.

2.  Keep your eyes and ears open. Saints can adopt us throughout the year (this past year I received St. Francis of Assisi on New Years, and St Raphael the Archangel during my annual retreat. Saint Padre Pio kept interrupting my life off and on throughout the year as well). Maybe the holy card you were given was put in your path because that saint wants to help you. Or that book you received on a particular saint ended up in  your hands because that saint wants to accompany you. Or maybe a particular quotation or passage from a saint kept turning up in your email or reading. Maybe you came across a saint you didn’t know well, and found yourself captivated by a particular virtue. These are all good reasons that maybe your patron saint is right under your nose, just waiting for you to welcome him/her into your life in 2014.

What? No saint has shown up? Then think about a vice or bad habit you have that you want to overcome. Look up a Saint that struggled with that particular vice, or is known to be effective in helping in that area:

Explosive temper? Saint Louis de Montfort.
Addiction? Saint Maximillian Kolbe (because he was injected with a drug that ended his life)
Suffer Anxiety and/or Mental Issues?  St Dymphna
Cussing/Swearing?  Saint Bernadine of Siena (he abhorred bad language)
Loneliness? Saint Rita of Cascia
Troubled Teenager?  Saint Dominic Savio
Alcoholism?  Venerable Matt Talbot
Work with Youth?  Venerable Fernanda Riva

And these are just a few.

Still stumped for a Saint?  You can use Jennifer Fulwiler’s Saint Generator that will randomly assign you a saint. It’s also a fun way to get to know some new Saints.

If you are looking for a more personalized saint-search, check out Marianne’s “I Want to Be a Saint Too 2014” Blog

3. Next, make a prayer card (or buy one) of your particular Saint, or print out a prayer from the internet. Put it in your prayerbook or Bible, somewhere you will see it everyday.

Find a book on your Saint, and read it. Get to know the Saint as an intimate friend. His or her life might have the key to unlock your troubles and set you free.

4. Leave a message in the comments below letting us know what Saint chose you. It might not make sense at first, but you will find through the year, if you ‘hang out’ with your Saint, you will find graces unfold!

In our Canossian family many of our communities continue the tradition of being given a patron saint. On New Year’s Day, we will each draw by lot our Patron Saint for 2014. I’ve written about this practice before, and we have had some awesome saints!

I can’t wait to find out which saint chooses me this year. What about you? Who chose you?


Elizabeth Scalia:  “O My 3 Patron Saints, Teach Me What You Know!”

What Saints did the Canossian Sisters receive?

What kind of Resolutions do Saints Make?

And here is another way to get a Saint, Micah Murphy’s Draw a Saint!

48 thoughts on “A New Year – A Saint Companion 2014

  1. St. Afra picked me this year (I used the Saint Generator). I’m looking forward to getting to know her better. I never thought about getting a prayer card of hers, I”m off to see what I can find now.

    Happy New Year!

  2. The generator gave me St Josemaria Escriva, June 26, founder of Opus Dei . Plus I chose St Isadore the Farmer since I raise goats and many will be giving birth this year.

    • St Isadore is an old friend of mine (Patron of my Father’s Parish in a farm community). St Josemaria is a great companion. If you have a copy of ‘Handbook of Prayers’ by James Socias, the Rosary reflections are from his notes. Blessed journey in 2014 Elizabeth!

  3. Thank you Sr. Lisa Marie. A very inspirational article. I am eager to see what Saint the Lord will give to me this year to learn from.

    • Blessings Sr Jenny! I look forward to learning what Saint you receive too! I am always amazed at how the Saint I am given truly guides me in my growing process every year! Blessed Journey in 2014!

      • My Saint this year is Gianna Molla. I have a lot to learn from her. I will read again her life and my duty this year is to defend Life from conception to death. Our Cathedral Pro Life group is organizing four buses for the San Francisco Walk in January.

      • Sr. Jenny, Saint Gianna is such an awesome person and Saint! She will be a wonderful companion for your pro life mission! She has a sister who is a Canossian Sister by the way, and her brother (may he rest in peace) was known as the ‘Padre Pio of South America’. Let us pray for one another and for the pre-born.

  4. Each year, in recent years, I’ve used the saint generator. This time I’ve been given Saint John the Baptist, my first male saint. All I know of him is what is written in the New Testament.

    • Thank you, Ruth Ann, for sharing. St John the Baptist is one of my most inspirational Biblical figures. You are going to have a great companion!

      St John the Baptist, Pray for us!

  5. I used the ‘Saint Generator’! I’ll be journeying with St. Ivo of Kermartin, T.O.S.F., in 2014. I’m looking forward to the many blessings that will unfold! God Bless, Sister, and Happy New Year!

  6. St. Michael the Archangel has been pestering me with some frequency for the last couple of years. I have no idea what it means, but there are times when I can almost feel him in the room with me.

  7. The Saint Generator gave me St. Cecilia. I look forward to getting to know her. However, it seems the link for Marianne’s “I Want to Be a Saint Too 2014” is broken. :-(

  8. St. Catherine of Siena. I have been reading “Forming Intentional Disciples” from Sherry Weddell, a co-founder of the Carherine of Siena Institute ; then, after seeing a few of these “personal patron Saints” stories through New Advent, I checked the above mentioned Saint Generator. Lo and behold, Saint Catherine of Siena was the name drawn from the electronic hat… Looking forward to learning more about her.

  9. St. Albert of Sicily introduced himself to me by way of the “Saint Generator.” Delighted to learn about him and to see how the Lord’s Providence will unfold.

    Thank you so much for the suggestion, and a blessed New Year to you!

  10. My Confirmation saint is St. Augustine of Hippo. Decades down the road and I have barely scratched the surface of what he can teach. I am also very fond of St. Pio and St. Therese, the Little Flower. We named our daughter after her. I gave Jennifer’s saint generator a whirl and received St. John of Capistrano. Fascinating person and probably appropriate as reading the short example of his writing there was a statement directly related to the main stumbling block to my spiritual growth. It will be interesting to see where the year and St. John takes me.

  11. St Guy of Anderlecht chose me through the Saint generator. The connections I see to him, he’s the patron Saint of Sacristans (I was one at my old parish, maybe I should consider volunteering at my new?), stables & work horses (my husband and I used to own racehorses, close), bachelors (my son, I am praying hard that he will meet my daughter-in-law soon), and against infantile convulsions (I’m involved in pro-life; abortion is the ultimate convulsion). In addition, my paternal grandfather was named Guy, as is a first cousin once removed who I met on FaceBook in 2013, and hope to meet in person in 2014. Thank you for this post, Sister! Happy New Year!

    • Thank you Jayne for reading the post! And for the breakdown of connections you see with your new Patron! May The Lord bless you abundantly in this new year!

  12. Thanks for the suggestions sister! I am going with two “heavy hitters” St. Thomas Aquinas as I am a Catholic High School Teacher and St. Francis of Assisi partly in part because of Pope Francis. I am going to share this with my students and hopefully inspire some of them!

    • St Thomas Aquinas is one of my all-time most favorite Saints! He was smart, but what made him a saint was his humility. St Francis is in high demand right now, because of Pope Francis, and that is all good. You’ve picked a winning combination I think (or, did they pick you?). Blessed New Year!

  13. I used the saint generator and got St Jerome :) my patron saint is St Josemaria, so I am going to spend more time with both saints this year, thanks for this post!

  14. I had used the Saint Generator and was given St. Louis de Montfort and then I stumbled onto this webpage that tells me that his intercession is particularly used for those with explosive tempers, a problem I’ve dealt with my whole life and a particularly strong episode of this had even happened today and I was praying to God for His mercy and teaching.

    I don’t believe it was a coincidence this saint was given to me for this reason. God bless.

    • Thank you, Logan, for sharing. I truly believe the saints want to help us! We only need to ask, and here we are! I will pray that you will find strength to overcome your temper, and Saint Louis de Montfort will help you; just ask him to show you how. God bless you in this New Year! Sounds like it is going to be a good one for you!

  15. St. Mary of Egypt? Ahem. On the surface, I don’t see why or how this blessed lady may have chosen me — I can’t come up with a connection. But I will see what she wants to teach me. I don’t believe in coincidence. Blessings to you and your readers, Sr. Lisa!

      • Out of curiosity, I decided on a “second opinion”, so to speak. I used the saint finder on Micah Murphy’s blog via New Advent to find a second saint. I was given St. Charbel Maklouf (sp?). I now have a … theme ? … to ponder. Deserts, solitude, physical mortification and suffering producing great sanctity. This road leads me closer to God, but I wonder about the stops along the way I will make. Pray for me that I persevere long enough to learn what I need, even if I don’t understand it all. God Bless!

      • The one thing about this practice is, it isn’t going to make sense a lot of time just three days into accepting help from a Saint. Sometimes it is only in the close of the year, in retrospect, that we see the unfolding of God’s tapestry through that Saint. Blessed journey!

    • Thank you for sharing, Sue! I too have received two patron saint this year. You’ll be reading about those in a future post. May I suggest to you to find a quality that you find inspiring in each of them, and ask the to help you to grow in that area of your life ; always with our goal to become ‘little Christs’ as we follow the Master. Blessed journey in faith!

    • Thank you for sharing, Don! I don’t know much about Margaret Clitherow. I look forward to learning about her. I pray that you will receive many graces through her intercession. God bless you!

      • Thank you Sr. Lisa for introducing me these sweet practice of faith.
        l believe The Lord has placed me in a position to receive many graces through her intercession because she was killed on my birthday (march 25) and her patronage include business women (men).

  16. Sr. Lisa i am indeed very happy that you are running this blog about companion saints. Four years ago i introduced this practice here at our village in the Philippines (Parkview Village, San Felipe, Naga City). After the post-communion prayer we ask the Catholic members of our community to pick a companion saint for the year. I asked a Bishop friend, Msgr. Manolo delos Santos of Virac, Catanduanes, Philippines to compose the prayer that we recite after each had picked their companion saint for the year. This year, I believe St. Peter Claver chose me! I also already shared this practice to Our Lady of Peñafrancia Parish starting last year 2013 and we did it again during the Te Deum rites last December 31, 2013. Another barangay which started this practice after I shared it with them is Barangay Bagumbayan Sur, here in Naga City. This Barangay is under the Parish of St. John the Evangelist. My friend, Margie Avellana is incharge of the religious activities there. Again keep on Sister Lisa, you are doing great in helping people deepen their spirituality.

    • Thank you for sharing Esperanza! I am glad that this tradition is alive also in the Philippines! Let us keep one another in prayer in this New Year, and may it be full of hope, and full of faith. God bless you!

  17. I attended a youth event in September with my son’s Confirmation class. There were numerous tables set up in the school’s hallways, some for vendors, others as information desks for religious orders. One of these had a “pick your saint” box, with long envelopes. People were encouraged to choose an envelope and see which saint’s prayer card was inside. I selected an envelope containing St. Dymphna. Little did I know at the time how much I would call on her help now that my son is being treated for depression.

    • Thank you for sharing. At Dymphna is fairly new to me but how I do appreciate her intercessory prayers for those suffering depression and those who struggle mentally. Holiness excludes no one. St Dymphna pray for us!

  18. St. Mary of Egypt. I had never heard of her until yesterday. While reading her story, it was jaw dropping to see MY life flash before my eyes in many haunting similarities, to how I used to live. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was the one who prayed for my conversion from the beginning. God bless you Sister Lisa for this BEAUTIFUL way to spend this year.

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