St. Francis De Sales

Today is the feast day of my Confirmation saint. I converted at the age of 21 and so in picking a patron saint, I would love to say that I researched the saints and really spent time discerning which saint to choose, but that that’s not how the story goes.  I was in journalism school at the time and so I looked up the patron saint of journalism, up popped St. Francis De Sales, and that was that.

I always wondered why it was so easy for me to find St. Francis De Sales that day. A few years back while on a pilgrimage, I had a priest teach me something interesting about the saints. My husband and I had gone to San Giovanni to visit the area where St. Padre Pio lived.  He told us that while we thought we planned the trip, in essence Padre Pio invited us.  He told me that the saints pick us and then they pursue us.  So, while I thought my quick research skills found St. Francis De Sales, maybe he was just making himself present to me?  Either way, the story doesn’t end with just finding him. When I didn’t end up pursuing a career in journalism, I thought that would be it for me and De Sales, but what I found out later was that he was also the patron saint of Catholic writers and authors, so here we are again … friends!

I’ve since searched for all kinds of saints based on needing or wanting something to do with their patronage. A friend’s pregnancy was difficult, so I looked up the patron saint of pregnancy. What I found was that there can be a few saints associated with each topic. For example, St, Gerard Majella is the patron saint of expectant mothers and unborn children. St. Gianna Molla is the patron saint of mothers, physicians and unborn children. St. Catherine of Sweden is the patron saint of miscarriage and miscarriage prevention.

When I first came into the church, I didn’t even understand the idea of patron saints. What I’ve come to realize is that they’re a list of friends. We all have that friend we call to talk to when we have a work problem, or need parenting advice, or maybe even have a financial question that we’re grappling over. Our saint friends have a designated field of specialty. Since they’re in Heaven with Jesus, we’re asking them to pray for us up there, just like I would ask a friend to pray for me. How much more valuable are their prayers, as they sit next to Jesus and ask on our behalf!

My biggest regret so far with St. Francis De Sales is admittedly I have yet to read his book, Introduction to a Devout Life. Maybe that will be a 2019 goal? It’s about finding holiness in the everyday life.

I did find this beautiful quote from him, which I defiantly need to instill in my motherhood. “Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”

So today, I will celebrate my patron saint! I will pull out my You Are Special Today plate. I’ve decided I’ll make my favorite meal that night, since feast day tradition for my kids includes picking dinner. This year I’m going to treat myself just like I do my kids for their feast days!

Maybe I’ll even carve out some time to write, asking St. Francis De Sales to pray for my writing! Who is your patron saint? How did you find him or her? Share how your patron saint has been a part of your life!

 St. Francis De Sales, pray for us!

Copyright 2019 Courtney Vallejo. All Rights Reserved.

Image Credit: 2019 Karen Padilla. All Right Reserved.