Monday, August 18, 2014

In-Law Problems? There is a Patron Saint for That!

Very few people know about St. Jane Valois. She was a deformed and sickly young daughter of King Louis XI of France. The Catholic Church has given her February 4th as a feast day and many turn to her intercession when in a difficult, loveless marriage for she was in an arranged marriage that was without love and still she prayed for her husband for decades.

She is just one of the many interesting saints in the Catholic Church.

The following excerpts are taken, with permission, from the daily devotional Tending the Temple by Kevin Vost, Peggy Bowes, and Shane Kapler. Kevin, Peggy and Shane are regular guests on such popular shows as Sonrise Morning Show on EWTN among others where they talk about health and fitness, Catholic style.

January 26 is the feast day of St. Paula (347-404), the Patroness of Widows.

Paula was a devout Christian widow who had five children. After her husband’s death, St. Paula embraced a life of devotion to the poor, to learning, and to ascetic self-denial under St. Jerome’s spiritual direction. She founded a hospice with her daughter, Eustochium; and she herself headed a convent. She assisted St. Jerome in his great Scriptural and theological works. The death of her children would grieve St. Paula in the last years of her life, though she persevered in her sanctity until she embarked on eternal life.

April 8 is the feast day of St. Julie Billiart (1751-1816), the Patron of the Sick and Impoverished

As a little girl of seven, Julie had already memorized her catechism and was eagerly teaching and explaining it to other children in her hometown of Cuvilly, France. Her parents lost their fortune during her teenage years, and she labored in the fields to help support her familyIn her early 20’s, she was paralyzed but refused to change her habits of daily prayer and of teaching the local children, gathering them around her bed each day to continue their education in the catechism. When the French Revolution broke out, she used her home as a hiding place for priests. Julie was miraculously cured of her paralysis and spent the rest of her life in service to God and the poor.

May 28 is the feast day of St. Bernard of Menthon (923-1008), the Patron of Skiing, Snowboarding, Hiking, Backpacking and Mountaineering!

Did you ever see those old cartoons where a traveler stuck on a snowy mountain is rescued by a huge, courageous St. Bernard dog, complete with mini-keg of medicinal brandy attached underneath his collar? Those cartoons bear witness to one of the many acts of corporal mercy brought forth by St. Bernard! A Benedictine priest, St. Bernard and his monks offered hospitality to the pilgrims who travelled the dangerous Alps and also ventured out, accompanied by their herding dogs (now known to all as St. Bernard’s) to find and save victims trapped in the snows of the mountains.
August 18 is the feast day of St. Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641), the Patron Saint of In-Law Problems

September 18 is the feast day of St. Joseph Cupertino (1603-1633), the Patron Saint of Pilots

Although he was not a pilot, Joseph frequently levitated during prayer and was known as “The Flying Saint.” Unfortunately, many people viewed his levitation as a circus stunt and would gather to watch the saint fly around while deeply absorbed in prayer, making him uncomfortable. Joseph wanted to be a monk and eventually found a spot in the Franciscan order where he went on to become ordained a priest. During the investigation for his cause for canonization, over 70 people were found to levitate through his intercession. His life is the topic of a DVD called The Reluctant Saint.

These are but a few amazing men and women who have come to be known as Saints and whose lives are able to still touch us today!

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