Happy New Year! Or at least, let us hope it will be a happy one; some might even claim that this new year certainly couldn’t be worse than the one we are leaving behind — but I won’t say that and tempt fate. That’s not to say that 2020 didn’t have it’s share of happy moments. On my end those happy moments included the birth of another grandchild, a marriage, and an engagement (all credited to my daughters!) – but there certainly have been a number of struggles for most of us during this past year as well.
The struggles of 2020 necessitated some re-prioritization of where my time and energy was spent and I don’t foresee that changing any time soon, as I continue to be pulled in different and often difficult directions. However, I am resolved (see what I did there? New Year — Resolved?) to getting my house back in order despite the challenges. I am resolved to embracing my new normal and incorporating it into what was working pre-pandemic and forging a new path forward. I hope you are too.
What I want to do more than anything today, with this post, is share with you a “NEW TRADITION” that I’ve adopted for this New Year. The adoption of a yearly “family patron saint”. That’s right, a saint for the year that will be incorporated into my prayers, my petitions, my self-education, my routine, and hopefully my spiritual growth. I think this is a fantastic idea for families that can excite not just you, but also the kids in the house and help us learn more about the saints we have as our models of living a faithful Christian life. Think about the numerous ways you can incorporate the patron saint of your choosing into your daily life! Special petitions for you, your families, and others, new prayers to embrace that are dedicated to or were written or prayed by the patron saint, perhaps some additions to your library or prayer corner concerning that saint! It’s rather exciting when you think about it. The challenge will be much like any other New Year Resolution … sticking with it as the weeks and months pass.
My list of potential saints started at about 24. I was able to narrow it down to 8 last night, but still hadn’t made a selection before heading to bed, long after midnight. After all, I desired my choice to have meaning and application that was practical for my family, even if they all have their own homes these days. I was struggling with what ‘patronage’ should be the focus for 2021. Then this morning I was struck by a bit of inspiration and did a quick Google search (the purpose of which isn’t important, but the result of course is) which led me to a saint that was not even on my original list but simply felt RIGHT for me, for now, for this New Year.
Without further ado allow me to introduce to you my Patron Saint for 2021: Saint Edmund the Martyr! You probably don’t know much (if anything) about Saint Edmund. I must admit I knew only a little, but he has historical appeal that I cannot deny (and let’s not forget that I was first a lover and student of history, as well as a teacher, before focusing on theological studies). And unbeknownst to me, I discovered that Saint Edmund is one of the patron saints that we can turn to during pandemics. Go figure! Already I have found a few prayers associated with this saint, and a small icon I can put on display in my home to remind me of this saint over the coming months. I’m currently on the hunt for some books, which are turning out to be quite a challenge to find. But there’s no rush. I have all year.
Happy New Year everyone! And good luck finding your own Patron for 2021 that fits you and your family like a glove.