Today is the Commemoration of the Poor Souls in Purgatory (All Souls Day). Have you heard Mass, visited a cemetery, prayed for the faithful departed, and/or done acts of penance for their release from Purgatory?
I know I am a day late but whatever. I did this on my Facebook (a friend of mine had done it on hers) and I thought I would share this with you all. Feel free to do this yourself and share it on Facebook, your blog, whatever.
What I did was take my names: Allison, Jessica, and Thérèse, and looked them up on saints.sqpn.com, and found out who my patron saints were.
I had always had a devotion to Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. It all started when my great-uncle, who is an Augustinian priest, gave me a picture book of saints (the hardcover one by Father Lovasik, SVD, with the gold cover with the Communion of Saints on it) and I came upon the saint with the cool name that kinda sounded like mine. I read that half-page biography so many times, it’s not even funny. Then, one day, when I was in college, my years-long search for a biography and a statue of Saint Aloysius was ended! I found both (and a medal) on the same day and at the same church store across from the parish my friends and I attended for Sunday Mass. By then, I had adopted him as my patron saint. I think it was just before this that I was looking through my grandmother’s old Bible that had a whole section dedicated to Catholic names for children (before parents named their kids strange things) and I discovered that “Aloysius” is the Latin form of Louis, which is the male form of “Louise,” which is the French form of the Scottish “Allison.” Saint Aloysius was my name saint.
My devotion to this saint as only grown all the more since. He led a life of heroic virtue. TAN publishing has his biography available. The language is from the turn of the 20th century so it’s a bit dated with a hint of the pietistic language of the time, but it’s legit. One thing I would change is the quality of the binding. It fell apart because the publisher had jammed all of those pages into a small binding and used cheap glue. There is no other edition of his biography that I know of. So … I got a new copy. I hope to get a book cover for it soon.
I am not making this up. This is not my favoritism toward Saint Joan for the obvious reasons. I literally found this out when I looked it up yesterday. I was just as happily surprised as one can imagine.
There is no Saint Jessica. “Jessica” is apparently like the Hebrew form of “Joanne” which in French is “Jehanne”/”Jeanne” or “Joan.” Yeah, Joan of Arc is one of my patronesses! YAY! French girl who heard voices from God, convinced the Dauphin that she was legit, led an army against the English to retake France during the Hundred Years’ War, won a bunch of battles, was captured, tried for heresy, and was burned at the stake as a witch. That was a run-on sentence. Daaaaang. Not to mention that not long after she was executed, she was exonerated by the Church and her process for beatification began eventually. She was beatified in the early twentieth century and canonized in 1920. She is the patroness of France, soldiers and many other things. One of my favorites and, I think is most appropriate for me, “patroness against opposition of Church authority.” Once a Papist, always a Papist! Dannnng straight.
Saint Thérèse is my Confirmation patroness. A form of her name, “Teresa,” is also the name of my aunt (my father’s sister) who died when she was 16 (I never met her) of leukemia. It has a double meaning for me: to my aunt I never met and to the Saint of the Little Way who promised to spend her heaven spreading roses all over the world (I have a few rose stories). I love her simple way of showing devotion to God by doing all things with great love. Some are called to do great things with great love. Others are called to do little things with great love. The former is not better than the latter. The importance is to find the face of Christ in all persons one encounters and, no matter how they treat them, show them the love of God.
One of my goals is to re-read the biography of Saint Aloysius, read Saint Thérèse’s autobiography in its entirety (I never have), and to read more about Saint Joan. I always love reading saints’ lives and these three have special places in my heart. And, once I enter novitiate, I will have two other name saints when I receive my religious name!
I would recommend that you try doing this. The site is extremely comprehensive and one always learns something new about saints and of what they are patrons.
No sequitur: I have an Infant of Prague. This is the month of the Poor Souls. Would it be appropriate to keep Him in violet vestments (I would put Him in green but I don’t have green vestments)? Violet is one of the colors of mourning and penance. He also looks really good in violet. I gotta make Him more vestments. One day. Once I am professed. lol
Have a great day!