Perhaps, like me, you have already made and broken several New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe you haven’t made any, or maybe you are doing great with all your plans. But, have you thought of choosing a patron saint for the year?
I know people who spend hours chopping lists of saints into bags, boxes or baskets to make a ‘saint lottery’. On New Year’s Eve they gather friends and family in prayer and each chooses a saint to be their patron and friend for the year. Anyone who comes to their home in the first week or so of the year is also invited to draw a saint. And sometimes, these saint raffles even go on excursions to the homes of friends and neighbors.
This is a beautiful tradition and I strongly recommend participating in or instigating it in your own home. For those of us who don’t have the organizational skills or paper supplies but want to choose a patron saint for ourselves or a project, or simply want someone to whom we can entrust a special intention in a slightly more spur of the moment fashion, the Saint’s Name Generator is for us. Instead of drawing a name from a hat, you simply click and the computer does it for you. (All credit to Jennifer Fulwiler who came up with this website: thanks for your time and energy.)
Why might you want to get to know the saints? There are two main reasons. The first is that the Saints are examples of how to live like Jesus and be close to Him in our daily lives. And the second is that they are in Heaven with God and can pray for us (ie talk to Him) just as our friends on Earth do.
Whatever method of saint selection you decide to go for, I suggest the following approach:
Pray. Ask the Lord to send you a saint who can guide and inspire you.
Select your saint. (Click the link.)
It isn’t over. Once you have received the name of your saint, get to know him or her. Read about their life. Read something they wrote. And talk to them: ask them to pray for you.
If you get a saint you’ve never heard of, the temptation is to (metaphorically) throw them back and pick another. This is a little rude (I don’t want to be friends with you!) – good places to find out more about your saint are Catholic Online , the Catholic Encyclopedia , your parish library or Catholic bookshop.