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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A gaggle of Saint Friends

Some of Esther's friends came up with a meme about saints. How cool.
Answer the questions! You can give a reason for the answer if you like. As for tagging people, you tag as many as you want or as little...minimum of one. There's no obligation to play.
Last of all, have fun!
1. First Saint you "met"?

Not counting the Blessed Mother (who is in a special category all her own, who I was taught to honor as "my mother in heaven" from the time I was learning to speak) it would be:

St. Therese of Lisieux. When I was a little girl, about 7 or 8, my mother joined some sort of Catholic Children's bookclub for me for a bit. The books were usually biographies of saints, and the biographies were written about the saint in a way a child would enjoy. Most adult books aimed at the saints don't go into a lot of detail about a saint's youth, which is often what a child is interested in. This book was at a level I could appreciate and understand. I was also a good reader at age 7-8, I know by the time I was 9-10 I scored at a 10th grade reading level (age 15), but I'm guessing the average 10 year old could have handled the books. I was fascinated that Therese was so mature for her age, and that they let her enter the convent before she was a grownup. Like Therese I really hated spiders, and I shuddered when the Mother Superior made her clean out some closet or other that had 'em. [Sister, won't it just be easier to burn the closet and build a new one?] I was fascinated that her sisters were all nuns too. And I really was taken with the story of her relationship with Mary ia her vision of the Statue of Our Lady speaking to her. I felt so sorry for Therese losing her mother at such a young age, and thanked God that my mother hadn't died. Therese didn't seem much like the kind of girl I'd pick if we were choosing up sides for anything BUT she had the saving grace of loving dogs and liked to go fishing with her father -- so I could also see her as a companion and not a prissy thing. [I could not ABIDE prissy girls.] Okay, so I might have to go over to someone else's house to play "little green army men" but we could have caught a few fish together. I envied her relationship to her dad, because my dad, though he had some fine qualities and I did not have those intimate conversations that Therese had with her dad. The Therese book was the first book that came to me in the series, and turned out to be, next to the Blessed Mother my favorite female saint. Still is. I took my confirmation name after her and have used it ever since. [My mother's mother's name "Paraskevia" translates to Theresa.]

2. Favorite Saint(s)?

St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Thomas More, Tony, (St. Anthony and I are REALLY "tight" so I just call him "Tony" he doesn't seem to mind.) St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Tarcisius, (I was impressed by this boy who died rather than give up the Eucharist), St. Genesius (who was an actor performing an anti-Christian play, and he realized he DID believe in Christ - mid play he announced he was a believer and was martyred right then and there - patron saint of actors), St. Joseph of Cupertino (levitating saints, by definition, are cool and darn it his feast day should be celebrated on my birthday if the church didn't have a hole in its head), and St. Polycarp -because he's so happy someone has him as one of their favorite saints. I'm also liking Katherine Drexel more and more. And of course, Mary is in that special category all her own.

3. Patron saint for the year?

This year I'm getting more and more familiar with St. Jude.

4. Favorite book by a saint?

Story of a Soul. Therese of Lisieux

5. Saint book you are reading now?

I received a very nice book about the English martyrs.

6. Favorite movie of a saint?

The Song of Bernadette. I have to say for all I love St. Therese, I really can't stand the movies about her. Insipid, and they made me want to tick off the script writers for getting so many details WRONGl And yes, Ive blocked out the whole thing.

7. Favorite Autobiography/Biography of a saint?

Again: Story of a Soul.

8. Favorite novel/book of a saint?

Utopia, St. Thomas More.

9. Saint (besides your favorites) you'd want to meet?

St. Benedict. Now there's a man who understood the "Via Media."

10. Saint you look to for help?

St. Anthony when I'm frustrated and rushed and can't find diddly. He's a good "Generic all purpose Saint."
The Blessed Virgin Mary every day and when I'm feeling alone or forgotten. She's my shoulder to cry on and my comforter.
St. Therese when I'd dearly love to choke someone.
St. Thomas for resolve when I need to defend the church. "What would Thomas do?" "He'd suck it up and say what needed to be said regardless of who you had to say it to."

11.Favorite saint quote?

"Karen, dammit, your keys are in the back door, right where you left them! If they were snakes they'd have bit you by now." - Tony

12. Favorite Holy Card?

Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I love all holy cards, but the ones done icon style I love the best, they cut right to my soul in a visceral way ever since I was tiny.

13. Favorite story of a saint?

After St. Therese had been in the convent for a while, she chanced to be near the door when a workman was admitted, but chance, her spaniel Tom had at that moment been walking by the convent, he saw Therese and made a beeline for her and tried to burrow under her skirts. Therese was overcome with joy at seeing him and cried. It struck me as a child how very brave she was to move away from home at such a young age, and that I felt she'd miss her dog, because I would have. You can explain you're going in a convent "forever" to people and they understand and know where you went. You dog wouldn't know what happened to you. For all her maturity she still had that very human need for affection from her pet. I found this story out years later and almost cried myself when reading it.

14. If you could go anywhere on a pilgrimage to a saint's homeland, where would it be?

My mother and I had one of he nicest days of our lives when we got to go to Lisieux in 1990. My mother had had a relapse of the cancer the year before which eventually killed her in 95. If I could pick five days of my life to relive, that would be one of them.
I don't know if you could properly call it a pilgrimage, but it was for us.

15. Any Blesseds or Venerables that you would like to become canonized?

They need to get cracking on Therese's parents already.

I tag The White Stone Name Seeker and A Thorn in pew and Ebeth and Faccio La Mamma, and of course, anyone else who think this looks like fun.



Jean Heimann said...

Hey Karen!

I was about to tag you for this one, but I'll get you next time.

Anonymous said...

Hey've got more energy than me..slow down! lol

la mamma said...

Hang on a moment, girl... I'd like to meme and might just manage but I'm typing one-handed with child#2 on my knee (yes, she's sick now), and she's just said, "Mummy, when is it lunch-time?" I thought sh'd fallen asleep. Better go...

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