Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Saint Anthony of Padua!
Our next winner in the Favorite Saint contest is Lisa Hendey from CatholicMom.Com and Catholic Mom Moments Podcast! Her refection is below:
"One of my favorite saints is St. Anthony of Padua. While growing up, our family frequently invoked St. Anthony to aid in the finding of lost items. With five children, I'm sure my mother frequently relied on St. Anthony's intercession to help her stay sane with all of the messes we made. It seems like something was always lost.
As I grew up and moved away from my family and into my own independent life, I felt as though something in my own life was missing. I had a happy marriage and beautiful children, but I missed out on the sense of having a "faith family" as we had known when I was growing up. In my childhood, church life and our parish were always at the center of our family life. It was not unusual for us to remain after Mass for up to an hour on Sunday, chatting with friends in the parking lot.
As a young mother, I found myself struggling to find my way and raise my children in the church on my own. My "faith family" felt permanently lost and I was desperate to find it. I attended Mass alone or with the boys on Sunday, since my dear husband was not Catholic. I prayed to many saints, but especially to St. Anthony, to Our Lady and to St. Therese to help me in my mission of raising my children in the faith and in setting a loving, faith-filled example for my children. I prayed for a faith community to know, to love, and to be a part of the way I had when I was a child.
Now, many years later, St. Anthony has responded to my prayer. This Easter vigil, my husband will celebrate the fifth anniversary of his reception into the Church through RCIA. My boys are music ministers and altar servers and my beloved plays his guitar every week at our 9:30 family Mass. Each Sunday, I find myself surrounded in love by my faith family as we celebrate the Eucharist at my parish home: St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Fresno, California. St. Anthony found my missing "faith family" and brought me home to worship with them in his home here in Fresno!
Wow, well how do you like that? What an awesome story! Lisa is a member of St. Anthony of Padua Parish! Thank you, Lisa. I think it's so wonderful that not only did you FIND your "faith family" with St. Anthony's help, you also are surrounded with another faith family through your wonderful and generous work that you do for the Church. Your Catholic Mom website draws so many people closer to God and undoubtedly helps to deepen their faith too. Thanks for all that you do, Lisa. It's nice to hear about your favorite Saint!
Lisa has won a copy of my new book, Catholic Saints Prayer Book. St. Anthony is in my book. Lisa also had a sneak peak of the page proofs of the book and has given me this review of it:
"In the introduction to her latest work, Catholic Saints Prayer Book, author Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle offers readers a concise yet inspiring bit of motivation for cultivating relationships with the saints.
'Ultimately, we should see the saints as models of sanctity for us to imitate as well as tremendous intercessors, helping us when we invoke them. We should indeed seek out the saints who will surely help lead us to God, assisting us all along the way.'
Catholic Saints Prayer Book arms readers with the tools necessary to come to know these holy men and women in order to emulate the lives they led. Additionally, Cooper O’Boyle’s lovingly formed words offer readers prompting prayers to build intercessory relationships with people who struggled just as we do along life’s path toward a relationship with a loving heavenly Father. Donna Marie’s book is just the right blend of biography and heart – readers will find themselves edified about the lives of the thirty two saints covered and inspired to turn to these holy ones for intercessory aid and consolation.
From spiritual “favorites” such as St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Joseph to lesser known or newer saints such as St. Marguerite Bourgeoys or St. Padre Pio, each chapter offers the details of lives well lived, stirring quotations, and patronage and feast day information. Cooper O’Boyle’s personally crafted prayers set this apart from other books on the Saints lives I have read in the past – Donna-Marie’s clear faith and beautiful soul shine through in each prayer and will encourage you to strive for sainthood along your own journey to heaven."
Thank you again, Lisa for your beautiful words. Thank you and God bless you for all of your generous work for the Church and for families.