Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Praying for a Patron Saint

In some Catholic blogs I visited, there is a nearly daily discourse on the saints (whether saint of the day, or of the occasion). Last Monday (June 13th) was the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua. Lots of bloggers wrote a post in his honor. When I think about St. Anthony, my namesake, sometimes I wonder whether he is my patron saint, or another St. Anthony, or another saint.

When I was baptized, I had no idea what name to choose. The priest just told each of my family members (we were baptized as a family) to pick up a Christian name, and I chose Antonia after St. Anthony (I can't remember why exactly). I still did not know enough about the Catholic faith by the time I got confirmed. A few years ago, through Enbrethiliel, I found out that there is such a thing as patron saint, and that there is such thing as a patron saint received during Communion! (Such was the depth of my ignorance!) Like her, I don't recall when I was confirmed, much less when I was baptized. No family member was present to take photographs.

Anyway, I've decided to search for my patron saint. This time I said "search" and not "choose", again taking inspiration from Enbrethiliel, who wrote:

So much is made of choosing the right patron saint for oneself, but hardly anyone stops to think that patron saints can do some choosing of their own. It's almost as if we see the Communion of Saints as completely indifferent to the Church Militant until they are asked to intercede--or completely powerless until they are invoked below.

I have a few 'favorite' saints, but I'm not sure whether they're also 'patron saints.' After all, I like too few of them because there are too few of them whose stories of life I know beyond popular facts (and whose virtues in my vanity I might compare myself to... *bow head*), and aren't patron saints to be prayed to for their constant intercessions and auspices? A very POD blogger whose blog I chanced upon a long long time ago, wrote a short prayer to his patron saint in his very first post, asking that writing a blog may profit the soul of his and others :) Perhaps I have come to this time in my life where one realizes the need to rely more and more on prayers and less on one's own folly.

Searching "finding patron saint" in Google turn up a few advice; sound ones include lots of prayer and reflecting on which saint has what kind of virtues one likes to mirror, what kind of struggles in life that the saint could help with and so on. Perhaps the problem is lack of time (or more precisely, discipline) on my part to reflect on these issues. I hope that nearly ten years after my confirmation, I can still find my confirmation patron saint. I'm going to pray, that my patron saint(s) would choose me and promptly let me know who s/he is (or who they are!) and pray for me!

(If anyone has a similar story/advice to tell, do write me!)

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