This year I am hoping to introduce you to many of our saints. When you look at the church calendars we distributed in December, you will discover the names of the saints. There is a legend to help you understand what type of feast day it is for each saint.
Solemnities and Feast Days you will find in all CAPITAL letters. These are considered major feast days. At weekday masses you will hear mass prayers reference the names of these saints and feasts.
Saints listed in lower case letters are known as optional memorials. Optional because the priest can choose to use the prayers of the day or the prayers that include the name of this saint. There are over 7,500 saints that are on our calendars. The saints we use have been selected by the USCCB.
Knowing some of these saints is important. For example, when someone informs me that they have cancer I add their name to novena prayer I say to St Peregrine. I also ask for the intercession of St Jude, the patron saint of impossible situations. I also ask for St. Charbel’s intercession. He is a very active saint. He reminds me to live a humble and simple life.
Another reason for knowing the saints is to help young adults as they prepare for confirmation. A witness that you acknowledge the intercessory prayers of a saint is a strong testimony.
An excerpt from the readings of St. John Bosco:
My sons, in my long experience very often I had to be convinced of this great truth. It is easier to become angry than to restrain oneself, and to threaten a boy than to persuade him. Yes, indeed, it is more fitting to be persistent in punishing our own impatience and pride than to correct the boys. We must be firm but kind and be patient with them. See that no one finds you motivated by impetuosity or willfulness.
It is difficult to keep calm when administering punishment, but this must be done if we are to keep ourselves from showing off our authority or spilling out our anger. Let us regard those boys over whom we have some authority as our own sons. Let us place ourselves in their service. Let us be ashamed to assume an attitude of superiority. Let us not rule over them except for the purpose of serving them better.
This was the method that Jesus used with the apostles. He put up with their ignorance and roughness and even their infidelity. He treated sinners with a kindness and affection that caused some to be shocked, others to be scandalized and still others to hope for God’s mercy. And so he bade us to be gentle and humble of heart. – from a letter by Saint John Bosco
St. John Bosco, pray for us.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen