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Have job-related stress? Here’s a patron saint for you

SAINT WALTER OF PONTOISE
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St. Walter of Pontoise knows exactly what you are feeling.

According to a national survey, “65% of workers said that workplace stress had caused difficulties” and more than 10 percent described these difficulties as “major.”

If you find that you are suffering from work stress, with ramifications in both your mind and spirit, the saint to call on is Walter of Pontoise.

Born in France during the 11th century, Walter was an intelligent and devout man, becoming a professor of philosophy and rhetoric. He then felt called to the religious life and become a Benedictine monk at Rebais-en-Brie.

King Philip noticed his natural abilities and appointed him abbot of a monastery in Pontoise against his will. Walter didn’t have much of a choice, so he obediently accepted his new position.

However, the appointment wasn’t easy and the discipline at the monastery before he arrived was horrid. Walter fled several times from the monastery because he couldn’t deal with the stress of the situation.

He even fled as far as Rome, delivering a written letter of resignation to Pope Gregory VII. The Holy Father turned him back and said he was forbidden to run away from his monastery ever again.

After coming back to Pontoise, Walter worked hard to combat corruption and the lack of discipline among his monks and the clergy of the region. This angered many of the priests, who captured and imprisoned him. He was eventually released and resumed the work he began, devoting himself more to prayer, asking God to grant him the strength to persevere.

Invoke St. Walter for help with workplace stress. A simple prayer that may be helpful is the popular “Serenity Prayer,” asking God to help you discern the best course of action in your stressful situation.

God, grant me the grace to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

St. Walter of Pontoise, pray for us!

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