A growing tradition in some Catholic circles involves picking a saint as part of Christmas or New Year’s festivities. The randomly chosen patron is asked to watch over us for the coming year, and we are given the chance to get to better know one of our heavenly friends.
It’s a great tradition, and one that deserves expanding. Why not pick a special patron for the season of Lent?
Here’s how this could be done:
- The Saints Name Generator: This internet site enables you to be randomly assigned a saint at the click of a button. Find it here.
- Get a stack of holy cards or this nice selection of 70 or so from Brother Francis (which comes in a satisfyingly sturdy box sure to hold up from year to year). Divide them like a deck of cards and pick the one on top.
Is this a superstitious way to pick a patron saint for Lent? Well, it’s not as if there’s a “wrong pick.” No matter who you get, he or she is sure to look down on you with love from Heaven, and is willing to intercede on your behalf.
And anyway, remember how the replacement for Judas Iscariot was chosen?
So they [the remaining Apostles] proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.Then they prayed and said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles. Acts 1:23-26
Here’s another idea.
Consider a couple of the virtues you would most like (or most need) to grow in during Lent. Then ask the Holy Spirit to help you find or remember a saint who either really struggled or really excelled at that virtue. In this way, you can specifically put their witness to work in your life.
There are thousands and thousands of saints — and they come from every possible type of background and situation, bringing every possible type of personality, strength, and weakness to their love for the Lord. There’s one — nay, many more than one — who will make you stop and say, “Gosh, he or she is a lot like me.” Find that person and put them to work on your behalf.
And have a joyful and fruitful Lent!
The unexpected benefit of learning about “foreign” saints
Find dozens and dozens of saint profiles here at Aleteia.