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4 Ways to honor the saints of April in your life and home

PRAYER CORNER

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Annabelle Moseley - published on 04/01/21

Mark your calendar now: These fun ideas will help you keep the spirit of Easter going all month long!

Our Catholic calendar is vibrant with feast days. Some of these days have famous traditions; others are not as well-known. This month, let’s resolve to grow our love for the saints in unique and beautiful ways that will keep us focused on the joy of our faith as we celebrate the Easter season.

Here are 4 saints to celebrate in April … let’s mark our calendars now!

April 4: Research something holy and have a sweet treat with St. Isidore of Seville

St. Isidore of Seville (560-636 AD) is the patron saint of the internet, students, computer users, and programmers. Why? Well, the saint who is often called the “last scholar of the ancient world” wrote The Etymologiae, an encyclopedic work that gathered information and extracts from many classical works of antiquity that would have been lost were it not for his hard work.

That same industriousness for which St. Isidore was famous led to him having a beehive for his saintly symbol. Sometimes he’s depicted as the bishop holding a pen while surrounded by a swarm of bees. He was a true “worker bee” whose contributions benefited a whole “hive” of scholarship. Another fun fact: St. Isidore is credited with the invention of the comma, period, and colon. Archbishop of Seville for over 30 years, this Doctor of the Church was known as the most brilliant man of his time.

So in honor of this saint’s great intellect, why not spend an hour researching something about your faith this month, rather than scrolling for news or searching for bargains. You could choose a saint to learn more about, a devotion you’d like to look into, or an important event in the history of the Church (for example, the Council of Nicaea, the Battle of Lepanto, the wisdom of the Desert Fathers … etc.).

LEPANTO
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Since the internet is filled with negativity and darkness, let us invoke the intercession of St. Isidore with this prayer, that computer users will turn from the vapid and soul-draining and towards the lovely and true. 

Another idea: Celebrate the sweetness of wisdom and the industriousness of prayerful labor by enjoying this recipe from my family to yours: A “Bees Knees!” Here’s how to make it: Over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzle honey and cinnamon. It’s a simple and delicious way to celebrate St. Isidore.

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April 16: Bless your domestic church with St. Bernadette of Lourdes

St. Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879) was 14 years old when she began seeing Our Blessed Mother. These visions brought about the founding of the famous Marian shrine at Lourdes. “I am the Immaculate Conception,” Our Lady famously revealed to St. Bernadette, and gave the gift of the healing waters at Lourdes. There have been countless miracles and healings associated with bathing in the waters there. The spring at Lourdes itself came about through St. Bernadette’s humble response to Our Lady’s request for Bernadette to scrape, on her hands and knees, in the mud at the back of the grotto until the healing spring came forth.

“Penance, penance, penance!” Our Lady of Lourdes famously urged the world. St. Bernadette did many acts of penance and even offered up her painful death out of love for Jesus and Mary. In the spirit of St. Bernadette why not offer up the challenges and pains of your day? Cleaning when tired? Taking care of a sick family member? Extra busy at work? Complain less and offer it up as a prayer. This online resource teaches us how to “offer it up” and gives prayer recommendations including praying the Morning Offering. 

Along with praying the Morning Offering and offering up struggles of the day, why not make the presence of holy water a beautiful and powerful part of your family’s prayer life? In the spirit of St. Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes, get a holy water font and install it right next to your main entrance and exit to and from the home. Begin the joyful habit of blessing yourself from the font whenever you pass by, or when you leave or return home. It reminds you that you live in a Domestic Church and provides a wonderful consolation. You’ll find it makes your home more peaceful. You can get blessed holy water at most Catholic churches. If your parish church isn’t offering it due to COVID, chances are the next parish over will be.  

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April 25: Preach the Gospel and eat like a lion with St. Mark 

St. Mark the Evangelist is the author of the First Gospel and known for his succinct way of writing and his passionate message of the Good News. St. Mark’s symbol is the winged lion. Why not be a roaring lion of your faith today? In the spirit of St. Mark, send loved ones brief messages of encouragement spreading God’s love for them, and yours, too. These messages can be over text, a brief phone call, or a sweet card in the mail.

Also, find new ways to evangelize, such as placing a statue of Mary, Jesus, or a saint on your front lawn, wearing a visible crucifix, saying “God bless you” to the people you meet during the day, and making a sign of the cross whenever you pass a church.

NASZYJNIK Z KRZYŻYKIEM
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Venice is the Italian city known for its great devotion to St. Mark, and its many winged lions gracing the art and architecture throughout. To honor St. Mark, try cooking the famous Venetian dish in his honor: risi e bisi.

April 29: Build a space set aside for prayer with St. Catherine of Siena 

St. Catherine of Siena, one of the great Doctors of the Church, was a Third Order Dominican who prayed within her own home, not a convent. After her example, make a space within your own home for prayer. If you already have one, add to it. Some ideas: print up the newest prayer you’re trying to memorize, or frame some of those prayers and display them. Or find a creative and lovely holder for your rosary and place that in the area, along with favorite classic spiritual books and holy images or icons.  

prayer corner
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St. Catherine writes,

Build yourself a spiritual cell, which you can always take with you, and that is the cell of self-knowledge; you will find there also the knowledge of God’s goodness to you. There are really two cells in one, and if you live in one you must also live in the other, otherwise the soul will either despair or be presumptuous; if you dwelt in self-knowledge alone you would despair; if you dwelt in knowledge of God alone you would be tempted to presumption. One must go with the other, and thus you will reach perfection.

May the saints of April bless, protect, and guide you and your family!


SAINT,ITA

Read more:
9 Irish saints you may not know

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