I find it odd, almost comical, that in times of crisis I turn to saints. I’m not Catholic by any means, I don’t particularly believe a man can be a Messiah, at least not in the sense we consider them to be. But back to the saints.
Sure, there are plenty of selfless people out there. People whose selfless acts may look, or actually be some “supernatural” occurrence unknown by science the cause. Or maybe it’s simply the power of belief, an energy, a connection between the souls of people, objects, or whatever miracles can be.
So there are saints. Most go unrecognized. They are the bit part celebrities we see filling in roles for documentary reenactments, commercials, and maybe a speaking line in a hit show. Seen and forgotten. There, and proud. And then the regular celebrities. The saint’s whose names we know by heart. Mother Teresa is a good example. May she never be forgotten. And every religion has saints, the celebrities and the bit parts. Maybe they don’t use the word, but they have them.
When I was in college there was a day I lost my cell phone. I was hysterical. Phones at that time had already become the “thing,” though text messaging was still in the days of pressing numbers to the right letters. Mine at least had a camera. I dropped it on my way to campus, in the middle of a street. To me it was gone for good.
I went to a Catholic college (hey, the scholarships were great), so most of my friends had been in the religion for a while. My friend told me that Saint Micheal, the guardian of the gate, was who you pray to for lost items. That he brings them back. What did I have to loose, we prayed to Saint Micheal. That night my friend, whose name first appeared on my contacts list, got a phone call from my number. A person found it outside their yard getting the paper and was looking for the owner. I was in class, my friend went to pick it up, and when I arrived back to the dorms, she gave it to me. I believe it worked, the prayer.
I believe praying for the right things, the right reasons, and having no expectations to how but looking with an open mind…
There is another class of saints I never spoke of. Let’s say the “B” list. The special saints whose name and purpose is mostly forgotten unless you are exposed to them. My school was Franciscan, that means we worked in the name of Saint Frances, often referred to the patron saint of animals. We had a day you could bring your animals for a blessing. I don’t know why he was the saint of that. The story I learned of him had not much to do with animals, except one time, just once, he stood in town to preach. The people ignored him, so he said, “then I will preach to the birds,” and he spread the word, as his heart believed, to the birds. Other than that, according to anything I read, no animal miracles, no other stories involving animals.
So.. he became a saint to animals. Because… I guess they ran out of things to have saints for?Even though the position is filled by Saint Hubert, who I know of through a dog shelter that shares his name. Who worked with dogs.
See? It’s confusing. It’s one of the oxymoronic things I find. I don’t fault a religion who has been around since the beginning of when we counted time as it is. It’s old, and roots are even older. So, you run out of things, you forget things. So many years. So many changes and people. Sometimes corruption. It’s a long history of violence and peace. And very many saints.
There is a saint who affects me directly. I am here, alive, I exist, because of one. She is Saint Mother Cabrini. I am not sure what she is a saint of exactly. I call her the patron saint of asthma. Because back when my grandfather was a child there was no treatment. If you got an attack you couldn’t breath your way out of, you died. My grandpa was born with asthma, and very young in his baby years, he had an attack. For days. Hospitals told my Nana, my great-grandmother, to take him home. Let him die in his home.
Through her Italian connections, she learned of a nun, a Mother nun, an Italian Mother nun, who performed miracles. Now, my Nana, she believed. Maybe she was unsure. But this was her baby. Her baby she traveled from Sicily with for a better life. A baby given to her to ensure a better life then his parents will ever have. A baby she could have saved from extinction all together (Godfather reference here).
So she went to this woman who performed miracles. And she laid her child down and prayed with this woman. Prayed her baby wouldn’t die, would breath, would be cured. And the baby started to breath clearer and clearer. And then no wheeze at all. And while he passed the disease down, of course by the time treatment was readily available, he never had a wheeze the rest of his life.
How can I not believe in saints?