Friday, August 19, 2011

All Ye Saints

One Christmas after our children had just left
to go back home after the holidays,
my husband and I felt a sense of loss 
because suddenly it was so quiet
and their presence was gone.

And then my husband was inspired with the idea--
let's name each room after a saint.
And in that moment it seemed our home
filled up with presence again.

Some of the rooms were easy to name.
Religious objects received as gifts
had been placed in them years before.

The large living/dining room for instance
had a picture of Our Lady,
as seen in Medjugorje,
so it became Our Lady, Queen of Peace.

Our breakfast room is the littlest room in our home,
so it's in honor of St. Therese of Lisieux,
my favorite saint. 
We keep her autobiography in there for reference.

For our den, we chose the late Pope John Paul II,
who we so greatly loved
and has since been beatified, 
a step closer to canonization as a saint.
We have a prayer book he wrote on our coffee table.

Our kitchen had a plaque
of St. Catherine of Siena, holding a lily,
so it was named after her.

The utility room and garage are for St. Joseph,
the father of Jesus and a carpenter.
It just seemed fitting
to name the work rooms after him.
Our son's name is Joseph,
and someone gave him a statue
of his namesake.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, became the saint of our study
because we love to learn his teachings
about listening with the heart
and journaling what we hear
that still small voice say.

Since we were married
on the Feast of St. John, the Evangelist,
our bedroom was dedicated to him.
A photo from our pilgrimage to Knock,
an apparition site in Ireland,
where St. John appeared with Our Lady,
hangs there reminding us of our wedding day.

Our guest room, since we are Benedictine Oblates,
is, you can guess,...St. Benedict
because of his great teachings on hospitality.

The entry hall is for St. Michael, the Archangel.
His picture was already hanging there.
A gift given to us by my mother.

And finally, our yard--to St. Francis of Assisi,
a statue of whom was given to my husband
as a gift from co-workers. 

I wasn't sure about naming the bathrooms,
but a close friend suggested at dinner one night
that we do.

So our master bathroom was named after St. John Vianney,
who in that year of 2009 was the patron saint
for the sanctification of priests.

And our guest bathroom is dedicated to St. Padre Pio,
another reader of souls like John Vianney,
so that seemed fitting
since souls were naked to these holy men of God,
and our bodies naked in the bathroom.

And now we can call on these saints in a litany,
and the sense of community has grown
and filled our hearts and home
with fullness and joy.

Our home is permeated
with the holy presence of these saints.
Whenever I'm feeling critical of my surroundings,
I remember to call on their intercession
and my perception shifts.

I see beauty again and my heart fills with gratitude
for what I have been given--
friendship with saints.

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us
St. Therese, pray for us
Blessed John Paul II, pray for us
St. Catherine, pray for us
St. Joseph, pray for us
St. John, the Evangelist, pray for us
St. John Vianney, pray for us
                     St. Benedict, pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us
St. Padre Pio, pray for us
                St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us

Scripture says, "We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses..." Heb 12: 1 We have mighty powerful friends above who we can call on to pray for us and our families and those we know who are in need.

These saints found the peace that surpasses understanding, preached and lived the Gospel of peace, and now rest in peace.

All ye saints above, PRAY FOR US!!

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