by Ken Rolheiser
Praying with the Saints and Miracles

Lost something? Pray to the saints. I desperately needed to find my bag of silver pieces backstage in Winnipeg as we rehearsed for THE MYSTERY OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST play, back in the 2004. I prayed to St Jude, which wasn’t a bad choice.

St Anthony is the patron saint you pray to for lost items. St Jude is for impossible cases. I sat down. Prayed. And in mere minutes I changed direction, retraced my steps and retrieved the coins needed on stage for our videotaped dress rehearsal.

St Francis of Assisi is a patron saint of animals and the environment. We desperately need him today. St Christopher is patron saint of travellers and his medal is found in many vehicles.

St Valentine was martyred for marrying couples against the emperors orders. St Valentine is patron of love and romance, and we all know how critical that is come February 14. 

“Prayer is always born again: each time we join our hands and open our hearts to God, we find ourselves in the company of anonymous saints and recognized saints who pray with us and who intercede for us as older brothers and sisters who have preceded us,” said Pope Francis in a general audience.

Saints praise God and intercede for us, and we should ask their assistance for ourselves and the whole world, says the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (CCC, 2683).

Many of us have experienced the intercession of saints. Look at St Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal and count the crutches and wheelchairs. Go to Fatima or to St Bernadette’s chapel of healing in Lourdes. She is the patron saint of the sick. Bernadette dug into dry soil and a spring flows from it until today.

St Christopher helped people cross a turbulent river. Legend tells us he once helped a small boy, and as he continued through the river the boy became heavier and heavier. When he reached the other side, he recognized Jesus as his passenger.

The point is that we believe in the help of God’s saints. Many of us have experienced first hand how family members in heaven have assisted us miraculously on occasion. On the highway: “That was a close call. Thank you, Dad.”

“Invite a saint to pray the Rosary with you,” says Philip Kosloski in a column by that title. Praying the rosary may often seem repetitive, and we may struggle to stay focussed. Pray with the saints. Pray with your deceased parent or sibling. It works magic on your concentration.

The intercession of saints closely united with Christ is a powerful addition to the holiness we find in Mother Church. Our weakness is greatly helped as the saints intercede with God on our behalf. 

We may not see them or feel their presence, but we may enjoy surprising graces when we invite their help. Look at the holy places of Mary’s apparitions, or the places where saints have interceded for us like St Joseph’s Oratory.

Perhaps we need an education on miracles:
“When God steps in, miracles happen.”
“Life is a series of tiny miracles. Notice them” Unknown.
“Where there is great love there are always miracles” Willa Cather.
“I am realistic – I expect miracles” Wayne Dyer (motivational speaker).
“Even miracles take a little time” Fairy Godmother.
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