Thursday, January 3, 2013

Our Family's 2013 Patron Saint

Last year, I saw the idea of choosing a personal or familial patron saint for the year - a saint to learn more about, to apply to daily life, and one to pray to as an intercessor for personal intentions. I liked  the idea, but never did it, being busy with a new baby and all.

This year, however, I decided to do it. Instead of each family member having an individual patron saint for the year, I prayed for one who could take on the role for the entire family. I figured that way I would more likely stay on track and we could all focus on learning about and praying to one saint.

Using Jennifer's Saint's Name Generator, I said a little prayer, and turned the wheel, so to speak, to see which saint would come up for my family.

The Holy Doctor from Naples
Feast Day: November 16
Patron of bachelors, people rejected by religious orders, physicians

I am still wondering how this saint ties in with my family. St. Joseph was one of many children born in Italy. He grew up rather wealthy - I am guessing considering his father was a well-known magistrate and lawyer and his mother was of noble birth; not to mention, St. Joseph was able to attend university at the turn of the century and become a doctor.

Why the medical field? Apparently, he was "inspired" after his brother fell from a horse during his military service and received an incurable head trauma, and was treated at home.

He remained unmarried, taking a vow of chastity and appeared to lead a very charitable life. He of course was a doctor, a hospital administrator, and a medical researcher. You can read his contributions in that field here. He also took his faith seriously: attended daily Mass, prayed regularly, practiced charity, used faith in his medical practice (in diagnosing and in treatment). He died peacefully at the age of 46.

After looking around, I found this quote, and it definitely is a topic that has weighed heavily on me, in light of all our dietary changes and health issues (minor as they are compared to others).
"One must attend first to the salvation of the soul and only then to that of the body."
Certainly, after struggling with minor depression over the past year - and having experienced it more strongly in the past - I can say that having faith goes a long way in treating both the mental and the physical. I think it is a battle both ways... When your body is out of sync for whatever reason, your faith is either pushed to the front or to the side. But without faith, your body will only heal so much.

I do look forward to seeing how the year unfolds with St. Joseph.

Dear St. Joseph Moscati, true model of Christian doctors, in the exercise of your medical profession, you always took care of both the body and soul of every patient. Look on us, who have recourse to your heavenly intercession, and obtain for us both physical and spiritual health, and a share in the dispensation of heavenly favors. Sooth the pains of our suffering people; give comfort to the sick, consolation to the afflicted and hope to the despondent. May our young people find in you an ideal, our workers an example, the aging a comfort, the dying the hope of eternal salvation. To all of us be a pattern of industriousness, honesty and charity; so we may comply with our Christian duties and glorify God our Father. Amen.

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