Why Catholics Pray to Saints?

Saints are dope, and oftentimes misunderstood by people who are not Catholic. So I am going to clarify: why we pray to saints; talk about some really cool saints; and tell you how to become a saint!

Why do People Pray to Saints?

Saints are Jesus’s messengers, and we pray to them for their intercession. I like to think of saints like Amazon Prime; they deliver our prayer directly to God and intercede on our behalf. The prayer gets to God super fast, and now it’s not just me asking for a specific petition because my prayer has become the saint’s prayer too. Don’t get me wrong, praying directly to God is an awesome way to pray, and He always hears our prayers. But God is a busy man! There are different saints for different causes. The saint we pray to depends on what we are praying for. There are saints for just about anything you may need help with; whether it’s fighting cancer, or you need help studying, or you may have lost your keys. Whatever the problem, there’s a saint for it. And since saints are super tight with God, they can ask Him to answer our prayer, face to face!

Some Really Cool Saints!

All saints are cool, but there are certain saints I have become especially close to because I have prayed to them for years. There are over 10,000 saints. If I were to talk about all of them, this blog post would take me forever! These are just my favorite saints, but hopefully this inspires you to learn more about other saints!

Saint Teresa of Calcutta

My Confirmation Saint, and one of my biggest role models. She saw Jesus in every person, and loved with a heart like God’s; full of love and mercy. For years, like many of us, she struggled with hearing the voice of God. She often felt lonely, but continued to serve God by serving his people, and loving those the world saw as unlovable. All I can say is we need more Mother Teresa’s in this world!

Feast day: September 5

Patron Saint of: Right to Life, The Marginalized, the Poor

Saint Therese of Lisieux “The Little Flower”

This is my mom’s favorite saint, and not going to lie, she’s pretty dope. When she was 15 years old, she entered the Carmelite Convent to become a nun. She had been refused prior to this because she was too young. She had a short life, only lived to the age of 24. But in that short amount of time, she worshipped God constantly and suffered greatly for Him. The reason why I love her so much is that she answers your prayer with a rose. If God is granting your petition, she will send you a rose on the day of that “yes”! As humans we love physical signs from God, and receiving a rose is just so special. A rose all the way from heaven!

Feast Day: October 1st

Patron Saint of: florists, France, loss of parents, missions and youth

Saint Joseph

The earthly foster-father to Jesus. Over the years, I have prayed many novenas (9 day prayer) to him. He is such a great role model for all Catholic men. He lead such a virtuous life, and helped raised Jesus. Just think, he is the one man on this earth that God trusted to raise his only son, Jesus. That’s a huge responsibility, and it says a lot about his character.

Feast Day: March 19

Patron Saint of: A happy death, carpenters, fathers, men and workers

Saint Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony is a pretty awesome man! I have a prayer book that I have used for years with multiple prayers to St Anthony. Every time I lose something, I say a prayer to St Anthony, and then find it! It’s like magic! If what you lost, can be found, he’ll lead you to it. He is also the saint I prayed to junior year when I took the SAT and ACT. Don’t mean to flex, but with many prayers and studying, my SAT improved 240 points and my ACT went up 5 points so…

Feast Day: June 13

Patron Saint of: amputees, expectant mothers, lost things, married couples and seafarers

Saint John Paul II

Okay, now this was a cool dude, no cap! He literally was the coolest Pope ever (my personal opinion)! He was Pope from 1978 to 2005. He was very vocal on human rights, and was also the first non-Italian pope in over 400 years, aka a very long time! He was the first Pope to visit the White House and he canonized more saints than any other pope!

Feast Day: October 22

Patron Saint of: hope, perseverance, Poland, World Youth Day

Saint Philomena

Saint Philomena, is a saint I just recently learned about. I find her to be really cool, and honestly, Catholic teens should pray to her. She is the saint of purity, and became a virgin martyr. She died at the age of 13. Since she took a vow of purity, she’s a great saint to pray to for strength to live a pure life. We live in a society where it is so hard to stay pure, and where purity is greatly uncool, and under appreciated.

Feast Day: August 11

Patron Saint of : children and purity

Those are just some of the many saints I have come to know, and love over the years! A company that really helps me to express my faith everyday is https://www.tinysaints.com/. I love this company so much! Tiny Saints are miniature little saints that you can clip on your key chain or backpack. They come on a card that tells you all about the saint. I have like 10 saints on my key chain right now! They are also great gifts for your Catholic friends/ family! So I really encourage you to check them out! You can never have too many tiny saints!

How to Become a Saint?

This is definitely a hot topic among many Catholics. If you ask a practicing Catholic what their goal in life is, their answer would probably be to become a saint. Becoming a saint with a lowercase “s” means you got to heaven, becoming a Saint with an uppercase “S” means you are canonized by the Pope, and have had performed two confirmed miracles. Wouldn’t becoming a canonized Saint be so cool!?!? Clearly I am not a saint, but I hope to be one day. To become a saint you need to live a virtuous life serving God and His people. We are called to take up our cross daily, surrender to God’s will, no matter how hard it may be, and love with a heart like Jesus. We must STRIVE for holiness. Seems like a lot of work, but here’s the secret – anyone can become a saint! If you make it to heaven, you become a saint. But if you want to be an exceptional “Saint”, surrender your heart to God and give Him complete control of your life. Because that is one thing that ALL the Saints have in common – total love for and trust in God. He uses the weak to lead the strong, and no one is ever too far gone for God. There are many canonized saints that have murdered people, denied God, and the Catholic church, but eventually turned to God and lived the life he intended them to live. So always remember – anyone can become a Saint!

I hope this clarifies what the purpose of saints are in the Catholic church. But if you are still confused, feel free to comment with any questions you have!

Where do we go from here?

With many churches closing during the most important season in the Catholic Church; Many people are left wondering “what do we do from here?” I know right now it seems difficult to keep up with living out your Catholic faith like you hoped this Lenten season. However, I promise you it can still be done, and your faith can grow stronger despite the major bumps in the road.

First, I know it’s not ideal but watching mass online is a great option during these borrowed times. For lent I was trying to go to daily mass at least 3 times a week. With the news breaking of most churches closing because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Wanting to praise God in every way possible but not being able to physically go to my church is going to be such a challenge, but nothing that can’t be overcome. Receiving the Eucharist is a huge part of our faith and during lent it is especially important to receive the Eucharist. But now that mass is canceled going to communion isn’t an option. So in the meantime as I watch mass online everyday, I say a prayer of spiritual communion (the prayer is at the end of this post). Even though I would rather receive the Eucharist this is the best we can do in the meantime while we try to contain this virus so hopefully can get back to normal life.

COVID-19 has really put things into perspective for me and hopefully it has for many other people in this world. As a society we move too fast. We need to slow down and focus on the things that are most important: GOD!! This world is so far from what God has intended it too be. God loves us so much that he gives us free will and free spirit to love. He lets us chose how we live our life’s even if our plan is different from his plan. Just look around our world is a disaster! Where is God? God has been taken out of our society and people and material things are idolized! God doesn’t cause pain, we ourselves cause pain by living our life not in accordance of his will. God is telling us to wake up and look around! You don’t have unlimited time to follow him. You might not have tomorrow. So today is always a great day to start living the life God has planned for you!

Remember God never gives us anything we can’t handle. It might seem like a lot right now but nothing is too big for God!! Give all you stress, anxiety and fear too him! He’s holding your world in his hands so stop trying control the one who made you and knows you more than anyone or anything.

Act of Spiritual Communion

Say this prayer during communion when watching mass online!

“My Jesus, I believe that Thou art present
in the Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all things
and I desire Thee in my soul.
Since I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
As though thou wert already there,
I embrace Thee and unite myself wholly to Thee;
permit not that I should ever be separated from Thee.”

The Eucharist

Hands down my favorite part of the Catholic faith is the Eucharist. Having the chance to receive the Eucharist brings me so much joy! Nothing compares to watching the bread and wine consecrate into the body and blood of Christ at mass, right before your eyes!

As Catholics, we are so unworthy to receive the body of Christ, but Jesus lets us receive him anyway! How cool is that!! He lets us receive him at mass, so we can become more like him. After receiving the Eucharist you are supposed to go out into the world and be more Christ-like. The Eucharist is one of the main things that separates the Catholic Church from other denominations, so I feel it is oftentimes misunderstood by many people. So I just wanted to share some information on something that is so important too me and many other people.

Some Facts on the Eucharist

  • You can’t receive the Eucharist until you have made your First Communion in the Catholic Church. Many Catholics make their First Communion in 2nd grade, but you can make it anytime after that. The reason why most people make it in 2nd grade is because that’s when the church believes the child is old enough to go to their first reconciliation and have a knowledge on what it is they are receiving.
  • In the Catholic Church, the Eucharist is not symbolic to the body of Christ, it IS the body and blood of Christ.
  • The Eucharist is special, when you eat food you consume the food. Yet, when you receive the Eucharist it consumes you. When you receive the Eucharist you become more like Christ. Christ is present within you, so go out and shine the light he gave you. Be like Christ.

When Shouldn’t you receive the Eucharist?

Even though it is extremely important to receive the Body of Christ as much as possible there are times where it shouldn’t be received. The first one is in the state of mortal sin!! I know most of us have received Jesus in the state of mortal sin, but it is so important we try not too. The reason being as sinful humans we are already so unworthy to receive him, but he lets us anyway. But if you receive Jesus in the state of mortal sin, where your relationship is already broken from God, you down play the importance of the Eucharist. Guys!! that is the Body of Christ, the one who DIED ON THE CROSS for all of us!! So why are you downplaying the importance of it! Also you shouldn’t receive if you don’t believe it is the body and blood of Christ. About 2/3rds of Catholics don’t believe the bread and wine is actually the body and blood of Christ. So why do I not see 2/3rds of the congregation sitting down at communion or crossing there arms to receive a blessing? I think it’s because people want other people to think they are “good Catholics” or they are trying hard to believe it really is the body of Christ or they just don’t care, “I’m receiving Jesus because I am supposed too”. First off, what people see on the outside doesn’t matter, if you want to be a good Catholic, take the steps to become one. I know so many people are put off by Catholics because they say one thing and do something else or they judge others for not being Catholic. What if instead we loved everyone and lived out our faith like God intended us too and only received the Eucharist when we were in the state to do so. Remember being Catholic is something that should be treasured, so treasure the Eucharist just the same. If you don’t believe all I can tell you is pray! Pray that Jesus helps your unbelief. Go to adoration and pray in front of the body of Christ and ask God to help you believe! For years I struggled to believe it was the body of Christ so I didn’t receive it. I went a good 2 years without receiving Christ. I know now as Catholics you are supposed too receive the Eucharist once during the lent and Easter season, but how was I supposed to receive something if I didn’t value it like I should. It wasn’t until half way into my senior year of high school that I saw it as the body of Christ and started to receive Jesus at mass again. There is nothing that brings me more joy than receiving the Eucharist! I get so excited at daily mass when I get to receive Jesus, because sometimes I don’t get too receive him since I have sins that I have to go to confession for. I treasure the Eucharist with my whole heart! I am so lucky that I’m Catholic and Jesus is so humble and selfless that we get to receive him even though we all know we are so unworthy compared to him.

Ash Wednesday/ Lent

Happy Ash Wednesday!! AKA the best Wednesday of the year! I love Ash Wednesday because it marks the start of the Lenten season. I went too 7 am mass to get my ashes because I love having my ashes on all day. I have been getting my ashes before class for 4 years now and I love all the conversations it starts! But this year is special! My ashes are on the side of my forehead!! After I came out of mass I laughed for a good 20 minutes, God is so funny and always finds the weirdest ways to bring me joy!

Significance of Ashes

Ash Wednesday originated during the 6th century in the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics and other Christian denominations get ashes on Ash Wednesday to symbolize penance. They also represent our faith and traditions within the church. When ashes are placed on your forehead, the priest says “repent and believe in the Gospel.” Repentance is when we express sincere regret for the sins we have committed and promise to God to be better in the future. Lent is a great time to grow in your understanding of the word of God, and believe the words that are written in the bible.

What is Lent?

Lent is a time where we are supposed to grow in our relationship with Christ to prepare for his death and resurrection. Lent represents the 40 days and 40 nights Jesus was tempted in the desert by the devil. Lent is 6 weeks long, it starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday.

How do we grow in our relationship with Christ during Lent?

During lent many people give something up or add something to grow deeper in their relationship with Christ. I think it’s is great to give stuff up, but the purpose of lent is to grow in a deeper love of Jesus. Let’s say you give up junk food, how does that help you grow in deeper relationship for Christ? I’m not saying don’t give up junk food, but I am asking you how does that draw you closer to Jesus? This goes for anything, if you don’t have a solid answer for how that helps build your relationship, I would recommend you give up something else or add something on top of it. I have never been one who liked giving up things for Lent since it didn’t help build my relationship with Christ it just distracted me from my relationship from him. Instead, I try to grow in holiness by adding things to my daily life! Since coming to college I have struggled so much with saying my rosary every day, but I want to grow in a deeper relationship with Jesus through the Blessed Mother. I also want to attend daily mass as much as I possibly can to receive Jesus in the eucharist and learn more about him through scripture. I also have decided to add a daily devotional my mom got me! I love daily devotions because they only take 5 mins out of your day and they are always so powerful. I also have decided that this Lent I will try to be more merciful towards myself and not be so hard on myself. I struggle so much with thinking I sin more than I do and overthink everything. I have become so focused on the idea that God will only love me if I’m perfect and don’t sin. But God loves us as we are and he knows what’s truly in our hearts. I have been telling everyone else that, but I need to start believing it for myself and accepting God’s mercy. Our God is a merciful God.

I wish everyone the best this lent! I pray that your relationship with Christ grows so much, so you are prepared for his death and resurrection. Remember he died on the Cross for YOU! So what can you do to show your gratitude towards his selfless mercy? He loves you and adores you like you are the only human he ever created! Happy Lent! Make it a good one!

New Beginnings

Welcome to my new blog! I’m back but this time, I am blogging about the one thing I love more than anything, Jesus. It has taken me a while to realize where God was leading me. But I have found my purpose in my Catholic faith, time and time again. My new blog is going to be anything and everything Catholic! I am so excited to share my life with you! The journey God has taken me on the mercy he has shown me and how God has worked in every aspect of my life. I am so excited about this new chapter in my life! I am so excited to share the faith I love so much with the world. So stay tuned for new posts coming very soon!