The saints are always near to us and praying for us at every moment of our lives.
For All Saints’ Day, we asked some of our seminarians to write about their favorite saints, including St. Dymphna, St. Josemaria Escriva, St. Dominic Savio, Blessed Carlo, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Pope John Paul II, and St. Joseph. You can read the reflections below.
Saint Reflections from Seminarians
“11 p.m. on the subway in the Bronx. Not the greatest place to be at that time of night. As I was praying a Divine Mercy on that night in 2017, I looked over and saw another passenger taking some illegal drugs and struggling from their effects. “What do you want me to do about it?”, I asked God. In protest, I put my hands in my pockets to show God that I wanted nothing to do with the situation, but surprisingly, my fingers grasped a card of some sort. Pulling it out, I found a holy card of Saint Dymphna. I had no idea who this “Saint Dymphna” was and had no idea how this card ended up in my pocket, but if God wanted me to do something with it, I decided whatever happened next was on Him. After praying about it for a bit, I went over and talked to the guy for a bit then gave him the holy card (which he graciously accepted) before I went on my way. Later I looked up Saint Dymphna, and lo and behold, she just so happened to be the patron saint of addictions and other mental disorders! Turns out, God knew what He was doing when He sent Saint Dymphna to me.
Since then, I’ve always kept this experience in mind and prayed for that man and to Saint Dymphna. Even in my darkest of moments, she’s always helped me find the light that is Christ. Sometimes, it even seems like she forces her way into my life, just like that night on the subway, to make sure I reorient myself towards Christ, like any good friend would!
Saint Dymphna, pray for us!”
St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago
Class of 2023
St. Josemaria Escriva | Brother Joseph Brom, Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, Archdiocese of Chicago
“Great holiness consists in carrying out the little duties of each moment.” – St. Josemaria Escriva
“It can be very tempting to think that holiness is going to involve lots of big, dramatic moments where our love of God is put to the test in extraordinary ways. Reading about the martyrs inspired some big ideas in me. But in high school, college, and grad school, such moments were few and far between. Most of my life involved the daily grind of going to class, cooking, and riding the bus. Where were the big, dramatic moments? Is holiness supposed to be boring? Discovering St. Josemaria and his emphasis on holiness in daily life was a great grace for me. The big moments do come from time to time. But, virtue is built—our holiness is built—in being faithful in our daily lives. Each little “yes” to prayer, work, and helping others prepares us for when the big “yes” (like joining religious life or seminary) may be necessary.
St. Josemaria Escriva, pray for us!”
Brother Joseph Brom
Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, Archdiocese of Chicago
Class of 2022
While playing football, St. John Bosco asked St. Dominic Savio, “What would you do if you had only one hour left to live?” St. Dominic Savio replied, “I would continue playing football.”
“To always be close to Jesus, that’s my life plan. I’m happy to die because I’ve lived my life without wasting even a minute of it doing things that wouldn’t have pleased God.” – Bl. Carlo Acutis
“Dominic Savio is both my Baptismal and Confirmation patron saint. I have had much love for him, and I am thankful that he has been guiding me throughout my life. I have learned about Blessed Carlo Acutis not that long ago. He was so gifted in technology, and he was the first millennial to be declared Blessed on October 10, 2020 at the Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
Dominic was 14, and Carlo was 15 when they died. With their short but intense lives, they have taught me the importance of being with Jesus and to live in the present moment. In our current generation, it is so easy to be caught up in new technologies; many tend to just move from one thing to another without living in the present moment, and I am not excluded. I have seen in Dominic Savio and Carlo Acutis those who lived in the world, but “not belong to the world” (Jn 17:16).
They have transformed their every ordinary moment by extraordinary love of the Eucharistic Lord and others. They have helped me realize that I could not change my past, and I do not have power over the future. The only thing that is given to me is the present moment, and in it, I would like to be as joyful, loving, and hopeful as possible in order to get myself ready whenever the Good Lord may call me to live with Him.
St. Dominic Savio and Blessed Carlo Acutis, pray for us!
“Our intimate connections with our closest friends are one of our greatest treasures and can give so much solace to the soul. However, once the depth of intimacy has been truly tasted, other types of relating may seem pale in comparison. Even though we are destined to be closer to some souls than to others, intimacy is ultimately about sincerity, and we can be sincere with everybody even with those we meet in the supermarket.” – St. Teresa of Avila (Meditations with Teresa of Avila)
“In this day and age, friendship and sincerity with one another can seem foreign. We often forget the value of relationships and the reason friends are in our lives.
St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross’ intimate friendship has always been an inspiration for me. Although she was an older nun and he was a newly ordained priest, both became good friends. Their bond was rooted in God’s love, and in their differences, they saw the value of one another.
May they be an inspiration for us today as we seek to be sincere in our own friendships and with those around us.
Santa Teresa of Avila, pray for us!”
“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; he is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is he who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is he who urges you to shed the masks of a false life;… who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives.” – St. John Paul II
This quote from St. John Paul II continually reminds me that nothing in this life will fulfill me or satisfy me; my ultimate satisfaction and fulfillment only occur when everything in my life is ordered to and around the person of Jesus Christ.
The intercession of St. JPII for me has been profoundly powerful and his life inspires and models for me what it looks like to be an authentic man of Christ, an authentic disciple of Christ, and God willing, an authentic priest of Jesus Christ.
Saint Pope John Paul II, pray for us!”
“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid . . .”
In these difficult and uncertain times, it is more important than ever to look to the saints for strength, courage, hope, and a spirit of care for others. As patron of the Universal Church, St. Joseph continually guards and ministers to the needs of God’s people, just as he did for Jesus and Mary. His intercession helps us little by little to follow his example in heeding the exhortation of the angel to be not afraid.
In the losing of Jesus after the feasts in Jerusalem, we see Joseph struck with an incomprehensible anguish. Not only can we find consolation in relating to Joseph our own sufferings, but also, Joseph shows us the only appropriate response we can have when we find ourselves separated from Jesus: to seek after Him with haste!
And so, we pray as on the 8th day of the Novena to St. Joseph, “Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to suffer for Jesus and Mary. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to bear my suffering patiently for love of Jesus and Mary. Grant that I may unite the sufferings, works and disappointments of life with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass, and share like you in Mary’s spirit of sacrifice.
Ite ad Joseph!”