Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Cult of the Saints

After looking into the tradition of burying St. Joseph when trying to sell property, I was reminded of some of the traditions surrounding the veneration of saints that I discovered in Mexico and in conversation with older priests of my diocese.

I am reminded, for instance, of the Mexican tradition of purchasing statuettes of St. Anthony of Padua in which the Child Jesus in his arms can be removed. The reason for this? In Mexico, at least in the area where I was staying, it is common practice to pray through the intercession of St. Anthony that a young woman will find a husband. Churches are replete with mothers begging Anthony for a son-in-law, and many homes also have these images of him. If, however, Anthony does not respond in short order, the mother is likely to remove the child Jesus from Anthony's arms and refuse to give him back until the daughter has been wed. One young (unmarried I might add) woman told me that her mother had gone so far as to put her image of St. Anthony in the freezer and refuse to remove him until a suitable husband had been found for her daughter.

I am also reminded of the story of the Superior of an order of sisters in Ireland who practiced a great devotion to St. Joseph. Whenever the community needed some special favor, they would intercede through Joseph. However, there were times when Joseph apparently failed to respond with due speed and deference to the community's wishes. As a result, the sisters would form a solemn procession and carry Joseph to the boiler room where he remained until the prayers of the community were answered. When the superior of the community died, there were tears and a great deal of praying. However, there was uproarious laughter when one of the sisters looked at the clock and commented, "Mother Superior has been in heaven for an hour. I expect that by now St. Joseph regrets all the things he didn't give us."


Jinglebob said...


Jodi said...

These are great. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

J. Thorp said...

And humor! I once received an anonymous letter to my home after writing a piece for the newspaper that combined humor and religion -- in this case, I remembered a non-Catholic friend of mine seriously inquiring as to the relationship between the Holy Eucharist and euchre.

This nameless critic more or less condemned me for finding this confusion not only acceptably human, but funny and endearing ...

More humor in the Church -- it's Good News, after all!

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