When my husband and I were planning our wedding, the deacon who would be presiding asked us if we had a favourite saint to include in the Litany of Saints. As a new Catholic, I was still getting used to the idea that I could ask the saints in heaven for help here on earth. My husband had a few saints to suggest for the list, but otherwise we gave our deacon the go-ahead to pick saints for us.
Three years later, we were browsing a list of baby names given to us by the church where we were doing baptismal prep for our second daughter, Lily. My husband began looking up some of the names on the list, wondering who the saints were. He soon called me over to read more about St. Bridget of Sweden, patron saint of midwives.
At the time, I was very frustrated with my care providers and worried about Lily’s birth, so asking the patron of midwives to pray for me seemed like a great idea. (Maybe her intercession was the reason that Lily was born a week late—on the weekend that the doctor I didn’t like was away, so I was assisted at Lily’s birth by a nurse and another doctor, who were much more willing to listen to my requests.)
I’d been drawing closer to Mary since my first pregnancy with Sunshine. I felt like I could count on her prayers because she too had been a mom who was pregnant under difficult circumstances and could understand the fear and worry that surround pregnancy. As a woman, she knew what I was going through and could carry my requests much more eloquently before God.
When I was expecting Jade, I wondered what other saints could intercede for me during this time. That’s when I found St. Gerard, and used an image and prayer to him during my pregnancy and labour with Jade. I later made a list of other Patron Saints of Pregnancy and Childbirth.
Since then, I’ve often found myself thinking, “There’s a saint for that.”
When Lily wakes up in the middle of the night crying because her legs ache, I find myself asking Mary (a mother) and St. Luke (the physician) to pray for her, and telling myself I must look up other saints of aching legs.
When we travel, we ask Our Lady of the Way to pray for our safe journey (my husband loves the pun with her name and ours).
When Sunshine doesn’t want to practice violin, I ask St. Cecilia (patron saint of marriage) to pray for us both.
When we went through a tough season in our marriage, I looked for patron saints of marriage to intercede for us.
Before I joined the Catholic Church, I thought the stories of the saints were just that—stories. How could the lives of people who lived long ago (or even not so long ago) really affect me? Now, I think about the saints daily.
Their lives inspire me to be a better mom, wife, and Christian. They were ordinary people like me who went through struggles, just as I have, and came out the other side with a stronger faith. And so they know what it’s like to go through that and can pray for me even when I don’t know what to pray for in the midst of struggle.
These days, I’m so glad there’s a saint for that.
Here are some saint books for moms that I’ve appreciated during my daily devotional time or when I need a saint for a specific reason (these are affiliate links):