We all have our favorite saints. I’m a Secular Franciscan, so naturally, St. Francis and St. Clare are my favorites, and I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know them. I have also taken the time to get to know St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Peter Faber, among many others.
Getting to know the saints—or letting them get to know us—involves more than learning facts about them. We want to develop a relationship with them. Just as being a good neighbor requires that we know more than a neighbor’s address, developing a relationship with a saint means more than knowing the saint’s date of birth, feast day, what he or she is the patron of, and other biographical details.
Perhaps the best way to get to know a saint is to pray with her or him. I offer the following meditation to guide you in praying with the saints.
Before you get started, bring to mind a particular saint. You may already have a patron saint or another saint to whom you feel close. If that’s not the case, that’s OK; there’s nothing wrong with picking a saint at random or praying with the saint of the day. (They’re all good; they’re saints, after all.)
Once you have a saint in mind, you will need some reading material related to the saint. If you have access to the actual writing of the saint, perfect! If not, having brief biographical information about the saint will work well too. You don’t need much material; just a few paragraphs will do.
The meditation that follows has five steps: Center, Read, Share, Rest, and Imitate. Before starting, find a prayerful space where you can be alone with the Lord.
You can use this meditation with any saint. Over time, you may find that meditating on a specific saint will lead to feelings of consolation. If this is the case, consider that an invitation to learn more about the saint and her or his charism. You might even be receiving a call to follow this saint more closely and enter religious life.
The saints are more than the heroes of our faith or role models for holy living. They are people who care for and love us, who actively lead us to follow Christ. When we take the time to get to know them, we are learning about our own unique call to do what they did: live as if the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.