Friday, January 1, 2016

2016: Saint and Word


Well, 2015 wasn't a bad year. When I think back to the great Jubilee of 2000 I can't believe we are already 15 years removed!

I used Jennifer Fulwiler's Saint Generator to pick a Saint for me and find my selection most fascinating. I got St. William of Rochester. His feast is May 23rd. 
William led a wild and misspent youth, but as an adult he had a complete conversion, devoting himself to God, caring especially for poor and neglected children. He worked as a baker, and gave every tenth loaf to the poor. He attended Mass daily, and one morning on his way to church he found an infant abandoned on the threshold. He named the baby David, and adopted him, and taught him his trade.
Years later he and David set out on a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands. During a stop-over in Rochester, England the boy David turned on William, clubbed him, cut his throat, robbed the body, and fled. Because he was on a holy journey, and because of the miraculous cures later reported at his tomb, he is considered a martyr.
A local insane woman found William’s body, and plaited a garland of honeysuckle flowers for it; she placed the garland on William, and then on herself whereupon her madness was cured. Local monks, seeing this as a sign from God, interred William in the local cathedral and began work on his shrine. His tomb and a chapel at his murder scene, called Palmersdene, soon became sites of pilgimage and donation, even by the crown. Remains of the chapel can be seen near the present Saint William’s Hospital.
He was born in Scotland and died in England and is the patron of adopted children. Now, unless God has quite the trick up His sleeve, while I have always found adoption very beautiful and worthy of discernment, it isn't something I'd consider seriously discerning until some of my children are significantly older, so I don't think of him as appropriate in that light. What intrigues me more is his patronage in terms of myself as an adopted child of God and adopted daughter of Mary, so I will be looking at him this year in that light and am very interested how he may play into the coming year.  

I honestly didn't know what word to pick for 2016. Nothing made sense and nothing fit. No one word felt right. And then, on Monday morning, it hit me. And I completely failed to recognize the connection to my selected Saint for the year. I'm not sure how this word will play out for the year, but my word is Mary. Frankly, I think everyone needs Mary, even if they don't realize it, so I'm hoping to focus this year on Mary and see if she and I can't get better acquainted. 

Happy New Year!

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