The first saint in my own personal litany of friends in Heaven is St. Therese. She has been my friend and patroness since I was a very little girl.
It was in college that I grew close to the Archangel, St. Raphael. Of course, I knew his story from the Book of Tobit. He came disguised as a guide and led young Tobias on a journey for his father. Besides helping Tobias to collect money, Raphael also directed him to land a fish that they brought home and used (in a miracle!) to heal Tobit’s eyesight. But that’s not all that Raphael did for Tobias, he also led him on a journey to Ecbatana, the home of Sara–the spouse that God intended for Tobias.
St. Raphael leads Tobias on a journey to his vocation!
As I discerned and waited for my own vocation and spouse to become clear to me, I placed myself under St. Raphael’s guidance as well. My motto became “Ambulo Ecbatanis,” “I journey to Ecbatana.” Ecbatana was the town where Sara lived and where Tobias and Sara were wed.
St. Raphael had instructions for Tobias as he entered into marriage:
“The fiend has power over such as go about their marrying with all thought of God shut out of their hearts and minds, wholly intent on their lust, as if they were horse or mule, brutes without reason. Not such be thy mating, when thou hast won thy bride.” (Tobit 6:17-18)
St. Raphael certainly guided me. When we prayed the prayer of Tobit and Sara on our wedding night, we too put our marriage firmly in God’s hands. My husband and I continue to seek St. Raphael’s protection and guidance on us and upon our children and their journeys in life.
St. Raphael, pray for us!
Our family prayers in the evening are very short. Typically 3 Hail Marys followed by our litany to our own special patron saints. Honestly, we still don’t all remember to say our prayers before we start dropping off to sleep, but we’re working on making it a habit earlier in the evening!
When we first began our courtship, we only had four saints in our litany. Two of my special heavenly friends, and two that were especially close to The Hunter.
My first and dearest patron is St. Therese of Lisieux. My mom read me a TAN children’s story of The Little Flower many years ago. I loved her striving for holiness as a young child and the story of her fishing trips with her father. When the time came, I chose St. Therese (she chose me?) as my Confirmation saint.
St. Therese and her papa. Both such an inspiration!
St. Therese has been with me for many years–and our relationship changes as I grow. I can still learn so much from her! I loved reading the account of her sister, Celine, who followed Therese to Carmel and was a novice under St. Therese’s formation. I thought that with Celine, I can learn from Therese!
The dining room of Therese and her family. The clock on the mantel was made by her father.
Five years ago, I was blessed to visit Lisieux, and the home of Therese and her family, her bedroom, her toys and dresses, her parish church, and many scenes from her life that I am so familiar with!
The view from Therese’s front door.
Now, I also try to learn from Therese’s parents–but that comes a little later in our litany. Check back soon for the story of our litany and how it has grown!