by Fr. David Lenz, OFM Conv.
On November 1st the Church has traditionally celebrated the Feast of All Saints. This is an opportunity for us to connect with our beloved deceased holy friends and celebrate their glorious relationship with God.
Many of us have a favorite saint whom we have connected with over a lifetime. My Franciscan brothers have long taught me and modeled their love for the Saints. I recall Fr. Juniper Cummings’ love for St. Anthony and how he wrote his dissertation on St. Anthony when he was studying in the seminary. Certainly I cannot fail to mention Fr. Wayne Hellman’s love and devoted study of St. Bonaventure. Both of these men were examples to all friars of the importance of building and nurturing a relationship with a saint.
My own ‘saint-friend’ is the Friar Padre Pio. I exhort our new novices each year to become acquainted with a saint and nourish a friendship by prayer and reading as much as possible with their ‘saint-friend.’
As we celebrate the Feast of All Saints, it is good for us to call to mind our favorite saint and read a bit about him or her.
One Friar who had a great devotion to St. Anthony of Padua described his devotion this way. He said he had the small wedding band of his deceased mother, which he wore to remind him of her presence. From there he went on to describe his devotion to the relics of St. Anthony, which remind him of the Saint and nourish his friendship with him.
May God grant you peace, comfort, and freedom from anxiety as you recall and reaffirm your relationship with your special Saint.
“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” (John 12:24)