23 February 2008

Saints Meme

Mulier Fortis posted this Meme over on her blog the other day and I got a tag to join in. I am not a net newbie, in many respects but can someone explain to me the name, Meme, where does it come from, what does it mean?

Anyhow, the rules for this Meme are as follows:

1. Answer the questions! You can give a reason for the answer if you like.
2. As for tagging people, you tag as many as you want or as little...minimum of one. There's no obligation to play.
3. Last of all, have fun!

Sounds simple enough. So, here we go:

1. First Saint you "met"?
My first experience with a Saint was way before I joined the Catholic Church. Officially I've only been part of the Church for just over two years, after my 'conversion moment' back on the 1st January 2006. I've gone through RCIA which is just completing and I get fully received into the Church this Easter!
Anyhow, my first experience of a Saint was with Sant' Antonio di Padua. Antonio is my middle name, and after I got married to an Italian lady I was introduced to the wonderful idea of 'Onnomastico' where you celebrate the feast day of your Saint. The feast day for Sant' Antonio is June 13th.

2. Favourite Saint(s)?
My experience with Saints is still something new, and I am learning more and more every day. I have a special affection for Our Holy Mother, and love praying the Rosary. St Joseph is very personal for me, and after much studying of Saints in the last few months (where most of my limited understanding of Saints comes from) so I could find a Saint to share on my confirmation, it was St Joseph I heard call. St Joseph is amazing, a just and righteous man, and no matter how long I live I will never be a tenth of the man St Joseph was. Other favourite Saints, with not many surprises I guess, include St Peter, St Paul, St Teresa of Avila and St Francis of Assisi. I also love the story of St Joseph of Cupertino, called The Dunce, and who is Patron of people taking exams.

3. Patron saint for the year?
I never knew about this; we can take a Patron St personally for the year? How do you do that? Who gives you the Saint? Would anyone like to suggest a Saint for a newbie Catholic?

4. Favourite book by a saint?
I hadn't read any, til recently. My study time has been taken up reading the Bible, and reading the Catechism. Any Catholic must be intimate with both as a minimum. Just recently I have started to look into readings of the saints. For Lent I am reading from the Early Church Fathers daily, by the end of Lent I will have read ten of the Church Fathers. I have just started The Way of Perfection, which is just amazing, by St Teresa of Avila, and I have also recently purchased The Confessions of St Augustine.

5. Saint book you are reading now?
The Way of Perfection, St Teresa of Avila

6. Favourite film of a saint?
I don't think I have ever seen one. I did see a TV mini series on Italian TV about St Francis, though.

7. Favourite Autobiography/Biography of a saint?
I've not yet read one. I have so many things to learn, to read, I don't know where to start!

8. Favourite novel/book by a saint?
I can't answer that yet.

9. Saint (besides your favourites) you'd want to meet?
I had to give this a lot of thought, for reasons already explained. I don't know enough, yet, to be able to give an insightful answer to this question. And, whilst in thought, I got a strong image of San Gennaro (St Jenarius). His feast day is September 19th, and he is the patron of Naples. The Cathedral in Naples holds a vial of the blood of St Gennaro, and on his feast day it liquefies. It is said that if this miracle happens then Naples will be protected for another year. The Neopolitans are very proud of their patron Saint.

10. Saint you look to for help?
At the moment I am developing my relationship with St Joseph, so it is he whom I turn to help at the moment.

11.Favourite saint quote?
Oh, how little I know, and how much I have to learn. But I do like this quote, from St Jerome: Read God's Book continually; never let the sacred volume be out of your hand. Learn, so that you may teach.

12. Favourite Holy Card?
Erm, not sure I have one, to be honest.

13. Favourite story of a saint?
It is regarding St Joseph of Cupertino. By all accounts he was gracious, kind, warm hearted and always ready to please, but when it came to learning he just couldn't get the hang of it. It seemed things wouldn't stick in his head. He wanted to join the Franciscans, but because of his poor efforts at study, he failed. After a few attempts he was admitted once again to the order to try and become a full member, with the hope that he could learn enough to be ordained. It is said:
He could never expound a Sunday Gospel in a way to satisfy his professors; one only text seemed to take hold of him, and on that he could always be eloquent; speaking from knowledge which was not found in books. It was a text of St. Luke (xi, 27): "Beatus venter qui te portavit."

Finally, came the time for Joseph to take his oral exam in front of the Bishop. This is what happened:
Minor Orders in those days were easily conferred, and even the subdiaconate; but for the diaconate and the priesthood a special examination had to be passed, in presence of the bishop himself. As a matter of form, but with no hope of success, Joseph was sent up to meet his fate. The bishop opened the New Testament at haphazard; his eye fell upon the text "Beatus venter qui te portavit," and he asked Joseph to discourse upon it. To the surprise of everyone present Joseph began, and it seemed as if he would never end; he might have been a Master in Theology lost in a favorite theme. There could be no question about his being given the diaconate. A year later came the priesthood, and Joseph had again his ordeal to undergo. He was examined with a number of others One by one the first candidates were tested, and their answers were far above the average. At length the bishop, more than satisfied with what he had heard, cut the examination short, and passed the rest unquestioned. Joseph was among the fortunate candidates who were asked nothing, and was ordained along with the rest. He was twenty-five years of age.

14. If you could go anywhere on a pilgrimage to a saint's homeland, where would it be?
I missed out on being able to attend our Parish trip to Lourdes for the feast day on the 11th February, and Lourdes remains at the top of the list of places I would like to go.

15. Any Blesseds or Venerables that you would like to become canonized?
I'm sure there are many worthy, but none I know enough about to comment

An interesting list of questions. and oh boy, I still have so much to learn about my Faith, but that is one of the things I love about being Catholic. The Faith is so rich in history and there is so much around it, I could spend every day for the rest of my life learning, and still only scratch the surface of it all.

Now, the idea is is I 'tag' someone to join in here, so if you've read this far and you would like to join in, post up on your blog your Q&A and drop a note in the comments box so I can come and have a read.

1 comment:

Mac McLernon said...

Great answers Jay.

The word "meme" comes up in philosophy - and the meaning seems pretty vague, though I gather it refers to social ideas which get passed on, the social science equivalent of genes.

As for the Saint of the year, there's a blog dedicated to that, you submit your name and get given a saint. Last year a seminarian did it, this year I think it was Angela Messenger... though her blog appears to have had a restricted access put on it, but I'm sure you can request access by following the links...