On the Feast of St. Brigid, on Monday, the kids and I got to talking about the saints. Of course we know that they're all friends NOW, in heaven. But we were kind of intrigued by the idea that St. Brigid and St. Patrick were actually friends IRL, as it were.
Spouses, siblings, parents and children, mentors and protegees, friends . . . it turns out that there are quite a few pairs of saints who knew and loved each other.
So, since St. Valentine's Day is approaching and we are hopefully all thinking about all the different ways there are to love your fellow man, I thought I'd share with you what we found . . .
1. St. Anne and St. Joachim
Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grandparents of Jesus. These guys had their act together.
2. St. Cosmas and St. Damian
Twin brothers who lived in Syria around the year 300. Both physicians. Apparently their thing was converting people to Christianity by not charging for medical services. Which is an excellent plan right up until you get martryed. (Although, long term, still good.)
3. St. Timothy and St. Maura
Newlyweds, martyred together during the persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperor Diocletian also around 300. It's all very romantic.
4. St. Adrian and St. Natalia
Also married. Also martyred. But these guys were in Nicodemia during the time of Emperor Maximian in the early fourth century.
5. St. Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Xavier
Two of the founding members of the Jesuit order, these guys were actually ROOMATES IN COLLEGE before they became priests and missionaries and were responsible for ten of thousands of conversions.
6. St. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin
The Mother of God and her spouse, the parents of Jesus on earth, and a perfect example to all of the love of a family.
7. St. Louis Martin and St. Zelie Martin
Speaking of good examples . . . Louis and Zelie Martin had nine children, five of whom lived past infancy. All five of those daughters because nuns. One is St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church.
8. St. James and St. John
These guys were actual brothers (as were Sts. Peter and Andrew) who were both among the twelve apostles, and were two of Jesus' closest friends. He called them the "Sons of Thunder," so you KNOW they were fun at parties.
9. St. Monica and St. Augustine
He was a real stinker, but his mother never gave up on him. Eventually, through the tears and prayers of St. Monica, St. Augustine was converted to Christianity and rehabilitated from his wanton ways, to the benefit of all posterity.
10. St. Paul and St. Barnabas
Neither met Jesus before his death on the cross, but both worked tirelessly alongside the apostles to spread Christianity in its early days. They had some rather public disagreements about how, exactly, to do this, and with whom. But that's okay. Friends are allowed to decide not to travel together anymore.
11. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and Bl. Claude Colombiere
Receiving a vision from Jesus asking you to spread a devotion to His Sacred Heart has got to be overwhelming, but then to have everyone around you think you're bonkers and/or a liar? That would be even worse. Fortunately for Margaret Mary, she had her confessor, Bl. Claude, who believed in her.
12. St. Benedict and St. Scholastica
The "Holy Twins," they knew from a very young age that they both wanted to enter religious life. They each founded an order, and used to meet in the middle once a year to talk about old times.
13. St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross
Both Carmelites in Spain in the 16th century, they worked together to return their religious communities to a life of prayer. But not everyone was on board with their plan. It's nice to know you've got a friend who'll get imprisoned for you.
14. St. Felicity and St. Perpetua
Perpetua was a noblewoman and Felicity was a slave, but the two young mothers were martyred together in the year 203, rather than apostatize. St. Perpetua's letters detailing their imprisonment are a rare first hand account.
15. St. Francis and St. Clare
Clare was a devoted follower of Francis, and was entrusted by him with the founding of a religious order for women. She trusted him to cut her hair.
16. St. Patrick and St. Brigid
Their friendship is noted in the Book of Armagh: "Between St Patrick and Brigid, the pillars of the Irish people, there was so great a friendship of charity that they had but one heart and one mind. Through him and through her Christ performed many great works."
So, there you go, all saints, all loved, but different times and places and types.
Now I'm looking around me, thinking how COOL it would be if I could become a saint with my husband, or my kid, or maybe a fellow blogger. I wanted my kids to think about it too, and to make such good choices in their friends that they could hope to one day all be canonized together!
The CAY team has created some beautiful (and downloadable) Valentine's cards, perfect for celebrating St. Vaelntine's feast day with your family! You can grab them here
Have a very Happy St. Valentine's Day, and Fat Tuesday