Favourite Saint?

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Many of us would love to hear about our members' favourite Saints This is your opportunity to spread devotion to them. What is it that appeals to you about this Saint? We will follow up with some background when it is available.'

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Saint Raphael is the angel of peace, health and joy, and is best known for his role as the heavenly guide that God sent Tobias on his long and perilous journey to recover the money his father, now old and blind, had lent to a friend.



At right Raphael appears to Tobias, with the salutation, "Joy be to thee always." The name Raphael signifies "Medicine of God," and indeed St. Raphael appears to be at the head of the angelic medical staff!

When Tobias was attacked by a great fish, Saint Raphael not only saved Tobias, but extracted the heart, gall and liver of the fish and later used it as a medicinal remedy.

Raphael secured a happy marriage for Tobias; a marriage that was truly made in heaven.



The Archangel Raphael, after the marriage of Tobias, left the young man with his new bride, and went himself to recover the money they had come to seek.

Upon returning from their journey, God's physician presents the gall from the fish that Tobias will use to anoint his father's eyes and cure his blindness. Saint Raphael is the angel sent in God's Providence to guide and guard, heal and save.

Tobias and his father offer half of their new-found wealth to Saint Raphael, as a thank you to him. Raphael refuses and reveals his angelic identity, telling them both to instead give thanks to God in heaven. Tobias 12:6-15"Bless ye the God of heaven, give glory to him in the sight of all that live, because he hath shewn his mercy to you...When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. [13]

And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. [14] And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son's wife from the devil. [15] For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord.



O Saint Raphael, Medicine of God, Angel of happy meetings, of peace and of joy, we beseech thee, cure our infirmities of soul and body in virtue of the Divine Blood, source of all healing graces




 
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St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin
(by Father Prosper Gueranger 1870)

[...] Joseph is the Spouse of Mary, the Foster-Father of the Son of God, that comes to cheer us by his dear presence. In a few days hence, the august mystery of the Incarnation will demand our fervent adorations: who, after the Angel of the Annunciation, could better prepare us for the grand Feast, than he that was both the confidant and faithful guardian of the divine secret?

The Son of God, when about to descend upon this earth to assume our human nature, would have a Mother; this Mother could not be other than the purest of Virgins, and her divine Maternity was not to impair her incomparable Virginity. Until such time as the Son of Mary were recognized as the Son of God, his Mother's honour had need of a protector: some man, therefore, was to be called to the high honour of being Mary's Spouse. This privileged mortal was Joseph, the chastest of men.

Heaven designated him as being the only one worthy of such a treasure: the rod he held in his hand, in the Temple, suddenly produced a flower, as though it were a literal fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaias: There shall come forth a rod from the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root (Is. xi. 1.). The rich pretenders to an alliance with Mary were set aside; and Joseph was espoused to the Virgin of the House of David, by a union which surpassed in love and purity everything the Angels themselves had ever witnessed.

But he was not only chosen to the glory of having to protect the Mother of the Incarnate Word; he was also called to exercise an adopted paternity over the very Son of God. So long as the mysterious cloud was over the Saint of Saints, men called Jesus the Son of Joseph, and the Carpenter's Son. When our Blessed Lady found the Child Jesus in the Temple, in the midst of the Doctors, she thus addressed him: Thy father and I, sorrowing, have sought thee (St. Luke, ii. 48.); and the holy Evangelist adds, that Jesus was subject to them, that is, that He was subject to Joseph as He was to Mary.

Who can imagine or worthily describe the sentiments which filled the heart of this man, whom the Gospel describes to us in one word, when it calls him the just man (St. Matth. i. 19.)? Let us try to picture him to ourselves amidst the principal events of his life: his being chosen as the Spouse of Mary, the most holy and perfect of God's creatures; the Angel's appearing to him, and making him the one single human confidant of the mystery of the Incarnation, by telling him that his Virgin Spouse bore within her the fruit of the world's salvation; the joys of Bethlehem, when he assisted at the Birth of the Divine Babe, honoured the Virgin Mother, and heard the Angels singing; his seeing, first the humble and simple Shepherds, and then the rich Eastern Magi, coming to the stable to adore the new-born Child; the sudden fears which came on him, when he was told to arise, and, midnight as it was, to flee into Egypt with the Child and the Mother; the hardships of that exile, the poverty and the privations which were endured by the hidden God, Whose foster-father he was, and by the Virgin Spouse, whose sublime dignity was now so evident to him; the return to Nazareth, and the humble and laborious life led in that village, where he so often witnessed the world's Creator sharing in the work of a Carpenter; the happiness of such a life, in that cottage where his companions were the Queen of the Angels and the Eternal Son of God, both of whom honoured, and tenderly loved him as the head of the family: yes, Joseph was beloved and honoured by the uncreated Word, the Wisdom of the Father, and by the Virgin, the master-piece of God's power and holiness.


We ask, what mortal can justly appreciate the glories of St. Joseph? To do so, he would have to understand the whole of that Mystery, of which God made him the necessary instrument. What wonder, then, if this Foster-Father of the Son of God was prefigured in the Old Testament, and that by one of the most glorious of the Patriarchs? Let us listen to St. Bernard, who thus compares the two Josephs: "The first was sold by his brethren, out of envy, and was led into Egypt, thus prefiguring our Saviour's being sold; the second Joseph, that he might avoid Herod's envy, led Jesus into Egypt. The first was faithful to his master, and treated his wife with honour; the second, too, was the most chaste guardian of his Spouse, the Virgin Mother of his Lord. To the first was given the understanding and interpretation of dreams; to the second, the knowledge of, and participation in, the heavenly Mysteries. The first laid up stores of corn, not for himself, but for all the people; the second received the Living Bread that came down from heaven, and kept it both for himself and for the whole world. (Homily 2nd. On the Missus est.)" Such a life could not close save by a death that was worthy of so great a Saint.

The time came for Jesus to quit the obscurity of Nazareth, and show himself to the world. His own works were henceforth to bear testimony to his divine origin; the ministry of Joseph, therefore, was no longer needed. It was time for him to leave this world, and wait, in Abraham's bosom, the arrival of that day, when heaven's gates were to be opened to the just. As Joseph lay on his bed of death, there was watching by his side He that is the master of life, and that had often called this his humble creature, Father. His last breath was received by the glorious Virgin Mother, whom he had, by a just right, called his Spouse. It was thus, with Jesus and Mary by his side, caring and caressing him, that Joseph sweetly slept in peace. The Spouse of Mary, the Foster-Father of Jesus, now reigns in heaven with a glory which, though inferior to that of Mary, is marked with certain prerogatives which no other inhabitant of heaven can have.

From heaven, he exercises a powerful protection over those that invoke him.




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ourladyofgoodsucess

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My Favorite Saint is St Bernadette she had Seen Our Lady quite a few times in her lifetime
 
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tropicalrosarygal

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My favourite saint, or one of several, is the illustrious Saint Norbert of Xanten. His striking conversion when a lightning bolt caused him to be flung from his horse, and the subsequent founding of the Norbertine Premonstratensian Order (after he walked out on his own parish due to his zealous words falling upon deaf ears) is very inspiring. He lived during a time of great laxity and troubles in the Church. He promoted the love of the Holy Eucharist and devotion to the Immaculate Virgin Mary. The lives of the Premonstratentian saints are also very inspiring, and there are many of these once you start looking for them. This is definately a saint for today!!!


 

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Born to the nobility, Norbert (c. 1080) was raised around the royal court and served as almoner for Emperor Henry V.
In the court he developed a very worldly view, and took holy orders as a career move, joining the Benedictines at Siegburg.

A narrow escape from death led to a conversion experience, and he began taking his vows seriously. He tried to reform his order’s local house, then became a wandering preacher. He founded a community of Augustinian canons at Premontre, France; they became known as the Norbertines or Premonstratensians, and started a reform movement that swept through European monastic houses.

His founding of the Order was a monumental task: combating rampant heresies (particularly regarding the Blessed Sacrament), revitalizing many of the faithful who had grown indifferent and dissolute, plus effecting peace and reconciliation among enemies.

Norbert entertained no pretensions about his own ability to accomplish this multiple task. Even with the aid of a goodly number of men who joined his Order, he realized that nothing could be effectively done without God’s power. Finding this help especially in devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, he and his Norbertines praised God for success in converting heretics, reconciling numerous enemies and rebuilding faith in indifferent believers. Many of them lived in central houses during the week and served in parishes on weekends.

Reluctantly, Norbert became archbishop of Magdeburg in central Germany, a territory half pagan and half Christian. He reformed the clergy in his see, using force when necessary, and worked with Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and Saint Hugh of Grenoble to heal the schism caused by the death of Pope Honorius II. In this position he zealously and courageously continued his work for the Church until his death on June 6, 1134.

O God, who made the Bishop Saint Norbert a servant of your Church outstanding in his prayer and pastoral zeal, grant, we ask, that by the help of his intercession the flock of the faithful may always find shepherds after your own heart and be fed in the pastures of salvation. Through our Lord.


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apples

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Joan of arc. I had written an essay several years ago comparing the differences and somewhat similarities between st Joan and Boudicca. Originally inspired by the desire to know of more strong catholic women and her story as seen through modern commentaries and primary documents, led me delve in more to her life.
 
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chrstnoel1

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Servusspiritussancti said: St. Raphael the Archangel:


www.newadvent.org/cathen/12640b.htm

Mine is also the Archangel Raphael, hence I named my son after this great Archangel.

BTW, SSS, first time I am seeing a holy card of St. Raphael without Tobias Jr.

Who is the saint pictured? Thank you.
 
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servusspiritussancti

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I'm not sure who that Saint is. Perhaps someone else knows?
 

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Boudicca

"She was huge of frame, terrifying of aspect, and with a harsh voice. A great mass of bright red hair fell to her knees: She wore a great twisted golden necklace, and a tunic of many colors, over which was a thick mantle, fastened by a brooch. Now she grasped a spear, to strike fear into all who watched her...…"

-Dio Cassius (Dudley and Webster,

The story of Boudicca, celebrated Celtic queen, wife, and mother is destined to remain in the gray shadows of history. Written histories of Boudicca, and of early Britain in general, are found in two classical manuscripts, which were most likely derived from the same original source. The historian Tacitus wrote his history only fifty years after the events of 60 CE, and it has been said that his father-in-law Agricola was able to give an eyewitness account of the rebellion. Dio Cassius also gives his account of the events. Although both are biased accounts, they lay down the basic chronological framework of early Roman Britain. Attempts to turn to archaeological discoveries to help pinpoint the exact events has been frustrated, since much of the data was destroyed during pillaging and a significant amount of the land has never been excavated due to a lack of funds, therefore information is limited. The only thing possible at this point is an outline of the catastrophic uprising of Boudicca and the indigenous people of Britain.

The Iceni were a Celtic tribe located in an area of southern Britain known as East Anglia. Geographically they were isolated; to the north and east the boundary was the sea and the remainder was covered in dense forest, making invasion from foreigners nearly impossible. The people of this farming economy were of mixed origins. There had been an influx of people from the Hallstat culture, bringing with them a knowledge of iron and pottery, which merged with the skills of those already present from the late Bronze Age.
Some time between 43 and 45 CE, Boudicca was married to Prasutagus, King of the Iceni. It has been said that Boudicca was not of Iceni origin since outside marriages were quite common among the ruling class. In the upper eschelons of Celtic society, women held positions of prestige and power. Many took prominent roles in political, religious, and artistic life. Women also owned land and could choose their spouses and initiate divorce.
Although they were relatively protected by geographic advantages, the Roman threat to the Iceni's peaceful existence was very real. The Iceni had remained passive and watched while the Roman Emperor Claudius and his army conquered large parts of Britain in 43 CE. Since Claudius was founding strong military colonies all over the island, the Iceni knew they couldn't remain independent forever from Roman domination. In an attempt to avoid conflict, and in an act of compliance, King Prasutagus went to the city of Camulodunum to become a client/king. This forced him to have to answer to the Roman ruling class, but enabled his tribe and their culture to remain relatively unfettered.

Upon his death Prasutagus left his kingdom to be shared by his two daughters and the new Roman emperor, Nero, believing that this would ensure tranquility for his family and kingdom. Roman law, however, did not allow royal inheritance to be passed to daughters, and co-ownership of a kingdom with a woman was unacceptable according to Roman standards. Kinsmen of the royal house were enslaved. Boudicca was flogged and then forced to witness the public rape and torture of her two daughters, who were believed to have been roughly 12 years old at the time of the rebellion.
The roman campaign stretched over the entire area. The Romans were experiencing difficulty in the north-east attempting to take the headquarters of Druidism, the Isle of Mona. The Romans feared the Druids as they had been behind rebellions against Caesar in the past. This territory had become the geographical center for anti-Roman and pro-Briton activities. The troubles in the north occupied Seutonius and caused him to overlook Boudicca and the growing threat in the south.

While by Roman law Boudicca had no real claim to succession after her husband's death, her people regarded her as their natural leader, and their neighboring tribes were willing to support any anti-Roman uprising. The indigenous people had suffered under Roman taxation for years. They were also driven off their own land and subjected to lives as prisoners and slaves. Sometime between 56 and 60 CE the Temple of Claudius was erected in Colchester to commemorate the life of the Roman emperor who had destroyed the majority of the Celtic culture; this immediately became an object of strong derision for the British. They were also angered by the attack on the headquarters of the Druidic religion. These realities urged neighboring tribes, among them were the Trinovantes, to join Boudicca in her rebellion, which has been said to have been 100,000 people strong, against Roman forces. They began by storming the Roman cities of Camulodunum and Colchester, then proceeding to the growing trade center of Londinium (London), and ending in a final catastrophic battle. One underlying question about the rebellion asks how the Iceni were able to remain unnoticed for so long. There are a few reasons why they were able to succeed as long as they did. The overconfidence of the Romans may have caused their negligence. They had preconceived notions of the "barbarians", and were ill-equipped to deal with small bands of warriors slipping quietly through the thick forests. The Celts excelled in small-scale guerilla warfare while the slow-moving Roman units were at an obvious disadvantage in the forest. The British Celts also used chariots, which had become obsolete on the continent. They were remarkably small and light, and the driver and warrior were protected by wicker screens on all sides.

The written accounts portray Boudicca and her followers in battle in savage and brutal terms. They took the heads of their captives and offered them to the goddess of victory, as this was customary of the Celts. However, while storming the city of London, Dio Cassius gives a detailed description of the torturing of the Roman women: "their breasts were cut off and stuffed in their mouths, so that they seemed to be eating them, then their bodies were skewered lengthwise on sharp stakes" (Webster, 68). Tacitus gives an account of the final battle that tells of the women running about frantically, hair wild, naked and screaming. The Celtic chief was adorned in barbaric splendor with highly ornamental shields and armor. The rest of the army would be only with sword and a small shield, otherwise stripped except for body paint and tattooing. Trumpets would be blaring in an attempt to confuse and intimidate the enemy. Meanwhile, the Druids were standing nearby with their arms raised to the sky and calling on the gods to aid them. The overall appearance of this chaotic scene was initially terrifying to the Romans, who would stand in awe before battle: however, this is a typical ploy of Roman military writing which portrays the enemy as uncivilized animals as opposed to Roman law, order, and civilization.

At this point the three principle cities of the province had been captured, and the inhabitants brutally massacred. Tacitus gives a count of roughly 70,000 casualties before the final battle. No one is sure exactly when and where this final confrontation took place. Both sides struggled with famine and disease. Boudicca was having a difficult time keeping order among her troops after victory with its accompanying looting and burning.
The British were fighting for their country and their families, while the Romans were still fighting for greed. Tacitus gives us what was supposedly Boudicca's final battle cry to her troops:

"The Britons were used to the leadership of women, but she came back before them not as a queen of a distinguished line, but as an ordinary woman, her body cut by the lash avenging the loss of her liberty, and the outrages imposed on her daughters. Roman greed spares neither their bodies, the old or the virgins. The gods were on our side in our quest for vengeance, one legion had already perished, the others are cowering in their forts to escape. They could never face the roar of our thousands, least of all our charge and hand to hand fighting. When the Romans realize their small force and the justice of our cause, they will know it is victory or death. This is my resolve, as a woman- follow me or submit to the Roman yoke" (Webster, 99).

The British army was immense, but the Romans were at an advantage for the first time with more armor and shorter swords. The Celts had longer slashing swords and little to no armor. Unintimidated by the barbaric chaos, the Roman army advanced rapidly into the British mass. The Romans swords proved to be deadly at close quarters, while the British were crushed so close together their longer weapons were rendered useless. Under the command of Seutonius, the Romans massacred the Celts. Fearing capture, Boudicca escaped and fled back to her kingdom where she ended her life by taking a poison. A few months later fire and sword ravaged the previously untouched Iceni territory.

The rebellion of Boudicca has an established and monumental place in British history. While over time she has been viewed in many different lights, she is most commonly seen as the obvious; not a queen, but a mother, wife, and warrior defending her country. Throughout history all-powerful men are seen as threatening, but all-powerful women such as the late queen of the Iceni are awe-inspiring. In numerous written accounts both on stage and off, as well as through works of art, Boudicca has been both disparaged and lauded. Her name and history will consistently serve as a brutal yet remarkable reminder of Britain's past.

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suzanne

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My favourite saint is St Thomas More. He was a lawmaker, High Chancellor of England and loved his King, yet he was our Lord's servant first.
 

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The Life of Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)

"The King's good servant, but God's first."

Thomas More was born in Milk Street, London on February 7, 1478, son of Sir John More, a prominent judge.
He was educated at St Anthony's School in London. As a youth he served as a page in the household of Archbishop Morton, who anticipated More would become a "marvellous man."1 More went on to study at Oxford under Thomas Linacre and William Grocyn. During this time, he wrote comedies and studied Greek and Latin literature. One of his first works was an English translation of a Latin biography of the Italian humanist Pico della Mirandola. It was printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1510.


Around 1494 More returned to London to study law, was admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1496, and became a barrister in 1501. Yet More did not automatically follow in his father's footsteps. He was torn between a monastic calling and a life of civil service. While at Lincoln's Inn, he determined to become a monk and subjected himself to the discipline of the Carthusians, living at a nearby monastery and taking part of the monastic life. The prayer, fasting, and penance habits stayed with him for the rest of his life. More's desire for monasticism was finally overcome by his sense of duty to serve his country in the field of politics. He entered Parliament in 1504, and married for the first time in 1504 or 1505, to Jane Colt.2 They
had four children: Margaret, Elizabeth, Cicely, and John.



More became a close friend with Desiderius Erasmus during the latter's first visit to
England in 1499. It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship and correspondence. They produced Latin translations of Lucian's works, printed at Paris in 1506, during Erasmus' second visit. On Erasmus' third visit, in 1509, he wrote Encomium Moriae, or Praise of Folly, (1509), dedicating it to More.

One of More's first acts in Parliament had been to urge a decrease in a proposed appropriation for King Henry VII. In revenge, the King had imprisoned More's father and not released him until a fine was paid and More himself had withdrawn from public life. After the death of the King in 1509, More became active once more. In 1510, he was appointed one of the two under-sheriffs of London. In this capacity, he gained a reputation for being impartial, and a patron to the poor. In 1511, More's first wife died in childbirth. More soon married again, to Alice Middleton. They did not have children.

During the next decade, More attracted the attention of King Henry VIII. In 1515 he accompanied a delegation to Flanders to help clear disputes about the wool trade. Utopia opens with a reference to this very delegation. More was also instrumental in quelling a 1517 London uprising against foreigners, portrayed in the play Sir Thomas More, possibly by Shakespeare. More accompanied the King and court to the Field of the Cloth of Gold. In 1518 he became a member of the Privy Council, and was knighted in 1521.


More helped Henry VIII in writing his Defence of the Seven Sacraments, a repudiation of Luther, and wrote an answer to Luther's reply under a pseudonym. More had garnered Henry's favor, and was made Speaker of the House of Commons in 1523 and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1525. As Speaker, More helped establish the parliamentary privilege of free speech. He refused to endorse King Henry VIII's plan to divorce Katherine of Aragón (1527). Nevertheless, after the fall of Thomas Wolsey in 1529, More became Lord Chancellor, the first layman yet to hold the post.

While his work in the law courts was exemplary, his fall came quickly. He resigned in 1532, citing ill health, but the reason was probably his disapproval of Henry's stance toward the church. He refused to attend the coronation of Anne Boleyn in June 1533, a matter which did not escape the King's notice. In 1534 he was one of the people accused of complicity with Elizabeth Barton, the nun of Kent who opposed Henry's break with Rome, but was not attainted due to protection from the Lords who refused to pass the bill until More's name was off the list of names.

In April, 1534, More refused to swear to the Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy, and was committed to the Tower of London on April 17. More was found guilty of treason and was beheaded alongside Bishop Fisher (left) on July 6, 1535. More's final words on the scaffold were: "The King's good servant, but God's First." More was beatified in 1886 and canonized by the Catholic Church as a saint by Pope Pius XI in 1935.

Oath of Supremacy

Henry VIII by Joos van Cleve, ca. 1531.


In 1534, Parliament passed the Act of Supremacy, a statute recognizing King Henry VIII as supreme head of the church in England. Henry VIII formally accepted the title the following year, and the nobility were required to swear the Oath of Supremacy, recognizing the King as head of the church. Catholics, most famously Sir Thomas More, who still held the Pope as the supreme head of the church, refused to swear this oath, and were indicted for treason on charges of praemunire.

This act was later repealed by Queen Mary, and restated under Queen Elizabeth I.



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chrstnoel1

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Dear Kath,
Thank you for the trouble of giving us the 'source' and story of the saints above. Great job! Keep it up!




PAX VOBIS

Noel
 
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mariaangelagrow

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I was dedicated to Our Lady before I was born; she is my patroness; and I later made the De Montford consecration. But Mary is in a category of her own. After The Blessed Virgin Mary, I have several saints who have helped me very much. St Therese of Lisieux was of great help to me when I was in jail for prolife. And since. It was such a help to relate to her statement, "I realize that one will love the good God better for all eternity because suffering borne with joy! And, by suffering one can save souls..." Also, Blessed Margaret of Castello was a great inspiration. Other saints that have helped me much are St. Philomena, St Rita of Cascia, St Jean Vianney, and Saint Joseph. There are more, but these have been my closest friends. I also want to acknowledge my precious guardian angel, who has brought me safely through so many things.
 
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