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private devotions to saints, open thread

Discussion in 'Traditional Theology' started by archer75, May 2, 2019.

  1. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I thought I'd start a thread and ask about anyone's private devotions to saints. Anything you might like to say, but maybe these questions could get things rolling:

    • To which saints do you have any particular private devotion?
    • Why? Did you feel an affinity to them when you read about their lives and deeds?
    • What does your devotion involve? Particular prayers, prayers in your own words, candles, vigil lamps, any particular home practice you've developed? ("I light the lamp, I kiss the Cross, then I pray this prayer asking for this saint to pray for me, then I say a prayer to Christ, then I go on with my other prayers...")
    • Have you ever learned or "inherited" a devotional practice from a friend, godparent, or family member?
    For those who don't pray to saints, but still inhabit Traditional Theology:

    • Are there any saints in whom you have a particular interest? Why? Did you feel any affinity for them?
    • Has reading or hearing about them influenced your path in any way you can describe?
     
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  2. Lost4words

    Lost4words In reality, an old dog! Supporter

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    I like St Padre Pio. My dear Father liked him too.

    I just loved the way he was. A man very close to God. A man who devoted his life to Jesus and had a devotion to Our Blessed Mother Mary too.

    I dont worship anyone but God. All i ask of St Padre Pio is to intercede for me.
     
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  3. JacobKStarkey

    JacobKStarkey Well-Known Member

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    I agree with concept of asking for intercession.
     
  4. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    I tend to develop a great affinity for Saints after I read their books/spiritual counsels and they have a great impact on me. I sometimes ask those particular Saints to pray for me when I need help in that area, and I express thanks to God for the enlightenment He gave them and that it helped me. There are a number of these and it changes, but off the top of my head I am particularly thankful for St. Paisios of Mt. Athos, St. Porphyrios, St. Nikolai Velimrovich, St. Silouan, St. Seraphim of Sarov, and though he has not been canonized, Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica.

    St. Xenia holds a special place in my heart because I first asked for prayer from her, and years-long difficulties were almost immediately worked out in ways far better than I could have hoped to ask for and which still bless me today. I later learned more about her and was touched that she devoted her life to praying for her husband.

    I don't really have particular devotional practices (I hope the Saints don't mind - I doubt they do!). I turned frequently to St. John Maximovich while I was really struggling with my health.

    But I kind of do the opposite of what many non-traditional believers may assume. Maybe a holdover from my own evangelical caution. I don't go through any Saint to get to God. Rather, because I know that Saints are not omniscient and only even know of our requests for intercession because of their intimate communion with Christ and HIS omniscience, I generally ask God in my prayers to Him to have certain Saints intercede for me, and I sometimes thank them through Him.

    I do love them though, and venerate their icons. And I don't mind at all the songs we sing that ask directly for intercession, etc.
     
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  5. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

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    My patron Saint is St. Paul. I chose him long before I even believed in patron Saints. I only rarely ask for anything in prayer other than for forgiveness. When I do have some particular request I ask St. Paul to intercede for me. I have a specific way of making requests that I more or less developed on my own.
     
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  6. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In the Bible there is a lot of sharing about the example of our Apostle Paul. I have benefitted from this.

    Also, every child of God is a saint. And I personally know children of God who now help me get more real with God and love any and all people, and share as family with one another in Jesus.

    And, by the way > children of God are commanded to pray "for all the saints" > Ephesians 6:18. So, we all are told to pray; so no saint, possibly, then, needs to be asked for prayer. And if I care about others as myself, I will want prayer for others, too, not only for myself.
     
  7. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    TO ALL POSTING OR WISHING TO POST IN THIS THREAD:

    It is true that all believers are "saints" ... which just means holy/set apart unto God.

    But this is Traditional Theology and so the question would seem to refer to "Saints" (capital S) which has the meaning of those who have completed the race and are now living in the presence of God.

    Please understand that it is against the Statement of Purpose of Traditional Theology to debate against the practices and understanding according to Holy Tradition. Before we get derailed and anyone gets in trouble, I'd like to point that out. Anyone is free to make such a thread in various other forum areas, such as General Theology.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    A friendly reminder :) from
    ~Anastasia~
    Senior CF Ambassador
     
  8. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, that was my intention.
     
  9. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    That's what I figured. It's always easier to remind people to notice where they are and/or let them know "local rules" they might not be aware of. I should have made it post #2 but I'm typing during work breaks. :)
     
  10. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

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    Some time ago, I felt the need for some... touchstones, if you like, of particular aspects of character and spirituality. I ended up with three saints whom I often think of as representing different parts of myself, or myself as I might like to be; St. Joan of Arc, for her courage and boldness; St. Hilda of Whitby, for her leadership and skill in community life; and Mother Julian of Norwich, for her vision and discernment.

    I don't pray to them but I reflect on their words, character and actions, and sometimes that helps me to be clearer about things I'm dealing with, or at least sort through how I feel about things!
     
  11. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't have (yet) any particular practice of asking for her prayers, but to me, St. Hilda seems like a very remarkable person who demonstrated true leadership, which is quite rare. I'm not running a monastic community, but I do feel a lot of strain at times when managing people's interactions, as I'm sure she had to do often. Maybe I should pray to God for a portion of the strength and skill granted to her...
     
  12. Tigger45

    Tigger45 The Good Shepherd Supporter

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    I worked through a lot of my issues with interacting with the Saints when I was an Orthodox catechumen. Its obvious to me that departed Christians commune with and intercede for us biblically But specifically one time my elderly mother was having painful health issues and I asked the Blessed Virgin to intercede on her behalf and I believe she did and so does my relatively non-religious mother. Take it for what you will.
     
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  13. Mary of Bethany

    Mary of Bethany Only one thing is needful. Supporter

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    Every day I ask for the intercession of St Mary of Bethany. I was drawn to her as a young child in the Baptist church, probably initially just because I shared her name but also because she was able to sit and listen at Jesus’ feet, and chose “the one thing needful”.

    I also have a great love for my parish’s patron, St. Sava and always ask for his prayers for our parish. And also, the Saints of North America are dear to me and I ask each one for their prayers for our parishes here in America.
     
  14. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    • St. Shenouda the Archimandrite, nephew of St. Pijol, the founder of the White Monastery. Considered the father of Coptic-language literature, and (by the Copts, if not by outsiders) a valiant fighter for Orthodoxy. He's my baptismal saint.
    • St. John the Little (Kolobos in Greek, I think?). One of the desert fathers. I don't know why, but something about his way of being really clicks with me. Like when he famously looked around one day, saw that he was free of troubles, and thought it better to ask God to be sent enemies and strength for the fight, rather than continued peace. Peace is great and all, but when life gets tough, what are you going to want -- strength, or a desire for an easy life? Sure, you can want both, but Christ didn't say "take up your BarcaLounger and follow Me", so be ready, not lazy. (Writes the laziest man ever...hahaha. Ugh.)
    • St. Ephrem the Syrian. He was my introduction of sorts to Eastern Christianity, via my old father of confession when I was still RC. His prose is unparalleled, his Orthodoxy unquestionable, and I could spend all day, every day reciting his prayers and still not even scratch the surface of their spiritual depth. I have books on him from both the Syriac and the Russian traditions, and it's interesting to see the differences between them. I am blessed to have learned about Eastern Christianity from such a figure of veneration for all historical Christianity.
    • (Controversial for you guys, but) St. Severus, the crown of the Syrians. Until I really delved into his theology from a variety of sources, I must admit I too was skeptical (remember, I wasn't raised OO or anything), but not only did I not find the heresies that he was accused of (I found plenty of things that would probably conflict with later Chalcedonian-specific developments, but I don't care about that at all), but I found a nimble and passionate (in the good way!) theological mind. Heck, he's so good that even sermons written about him centuries after his death, like the sermon on his life by George, Bishop of the Arabs, are worth reading. It's a shame he is maligned by people who have probably never read his work but in carefully selected quotation within a Chalcedonian framework. Plus, y'know, in the OO tradition, he wrote "O Monogenes Yios", which is the affirmation of Christological Orthodoxy for both OO and EO, so from our perspective you guys affirm our theology by using that hymn while simultaneously condemning the one who wrote it, which just makes very little sense and is silly (we know you attribute it to Emperor Justinian). Then again, I guess you guys could say the same about the Ethiopians' veneration of St. John of Damascus when John wrote on the "heresy of the Egyptians" in some of his many works. (It's been a while since I read it, but I remember my reaction being something like "Yeahhhh...if that's what I had been taught by the actual Egyptians, I'd have called it heresy, too!" :p)
    • Abba Bishoy, the desert father. I was received into a parish bearing his name, so his life and miracles were a frequent topic of discussion for our little parish. One of the families even bought several dozen copies of the Coptic movie of his life on DVD to give out to people in the parish as presents. I still have mine, but my DVD player doesn't seem to like playing it (maybe Egyptian DVDs are a different regional encoding?). Anyway, he is a great example of humility and surrender to God for all of us to follow. There is a reason why in some glorifications we call him "the perfect man", because as far as we are concerned, though only Christ is truly perfect, St. Bishoy got as close as any mere man could while upon this earth.
    • Fr. Matthew the Poor. A saint in all but official space on the calendar/in the synaxarium. Should be fairly self-evident to the EO, who I'm told love him like one of their own (or at least those who have read him do), but if you don't know him, read "The Orthdox Prayer Life", "Communion of Love", or the collection of his sayings "Words for Our Times".

    I want to have more of a connection to Tamav Irini, the abbess of Abu Seifein convent in Cairo, because she was very popular among the Copts who welcomed me into the Church, but I am unfortunately without written material on her at the moment, and all the biographies I can find are either short summaries in English, or longer ones in Arabic that I'm not good enough with to understand all of. My friend from church had a longer biography in English, but I don't know where he got it from.

    Ditto St. Samuel of Qalamun, whose translated vita seems hard to find now. (I know there is or was a scan of it on archive.org, but it's poorly done and hurts my eyes to attempt to read: grainy, with some fading and lopsided pages, etc.) I tried to order it on Amazon only to have my order canceled after three weeks when they said they couldn't find it and changed its status on the product page to "We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock." He's long post-Chalcedon (d. 695), and connected to a very brutal series of events related to the cruelty of the Chlacedonians in Egypt (he didn't die, but he was definitely a passion barer), so predictably there aren't a million resources on him in English. Luckily the apparently rather cruddy French translation of his apocalypse (probably written pseudonymously sometime in the Crusader period) has at last been translated into English online as part of the indispensable Tertullian project, so that we can all be mad at the Arabs together, as God intended.
     
  15. Athanasias

    Athanasias Regular Member

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    I have a small army I have devotion to that I pray to every day. They include St. Michael the Archangel, St. Therese little flower, St. John Vianney, St. Padre Pio, St. Mary mother of God, St. Joseph, St. Thomas Aquinas, and my guardian angels and my daughters and wifes gardian angels.
     
  16. Tigger45

    Tigger45 The Good Shepherd Supporter

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    Growing up, both sides of my family were Catholic but our household was nominal at best particularly when it came to devotions to Saints. Although I’ve always had an innate awareness of Hebrews 12:1 it wasn’t until being an E.O. Catechumen on and off for five years that I grew in understanding and comfort concerning veneration and requesting their intercesory prayers. My personal practice is limited to the Mother of our Lord normally in the form of reciting the Rosary.
     
  17. Gracia Singh

    Gracia Singh Newbie Supporter

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    That's a beautiful practice, Tig.

    I have a great devotion towards Saint Pio. I ask him to help me to be a good worker! And complain less.

    I ask Saint Charbel for help following Christ.

    I ask the Theotokos to help me to follow her Son, and to love others more.

    I like to pray the Rosary, and have an image of Saint Rita on my phone. I ask her to help me to be a better wife, and to love Jesus more.
     
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