It’s Saint Ray’s day, and I am PUMPED!!! I can’t tell you how excited I am to share with you one of my favorite saints. That’s right. Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Raymond Peñafort.
Probably many of you are saying, “Saint Who?” Yeah, I know.
I first heard about St. Raymond in January of 2004 while reading my Magnificat in my weekly adoration holy hour. I share it with you here. Because, it’s a little long, I typed up the article in a separate document. Please click here to read his amazing story. (This link is a Word doc. If for some reason it doesn’t pop up after you click “open” , you already have Word up on your computer. Click on the W (which is probably blinking) on the toolbar & you’ll be able to read it. This appears to be a new “feature” of Word. )
I remember being blown away by what I read, and something happened inside me. All I can say, is that a childlike faith let loose in me. The miracles he witnessed and performed were truly amazing, and I just immediately believed them.
When I tell people his story, there’s a rather immediate disbelief. I see it in their faces, “You really believe that he windsurfed across the Mediterranean on his cloak? You must be nuts.” True, it’s pretty unbelievable, but I just remember thinking, “These are too crazy for me not to believe. What have I got to lose?”
It’s kind of funny because in a court of law or in a newspaper article, we rely on the witness of others, but with apparent outrageous, miraculous occurrences, suspicion and doubt rule. Not for me. Not that day.
I guess the juxtaposition of his big brain, his logical mind, his scholarly position in the church, his holiness, and his no-nonsense approach to dealing with the powerful attracted me. This little known saint from the 13th century was referred to as “…such miracles of genius and erudition as Albert the Great, Raymond de Peñafort, Thomas Aquinas, in whom especially, a follower of Dominic, God ‘deigned to enlighten his Church’,” in Pope Benedict XV’s encyclical “On Dominic” published on June 29, 1921. A Pope put him in company with Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas? How come I’ve never heard of him?
The more I learn of him and the more I pray to him and he intercedes for me, the more I just love him. One time I was talking with my daughter about heaven. With wide eyes, I started to talk about all the saints I would meet when I get there. Then I remembered that I’d meet St. Ray. I giggled with glee. My daughter just shook her head and grinned, “You’re so weird, Mom.”
Since that night in the adoration chapel, I have called on “My man Ray”, my code name for St. Raymond. I call him, to help me out in all kinds of situations. Some people call on St. Anthony to help them find things, but not me. It’s my man Ray.
It started first with parking spaces and helping me when I got lost. Then it moved up to finding missing items. See, I figure that Ray’s not as busy as St. Anthony, so he’s just way more available to help! Ha! But seriously, my daughter lost her high school ring for several days. Unable to find it, she searched the van once again. It literally fell from the ceiling of the van. My dad lost his wedding ring. My parents looked “everywhere”. Several days later they found it in a drawer where they looked about 5 times. My nephew couldn’t find his keys. He and my niece tore apart the apartment looking for them – nowhere. Finally, one of them picked up a pillow on the couch that had been turned upside down, and the keys sat there quietly staring back at them. A friend of mine lost a journal that was very personal, and he fretted over it. I told him not to worry; he’d find it. I prayed to St. Ray and got a call from my friend the next week that it had been found. He, of course, credited St. Anthony, but I knew it was my new secret weapon! Story after story like this inspires in me complete confidence in his intercession in everything.
The last sentence of the article in Magnificat says, “He had dedicated half of his life to the Dominican ideal, manifesting itself in his devotion to Mary, a love of learning, the desire for holiness and the salvation of souls.” Like him, I have a devotion to Mary, a love of learning, and the desire for holiness. Maybe that’s what attracted me. Only God knows. All I can say is that I am grateful to know my older brother in Christ, and I pray that he will continue to intercede in my life. I pray he will do the same for you.
Saint Raymond Peñafort, Pray for us!. Anne
Here’s a terrific article on St. Ray.
I found this original document in The British Museum. I thought you might find it interesting.