A Patron Saint for Divorced Catholic MothersBy
Recently I received a message from a woman who is Catholic but never received the sacrament of Confirmation. However, she’ll be receiving it soon. She was in the process of deciding what name to choose for herself and was wondering if I knew a saint who is, or could be, the patron saint for a single mother. Amazingly, I didn’t… I mean, that’s kind of a ‘no brainer’ given the subject of this blog. I even wrote a post quite a while ago about a possible patron saint for divorced, Catholic fathers…but never did one for us mothers! So, thanks to her message, here we go.
I did a google search and found one that seems to fit SO well. She’s also a very interesting woman. I’d like to find a good book on her, so if you know of one, please don’t keep it to yourself!
The following is from AmericanCatholic.org….
St. Helen (249-329) found the True Cross in Jerusalem and, for many centuries, devotion to St. Helen has been linked to devotion to the Holy Cross. It would be hard to find a painting, statue or holy card of her that does not depict her embracing the cross.
But there is another, sadder facet of Helen’s life. After 22 years of marriage, Helen’s husband, Constantius, divorced her in order to make a politically advantageous marriage with a young woman who was a member of Rome’s imperial family.
Clearly, St. Helen would be a natural choice as patron of divorced and divorcing people, so why has this devotion to her arisen only recently? For most of the 1,700 years since Helen’s death, divorce was rare, even among non-Catholics. Among Catholics it was almost unthinkable. Today, unfortunately, when divorce has become commonplace, St. Helen is offered to unhappy spouses as a heavenly patron who can truly sympathize with their anguish.
Helen was also the mother of the Roman emperor, Constantine, who was the first Christian Roman emperor. He is also a saint.
Well…who could be a more perfect patron saint for us? Not only did she experience the horrors of divorce… then go on to be declared a saint… but she raised a son who has also been declared a saint!! She sounds to me like she was an amazing woman in many respects.
I found a holy card that can be purchased from The Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, which is in Pennsylvania. The prayer on the card is also just perfect for us:
Holy and blessed Saint Helen,
with the anguish and devotion with which You sought the Cross of Christ,
I plead that You give me God’s grace to suffer in patience the labours of this life,
so that through them and through your intercession and protections,
I will be able to seek and carry the Cross, which God has placed on me,
so that I can serve Him in this life and enjoy His Glory ever after. Amen
If you have any tidbits of information about St. Helen to share with us, please do!!
May God bless and bring you peace.
St. Helen, pray for us.
P.S. The image of a statue of St. Helen shows an old woman because it’s believed that she was in her 80’s when she found the cross! Can you imagine being in your 80’s back in the late 200’s! Truly an amazing woman…