Five years ago, my husband and I were returning home heavy-hearted from a vacation out west. My younger brother had died in May after a short but rough battle with cancer. Early morning of the day before we were to return home, we learned that his widow had died of a massive heart attack overnight, leaving their two teenage children orphaned.
The shocking news we’d received changed both our energy and plan for the day. Instead of stopping at Arches National Park as we’d planned, we drove on toward Denver. Along our route, we saw a sign for the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden. We decided to stop there to pray. Learning about Mother Cabrini’s care for Italian immigrant families who were employed in dangerous railroad and mining work, especially her care for widows and orphans, convinced us that our stop there was no coincidence. She, too, had been orphaned in her teen years.
We celebrate the Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, on November 13. Other saints we memorialize this week are Saint Martin of Tours (November 11) and Saint Josaphat (November 12). The stories of saints help bring history and faith to life for us and the young people in our care. The saints are important members of the Communion of Saints. Their inspiring life stories and prayers for us can help us get to where they now reside: Heaven. We encourage you to refer to the Saints and Feast Days to Celebrate feature in your Teaching Guide each week and try to work a connection to a saint into your lessons whenever possible.
Image credit: Andrew Balet [self-made] [CC BY 2.5] via Wikimedia Commons