A daily December saintly journey

Cause of Our Joy / By Katie Faley

I really enjoyed doing a mini-retreat through the month of October. So, if you’d like, follow along with me through December on another small daily spiritual journey. (Click here for a printable, one-page PDF of this calendar.)

DEC 1: ST. EDMUND CAMPION He converted to Catholicism after reading about the saints. Share the story of a saint you like with one person in your life.

DEC 2: BL. MARIA ANGELA ASTORCH The convent she lived in suffered from frequent flooding. Donate your time, talent, or treasure to an organization that provides relief to people suffering.

DEC 3: ST. FRANCIS XAVIER This is the first Sunday of Advent, which is associated with hope. When praying after Communion, ask Jesus to be with all those who have nobody to pray for them.

DEC 4: ST. JOHN DAMASCENE His writings helped the church understand more about the faith. Write yourself a sticky note to remember to practice a virtue you struggle with. (Patience, hopefulness, peace, gratitude, humility, etc.)

DEC 5: ST. CRISPINA She was a wife and mother, like Mary. Pray a Hail Mary.

DEC 6: ST. NICHOLAS He was a bishop known for leaving coins for the people in his village. Leave an unexpected gift for someone. It can be as simple as a note or a piece of candy.

DEC 7: ST. AMBROSE He advised St. Augustine to follow the customs of the church wherever he was. Reflect on the reasons why you choose to go to the parish you attend.

DEC 8: ST ROMARIC Romaric was allegedly homeless for a time. Pray for all those who are experiencing homelessness. Bonus! Donate to a food pantry.

DEC 9: ST JUAN DIEGO Mary appeared to him. Mary has appeared to people all over the world, including to a young girl named Adele in Wisconsin in the 1800s. She told Adele to teach people the Sign of the Cross. Slowly make the Sign of the Cross and reflect on how it’s a prayer on its own.

DEC 10: POPE ST. GREGORY III This is the second Sunday of Advent, during which we celebrate peace. Pray for peace in the hearts of everyone struggling with any kind of doubt.

DEC 11: POPE ST. DAMASUS He commissioned St. Jerome to translate the Scriptures into Latin. Write down your favorite Scripture verse and hang it somewhere you’ll see it every day.

DEC 12: OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE She appeared to St. Juan Diego and is the patroness of the Americas. Ask Our Lady to protect our world.

DEC 13: ST LUCY Traditionally on her feast day, children wear white gowns, a wreath of candles on their head, and serve St. Lucia buns to everyone. Enjoy a sweet treat in honor of St. Lucy today.

DEC 14: ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS He was from Avila and greatly admired St. Teresa of Avila. If you have someone you greatly admire for their faith, let them know how important they have been to you.

DEC 15: ST. MARY DI ROSA One night, enemy soldiers banged on her door. She bravely opened the door holding her crucifix as protection. The soldiers were so moved by her act of faith, they left her alone. Spend time looking at the crucifix.

DEC 16: ST. ADELAIDE She was estranged from her son for much of his life. They reconciled soon before his death. Pray for those you may have hurt in the past, even if it was unintentional.

DEC 17: ST. OLYMPIAS This is the third Sunday of Advent when we celebrate joy. Do something that brings you joy. Be sure to thank God for whatever that thing is!

DEC 18: ST. FLANNAN He encouraged others to remember justice. Pray for all those who work in the justice system.

DEC 19: ST. FAUSTA She was the mother of St. Anastasia. Do something to help a parent. Make the family a meal, give the children a religious medal or rosary, have a Mass said for that parent, etc.

DEC 20: ST. DOMINIC OF SILOS He is one of the many patron saints of pregnant women. Next time you’re at Mass, find a statue or image of Mary holding Jesus as a baby.

DEC 21: ST. PETER CANISIUS Another Doctor of the Church. He was known for his strong faith. Think of one way you would like to strengthen your faith.

DEC 22: ST. FLAVIAN He was exiled and killed for his faith. Pray for all those who are sick, suffering, and dying.

DEC 23: ST. JOHN CANTIUS He was a popular parish priest in Poland. Pray for all the priests and future priests. Bonus! Send your parish priest a Christmas card.

DEC 24: STS. TARSILLA AND EMILIANA These saints were part of a very holy family — two immediate family members were popes. Ask the Holy Family to pray for your loved ones.

DEC 25: THE BIRTH OF CHRIST Celebrate the birth of Jesus. Keep in mind one word that relates to the birth of Jesus — light, king, save, truth, journey, room, redeemer, wonder, etc.

DEC 26: ST. STEPHEN He is the first martyr, having been killed for his faith soon after Christ’s death. He forgave the people who stoned him. Pray the words of St. Stephen: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

DEC 27: ST. JOHN THE APOSTLE He is one of the four Gospel writers and one of Jesus’ disciples. Read a passage from the Gospel of John.

DEC 28: STS. ROMULUS AND CONINDRUS They were the first evangelizers of the Isle of Man. Pray for the faithful throughout the world, especially those that have devoted their lives to evangelization.

DEC 29: ST. THOMAS BECKET He was an English saint who loved sports. He made a point to make a retreat every season. Resolve to go on a religious retreat in the next year.

DEC 30: ST. ANYSIA She was a wealthy Greek woman who used her personal money to help the poor. Start collecting your loose change. After you’ve collected a bit, donate the funds to a charity.

DEC 31: ST. SYLVESTER Make a resolution for the new year to enrich your spiritual life. Resolve to read a book by a saint, pray a decade of the rosary each day, or volunteer monthly for a Catholic charity.

KATIE FALEY is a member of St. Mark Parish in Peoria and a writing coordinator for OSF HealthCare. She has a master’s degree in theology and theological studies from the University of Notre Dame. Write to her at katiefaleywriter@gmail.com.

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