Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pick a Saint for 2013. J.R.R. Tolkien for me!

For a few years it was a thing around the Catholic internet to choose an extra saint (or have one drawn for you) when the new liturgical year began. I did that for a while but invariably would forget my "extra" saint, though I know they were so good as to remember me.

Brandon Vogt reminded me of this habit when he wrote about choosing a saint for 2013. You know, it seems easier when I think of the calendar year somehow. He linked to Jen Fulwiler's saint's name generator (a clever invention, to be sure ... she's into writing code to relax ... I also have a pal who enjoys reading math books to relax ... love 'em both but do NOT understand them).

So I gave it a whirl.

The results:

St. Vladimir I of Kiev

Feast: July 15

Patronage: Converts; Parents of Large Families; Reformed and Penitent Murderers

Eeek! I don't like what that last bit may imply ... but I'm going to ignore it and focus on the "converts" part.

What I really liked about Brandon's pick-a-saint post was that he chose C.S. Lewis as his patron last year. Not canonized, but Brandon gives his reasoning, which I fully agree with.

Here's the thing. Brandon's articulating something that I've been doing unconsciously, but didn't notice until his post helped me recognize the pattern.

Lately, I have been turning to my favorite author-mentors in the last few months with special petitions: Flannery O'Connor, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien.

It seems to be a natural outgrowth of my tendency to focus on one of those authors for about a year at a time.

First I read Habit of Being and fell in love with Flannery. Then I became attracted to C.S. Lewis, both due to my book club and many encounters online. Now, I am hip-deep in J.R.R. Tolkien's writing and yearning to read his letters. Now that I think of it, that began around the beginning of the liturgical year when I reread The Hobbit for A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast. He's tricksy, that J.R.R.

Let's put a saver on Dorothy Day as I have been dipping into her letters and writing for Catholic Worker a little.

I like the idea that these authors who had saintly yearnings are looking out for those of us who noodle around with words.

At this point, I'm happy to hang with these authors in general, but it seems to me that my year is going to be under J.R.R. Tolkien's protection.

Thanks Brandon!


  1. You might also consider J.R.R. Tolkien's mother who was quite an amazing women. A convert that was ostracized for her Catholic faith by her relatives and likely died young as a result. Her faith was certainly a strong influence on her son.

  2. I'm going to pick my own this year. I've decided to go with St. Catherine of Siena. I'm going to start with reading Sigrid Undset's biography in a couple of weeks.

    By the way, I've got a new blog (shameless plug) on literature and artsy stuff, if anyone is interested in stopping by.