More than 10 years ago, I wrote a summer column asking people to tell us who were their favorite saints. We received hundreds of responses from people throughout the diocese.
There was an overwhelming favorite, although it somewhat surprised me. I’m not going to revive your memory by naming who “won” the survey because I do not want to prejudice you in any direction for what I am about to ask. But I can ask you if you do remember who that very popular saint was.
In a recent discussion, it was suggested to me that a similar poll taken today might yield a different result. The reason given was that so many immigrant groups have come to our shores since then, and they all have brought their favorite religious patrons with them.
Another reason for the predicted difference could be that so many new saints have been canonized in recent years that there are more holy men and women to choose from.
Even the saint maker, Pope John Paul II, will soon be a saint himself. In the fall, Pope Francis will canonize both him and Pope John XXIII, two great 21st century religious leaders
So, who is your favorite saint at this moment? Is he or she different than it would have been 10 years ago? We would love to find out. We are once again soliciting the names of your favorite saints.
In a recent interview with Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, he told me that two of his favorites saints are Mother Frances X. Cabrini, patroness of immigrants, and St. Gerard Majella, patron of couples who hope to conceive a child.
The bishop also has a devotion to the late Msgr. Bernard Quinn, a Brooklyn priest whose cause is before the Congregation of the Saints at the Vatican. Msgr. Quinn, pastor of St. Peter Claver parish in Bedford-Stuyvesant, was an early champion of civil rights here in the diocese. When Bishop DiMarzio underwent heart surgery four years ago, he prayed to Msgr. Quinn and credits his recovery to his intercession as well as the skilled surgeons who performed the operation.
We would like to know your stories about the saints. Most Catholics have special devotions to particular saints for very specific reasons. Please share them with us.
To participate, simply fill out the form found on this page, and mail it to me, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send your completed ballot to me at The Tablet, 1712 Tenth Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215. You also can respond on our Facebook page (facebook.com/thetablet). We will make known your choices in an issue later this summer.