Saints are my thing.
So when I quipped that I was praying to the patron saint of packing, several people asked me who it was. My cousin wrote, "See, this is information a military spouse could use - I should build a shrine! Who, exactly, is the patron saint of packing?" And I had to respond, "Unfortch, I have yet to find a person specifically named - Joseph is patron saint of (among many others) houses, immigrants, laborers, travellers, and, well, dying people. That pretty much sums up packing, right?"
But it got me to thinking [ruh-roh!!].
Who could this saint be? Over all the centuries of moves and upheavals, no one has claimed a saint specifically for packing and moving? Don't get me wrong, Saint Josesph has been most attentive to our need for comfort and help while selling/buying our house. I daresay he is still busy watching over us because the dreaded process of working out all the details with the two closings on the same day and whatnot has not yet ended and there are only two weeks left! So, Fair Dues to Saint Joseph for his kindly and divine intervention!
And for the record, I DID buy a little statue of him, and I DID pray for his intercession, as did my husband (and Nico by his presence!). I also compiled a novena from various sources. However I did not bury him, though I have no specific objection to the burying of statues or medals as ritual process. And I certainly did NOT, in my prayer, bury him or hang him upside down and threaten to leave him that way until he had done my bidding. Please! I object strongly to such treatment of people and saints and their statues are no exception. That portion of the standard suggested prayer is an example of manipulative behaviour and I will not condone it. Yesh, you really have to be careful about the content of some of the prayers out there. Even some of the traditional ones, dare I say it, can promote ideas about God and humans that are best abandoned. Hmmm, seems like I should say more, so I'll come back to it in the future, y'all!
Anyhoo, I have been thinking about who the patron saint of moving a packing should/could be. And then I ran across this description of patron saints in the Catholic Encyclopedia:
"The beliefs of a Catholic in an age of Faith prompted him to place not only his churches under the protection of some illustrious servant of God, but the ordinary interests of life, his health, and family, trade, maladies, and perils, his death, his city and country....These patrons with very many others were chosen on account of some real correspondence between the patron and the object of patronage, or by reason of some play on words, or as a matter of individual piety. Thus, while the great special patrons had their clients all over Christendom, other patrons in regard of the same class of objects might vary with different times and places."
So I said to myself, We need a Patron Saint of Moving and Packing, y'all.
So might I propose Saint Frances Cabrini, first US citizen (naturalized) to be canonized (1946) ?
Excerpt from Find a Grave: "Finally the Bishop gave her permission to start an institute of missionary sisters. She took the name Frances Xavier Cabrini and was soon labeled "Mother" by her seven recruits. They took over an abandoned Franciscan friary. Here she drew up constitutions for the community. Their principal work was to be a Christian education of girls. The new order was called The Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. She was asked by the Bishop if her community would go to America and help with the education of Italian immigrants who had migrated to America by the thousands. With six sisters she landed in New York on March 31, 1889. She founded a school at West Park, on the Hudson River. This was followed by many. The order was expanding rapidly. By 1907 the order had increased to over a thousand sisters in eight countries. In her lifetime she was to see sixty seven convents: free-schools, high schools, hospitals and other establishments."
See also http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-frances-xavier-cabrini/
Mother Cabrini certainly moved alot, and under trying circumstances and often ill health. Born July 15, 1850 in Italy, she died on Dec. 22, 1917 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. For her, packing and moving were never just chores but instead were simply part and parcel of the call of God to go and serve.
Our Moves can be like that, too. The job of moving not only serves the family or community in a direct way, but it is also the process of getting to the place we are next to called to serve, getting to the people who await us, following the will of God.
Mother Cabrini, pray for us. Pray for our packing and moving. Help us to see this work as Service, and while we prepare, help us to meditate and prepare ourselves for the tasks that God calls us to, for the people God calls us to love and serve. Amen.