Family life is full of challenges. Happily, heaven is full of patron saints ready to help. It’s just a matter of finding the right saint for the problem. So let’s start with every household’s most common trouble — lost objects. Dad can’t find his car keys? The kids can’t find their homework? Turn to St. Anthony — for 800 years he has helped the flummoxed, frustrated faithful locate things they thought were irretrievably lost.
The more phones, tablets, and laptops you have in the family, the more likely you are to experience computer trouble. To ward off spammers, hackers and computer viruses pray to St. Isidore of Seville. As a man of the sixth century, he never surfed the web, but he did compile a 20-volume encyclopedia of all existing knowledge. In 1999, a group of Catholic webmasters and computer technicians interpreted Isidore’s encyclopedia as the world’s first database and adopted him as the patron of the Internet and computers.
If a mouse is in the house, or sugar ants have taken over the kitchen, turn to St. Magnus of Fuessen. According to an old legend, this seventh-century Irish monk kept a little pet dragon he trained to gobble up bugs and rodents.
Every guy thinks he is a master barbecue chef. Most of us are not. If the family has gotten tired of dad charring beautiful cuts of meat beyond recognition, invoke the Roman deacon St. Lawrence, who was martyred by being roasted on a grill. Before he died he said to his executioners: “Turn me over. I’m done on this side.”
Housekeeping is not just tedious and labor intensive, it can seem pointless — within a few days everything will be dirty, dusty and untidy again. When drudgery gets to you, pray to St. Zita. She worked as a housekeeper for 48 years. On those days when she thought she couldn’t bear it, she would stop, take a breath and offer up a short prayer to remind herself that she would do this task for love of God.
If you’re the parent of a large (or busy) family, call on St. Matilda. Noted for her piety and charitable works, she was an empress of Germany who struggled to keep her family together amidst power struggles and royal squabbling. Defying her sons, she founded and built three convents and a monastery.
Children who have a test looming or a very difficult assignment to complete should pray to St. Jerome, patron saint of schoolchildren and test takers. In the fourth century, Jerome spent 30 years in solitude translating the Latin text of the Bible — his translation is still in use today!
If you’re thinking about selling your house (bury St. Joseph in your backyard) or desperate to ward off nightmares (pray to St. Raphael), there is a patron saint ready to help. All you have to do is ask.