It’s a new year, y’all! And that means the Catholic internet is asking everyone these questions: What is your Word of the Year? Who is your Saint of the Year?
If you are new to the concept I know it can sound a little strange–maybe even a little hokey! But over the past few years this new New Year’s tradition has become increasingly important to me and instrumental in directing my spiritual life.
How does one decide on a word and/or a saint? Well, some people pray over it for a period of time. Here’s a podcast episode about discerning your word.
If that feels uncomfortable to you, try this for your word, and this for your saint. Be sure to say a little prayer before you click!
I know it seems a little silly, but who are we to put limits on the workings of the Holy Spirit?
The first year I engaged in this practice, I picked my saint first and got Mary. And I was disappointed! I was looking forward to finding some new saint who I could learn about and have in my corner as an intercessor. I was tempted to click again!
But the Holy Spirit knew what he was doing, y’all. Because my word turned out to be MOTHER. I decided this must mean I was supposed to really double down on my vocation of motherhood.
And 2018 certainly turned out to be the year for it! In February we made our first visit to my far-away son, spending his birthday with him on the other side of the country. In March we welcomed a daughter-in-law and hosted a wedding reception! I spent the whole summer being an awesome and fun mother to my youngest two kids. And I shepherded my baby out of homeschooling and into public school (and bought her a dog too!). All the while I worked on my goal of becoming holy by building a deeper relationship with the Blessed Mother by participating in Marian consecration. It was definitely a year in which, with Mary’s help, I dove deeper into what it means to be a Catholic wife and mother.
So I was excited for my second year of picking a word and a saint. I got Saint John Bosco, who I remembered reading about as a child as that fun guy who worked with kids, and then for my word I got WINK. About which I thought, “What?” I REALLY wanted to click again. And I will be honest: I never was exactly sure what to do with that. The only thing I could come up with was the notion of having more fun in 2019.
I’m not sure how good I was at it, honestly! We did travel quite a bit, including our first cruise, but the kids and I did not repeat our fun-filled summer. Of course, compared to 2020 the year was jam-packed with adventures!
And early in the year I received a financial appeal from a Catholic organization serving the poor in the Deep South, via the Bosco Nutrition Center. Maybe that was why that saint picked me–I have donated regularly ever since.
Last year’s picks seemed to make a little more sense: St. Faustina and REVIVE. St. Faustina’s message of “Jesus, I trust in you!” was perfect for 2020. And I truly embraced the idea of reviving myself, physically and spiritually, last year. (More to come on that note.)
This year I received St. Lutgardis as my saint. I so much never heard of her that I thought she was a man. I have not done much more than read an account of her life online as yet, but I hope to dive deeper as the year goes on.
My word is INTEGRITY. That is a quality that is important to me, certainly, but I was not very excited about it because I did not feel it had anything new to say to me. But just a day later I stumbled onto this podcast episode on living an integrated life. This gave me that AHA moment I was looking for so that is the direction I am going to be following with my word.
And to help me keep it in mind, I ordered a custom bracelet from Pink Salt Riot’s Word of the Year collection. For just a few more days, you can choose from several options including bracelets, keychains, and necklaces, personalized with your very own Word of the Year. And if you shop from my link and use code LIFEINEVERYLIMB, these already affordable pieces will be 10% cheaper!
Do you have a Word of the Year? What about a Saint of the Year? Tell me about them in the comments!