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Monday, 5 January 2015

OK, Not Science But...

A seminarian remarked to me a few days ago that he thought mom's of seminarians shared lots in common. I wonder what the apostles' moms had in common? Did Levi's mom go to the synagogue and beg God for a miracle for her son to stop being a horrid tax collector, despised by the Jews? Did she stay up nights weeping over her son's life?

Of course, being a mom of a seminarian, I asked what he meant.

He went on to say that he could spot a real vocation from a false one by watching the moms.

Hmmm, now this is anecdotal, but here is what this young man said.

First of all, he said that all the moms he had met were really strong practicing Catholics. Not so much the dads, but the moms...of course, I thought of St. Monica.

He noted that the moms knew what was going on in the Church, followed ecclsiastical news, and were, well, 'nerdy' and not typical.

Second, by not typical he meant that they were idea people, did not like to go shopping, and were pray-ers.

This gets more interesting.
I have this icon in a box in Silvis....

They shared a love of the Blessed Virgin Mary and many were or are active in the Church, in various roles, such as catechesis. choir, on Adoration lists, and so on.

Third, they have distinctly unique ideas about education.

Fourth, the moms know priests and frequently, bishops, by name, as in friends and acquiantances.

Fifth, moms who were more like "normal" women, who talked about vacations rather than vocations, and money and stuff, rather than spiritual topics seemed to have sons who left or were leaving the seminary. In other words, those young men who did not have ecclesiastical or prayful talk at home, but came from more secular famlies, especially, and those with secular homes not only had a harder time, but would leave.

The moms seem to be more important than the dads, and I agree with this. Years ago, a mom complained to me over and over again about her only son choosing the priesthood. After several years of being a priest, he left.

She was openly anti-clerical, but more than that, she did not love the Church.

This to me is the key factor--women who love the Church will have boys who love the Church.

Why? Because the Church is the Bride of Christ and this is the relationship a young man as a priest has with the Church. Women teach this principle with love and example.

Moms, if you want a son of yours to be a priest, love the Church and be obedient to the Church, which leads me to the last point.

Sixth, sems with moms who are absolutely obedient to the Church in all things, have more love for the Church. The ones who are rebellious regarding contraception or false seers undermine their sons' vocations.

Simple, really. Do not blame priests for the lack of vocations. Blame parents, and maybe, especially moms. If you are taking your kids shopping all the time and talking about fake apparitions, clothes, sports, movies, and stuff, rather than taking them to Adoration and talking about God and His Church, you, Mom, have only yourself to blame for those boys in your family not taking a vocation seriously.

I think this seminarian has an insight into real vs. false vocations. Those moms who have taught their sons to be servants have helped create servant-priests. not prima donna priests.

This is all very interesting....I have noticed that families involved in the Church and those who have had vocations in their families in the past are more likely to have new vocations.

Some families are just more "ecclesiastical" than others. I think of the holy moms of saints...and there are many.

Blessed Aleth, mother of St. Bernard of Clairvaux and several other blesseds...all her childen becoming monks and one a nun. St. Gerard, Blessed Nivard, St. Bernard, Blessed Guy, and Blessed Humbeline are her saintly children...

Here is a link about Bernard's holy sister, Humbeline...

Blessed Joan of Aza, mother of St. Dominic and Blessed Mannes...

St, Monica, of course, mother of St. Augustine...

St. Emilia, mother of SS. Basil and Gregory and Ven. Macrina...

St.Bridget of Sweden, mother of St. Catherine of Sweden...

Blessed Gerturde of Altenburg, mother of St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Louis...

SS, Agnes of Bohemia and Wenceslaus were brother and sister saints...whose saintly grandmother is St. Ludmila.

Ludmilla, family name...

SS. Sanchia, Malfada and Teresa of Portugal are sister saints...

SS. Isabel of France and Louis IX, King, are brother and sister saints-- they are related to Mohammed, St. David, through his son Nathan and St. Joseph of Arimathea, as well as the list plus more under St. Ferdinand...some say that the daughter of Joseph of Arimathea married Blessed Bran, who was a descendent of Ephraim, son of Joseph the Patriarch, and Anna of Arimathea, Josephs' mother,(another holy mom), goes back to Simon the Just and Judah. Down another seven generations is Blessed Bernard of Baden. St. Ferdinand is also related to St. Francis Borgia, as an ancestor to this humble superior of the Jesuits.

St. Margaret of Hungary has two Blessed siblings, Jolenta and Cunegunda, as well as being a descedant of SS. Isaac Pahlav and Gregory the Enlightened. St. Joan of Valois is related to the two latter saints as well.

St. Olga is grandmother to the great saint Vladimir and a descendent is St. Michael of Chernigov.

St. Andrew Barlow Venerable has St. Margaret of Scotland as an ancestor, and her son, St. David, King of Scotland. Guess who they all have an ancestor. St. John Southworth is also related.

Blesseds Zelie and Louis Martin, with one saint already, and two most likely "in the queue".

There are many, many more...
I had a gold version of this from Russia
St. Olga

Of course, some saints had saintly fathers, such as Etheldreda, who had three sisters who are saints, and a holy dad, King Anna of East Anglia.

St. Edward. Confessor, is said to be a descendent of St. King David of Israel, and Blessed Seraphina Sforza is seven generations down a saint, whose husband tried to poison her and she escaped to a convent, eventually becoming an abbess.

Blessed Margaret of Savoy is eight generations down from the illustrious St. Humbert III, who is descended from one of the sons of King David, Chileab.

Blessed Margaret Pole is related to the long list above, including SS. Joseph of Arimathea, Helen, mother of Constantine, David and Judah.

If you are a saint in Europe, it seems that you could most likely be related to Joseph of Arimathea or King David.

St. Pius V's brother is related to St. Charles Borromeo's sister...

And, so on....

Point? Holy families create holy kids.....vocations most likely, (but not all), come from religious families. Grace can be passed down for generations, just as sin can be...this is our choice to cooperate with grace.

Thoughts on a cold Monday in January, and some, but not all, notes taken from a  old book I found; Ascent of the Saints Whose Lineage is Known by Brian Daniel Starr, which I assume is out of print.