My Patron Saint
St. Michael; who is like God?, is quite an important Archangel, perhaps the most important. He is a warrior angel, God's Field Marshall. He is mentioned several times in the Bible. He and his holy angels threw Lucifer and his bad angels out of heaven. He is my Patron Saint.
I am not sure at what point in my life that I asked him to be my Patron Saint, but it must have been early on, even though I may not have realized it. Sometimes, I think that he must have told me that I was to go down to Hell, for it seems as though the planet Earth is Hell. So many unspeakable things happen here, don't they? Anyway, I look back over the many years of my life, and at several junctures I am amazed that I didn't die but lived on. I don't remember the first time, because I was about a week or so old. My mother told me that I fell on my head - just how I fell was never fully established - and that a doctor described my condition as being on the verge of spinal meningitis. "You didn't even cry" she told me many years afterward. The way she said the words and the difficult look of her eyes indicated that she held something back. The second time was when I was around 3. There was what they called a bolster pillow on the bed in which I slept. Someone held the pillow over my face; I don't remember who. But I remember the hotness and not being able to breathe. All at once the pillow was removed and I remember being so thankful for the sweet breezes that filled my nostrils and lungs. The third time happened when I was 11 and swimming in a wild surf. I did not know that I was in trouble until I tried to stand and my head went under the waves. If I had panicked I would not be typing this. I started to pray for a giant wave; nothing else, I was convinced, could get me back to shore. Almost immediately, a huge wave started to build on the horizon. As it came straight for me I grew afraid, but I also knew if I would let it pass I would be finished. So, I jack-knifed my body and met the wave, thanking God and angels as this mighty chariot bore me home. When I was around the same age, maybe a year younger, I was walking home from school one day when a man I recognized as a butcher in a shop where my mother took me now and then, tried his best to lure me into his car. I politely refused, hearing my mother's oft repeated words "Never get in a car with anyone you do not know well!" I ran all the way home, fear in my breast. My mother told me that the next time she was in the shop, the man told her that she had schooled me well, but I always felt that if I had gotten in the car that day, I would never have seen my parents again. There were other times such as when I nearly died when gangrene set in after my appendix burst or when I suffered three bouts of serious pneumonia. But it was years later that I came to the conclusion that St. Michael had been watching over me as I grew. I began to think of him as my Patron Saint and guardian angel. I named my youngest boy after him.
St. Michael's Anglican Church
My churching was ecumenical you might say. My Father was brought up as an Anglican, my Mother, a Baptist. Never, outside of a wedding or funeral, did we attend church together, although my dad accompanied me to some services over the years. My paternal grandparents, though, were married in the historic St. Michael's Anglican church in Trenton, New Jersey. My grandmother, Charlotte Scott, was a very religious person, according to my father. The sad thing is that she died several years before I was born. She passed away in the house where I lived for the first 91/2 years of my life. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't feel her presence often; I most certainly did.
Now, years later, I think about my happier experiences with the Anglican Church. I did so much enjoy being a member of the Altar Guild, of cleaning our area and taking home the delicate altar cloths to wash and iron. And I did seriously take to heart the delivering of Sunday flowers to nursing homes and the sick. Before becoming an Anglican though, I spent some years in the Lutheran Church, teaching Sunday School and Bible School until big changes came. The church brought out a new hymnal and did away with the traditional service. The same thing happened in 1962 when the Roman Catholic Church became more "modern." I stuck with the Anglicans or Episcopalians until the conference of 2003, which pretty much did away with the Traditional service, which I had known and loved. My heart was broken and remained broken until St. Michael answered my prayers and found me a new church home; it even had his name.
St. Michael's Traditional Roman Catholic Church
I had no idea that the traditional Roman Catholic Church survived the 1962 modernity until I walked into a Society of Saint Pius 10 church in 2010. It fulfilled all of my faith's needs and healed my heart. I went every Wednesday, taking instruction from Father. After several months, I was conditionally baptized, and when the Bishop came, I was confirmed. The church has increased membership quite a lot, and a new seminary is going up in Virginia. It is a pleasure going to High Mass every Sunday, knowing the traditional service will go on without interference or change, just as it had for nearly 2000 years. I joined the flower ladies who prepare flowers for services and enjoy those peaceful experiences very much. And when I say my prayers, I thank Almighty Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Our Lady, and St. Michael for the spiritual grace afforded me whenever I walk through the doors of St. Michael's.