ON ELECTIONS AND PATRON SAINTS
Today is, of course, Election Day in the United States. I voted by absentee ballot several weeks ago and friends from San Diego who were visiting Rome took my ballot and mailed it in San Diego! It is such an honor and privilege to vote and I’d not miss this for anything. I have been praying for weeks, and more than ever today, that certain moral issues dominate voters’ thinking processes and, as a result, their choice, in particular prolife and freedom of religion.
The material I got from California for the election – all the choices I could make for candidates for various offices and all the referendum on the ballot – required quite some time to study. I always want to vote intelligently and that does require time – a lot of it – before Election Day. Hopefully voting is a cerebral, not a visceral, process!
My hope and prayer is that when individuals walk into the voting booth, they have calmly studied the people and issues and then cast a thoughtful and intelligent vote for their future and that of the nation.
There is no patron saint of elections, although the story has circulated that St. Chad – yes, there is a real St. Chad of Lichfield, England – was the patron of the disputed 2000 U.S. elections (remember the “hanging chad” on ballots!). He died March 2, 672.
There is, however a beloved patron saint for civil servants and politicians – St. Thomas More. The movie about his life, “A Man for All Seasons,” should be shown every election cycle.
I also read a sermon by an Anglican pastor who proposed that the patron saints for electors should be Barsabbas and Matthias. When Judas, one of the Twelve Apostles, betrayed Our Lord and killed himself, the Apostles gathered to choose a new 12th Apostle: Acts 1:23, 26: They proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, and Matthias. Then they prayed, and they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was added to the eleven apostles.”
PAPAL NOVEMBER PRAYER INTENTION: IN THE SERVICE OF PEACE
Pope Francis on Tuesday released a video message accompanying his prayer intention for November 2018, “In the Service of Peace.”
In that intention, Pope Francis says: We all want peace. It is desired above all by those who suffer its absence. We can speak with splendid words, but if there is no peace in our heart, there will be no peace in the world. With zero violence and 100 percent tenderness, let us build the evangelical peace that excludes no one. Let us pray together that the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict.
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network of the Apostleship of Prayer developed “The Pope Video” initiative to assist in the worldwide dissemination of monthly intentions of the Holy Father in relation to the challenges facing humanity.
It has become the custom of Pope Francis to release a video message detailing his prayer intention for each month: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-11/pope-prayer-intention-november-2018.html#play
2019 WORLD DAY OF PEACE MESSAGE: POLITICS MUST SERVE PEACE
The theme of Pope Francis’ Message for the 52nd World Day of Peace, to be celebrated on January 1, 2019, was published today by the Holy See Press Office, “Politics must be at the service of peace.”
The press office statement said, “Political responsibility belongs to every citizen, and in particular to those who have been given the mandate to protect and govern.”
The note also pointed out that, “this mission consists in safeguarding the law and encouraging dialogue between all actors of society, between generations, and between cultures.” The first condition for trust is respect for the given word. It noted that, “political commitment – which is one of the highest expressions of charity – implies concern for the future of life and of the planet, of the youngest and of the smallest, in their thirst for fulfilment.”