Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Is there a Patron Saint of Celiac's?

"Hey Mom!  We're suppose to choose a saint for confirmation.  Sebastian's saint is known for being the saint of athletes." 

Sebastian is the natural athlete every child wishes to become.  A triple threat, football-basketball-baseball; the perfect all-around athlete that every athletic director waits for.  

"Wouldn't it be my luck if St. Charles Borromeo was the saint of stomach ailments?"

Nate's and his saint must have chosen each other.  Rick and I, the parents of Nate, chose Charles as his middle name in honor of Rick's father.  Our Catholic friend in Germany congratulated us upon Nate's birth and asked if we had chosen the middle name, Charles, to honor the patron saint of Nate's birth date.   We had no idea of the connection, to us, it was a family name.  Nate Charles was born on his feast day, so through the years we honored the three Charles on November 4th; grandfather, grandson, and patron Saint Charles Borromeo.

At the beginning of confirmation, Nate was undecided as to whether to formally take Charles as his patron saint, or to choose another saint.  His confirmation friends were all researching their saints, coming to class with patron saints of music, athletics, or specific virtues.  Nate's confirmation instructor believed the coincidence was divinely ordained and encouraged Nate to do a little research.  Little did any of us really know.

Who is Saint Charles Borromeo?  

Saint Charles Borromeo was a confessor, someone who died a natural death.  Born October 2nd, 1538, Charles was a lawyer and then appointed a cardinal of Milan.  He is well known for having spent his family's wealth building colleges, universities, and seminaries.  St. Charles was a key supporter of reconvening the council of Trent in 1562.  He was also a radical reformer of the clergy, and created the Confraternity of Christian doctrine for religious instruction of children.  During his life, St. Charles worked to alleviate the suffering of the poor and sick, even walking barefoot three times around the city in his cardinal's robes with a halter as a sacrifice while he offered the Sacraments to the dying.  St. Charles Borromeo died November 3-4th, 1584.   
 http://www.catholic-saints.info/patron-saints/saint-charles-borromeo.htm and http://www.scborromeo.org/scb.htm

When we came across the list of patron saints, Nate knew St. Charles was meant for him as
Saint Charles Borromeo is the patron saint of clergy, intellectuals, colic, stomach trouble and ulcers.  Maybe not listed specifically as the Saint of Celiac's, but Nate's earlier wonderings of patrons of stomach ailments was clearly more than intuition.  

So, all these years, we have had the perfect patron saint watching over Nate.  

Prayer of St. Charles Borromeo

Almighty God, you have generously made known to human beings 
the mysteries of your life through Jesus Christ your Son in the Holy Spirit.
Enlighten my mind to know these mysteries which your Church treasures and teaches.
Move my heart to love them and my will to live in accord with them.
Give me the ability to teach this Faith to others without pride, without ostentation, and without personal gain.
Let me realize that I am simply your instrument for bringing others
to the knowledge of the wonderful things you have done for all your creatures.
Help me to be faithful to this task that you have entrusted to me.


  1. Hello. We are just learning of my 7 y/o's celiac "fate". I didn't even think of her first communion coming up and that the host being wheat. Blood work should be back in a week to confirm the diagnosis. Thank you for the patron saint's prayer. My "gut" is telling me we will all benefit from a dietary change. Thank you for the web site. We'll be checking back in.
    Owasso, OK

  2. Thank you. My husband kept telling me that our story might be a light for others; by sharing it, we can make the journey easier for another family.

    God bless your family. You are in my prayers tonight.