More than once I have been asked if I”live in a cave” because I often do not know about current events, or celebrities, or tv shows – I think you get the picture. In fact, I recall one of my students drawing a picture of me “living in my cave” once. What a funny memory – I laughed then and I am smiling now. However, I digress . . The point I am getting at is I think you would have had to be in a coma to not know about the Women’s Marches in the U.S. this weekend.
The coverage had me thinking of many different topics. It also had me thinking about how blessed I have been in my life with a family so full of wonderful women. My mother, grandmothers, and aunts have been incredible role models and have truly loved me for who I am. One of the aspects I have long noticed about the women in my family is that they never seem to gossip, always enjoy a good laugh and really, truly listen to one another. Although we may not always agree, I love them dearly and see them as a gift from God.
I also started thinking about the women I have read about that have inspired me to be a better Christian, a harder working woman, and simply, a better person.
Here are some inspiring resources I recommend about some truly heroic women:
Although there are an unmeasurable amount of resources about Our Lady, there are two I’d like to rccommend . . . The first is 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley. 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat In Preparation for Marian Consecration is an easy read and not only serves as a personal retreat, but is also incredibly informative about Our Blessed Mother’s role in our faith.
The second resource about Our Lady is the fascinating Our Lady of Guadalupe. I heard someone give a talk about Our Lady of Guadalupe and she referred to this book Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love. So much she said fascinated and intrigued both my husband and I. It’s not only on my “to read” list – it’s on his as well!
Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Katharine Drexel
Sitting in Eucharistic Adoration once, I came across the book titled, 15 Days of Prayer wit Saint Catherine of Siena. One of my favorite quotes is attributed to her:
Be who God wants you to be and you will set the world on fire!
I LOVE that quote. I often pray – Dear God, help me to be who you want me to be – and set the world ablaze! However, there is much I do not know about this saint. Reading this book in the chapel was quite interesting to me and gave me more knowledge about the truly heroic woman. Not to long after, I was in the Eucharistic Adoration chapel again. I came across a similar book, but this time the saint was Katharine Drexel. As I read 15 Days of Prayer with Saint Katharine Drexel, I truly felt as though I was receiving advice from heaven.
We live in quite an amazing time. Saint Gianna Beretta Molla- wife, mother and physician has been canonized and three of her children are still living! Gianna Emanuela, the daughter of the great modern saint, stated to me in an email that this is her favorite book about her “Saint Momma”: The Journey of Our Love: The Letters of Saint Gianna Beretta and Pietro Molla. As someone who not only feels Saint Gianna has interceded for my own personal prayers, but also a person who loves history and reading historical documents – this type of book is a gold mine! How cool is it to be able to read the letters a saint wrote to her husband – and that he wrote to her! The art of letter writing has become almost an ancient ritual in modern times, but also quite a nostalgic memory for many of us. I wish I could read the letters my grandparents wrote to one another during WWII. People wrote with such elegance and detail. Having this book as a way to model marital love is quite a blessing and treasure.
Speaking of love letters . . . and motherhood . . .and marriage . . . I have a fairly new addition to my “favorite saint list”. For years I have been quite fond and devoted to Saint Therese’ of Liseux. Not so long ago, both her mother and father were canonized. One time I was reading a letter Saint Zelie wrote to her brother, and I was so struck by the love she had for her husband. In this particular letter, dated January 1, 1863, Zelie writes:
I’m always so happy with him, he makes my life very pleasant. What a holy man my husband is. I wish the same for all women; that’s my wish for them for the New Year.”
It is my belief that if asked, she intercedes for husbands and wives. This book, Call to a Deeper Love: The Family Correspondence of the Parents of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus (1864-1885) is an incredible way to see how two very faithful people dealt with daily struggles and real challenges.
Immaculee lives in New York and survived the Rawandan Genocide. Her experience and the way prayer and faith helped her through unimaginable horror and enabled her to truly understand forgiveness is more than inspiring. Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust and Led by Faith: Rising from the Ashes of the Rwandan Genocide (Left to Tell) are both incredible accounts of a woman who is most certainly a hero of faith.
If you are looking to be inspired by women of faith . . . I strongly recommend these women! Who inspires your faith?
Who is a hero to you?