Book offers mothers a weekly saint ‘companion’ for a year
By Julie Filby
In her latest volume “A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul,” author Lisa Hendey acquaints women with holy companions to journey with them through the ups and downs of motherhood.
“By coming to know about the saints’ lives, how they faced challenges, and praying through their intercession,” Hendey said. “We can grow in grace and faith.”
Each of the 52 chapters of the book, released last year, contains a brief biography of a saint, Hendey’s personal reflections on how his or her life relates to motherhood, associated traditions, such as why people bury a statue of St. Joseph upside down when selling their home; and a quote from or about each saint.
She relays how saints such as domestic servant St. Zita of Lucca; St. Martha of Bethany known for serving Jesus in her home; and beloved businesswoman St. Margaret Clitherow act as role models mothers can strive to emulate.
“Each of these ladies did her best to make her work a prayer,” explained Hendey, wife, mother of two boys (20 and 17), and founder of popular website www.CatholicMom.com. “So many of the saints show us that our path to sainthood can play out in the confines of our own home or community.”
Each chapter also contains seven days of Scripture readings and prayers.
“(The book) is intended to be used as a daily or weekly prayer companion for busy women,” she said. “To help a woman recapture a bit of personal prayer time in the midst of her day.”
Finding time for prayer can be a challenging for some women.
“Far too often, we moms think because we aren’t able to spend hours in the adoration chapel or … in quiet prayer and Bible study, we aren’t ‘saintly’ enough,” she said. “In many ways a mother’s work is a prayer itself.”
Each chapter also includes activities for mothers in relation to the saint, family activities to bring the saint to life for children, a family prayer, and discussion and journaling questions to prompt reflection.
“I’m not a ‘crafty’ person, so the activities don’t include pipe cleaners or construction paper,” she quipped. “I think the best way to bring their examples to life is to help our children to faithfully serve others.”
One example is to commemorate the feast of Sts. Anne and Joachim, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by having children do something special for their grandparents, such as a family outing, bake cookies or write them a letter.
“Activities that both educate the children about the lives of the saints, and tie their spirituality to our current lives and challenges, are a poignant way to keep their charisms alive,” she said.
The book is indexed in multiple ways: by name, feast day, area of patronage, and specific companions for nurturing heart, mind, body or soul.
“I hope it’s the type of book that will remain in my friends’ devotional stack for years to come,” she said. “And that these saints become trusted companions and intercessors for many women.”
Hendey is available to lead book clubs and group discussions online via Skype.
“I’m happy to ‘meet’ with moms’ groups,” she said. “This can be arranged at their convenience and seems to be a great thing for groups who are reading the book together.”
For more information, visit www.lisahendey.com.
Hendey, who resides in Fresno, Calif., is also the author of “The Handbook for Catholic Moms,” hosts the “Catholic Moments” podcast and “Catholic Mom” TV show; and contributes to EWTN’s “SonRise Morning Show,” Relevant Radio’s “On Call” afternoon show, Faith & Family, Catholic News Agency and Catholic Exchange.