St. Andrew accompanies us through Advent

| Alyssa Bormes | November 20, 2014 | 1 Comment
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Alyssa Bormes

Somehow, I came to believe that I had been granted the gift of infinite wisdom. Oddly, my parents didn’t recognize it as such. Nevertheless, I chose the confirmation name of Andrea — the female version of Andrew — because I thought it sounded so cool with the rest of my name: Alyssa Marie Andrea Bormes.

Some 23 years after I had chosen St. Andrew as my patron, a priest said to me, “I’m going to call you Andrew.” I was confused, so he explained that Andrew, through his preaching, brought people to the Church. He said this because three friends joined me for Mass that day. I didn’t think anything more about it.

Three years later, on a tour of St. Andrew’s church in Rome, it was explained that Andrew survived two days after being crucified. He kept preaching from the cross, converting the soldiers. It didn’t register with me that the guide was speaking about my patron.

Then, seven months later while preparing to teach a class about patron saints, it all came together. While looking for the saint of the day, my eyes fell upon Nov. 30, the feast of St. Andrew. Nearly three decades earlier, I had picked Andrea/Andrew because of a sound. God, who cannot be outdone, gave the pretentious teenager her sound, but he slipped in a mission along with it. I had been entrusted to, in a sense, preach to those who wanted to enter the Church.

All the years condensed: “Andrea, be sealed with gifts of the Holy Spirit,” and my patron saint waiting for nearly 30 years to be noticed were now one moment.
The St. Andrew Christmas Novena begins on the first Sunday of Advent, which coincides with his feast this year. The following prayer is meant to be said 15 times a day:

“Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.”

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  • Elizabeth Dohogne

    Alyssa, thank you for sharing your Patron Saint discovery experience. It touches my heart…as do most of the things you write that I get to read. This Advent my intention is to complete the St Andrew Novena and to pray for you as I do so.