August 7, 2013
 Praise God! 

We have been blessed with our 40th follower. We'd like to celebrate the moment with our second ever give-away of a book that has inspired us here at The Feminine Gift. The book this time has been a source of wisdom and encouragement for us, written by a woman we look up to with a great deal of regard and respect. The book is: The Privilege of being a woman, by Alice Von Hildebrand.


We'd love to give the book to you because we love you – we'd love to give the book to all of you, because we believe every Catholic woman should have it on her bookshelves – but we can't. In fact, we're even going to make you work for it! We are going to choose a name at random from among the responses we get to this question, either at The Feminine Gift, or our Facebook page. *Note: with the current set up of thefemininegift.org, it is sometimes difficult to access the comment box. The page may have to be refreshed a few times in order to open it. We are working to correct the problem!* The selection will be made on August 23.

The question is: do you have a patron saint? If so, why that one? We look forward to reading your answers.

It didn't seem fair to ask you to do all the work, so here is our story:

The Feminine Gift is under the patronage of Edith Stein – in religion known as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. We chose her... or rather she chose us... through her book 'Woman'. Our writing is sprinkled with quotations from this remarkable woman, many of them from that book. As it is written in the preface, “Woman will always set the quality of a given time, acting as 'the demon of the abyss' or as a saviour for the life about her. Today's woman faces a more dramatic and severe challenge than ever. The family needs her but society needs her also. As a human being, she must fulfill a serious political role along with her maternal one. In these essays, Stein teaches the woman how to be a balanced and fulfilled person in today's world. Her words describe the essence of all women.” Pretty relevant and applicable to today's woman, though it was written ninety years ago.

Edith Stein had a powerful intellect, was a gifted writer, and really had a heart for matters pertaining to women, particularly their education so they would flourish as women. She was a philosopher, a university professor, a respected lecturer. She was Jewish. Though an observant Jew in childhood, she lost faith in God in her teens. She continued to seek for truth, however, and years later while visiting friends, she came across a copy of the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila, and with that, realized her home was within the Catholic Church, and eventually entered the order of Discalced Carmelites. Realizing her presence as Catholic Jew in the convent (in Cologne, Germany) Edith asked to be moved out of Germany and in 1938 was secretly taken to Holland. However, the Nazis began to persecute and execute Catholics of Jewish extraction in Holland, and Edith and her sister, Rose, were taken to Auschwitz, and gassed a week later on August 9, 1942. Twelve years earlier she had written, “Every time I feel my powerlessness and inability to influence people directly, I become more keenly aware of the necessity of my own holocaust.”

She is now one of the patron saints of Europe, and a Doctor of the Church, an honoured daughter of Israel.

Henceforth my only vocation is to love


8 comments:

  1. Hello Tess and Sarah,

    Congratulations on your Fortieth follower!!! I hope there are many, many more.

    Patron saints is a fascinating topic, and one of my favourites! To some extent I have always seen the saint I am named after as one of my patron's (St. Francis of Assisi, although there are about 47 Saint Francis/Frances'). However, the one saint that I ask regularly to intercede for me (and I would, thus, consider her a patron) is St. Maria Goretti. I grew up with an awe/love of her, and that has continued. She is one of the patronesses of youth, young women, purity, and rape victims, and she is a wonderful model and inspiration for all. She was strong in her faith, had a great love for Our Lord (particularly in the Eucharist) and devotion to Our Lady (she prayed a rosary daily), and she lived the virtues. Her life was not easy, she had taken over the running of their home when her Father died (she was 9) so that her Mother could run the farm. Yet, even their farm was not the safest place since they lived with Alessandro and his father, and Alessandro threatened her regularly. At the age of 11 he stabbed her 14 times because she continued to refuse to sin with him, she died forgiving him two days later. Her courage and steadfastness is a wonderful inspiration today when purity and true womanhood is not appreciated. Yes, she was only 11, but she upheld modesty, purity, truth, love and forgiveness! Exactly what every woman should be emulating. I think she is pretty special. Oh, her feast was July 6th.

    God bless,
    Frances

    P.S. I am looking forward to reading about other patron saints:)!

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    Replies
    1. Hey, great saint Frances - she's my confirmation name-saint. I always did like her story too! Thanks for this - and good luck. ;)

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  2. Thanks for having this contest! I don't have a patron saint (I'm Evangelical) but I like to read about the saints's lives, particularly St. Teresa of Avila. Her biography was the first Catholic book I read. Now I'm hooked! Yes, St. Maria Goretti is a great one too, to have had such strong faith at such a young age.

    Susan

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    Replies
    1. Nice to hear from you, Susan, and welcome to The Feminine Gift! Teresa of Avila was quite a woman, and Maria Goretti is a great example for us. The lives of the saints are fascinating, as their stories are so varied... just like us!

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  3. St. Joseph is my patron! I know he's not a woman.. but he is very dear to me, he protects me, and he chose me to be one of his fans.His devotion to Our Lady and Our Lord is inspirational to me on a daily basis, and helps me to embrace the value of my femininity. So here I am!

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  4. Ah, St. Joseph. He has enough room in his heart - and his arms - for all of us... even women! We all need a strong man in our life.

    Thanks for sharing your saint with us, Cassie.

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  5. St. Francis of Assisi has always been my favourite saint. He's so wonderfully radical.

    But I find myself turning frequently throughout the day to Our Lady of Combermere. There is something about this particular image of Our Lady I find so comforting. I love her unhampered stance and her confidence in her femininity. Plus, I feel like she's very earthy and practical, and I can ask her for help in 'silly' things like making sure the bread rises and that I don't burn dinner.

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  6. Jenna, I love the image of Our Lady of Combermere. She and Catherine Doherty go very well together, don't you think? I agree with you about the earthiness and practicality - there is something very comforting in that.

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What is a woman? What does it mean to be feminine? There is softness and hardness, compassion and ferocity. There is contentment and adventure, freedom and service. We're conundrums, especially to ourselves, but we all, in some way, possess beauty, creativity, intuition and love. We were made for love, and we are loved, cellulite and all. Here we aim to show every woman the richness and beauty of her own femininity and explore current issues relating to women in our world. We also wish to share our own experiences - exploring the joys and challenges of stay-at-home moms and single professionals and everyone in between. Welcome! So glad you're here!

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