I have been discerning to be a priest or deacon for quite some time now (right now I am pretty sure it will be the sisterhood). In my life saint Patrick and saint Francis seem to keep popping up in pivotal moments in my discernment (with out me looking for them) and I am starting to wonder are they signs that God wants me in the Priesthood? Examples of when saint Patrick came into my life:
2nd grade We watched a little cartoon on saint Patrick. Inspired by the story that night I said I think I want to be a priest (didnt think much of it as I was so young and the vocation faded away).
3rd grade My trials and tribulations begin as I was diagnosed with terminal Cancer (around donly a 10% chance of survival) God stayed an important part of my life no matter how grim the situation was. I made a full recovery. Saint Patrick wasn’t much of a factor here but this comes in to play later
at the age of 23 I had as stroke which was an after effect of the cancer treatments. I had a rosary but as it was very important to me I wanted to get a less expensive one to us on a more regular bases. Green is my favorite color so I got a green one. It was a saint Patrick themed one. While praying with this rosary My vocation to the priesthood came back.
3 years later on saint Patrick’s day at an event I bought a book on saint Patrick. reading this I felt inspired and a little bit of a connection but did no know why.
I then bought the confessions of saint Patrick and his quote “Before I was humiliated I was like a stone that lies in deep mud, and he who is mighty came and in his compassion raised me up and exalted me very high and placed me on the top of the wall.”
really stuck with me as I realized my trials and tribulations were the things that brought me closer to God and made me the man I am today and maybe God was shaping me to be a priest. This also fits right in with some of the bible quotes that helped me through my stroke and cancer like for instance Sirach 2:5.
I returned to the place where felt I was healed by God so many years ago at a healing mass and siting in the exact seat where I was that day was a bowl of holy water and the garments of a priest in that funeral.
I later remembered that there was absolutely no reason why I had cancer and still today it puzzles doctors why I contracted it. They also said the reason it was so devastating is because it had been growing so large in my head for about a year but since I had no physical symptoms we had no X-rays taken and no one knew it was there. Saint Patrick popped in my mind for no apparent reason then I remembered his quote about his being humiliated made him what he was as a saint. Then I remembered about a year before we found my cancer was when I had my first vocation to the priesthood after watching the cartoon on saint Patrick so I thought did God give me cancer to form me and make me in the man i am today?
I thought about what happened when the church where I was healed was that God going “ok the trials and tribulations are over now you need to become a priest!”
It seems like saint Patrick was always there at the pivotal moments in my discernment. Did those of you who are or had a vocation to the priesthood or religious like have a similar experience and have a saint guide you? Do you think Saint patrick was guiding me?