Estas son las mañanitas
que cantaba el Rey David.
Hoy por ser día de tu santo
te las cantamos a ti.
Despierta, mi bien, despierta,
mira que ya amaneció
ya los pajarillos cantan,
la luna ya se metió.
Today is the feast of St. Rita of Casica. On Thursday, the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ is bumping the feast of St. Bede. These are my two patron saints. And I must have the absolutely wierdest story about how I got these two patrons ever, seriously.
You have to understand, I was raised as a United Methodist in California. Our confirmation class taught us a lot about church history, sure, but our culminating trip involved attending five places of worship in San Francisco, and only one was Methodist. I was 12 years old and in my heart, an atheist.
I think all 12 year olds are atheists to one degree or another, really.
So, no patron saint for me at my confirmation. Nope.
I picked up St. Rita as a patron due to an advertisement for margaritas in a Mexican restaurant when I was 18. My friend, who was eating with me, decided my name should be ‘Rita’ (we did this kind of renaming thing all the time, I still answer to ‘Steve’ thanks to the movie Multiplicity and a NYE party involving more sugar than should be consumed by teenagers, ever). About two hours later, we passed by St. Rita Catholic Church, and my friend thought it was hysterical. I started keeping an eye out for St. Rita things, and wound up with a collection. The more I read about her, the more I realised she and I had some things in common about our lives. When I finally got over my Methodist-bred aversion to the Saints, it made sense to me to ask for prayers from the one saint who I’d already collected sacramentals of: St. Rita.
St. Bede became my patron saint during an all-nighter in college. Because yes, I am the kind of person who thinks that a break from writing about genocide in Yugoslavia entails Googling information on the lives of saints. I happened upon a story about one of St. Bede’s fellow monastics wandering by in the middle of the night to find a light in his room. The brother peeked in, and there was St. Bede reading, a little angel sitting on his shoulder to give him enough light to see the pages. That just tickled me pink, and so I printed off a copy of an ikon of St. Bede and taped it to the side of my monitor.
See? Told you they were silly stories. I’mna going to have to make cookies this week.
Today is the little mornings
That King David sang about.
Today is your [Name] Saint’s Day*
And that’s why we sing to you.Wake up, my dear, wake up!
Look, see, it’s dawn.
The birds are already singing
and the moon has set.
*this part is often translated as ‘birthday’.