One of my weaknesses as a writer is that I’m not a visual person, and so finding graphics to go along with my blog posts is a challenge for me. I do not understand why I need an image with my post when I am using my words, but I’m told that it’s an important part of writing. So usually, I don’t “get it” when it comes to images. But once in a while, that changes.
When I realized that St. Mary Magdalene was my patron saint, I felt strongly that I needed to find an icon of her. I immediately found several, and they were good, but none of them truly spoke to me. I wasn’t able to purchase one immediately, and so I took my time looking to see what was available before making my choice. But when I saw this one, it spoke to me. I connected with it deeply and it was as if Mary Magdalene was speaking directly to me. So I purchased it.
The day it was delivered, it was pouring down rain and I wasn’t home. The mail carrier left it on the front porch, trying to put it as far out of the rain as possible. I saw it when I pulled up in my driveway, and wanted to cry because I thought the rain had ruined it. But, it was perfect, and I was so glad. I had chosen a frame and it ended up being just the right one.
I put the icon in a prominent place in my living room, where I look at her all the time. When I see her, I gaze for a minute, pondering spiritual things, letting her speak to me. Sometimes I even say a prayer, asking her to help me to continue processing my trauma and walking towards healing like she did. Although not an official Church designation, as my patron saint, she is to me the patron saint of trauma.
In this case, I have connected with an image, and it has been used to enhance my spiritual life. The fundamentalists would say that it’s a trinket that diverts attention from God, but I think that God allowed me to connect with this image of Mary Magdalene intimately in order to deepen my relationship with her and with God. I never really understood the whole concept of a patron saint, until I truly met Mary Magdalene and she has changed my outlook.