Litany of Saints: Crouse Family Edition
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
As we all know, Halloween has crept upon us which means...All Saints Day is on its way! For those who don't know, All Saint's Day is celebrated by Catholics every November 1st in honor of all saints, both known and unknown. It's also why Halloween is sometimes referred to as "All Hallow's Eve."
But, this post isn't necessarily about the celebration of All Saints or which family costume we've cooked up this year (the answer? It was going to be Monster's Inc. & real freakin cute but we'll be driving all night sooo...it's a bummer...but I digress...)
Rather, this is about the little "reel" I made on my instagram a few weeks ago titled The Crouse Family "Litany of Saints". Quite a few people reached out asking me to share how & why those particular Saints have come to be a part of our family's litany, and I figured this was the perfect time & place to share those stories!
But first...what is a Litany of Saints?
"A litany, from the Latin litania, in turn from the Greek lite, meaning prayer or supplication, is structured as a series of short invocations with a common theme." --Resource
So, a Litany of Saints is a prayer or supplication to God while asking the intercession of various saints in heaven to pray for and with us.
Okay...So why do you have one specifically for your family?
Well, it's important to understand that as Catholics we ask the Saints to intercede for us, that is, to pray for us and with us as I mentioned above. It's just like I would call my best friend and say "Hey, you've dealt with this before (or you're really wise about this particular thing). Can you pray for this special intention of mine and pray for me? Thanks so much, you're the best!" The Saints have lived lives of intense, great holiness and all in their own very unique ways. We might pray for the intercession of one Saint or another based upon a certain situation. For the Crouse family? Well, this started way back when Chase and I had our first few dates. So...without anymore chatter let's hop straight into it!
Immaculate Heart of Mary... pray for us
Our very first date went as follows: he showed me the seals on La Jolla Shore at sunset, he tried my favorite food for the first time (more Pad Thai, please) and we ended up at the 24hr. adoration chapel in the neighborhood by our college. We sat in his car afterward and he asked if we could pray together. "Sure." He began, and I ended with the fastest, most clammy-handed "Hail Mary" I could spill out of my mouth. I had never prayed with anyone out loud like that before, let alone a hot, Jesus-lovin man who just took my on my first *real* date. Immaculate Heart of Mary...thanks for keeping watch over little, nervous V.
St. Philip Neri... pray for us
My husband chose him as his Confirmation Saint when he was confirmed in high school. Why? Apparently the priest jokingly told Chase that he should pick the same one as him, St. Philip. Chase didn't know who St. Philip was, so when he googled the name and a bunch of them popped up, he chose the one with the "coolest" name. And that's that.
After my husband's reversion to the faith, however, St. Philip Neri continued to play a large role in his life. As the Patron Saint of humor and joy, I no longer wonder why my husband thinks he's the funniest person I know ;) but in all seriousness...we look to St Philip Neri to help us keep our joy in Christ when life tries to keep us down in the gutters.
St. Cecilia... pray for us
The Patroness of Music is my Confirmation Saint! I'm not going to lie...I don't remember picking her. For a time I thought I had just picked Mary??? Chase asked me early on when we were dating which Saint I chose and I said "I think Mary...but I'm not sure, I should probably ask my mom." So I did, and we found out it was Saint Cecilia! That really worked out because if you've read about how we met, then you know we played music in a worship band together throughout college. Saint Cecilia was watching over me the whole time.
St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi ... pray for us
St. Francis, now that I look back at it, always had a place in my childhood home. His little statues were on our countertop and in the garden. He never played a significant role for either of us, though, until we got engaged. Both St. Francis and St. Clare were present when Chase got down on one knee in front of the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. You can read that story here. It's pretty obvious, now, why they both have made it onto our litany list: they probably saw me cry my snot bubbles as I said "yes yes yes!!!"
St. Thérèse of Lisieux... pray for us
Chase has had a special devotion to the "little flower" for quite some time. Because of him, I so lovingly get to share that devotion too. I had never read a "spiritual" book before. We'd only been dating about 2 months when we celebrated my 19th birthday, so I was honestly surprised he got me anything at all (high standards, little V...) I unwrapped a book titled "I Believe in Love" which turned out to be a spiritual retreat based on the teachings of St. Therese. We began reading this book together on my doorstep every night. I learned a lot through that book, but one of the best things I got out of it was the experience itself: talking through the passages with each other and discovering Christ's love through one another. It was my first time doing that with anyone, and the Little Flower has definitely inspired the ways in which we love each other and try to love others.
Find the book here. Seriously, do it. Or google search her. Anything. She's worth your time.
St. Pope John Paul II... pray for us
We met at John Paul the Great Catholic University...enough said??? Honestly though, I don't know how you can't have this modern Saint on your litany list! A patron of young Catholic families, a man of joy, an artist and actor (major points for me!). There's no story as to how he ended up on our list-- it was mostly just the fact that we knew we needed his intercession. In fact, our firstborn is named after him (among others). He's a Crouse family member for life!
St. John... pray for us
Early on in our relationship I asked Chase who his favorite Saint was. He answered "either John the Beloved or John of the Cross." So here we are! St. John covers them both for us.
Chase's favorite verse from the Gospel of John is "He must increase, but I must decrease" (Jn 3:30)
St. Raphael the Archangel... pray for us
Yes, the mighty Archangel, who also happens to be a patron of "happy meetings" AKA
those seeking a marriage partner. While we discerned engagement and marriage, we said a novena to St. Raphael. It's safe to say that we found our marriage partners...
Learn more about the novena here.
St. Josemaría Escrivá... pray for us
As part of our marriage prep, we decided to say a novena to this saint. I can't remember who told us about it, but it really helped us keep our eyes and hearts set on the sacrament we were about to make in front of friends, family, and God Himself. Find the novena here.
St. Gianna Molla... pray for us
When I found out I was pregnant with my firstborn, I was absolutely terrified. We had just moved to New York where we had no family or friends (at the time). I was charting with using the Creighton Method of fertility-based awareness methods, and I had been trying to level
out my progesterone levels. Thankfully, I found the Gianna Center in NYC and went there for an appointment to confirm my pregnancy before finding an OBGYN near me. It was there that I learned about St. Gianna and her heroism toward her children. At a time when I was so afraid to become a mother, I found strength through her intercession and her story.
St. Thomas Aquinas... pray for us
Although he's been important to us for a long time, especially since my husband is a theology nerd, he randomly came up the other night when we were praying through our litany right before falling asleep. Chase gets really, really sleepy toward the end of our bedtime prayers and sometimes he mumbles random things (it's cute, really). Just a few nights ago I heard him sleepily mumble "St. Thomas Aquinas" and I said, "who? Well, he's new. Welcome, St. Thomas!" and that was that! Now he has a permanent place on our list. It doesn't always have to be some big intercession story. Sometimes it's just a sleepy thought the Holy Spirit throws in there :)
St. Joseph... pray for us
The last, but absolutely not the least, newest development of the Crouse Litany is St. Joseph. The patron of fathers, the unborn, workers, carpenters, realtors, the Church herself and literally SO MANY OTHER THINGS...I wonder why we waited so long to lean into his intercession. I won't give anything away, but we have been house hunting for some time now. During this time, we've asked for his intercession to help us find whatever home the Lord wills for our family. And although I won't say where we are on that particular journey, I will say this: there's been a new dynamic in our marriage and in the incredible father I see in Chase.
Saints and prayers aren't magic pixie dust...but you can be sure that when you ask them for help to seek holiness and the Lord's will in your life, they go above and beyond to provide for more than what you think you need.