At this time of year, I absolutely love to be outside in my prayer garden. I have a great little waterfall, some lovely peonies and pansies and lots of cool shade from my fruit trees. It’s a wonderful reminder of all the blessings God has given to my family and me, and it helps to ground me when I’m feeling stressed or simply disconnected from the world around me.
Are you considering a prayer garden? Do you already have a nice outdoor space that could use something more meaningful and spiritual? Even just a patch of grass can be a lot more with some simple touches.
By choosing one or two saint statues for your sacred space, you can change the context and bring your faith and God’s love to light. However, the marketplace is packed with great options, and it can be tricky to choose the right one. Here’s how to sort through the myriad of choices.
Start with a Familiar Face
Remember, your space is yours. Even if you only recognize a saint because you saw him in church every Sunday, that’s enough reason to choose that statue. Anything or anyone that helps you feel connected to the Church is a good place to start.
Mary is an excellent choice for any indoor or outdoor space. Her soft face and comforting presence is a welcome sight in any home or garden.
I personally have a lovely granite and blue grotto with a small Mary statue in it that looks gorgeous under the trees. She and I have some beautiful, quiet moments together, and the kids have really taken to her as well because, well, she’s family.
Just Feel It
In addition to Mary, I also have a Saint Francis statue because I love animals and so do my children. His story was one of the first that truly inspired me. His conversion, dedicated to living as simply and humbly as possible and honoring nature, always struck a very deep chord with me. He’s a reminder that all of God’s creations are worthy of our love and care, and I often offer up my prayers to him.
Catholic statues serve a purpose; they connect us with a higher, invisible force. By surrounding ourselves with certain images and representations of our faith, we help it grow stronger.
So, if you have a particular angel or saint that calls to you, reach for his or her likeness when shopping for statues. You will be much happier to have it in your house and feel better about praying to it every day.
Heighten Something You Cherish
What is something you celebrate in your home? Is it quiet meditation? Storytelling? Art? Whatever it is, you can almost always find a saint or two to represent it.
Saint Cecilia has a special place in our hallway because of her guardianship over singers. My little girl sings all day and holds St. Cecilia very near and dear to her heart. As a mom, this saint gives me a chance to talk to my daughter about how her love of music can see her through, but only if she honors her practice, stays diligent, focused and doesn’t let distractions get in her way.
She’s a little young for a talk about virginity right now, but St. Cecilia stayed a virgin even through marriage, because she held such a deep devotion to her faith. I feel the lesson there is that it’s important to honor the path that God has chosen for us and not disregard his plans. When it’s time for my little darling to date, then I can build on a pre-existing relationship even more and guide her away from bad choices.
Honor a Memory
After my father died, I purchased a Saint Christopher necklace to honor his memory. Dad always traveled – he went all over Asia and through most of South America. He believed meeting new people and having new experiences were an important part of being a devout Catholic.
St. Christopher’s constant watch over travelers helps me feel closer to my departed father, and I’m currently shopping for a small statue to keep in my room.
When we look to the same sources of inspiration that those around us use, it can deepen our bonds with them, even when they’re gone. My dad would be thrilled to know that I touch the Saint Christopher medallion that hangs from my neck anytime I miss him. It reminds me that he’s never too far away, and I always need to be open to new people and new experiences.
Whether you have an outdoor space like a little garden or altar you enjoy, or if you simply want to see the faces of more saints and angels in your home, one or two statues can be a lovely addition and a great focal point for you and your family.