7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 158)

December 30, 2011 | 106 comments

— 1 —

Don’t forget the Saint’s Name Generator if you want a saint chosen at random to be your patron for the new year! Leave a comment and let me know who was picked for you. (Note that you have to click twice to get the name — I’ll fix it to make it one click as soon as I have time.) Last year my saint was St. Francis de Sales, and he’s been a great source of inspiration for me in 2011. Also, check out the comments to this postΒ for neat stories about the significance of some of the saint’s names folks drew.

— 2 —

For 2012, my patron is St. Ferdinand III of Castile. He’s the patron of large families, poor people, and prisoners. So, umm, I’m kind of wondering what, exactly, God has in store for us this year — especially since my husband drew St. Justin Martyr.

— 3 —

My husband got me a KindleΒ for Christmas. “I guess I might use it for the occasional fiction book, ” I thought. “But I’ll never do regular reading on an electronic device.” To put it bluntly: I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG. This thing has become like an appendage of my body. It’s my favorite gadget I’ve ever owned. Here’s what’s great about it:

  • You can create highlights and make notes — and they’re available online. First of all, I was delighted to discover that you can highlight sections and make notes with e-readers. Then, when I logged into my Kindle account on Amazon and saw all my highlights and notes right there, I almost passed out from the awesomeness. (It has been pointed out to me that you can only do this with books you buy through the Kindle store. Which is definitely a downside. But whatever! Because then there’s this:)
  • It lies flat. The other day the baby was unusually fussy and insisted on being held all day, and in the moments when she’d finally doze off I was able to get a lot of reading done. I had to use both hands for the ninja techniques required to keep her happy, and so it would have been hard to hold a paper book open. Being able to just glance down at my Kindle, then press a button to turn the page, made hands-free reading a breeze.
  • It doesn’t require a monthly data plan. I was under the mistaken impression that you had to buy a monthly data plan in order to download books on e-readers. I was delighted to find that I can use my Kindle on my home wireless network to get my purchases.
  • The screen is like reading on paper. I’m amazed at how similar the look of the screen is to a regular book: It doesn’t glow, it’s not glossy, and it’s easier to read the more light you shine on it.

I will still buy some books in paper form, but count me in as e-reading’s newest convert.

— 4 —

So now you’re convinced. You’re sitting in front of your computer saying, “Jen, you’re right. I thought my life was complete, but now I see that it is a mere shell of an existence compared to what it could be if I owned an e-reader. I am going to purchase a Kindle as soon as I finish reading your astoundingly insightful Quick Takes. However, I am going to go all out and get a Kindle Fire!” No. Do not do this. Go with the low-end version. Here’s why:

One of the reasons I thought I wasn’t an e-reader kind of gal is because my mom has an iPad, and I could never get into reading books on it when I’d borrow it. First of all, I don’t like reading a lot of text on glowing screens. Second, there were too many distractions: I’d sit down with the intention of getting into Scott Hahn’s latest title, but would somehow end up in a heated debate about nuts in desserts on Twitter. It was just too tempting to do something interactive like surf the web or check my email and social media accounts. What’s wonderful about the basic-model Kindle (and presumably the basic models of other e-readers as well) is that there’s no temptation to do anything other than read a book.

So, I think I was right that I don’t like reading on electronic devices; what I was missing is that the basic Kindle is more like a book than an electronic device.

— 5 —

What are your New Year’s resolutions? To keep it simple and doable, I’m going to choose just one thing to work on this year. But I haven’t decided what that one thing should be, so I’m looking for inspiration.

— 6 —

Winter Solstice was December 22 and, as usual, it bummed me out that the days will now start getting longer. I think I have some kind of summer version of Seasonal Affective Disorder: I always feel happy and excited when sunset comes earlier and everything is dark and cold, and I’m sad when I see the first signs of Spring at the end of each Winter. It could have something to do with the fact that I live in a climate that’s inhospitable to human life during the summers, but I do recall feeling the same way when I lived in places like Denver or Bismark too.

— 7 —

To kick off the new year, here are Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin singing Auld Lang Syne:



  1. Beth Anne @ The Catholic Couponer Blog

    Is it sad that I kept refreshing your blog because I wanted to be the first person to link-up? I don’t know why I just did LOL (my 7QT aren’t too exciting this week).

    I haven’t made any resolutions but i’m working on writing up a list of 101 tasks to accomplish in 1001 days. Everyone has been doing it so I had to join in!

    I’ve gone back and forth with an ipad and think I would just play games on it all the time and wouldn’t be very productive so I’m going to get a new laptop instead. I have a nook color which I don’t find distracting I just read books on it although sometimes it gets heavy πŸ™

    Is it bad that I did the saint generator 3 times till I got a saint I liked “the best” I got St. Francis de Sales Patron Saint of WRITERS aka BLOGGERS!

    Hope you had a merry christmas and happy new year πŸ™‚

    • jen

      how do you think i hit #1 multiple weeks in a row? πŸ™‚ the quick takes post at 10 pm my time so it’s not too hard if i have my takes done ahead of time.

  2. Laura O in AK


    You *obviously* need to move up to Alaska for the winter only to enjoy really long dark spells. You’d just need a different locale for the summer when we have the days that never really get dark.

    As for the Kindle, it’s on my list for hubby. He thinks it’ll be worth it to have the Oxford Dictionary in such portable format. We’ve already got a Nook in the house that I use a LOT for reading.

  3. Susan

    I bought a Kindle last summer and I love it. My dad, who is 86, got one shortly after I did, and he loves it. I haven’t heard of a single book lover who doesn’t love their Kindle when they get one. Oh sure, they all claim to love the feel and smell of books, and they don’t want to get rid of their Jane Austen novels…but they love the Kindle! One other good thing about the Kindle is that many, many public domain classics are free.

    I haven’t finalized my resolutions yet but I think I need to get my kitchen organized and start cooking again.

    I’ll use the saint name generator after I get some time to pray about it and report back.

  4. Sarah

    I swear that I also have a Summer version of Seasonal Affective Disorder. I adore Winter, cold and early nights. It is nice to see that I am not the only one. As for my Saint for 2012, I was given St. Francis of Assisi. I think he makes a good fit for me and I will be able to learn a lot from him.

  5. Valerie @ Momma in Progress

    Totally with you on the Kindle thing . . . you articulated all the same thoughts I had/have about getting one. Now I am reconsidering.

  6. Jen G

    I drew St. John the Baptist, and I noticed that his name has come across my path an inordinate number of times today! Thanks for posting the link!

    • Jen G

      I wanted to add that I discovered that St. John the Baptist is patron of convulsive/epileptic disorders in children (among other things). There is a child in my family with such a disorder, so I’ll be sure to ask for his intercession! πŸ™‚

  7. jen

    I was given St. Gianna Beretta Molla for 2011 and she was a saint that a friend had mentioned to me after my horrific birth experience. I learned more about her this year and while I’m Lutheran, I’m going to hit my friend up for her holy card if I get pregnant again.

    The saint I got assigned for 2012 is St. Luke, patron saint of physicians. Given the number of days I’ve spent sleeping in the PICU and peds units with my son this year, this positively unnerves me.

  8. Jessica

    I drew Bl. Angela of Foligno, the patron saint of those afflicted by sexual temptation and widows. I hope that’s not a bad sign, but I look forward to learning more about her.

    Your reading FAIL with the iPad is exactly what I do. I like that real books fight my easily distracted self.

    Speaking of which, I microwaved some taquitos about an hour ago… then had to finish my QTs!

    Happy New Year! πŸ™‚

  9. nancyo

    My husband has had a kindle for several years (well, a succession of them) and although we are huge paper-books people, he really loves using the kindle for many of the same reasons you mention. Plus, for travel it’s amazing – just a few ounces and you can carry endless numbers of books. the kindle will update with your network but also on the go, finding networks but still being free to you. We bought kindles for two family members this Christmas and one other huge advantage of the basic readers over the Fire is the battery life: 2 months vs. several hours.

    And now I’m bummed about the saint generator. I tried it first thing this morning when you tweeted about it, said some prayers, and… nothing. Finally I closed the window, blaming my browser. I guess I’ll just say some more prayers and try it again.

    • nancyo

      OK, my saint is Bl. Titus Brandsma, who is new to me. His story, as a martyr at Dachau Concentration Camp is sobering and inspiring. I’m wondering what this bodes for 2012.

  10. Dorian Speed

    My in-laws gave me a Kindle Fire for Christmas and I love it. I was going to write a better rebuttal to your argument in favor of the stripped-down Kindle but I had to finish up my game of Angry Birds.

  11. Michael

    I drew Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne. She was a French woman who worked with Native Americans and was called “One Who Always Prays”. He patronage is opposition to church authorities. All of that works well for me! πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, I appreciated learning about her and took away a quote for my FB page for “Perichoretic Life”. Thanks!

    As for New Year’s, you can read my post.

  12. Amy

    I used your wonderful saint generator a few weeks ago, after having a big fight with dh over some in-law “things” – I got St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, patron saint of in-law problems!! Amazing.

    Happy New Year Jennifer!

    • Anon post for the prayer request

      Oh, Amy, please do pray for my husband, whose birthday patron is EAS. (Jan.4) He is not a believer, and is struggling. His name is Eric.


      • Amy

        Will do, Anon. Praying for both of you!

  13. The Licensed Fool

    I got St. Pio.
    That is interesting for the New year as I am considering if I am called to become a friar and have been exchanging emails with various Franciscan orders including St. Pio”s old order the Capuchins.
    We will have to see where this goes.

  14. Amy

    Oh, and I hope you *don’t* make your saint generator a one click experience, I really love being able to click, PRAY, then click again to get the name. I like praying while it’s working. Maybe it just gives me the illusion that I can influence the outcome, lol.

  15. Erin

    I also received an ereader for Christmas (Kobo touch) I LOVE it!!!

  16. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

    What?? I also got St Ferdinand III of Castille! Maybe as a fun bonus I’ll get to benefit vicariously from any mentioning YOU do of your 2012 patron saint πŸ™‚

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      How cool! Let me know if you find out any cool stuff about him. I actually haven’t had a chance to read up on him that much.

  17. Mary

    Last year I had St. Albert the Great. Since I am a librarian, I thought that the academic part was where we met in the middle. I liked having a saint I didn’t know too much about because I figured he had plenty of time to pray for me.

    This year I drew St. Peter, and I thought–what? Then I read the list and the very first thing is patron of feet problems and I am really having feet problems. So. St Peter pray with me.

  18. CM

    I think that my New Year’s resolution needs to be to make it to confession once a month. I used to do that, but I’ve really gotten away from it.

    Umm, it makes you sad when the days start to get longer?? I don’t understand that at all! That’s a very happy day for me! Still, I’m glad to know that when the early darkness starts to feel oppressive that at least someone’s happy.

  19. Angie

    I adore my basic Kindle. I’ve had it since March, and really didn’t think I would use it much. I’m a hardback girl. But I really do love it, for the same reasons you stated. I bought both my sons (20 and 13) Kindle Fires for Christmas, and they love them, but they are using the device for completely different things than for what I use Kenny (yes, I love him so much I named him), and I have no desire to upgrade.

  20. Jeanne G.

    My Saint is Bl. Titus Brandsma. I have heard of him, but I’ll have to get to know him better.

    I really appreciate the patron saint generator. I got a saint for 2011 too but I forgot who it was. Here’s hoping I don’t forget again!

  21. Laura

    Ha! I just picked St. Martha. The description said: Patronage: Butlers; Cooks; Dieticians; Domestic Servants; Homemakers; Hotel-Keepers; Laundry Workers; Maids; Servers; Single Laywomen; Travellers. Well, many of those things fit me as a homeschooling mom! I also like the fit because I’ve included St. Martha in my book “A Plan for Joy in the Home”. So, if anyone’s been thinking of being more organized in 2012, go check it out:


    Happy New Year!

  22. Nzie

    St. Catherine of Bologna – against temptation; arts; artists; liberal arts; painters. This is very interesting for me – I am a law student, but I was a theatre design major in undergrad, and have had an idea for a painting that I’ve never done any work towards for several years. Maybe St. Catherine can help me. I don’t think I took advantage enough of the ones I got last year, so hopefully I can do better this year. πŸ™‚

  23. Erika Evans

    I worry about the Kindle explosion’s effects on the rest of us who aren’t on board. Will publishers even be able to offer physical books in ten or twenty years? 99% of my reading comes from the library because I simply can’t afford to cough up $6, $7, $8 on every time I’m ready for a new book (I read about a book a week). My city’s library does have some books available for e-readers, but the selection is extremely limited. I’ve browsed the entire list, and it’s 90% cookbooks, romance novels and Janet Evanovich mysteries. Not my cup of tea. I suppose when e-readers are the norm, that objection will go away, but for now that’s enough to keep me far away from a reader.

    More concerning to me is that a digital book does not belong to you in the same sense that a physical book does, and can be (and has been: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/technology/companies/18amazon.html) altered or deleted after purchase. That seems dangerous to me. It doesn’t matter too much with entertainment books, but the possibilities for chicanery with works of political, historical or religious import are significant.

    Aaaaaaaand, you can’t re-sell or lend an e-book, either. The books that I can’t get from the library I buy used, and then re-sell after the fact, which funds the purchase of following books. The whole e-reader thing just seems like a massive money pit to me.

    I’m glad you’re happy with yours, but there are some considerable downsides too.

    And I too, as a fellow Texan, dread the coming of summer. I enjoy October and November, completely adore December and January, enjoy February, March and April, and grit my teeth to tolerate May-September.

    • Jen G

      With the Nook you can lend SOME of the titles you buy (to others with e-readers), but you should be able to lend them all in my opinion!

      • Karianna@Caffeinated Catholic Mama

        But the downside to Nook lending, it that you can only lend them ONCE. Total. To one person. I like how the Nook Shop has free/ cheap books, but they tend to be trashy romance novels or, even worse, erotica (Not my preferred reading genre.)

        But the free/cheap ones tend to be self-published and every so often you can find a good book.

  24. Kimberlie

    Re #3 – ROFL!!! I got a Kindle for Christmas too! I thought like you – I’ll use it for fiction but I like to underline and write in margins etc with non-fiction so I won’t use it for that. THEN, I discovered the highlighting and note taking function and I was the happiest woman. Honestly, I’ve already read one fiction book on it already. I admit, I do have a Kindle Fire, but I don’t Tweet, not a huge Facebook person, and I prefer to check my email on my computer so the wi-fi isn’t too much of a distraction to me. Other than I do tend to browse my library website and Amazon more frequently. πŸ˜‰

  25. Ann-Marie

    I am excited about St. Raymond Nonnatus. Thanks for the idea.

  26. Jennifer G.

    Wow!! I just did your Saints Generator and a very appropriate saint came up for our family! I am due with our 4 baby in May!
    St. Raymond Nonnatus
    Feast: August 31

    Patronage: Against Fever; Childbirth; Children; Expectant Mothers; Falsely Accused People; Infants; Midwives; Obstetricians; Pregnant Women

  27. kk

    argh…how do you access your highlights from the kindle from amazon’s kindle account online??? Do your highlights have to be made public in order to see them online? I’d like to share my highlights with my bookclub who have the nook or don’t have an ereader.
    I have the kindle for a year (alright, it’s really my 11 year old’s, but, I use it too!)and I never knew you could do this!

  28. Kimberlie

    My patron saint for this year is Blessed Margaret of Castello. I am in awe of the Holy Spirit. I prayed and I got the perfect prayer partner for the year. Blessed Margaret of Castello is the patron saint against poverty, against impoverishment, disabled people, those with physical deformities, and Right to Life groups. Now, I have to admit, I am not disabled or have physical deformities, but I have children who do, and all of them were abandoned in China because of their birth defects. Also, we aren’t impoverished but I have to admit that all the therapies, surgery, doctor visits, in addition to worries about how to pay for private school education, have been worrying me a bit lately. You know how on the one hand you trust God and know He will take care of the children that He’s placed in your care, but on the other hand, you feel the weight of responsibility to know how that’s all going to work out? Now I have an advocate in Blessed Margaret of Castello to pray for me for peace and trust. I super like your Saints Name Generator!

  29. RAnn

    Don’t forget there are tons of freebies out there for the kindle, and even blogs devoted to the latest free downloads. Love mine!

  30. Michelle Potter

    I’m so glad to see another convert to e-readers! My husband tried for ages to convince me to get one, but I kept saying, “I never have time to read. I can’t justify spending that much money on something I will never use!” Turns out, what I didn’t have much time for was going to the bookstore or the library. Now that I can buy as many books as I want with the push of a button (or, better yet, download hundreds of FREE books from places like The Gutenburg Project), I read all the time! I read 5 books in the first half of 2011. Then I got a Nook, and read 45 books in the second half!

    BTW, living in Houston, I always think it’s so funny when you talk about Austin being uninhabitable! On my last trip to Austin I exclaimed to my husband, “Look at all of these people WALKING! And not just from the car to the restaurant!” He replied, “That’s what happens when you live in a city without 100% humidity!” LOL.

  31. Christina

    I also got the basic Kindle for Christmas. I thought I wanted an iPad, or the Kindle Fire, but I’ve been unable to put it down and keep reading books I’ve been meaning to get to for years.

    I also didn’t want a kindle because they are a pain in the tush to make ebooks for (I create them at work). Although I haven’t tried yet with their newest release.

    The only thing I would suggest is to one up from the basic and get one with a keyboard to actually take those notes. I have to use a little button to scroll through a keyboard which means I’ve made little use of that feature.

  32. Karianna@Caffeinated Catholic Mama

    I agree with your assessment of how Internet capable e-readers lead you to “other” things, rather than reading. I received a Nook Color Christmas 2010 (primarily because I read at night a lot and I was forever losing book lights and I am a magazine fanatic) and while it’s main purpose for me is still reading, I do find myself clicking over to the Web on meaningless quests from time to time. The good point? The Android OS and the processor speed make the Nook HORRIBLE for web surfing, so that helps keep me on task.

    My Saint for 2012 is St. Damian, the patron saint of physicians and midwives, among others. Hmm… Is God telling us something? πŸ™‚

    • Karianna@Caffeinated Catholic Mama

      I wanted to add… St. Damian has a twin, St. Cosmas. I would love for us to be a family of 6 (we are a family of 4 now.) Again, maybe God is telling us something…

  33. Michele Q.

    Love love love my Kindle too! My two teens got the very low end ones for Christmas and they too are loving them.

    I was against the whole e-reader thing at first until I saw one and realized that yes it really is like reading a book. Happily I am reading more too.

    And you’re right it’s not tempting to get on the internet though I do find it helpful that I CAN use it to check my gmail and other things when I need to (like recently when my dd was in the hospital). It’s clunky and the interface isn’t nice enough that I am tempted to browse around but being able to send e-mail and check things can be very useful. Though I find if I try and do too online much it’ll freeze up or get very slow.

    My step dad got a Kindle for Christmas last year and as we were talking about them on Christmas this year, I found out that he didn’t even know he could get on the internet with it! Yeah, that’s how unobvious it is!

  34. Kelly

    I also have winter-blood. Alaska has always sounded intriguing to me. Or the UP of Michigan πŸ™‚

  35. Mary

    I got a kindle too – the low-end version – and you are right on all counts! I also received one of the lighted book covers, and it is FANTASTIC. I initially thought it was too much of a splurge, since at $59 it costs almost as much as the basic kindle, but it is so, so worth it. The kindle clicks right in, and the light is powered from the kindle battery. As one who does most of her reading in bed late at night, I love not having to clip one of those bulky mini lights onto the back of my book – even if the light is good, it throws off the balance of the book in my hand. This cover maintains the sleek design and light weight of the kindle yet provides good, even light. Love it!

    And, I’m looking forward to spending my year with St. Therese of Lisieux! Just checked, and a bunch of her writings are available on Kindle… πŸ™‚

  36. Kate

    First – I thought the same as you did about the Kindle, ’til my husband gave it to me for my birthday, now I love it. I have it loaded with Vonnegut & Austen, and I love it.

    Second, what a great idea to pick a patron for a year. Mine is St. Josephine Bakhita, who I’d never heard of before.

    But, I think that I’ll be more devoted to (FINALLY!) St. Kateri Tekekwitha this year. In school we visited her shrine (when she was still Blessed) in Auriesville – and the Mohawk women taught us the correct way to pronounce her name. I’m excited that she’s a saint – I feel like I’ve been waiting for that since I was very little.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me play along with QT Friday!

  37. Leanne Shawler

    Wow, I am officially late to get going for work … but I tried the Saints Generator and started praying even before I noticed you encouraged prayer before the reveal — and even though I’m a computer science grad and know how these things work….

    I am still impressed with the result: Bl. John of Parma. So he’s not a saint yet, but clearly patron of silence (which is one of my 2012 goals!) and knowing when to say the right words, judging from his biography, something that I’m going to need in the coming year as my blog takes a bit of a turn in the hope I can reach the “don’t wanna be reached”.

  38. Dwija {House Unseen}

    Wow! I got Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) who has already been such a great inspiration to me lately as we embarked on our homeschooling journey. Love her so much! Yay.

    • MelanieB

      Oooh she’s one of my all-time favorites!

  39. Dwija {House Unseen}

    And I stand by my nuts in desserts assertions! You have not converted me to the homogeneous side yet, Jennifer. Oh no you have not!

  40. MelanieB

    I got St Andrew Dung-Lac, one of the Vietnamese martyrs. This is fascinating. It seems I keep finding myself drawn to stories and saints in Asia– China, Japan, and now Vietnam. My son Ben was born on the feast of the Chinese martyrs and I have had a fascination with the Japanese martyrs for a while. What do you think God is trying to tell me here?

  41. Kira

    I am in RCIA this year, and need to choose a saint for when I’m received into the Church (hopefully) just after Easter. I think I might be spending some quality time with your random saint generator. Think that’s okay? I’m a little overwhelmed by all the saints. There are a LOT of them…

  42. Karyn

    Hey Jen, hope the book is coming along nicely. Thanks for continuing to host 7QTF. My saint last year was St. Aelrad, patron of spiritual friendships and now the patron of my blog. There was another, but I forget who, LOL. One thing is for sure, I never seem to get a saint I know. It always seems to be someone sort of obscure. This year was no different…St. Florian of Lorch, patronages: Against Battle; Against Drowning; Against Fire; Against Flood; Austria; Brewers; Chimney Sweeps; Coopers; Drowning Victims; Firefighters; Harvests; Poland; Soap-Boilers. That makes me a little worried since Mom smokes and has Alzheimer’s. I’m going to start asking for his intercession against fires right away, as a preventative measure. I think battle might be the most significant–spiritual battle that is. Thanks!

  43. Sarah in Ottawa

    Eep! I got St. Dorothy of Montau, who’s the patroness for the following:

    death of children
    difficult marriages
    parents of large families

    Is it wrong that I’m now TERRIFIED by what 2012 has in store? Especially since last year’s was St. Anne?

  44. Crystal

    What a cool tool in the Saint name generator! I got St. Afra, of whom is of many other things, is patron saint of converts – of course, very interesting for me. But I had to laugh when I saw martyr on her list too. What are the Catholic Mom BLoggers of the Austin area in for this year, anyway??? !!! πŸ™‚ Anyway thank you for the constant reminder that keeping up with your personal interests of blogging and family & faith is possible. You are a true inspiration for all that I hope to balance in 2012. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

  45. Susan

    I have always had reverse seasonal affective disorder. I love short, dark days. Being an Englishwoman living in Mississippi, I really suffer through the summer!

  46. Corita

    I will just go ahead and say that my heart skipped a beat with anxiety when my saint came up in the name generator. St. Gerard Majella is another patron of expectant mothers and childbirth. Which I am sinfully hoping not to experience myself in 2012, or in the near future. Perhaps I will ask him to help remove the numerous obstacles that exist to my looking forward to any more children in my family.

    (He also seems to be a patron of good confessions and was a confessor to communities of religious women because he was so good with women. So maybe he can also find me a good confessor this year.)

  47. Lisa

    In the midst of a heartbreaking rift with my in laws, St. Elizabeth Seton is my Saint for the year….hmmmm.

    Suddenly, I feel a ray of hope!
    Happy and Holy New Year.

  48. Jill

    St Frances Xavier Cabrini! Patron saint of Hospital Administrators and Orphans.
    Thanks for doing this… We have been contemplating a third adoption (orphan?) and I am discerning my career in hospital administration/non profit work/nursing.
    I am excited to read more and get to know St. Frances Cabrini.

    • Jill

      Oops.. meant to say immigrants not orphans… but that’s where my mind is. Orphans that will immigrate to the US πŸ™‚

  49. Katy

    I got Bl. Teresa of Calcutta! She is one of my favorite saints (soon-to-be anyway) and have always been drawn to her. I am very excited to see what is in store for me!

  50. Stephanie

    The Kindle! Oh my goodness, I did not think I would like it. Because I thought it would be too small and confining and shiny screened. But it’s not. I have the Kindle DX, which I love because of the big screen. My daughter also loves it, and I will no more speak ill of Kindles.

    I’m still thinking of a New Year’s Resolution…not sure yet.

  51. Lisa Schmidt

    I received St. Michael the Archangel. I detail just a bit of why I am thankful to randomly receive him in my post.

    • Lisa Schmidt

      The link didn’t come through on my previous comment (iPad wasn’t playing nice) – my 7QT post is linked here now.

  52. JC

    My wife got me a Kindle for my birthday a few months back. I mostly use it for reading old sci-fi stories, and a variety of philosophical/theological works, most of which are in the public domain (read: free or very cheap to buy). I still enjoy reading “paper” books, but a part of why my wife got the Kindle for me was to reduce the amount of shelf-space that my reading takes up. I suppose it’s worked, though some works (Fr Jaki, for example) are harder to come by on Kindle right now.

    And I would recommend getting a Kindle without the special offers. Just bite the bullet and pay the extra money, the special offers tend to be rather annoying.

  53. Sheila @ Seasoned Joy

    I got St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, also known as the Woman Who Prays Always. One of my goals for 2012 is to establish a habit of prayer (I am *terrible* about praying regularly).

    And I am so with you on the reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder. I’ve always blamed it on my years of living in Florida, Texas, and Arizona having given me enough hot weather for a lifetime!

  54. Catherine

    I thought I would NEVER like an e-reader either and now I totally LOVE mine. I rarely purchase books, so I still read most books in traditional format from the library, but I have gotten several free books on my Kindle. The really cool thing about the Kindle is that I can put my knitting patterns on there and I’m not forever chasing pieces of paper!! It is truly amazing!

    I used to think I would enjoy the long, dark nights of living up in the Great White North, but I’ve really been affected by SAD in the last couple of years. I’m really ready for longer days even if it’s colder than blue blazes!

  55. Jenny

    I think you are right about the reverse SAD. When I lived in the south, I dreaded spring and summer. Now in Colorado, I dread the fall and winter.

  56. priest's wife

    happy new year!!!

    and I totally agree with you about getting ‘just’ a Kindle- I love mine and I’m reading more

  57. Gigi Smith

    Oh my heavens! The Saint Generator pulled a saint for me that nearly knocked me to the floor. St. Margaret of Antioch. She’s the Patron of pregnant women, nursing mothers, against sterility, childbirth, etc. Well, I am 40 this year and we are trying to have our first baby – I may actually even be pregnant right now though I am waiting another couple of days to test. I have been searching the past few weeks for the “right” saint to help me through all of this and poof, there it was. Thank you for posting this. I feel as though I was led here by the Holy Spirit this evening. God is Good and I am so looking forward praying to/with Saint Margaret to help guide me through this exciting, slightly frightening time now that we are finally open fully to life and all that God wishes for us. I have been away from the Church for nearly 15 years and have only recently come home. In addition to all that goes with potentially becoming a mother, I am truly looking forward to a stronger relationship with the Lord and to living my life as a strong Catholic. Thank you!

  58. Ashley

    I was given St. Elizabeth of Hungary, patroness against the death of children, among other things. Since I have, in fact lost a child in 2011, this seems highly appropriate. Looking forward to much wisdom, comfort, and prayer from her.

    Also, I do not have a Kindle, but I wholeheartedly love my Nook.

    Happy New Year!

  59. Maria

    I received Kindle Fire for Christmas! I love the e-reader and the free movies/tv shows when you have Amazon Prime.

    For 2012 I have St. Francis Xavier! He is a patron saint of missionaries. How amazing is it that we are praying for two priests who are missionaries?! Fascinating…

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family!

  60. Trisha Niermeyer Potter @ Prints of Grace

    Though I’m a voracious reader, I don’t yet have a Kindle, but your plug for them has definitely got me thinking that I might have to go that route before too long. I basically already have a book with me at all times, that some might think is an extra appendage. You know it’s been a long week when it’s after 8pm on Friday before you realize that you still haven’t done your 7 Quick Takes yet. I blame it all on my #4. Hope you and the fam have a had a Merry Christmas and that this will indeed be a wonderful new year, thanks to the intercession of your two chosen saints!

  61. Jennifer

    I got St. John the Apostle and I couldn’t be more thrilled. In 2012 I planned on working on my writing and fine tuning my blogging. St. John the Apostle is the Patron Saint of writers. Joy!

  62. Elizabeth

    I decided to try your saint generator, and got St James the Greater. Patron of Arthritis Sufferers; Blacksmiths; Equestrians; Laborers; Pharmacists; Pilgrims; Soldiers; Veterinarians. It seems fitting, as I recently started a new job, and will be working out on oil rigs. While my role is mostly monitoring computer data, I think it falls under the general category of laborers. I’ve also had a thought in the back of my mind for several years that I would like to walk at least part of El Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) and if my job goes well this year I may just finally buy a plane ticket to Spain.

    Your Kindle Fire comments amused me, as my Dad purchased one about a month ago, and apparently has decided to try and trade it in for a standard version because he dislikes the short battery life. I have the Kindle with a keyboard, and one nice thing is that it holds a long battery life. I used my android phone to do some reading, and managed to completely drain the battery in just a few hours

  63. Martha

    I got St. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) a Dominican friar. He is the patron of brick makers, builders, pavement workers and plumbers among other trades. I had never heard of him! He wrote a book On the Spiritual Life and said “If you truly want to help the soul of your neighbor, you should approach God first with all your heart. Ask him simply to fill you with charity, the greatest of all virtues; with it you can accomplish what you desire.” I’m looking forward to learn more from this “my saint.’ Thank you, Jen.

  64. Louise

    #6 – I feel the same way! I love dreary, cold weather. Maybe it comes from having grown up in a place where 100+ F heat in summertime was basically an everyday thing. I was never happier than when the rains finally came round about October. I still just love the rain… and I still sometimes want to hiss at the sun like a vampire or something.

    My husband got St Michael the Archangel. Very appropriate for him, son of a soldier-turned-policeman. And then I got… St Mary of Egypt. Reformed prostitutes & sexual temptation, really?! Oh dear.

    • Heather

      I got St Mary too, and I feel stressed out about it!! I mean this is so silly, but it just filled me with fear!Can anyone offer me some consolation?

      • MelanieB

        Really? Why does St Mary fill you with fear?

        I confess I have loved St Mary of Egypt since I first read her story. (Here’s the short version in the Catholic Encyclopedia but the full text of her life is here.) I love it because it’s such a dramatic conversion story. She was a prostitute and she went to Jerusalem for the feast of the exultation of the cross intending to seduce pilgrims but when she got there she found she couldn’t enter into the church. It was as if a physical force kept her from going in the door. Then she saw a statue of Mary and realized what a terrible life she’d been leading and prayed to Our Lady to intercede for her. After repenting and receiving communion, she went to live in the desert to escape temptation and lived there for seventeen years. May God grant me the grace to have such full and total contrition for my own sins! I know I’ve got a long way to go.

        I love the story about her meeting with the monk, Father Zosima and her complete humility even as he immediately recognizes her as a saint. I love that she’s so full of the love of Christ she lives without food, clothing, human companionship, everything that might distract her from Christ she gives up. I love her radicalism. Even though I don’t feel called to follow her example in living like a hermit, I think I am called to try to love that radically where I am and to remember not to cling to the things that keep me from loving and serving God.

        And I think I can learn from how much she yearns for the Eucharist, hungers for it and begs for it. And then the manner of her death is so spectacular. She received the Eucharist for the first time in years and years and then died that very day. May God grant that someday I have even a fraction of that holy woman’s love for Christ and yearning for his presence in the Eucharist. Sometimes I think that I take it far too much for granted and reading stories like hers reminds me of what a great and awesome gift it truly is.

  65. Michaela

    WOW!I got St. John the Apostle
    Feast: December 27

    Patronage: Against Poisoning; Art Dealers; Booksellers; Burn Victims; Editors; Friendships; Painters; Printers; Publishers; Theologians; Writers.

    I got a kindle touch for Christmas and I love it.

    Thank you!

  66. Jennifer Doloski

    So – we leave in 16 days to travel halfway around the world to adopt a little boy. I prayed for a saint that would guide me through the travels, the adoption, and the bringing of this child into our family and becoming his parents. I got Saint Therese of Lisieux – and while I am somewhat familiar with her, I did not know she is the patroness of aviators (good for those pilots on all those long flights!), loss of parents (for our little guy), and missionaries (some compare international adoption to mission work – I don’t know that I do, truly, but I liked the comparison in this case!).

  67. Rebecca @ The Road Home

    I love my Kindle for all of the same reasons! Happy New Year Jen!

  68. Karen

    I was gifted a Kindle last Christmas. I love, love, love my Kindle. I have no desire for a Kindle Fire. I do not like (can’t) read on an LED screen for long, be it my computer or smart phone and I want an e-reader to read, not watch movies or surf the internet. I can read my Kindle for hours, and do. E-readers aren’t great for everyone but I think they are a great fit for a certain kind of reader. Like Me. I read a few books at once usually, my default when I am sitting down is to read, I read old stuff and new, I re-read favorites over and over and I generally read A LOT. I lurv the sample feature. It is so nice to be able to read the first chapter or a portion of before buying. I’ve saved myself a lot of money with that. I also keep abreast of the Free and 99 cent categories at Amazon. A different book is dropped down to 99 cents every day. Sometimes these books aren’t worth the 99 cents, sometimes they are real winners, it is worth looking at them though. Right now they are doing Newberry Award winners. When this Kindle someday dies, I will get another base model. I hope they keep making them!

  69. Terry

    St. Margaret Clitherow. Anglican convert to Catholicism (just like me!) and a martyr (which I hope I am not called to be, for fear of failure). She is one of my dearest friend’s most beloved saints, so I think that this is an inspired choice for me! Thank you!

  70. Ann

    I read this in a fitness article, but it works for me “Be your word”.
    If you can’t do it, won’t do it, don’t say you will, even to yourself. The things you do say, to others and yourself, that you will do, do. Builds strength, reduces guilt.

  71. Lindsey

    The name drawn for me was St. Jean de Brebeuf. A little research shows me that he and I share a birthday!! Thank you for providing your Saint Generator! πŸ™‚ I will get to know and pray to St. Jean this year.

    God bless you, Jen, in 2012!

    • Lindsey

      As I was reading up on my saint a little further, his story sounded familiar to something I recently read, but I could not remember where or what exactly. It came to me tonight as I was perusing Christmas carols on You Tube; I ran into the Huron Carol again, which St. Jean de Brebeuf wrote for the Huron people in the 1600’s. It’s haunting and beautiful! Here is a rendition in English, French, and the original Huron language.

  72. Tim Ohmes

    I got Matthias.

    I am jokingly referred by my family as the “future Patron Saint of Chaotic Home Re-modelers” because everything I build fails to end up square, plumb, or level. I could use a little help.

    We also have named our youngest son David Matthias.

  73. Susan

    My patron saint for 2012 is St. Mark the Evangelist! I’ll be reading the book he wrote soon, but first I need to consult a dictionary as he is the patron saint against scrofulous diseases and struma.

  74. Kristen

    Wow, thanks for the saint generator Jen! I have St. Adelaide of Burgundy for the year, and am looking forward to learning more about her. I also decided to get a patron for my husband, and was stunned when it came up with St. Bonaventure, patron of intestinal problems–which my husband has been dealing with a lot lately! Looks like the perfect saint for him this year. : )

  75. LeeAnn Balbirona

    Wow, 2012 could be an interesting-exciting-dangerous year! I got St. Andrew Corsini – Feast: February 4 – Patronage: Against Civil Disorder; Against Riot. Feb 4 is also my brother’s birthday. Thanks again for this gift to all of us!

  76. Ouiz

    I’m with you on the seasonal disorder thing. I am blissfully happy every fall when the weather gets cool and the days are cloudy and gloomy, and ridiculously depressed when it’s all sunny and warm.

    I’m incredibly bummed over the saint generator, though. The thing that frightens me the most is persecution and End Times stuff, so what saint did I get? Someone who endured daily beatings in a concentration camp. NOT FUNNY! Now I’m all freaked out that I got that one because I’m going to NEED it. great.

    I am one whacked out mommy…

  77. Lauri

    I got St. Teresa Margaret Redi. I have never heard of her, but I look forward to researching about her life. Very exciting!

    • Lauri

      Does anyone know what St. Teresa Margaret Redi is the patron saint of?

  78. Carolina

    My 2012 patron saint is Saint Albert of Sicily. I don’t know much about him…he was a teacher and priest. Looking forward to finding out more about him. Happy New Year!

  79. Imelda

    Oh, I got St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, patron saint against difficulty with in-laws, against the death of parents, children; of those who are ridiculed for their piety; widows.

    Ooops, the last one made me a little nervous.

  80. Louise

    I got St. John of the Cross and it couldn’t be more apt. A dark night of the soul indeed. Just the fact that his name popped up on my screen made me smile and feel that I may have lost track of God, but that doesn’t mean he has lost track of me. Thanks for the generator. I feel much better now, with the actual expert on my side πŸ™‚
    BTW, I really liked the second click. Please don’t fix it! It gave me a moment between my initial: “Oh yeah..guess I’ll click this button for fun, but what good will it do?” to a moment of prayer before meeting ‘my’ saint. It’s an extra click, but it’s also a moment to ‘snap you out of it’ and be more attentive.

  81. Elizabeth M

    I’m more than a little shaken.

    It came up with Blessed Dorothy of Montau, whose patronage is “Brides; Death of Children; Difficult Marriages; Parents of Large Families; Widows”

    I do not have a large family (2 children) and married 21 years am not traditionally called a bride…. We have our ups and downs, but it’s not a difficult marriage. So that leaves some scary thoughts…

    I’m going to have to read more about her and pray some more to see if I’m up to the challenge this saint would be for me. We have many major challenges we’re facing financially, that’s where I was hoping for some strength.

    Is it a cop out of I later decide to pick another?

  82. Justin K.

    Am I the only guy who reads this blog? Oh well.

    I did it and I got…

    St. Barbatus of Benevento.

    Patron of…


    Mostly known for being run out of his first parish for excessive zeal in his sermons, and later, once he became bishop, chopping down a tree with a golden viper the locals were worshipping and melting it into a chalice.

    Well, St. Barbatus, pray for me, so I will have actual godly zeal and not ungody zeal or none at all, like I have been.

  83. Chelsea

    St. John of Damascus

  84. Katarina@ myunorderedthoughts

    I also got St. Ferdinand III of Castile who you forgot to mention is also the patron saint for engineers which iam

  85. Tracey

    While I’m reading his story sounded familiar to something I recently read, but I could not remember where or what exactly.

  86. Sara in DC

    A) My resolution is to read one book at a time. This is difficult because I also have a kindle and can carry an entire library in my handbag, but so far, it’s been a really good resolution. No more agonizing for 10 minutes over which book I’ll read instead of actually, you know, reading!

    B) I totally get your feelings on the Winter Solstice! FINALLY! Someone gets me!

    Happy Epiphany!

  87. hobbitmom

    Jen, I laughed out loud at the Generator results, for the second year in a row. For 2011 I drew St. Dymphna, patron of those suffering from mental illness… and I was finally getting medical help for chronic depression. That really weirded me out. This time? After deciding the whole family needs a lot more manual labor, and that we need to show our kids where food actually comes from, AND renting a backhoe to make our already big garden twice as big, AND brainstorming how to turn an old outbuilding into a chicken coop… St. Isidore the Farmer. HA!

Connect With Me On Social Media or Explore My Site



The "THIS IS JEN" podcast is on Facebook & all podcast apps


- SubscribeΒ on iTunes or Google Play (audio)

- Get weekly bonus episodes on Patreon

- Sign up for my email list to be the first
to know about new tour dates