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Lenten Saints

Lenten Saints

by on February 17, 2021

During this season of Lent, we will look at the lives of forty-six saints and how they lived their lives in a way that showed God’s face to the world around them.

As we learn more about these historical (and legendary) figures together, we should ask questions like:

  • How is this person’s life like my life, and how is it different?
  • How did this person encounter God on their journey, and what made them decide to live a life that honored God?
  • How did this person’s life honor and glorify God?
  • What was this person’s mission? What were their acts of service?
  • How did this person love God and love their neighbors?
  • Is there anything about this person’s story that I find encouraging?
  • Is there anything about the way that this person lived their life that can help me live my life in a way that honors and serves God?

It is important to ask these questions because the season of Lent – the forty days and six Sundays leading up to Easter – is a time for reflection. We can reflect on the lives of some great Christians who came before us. We can also reflect on our own faith, and our own Christian journey. Finally we can reflect on the many ways we can grow our faith and strengthen our relationship with Christ in the future!

Here’s another thing to think about as we reflect on the lives of saints and journey through the Lenten season this year: most saints are ordinary people who do extraordinary things through the love of God. As we learn more about the saints, it will become clear that:

  • Saints are filled with the love of God and a love for God. They have made a commitment to God and because of this they choose God above all others.
  • Saints love others. It cannot be any other way. 
  • Saints are risk-takers. When God called, they answered. They trusted God to lead them on their journey and they responded to the graces that were given to them. They served God with all their hearts. 
  • Saints are humble. They used whatever gifts they had been given and acknowledged that what they knew was nothing compared to the infinite wisdom of God. 
  • Saints are people of prayer. They found their time with God to be both necessary and valuable.
  • Saints are not perfect. They are human and have flaws and faults. They made mistakes. Still though, they trusted that despite wrong turns and setbacks God would be faithful to them on their journey.
  • Saints are people of their times. When we look at the lives of saints today, it’s easy to point out where we might have done things differently. It’s easy to ask why they didn’t fight for change or help more people. Finding fault is easy, but it’s important to remember that the saints were working toward exactly the same thing we are today: as perfect a love as possible. This should give us courage and hope!

Simply put, saints are people who love the Lord with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength. They didn’t become saints because of any great deed or act that they performed on their own but rather by loving God and trusting enough to allow God to work through their lives. There are saints among us today, right now! There are people all around us who make the choice every day to love God, serve God’s people, and live out Paul’s words:

“If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 

Lenten Saints Bracket

Vote for your favorite saint during Lent! Polls will be on our Facebook and Instagram stories.

Lenten Saints

We'll be posting "trading cards" of a different saint each day during Lent as well as daily prayers and challenges. Follow along on this page or on Facebook and Instagram. You can download a printable PDF of the cards at the link below.

download trading cards

Day 1: St. Peter

Prayer: Lord, I have stumbled and every time you have helped me get back up. I have had trouble believing and you have patiently waited for me to find my way back. I have asked questions and you have helped me find the truth. Thank you for your steady guidance. Amen.
Challenge: Find someone whom you trust and ask them about their faith. Ask them about their perspective on the Bible, about their relationship with Jesus, and about how they connect with God.

Day 2: St. Francis of Assisi

Prayer: God of Creation, your world is so great! Your love flows through this planet and I want to celebrate you forever because of it! Help me to be a better steward of the precious plants and animals that you have placed me in charge of. Amen.

Challenge: Today, take a walk around your neighborhood. Enjoy the sights and the sounds around you, and if you see any trash or litter, pick it up! Take a picture along your way and share it with us. If you’d like to go the extra mile, consider collecting pet food, clean towels, and pet toys and delivering them to the nearest animal shelter in honor of St. Francis

Day 3: St. Clare of Assisi

Prayer: Providing God, thank you for the friends that you have surrounded me with. I am so glad that I don’t have to go through this world alone, and that my community is around me. Amen. 

Challenge: Today, try writing down your prayers. Write down what’s on your heart and what you want God to know. Don’t worry about making your words pretty or your thoughts organized!

Day 4: St. Dominic of Guzman

Prayer: Holy God, sometimes you ask me to sacrifice parts of my life and it’s hard to do. Help me to trust you more, and to be more willing to give everything in my life over to you. Amen. 

Challenge: Tonight, step outside and look up! Notice the night sky, and all that God has made. God’s creation is huge - infinite! Enjoy some time in the quiet if you’re alone, or have fun talking about the sky with your family if you’re not.

Day 5: St. Paul the Apostle

Prayer: God Almighty, you knew me before I had a name, before I was born, and you still know me today. You’ve called me to do your work, and I trust in you. Amen.

Challenge: If you are leaving the house today, pray for the people and places you see along the way. At the end of the day, write a letter or an email to someone just letting them know how your day was!

Day 6: St. Anthony of Padua

Prayer: Proclaiming God, give my words power, and help me use them for your glory! I want to honor you with the way I speak, and I want your message to be my message. Amen.
Challenge: Today, find one way to share the Good News of God’s love with others! Post to social media, text a friend, have a conversation with someone at the grocery store. Sharing the Word is easier than it seems!
Day 7: St. Augustine of Hippo

Prayer: God, thank you for loving me even when I don’t feel worthy. Your love is the one thing that has never failed me, and it’s because of you that I’m able to do anything at all. Amen.
Challenge: Do you know someone who might feel grouchy or unloved? Maybe there’s someone you know who’s been having a hard time lately. Reach out to them today, with a note and maybe even a care package (with treats and warm socks) to let them know that you see them and are thinking about them!

Day 8: St. Andrew the Apostle

Prayer: Christ Jesus, how can I be a fisher of people? What can I do to follow you today? Make my hands useful to you, and help me spread your Good News. Amen. 

Challenge: Tell someone - anyone - about Jesus today! This can be as simple as saying “Jesus loves you!” or an act of kindness in the tradition of the saints.

Day 9: St. Thomas Aquinas

Prayer: God of our Ancestors, thank you for the people who came before us. Thank you for their prayers, their studies, their faithfulness, and the things that they passed on to us. Amen. 

Challenge: Spend time today with a really good book! Read anything that will bring you joy, that will capture your imagination, that will teach you something new.

Day 10: St. Therese of Lisieux

Prayer: God, today I want an every-day ordinary faith that can move mountains. Today, give me the strength to be kind where I am, to serve who I see, and to love you all the way. Amen.

Challenge: Today, find ways to exercise your every-day ordinary faith. Ask if you can help with something, even if you don’t really feel like it. Let someone know you appreciate them.

Day 11: St. Christopher

Prayer: God, you really are the highest King, the most glorious Lord. How can anyone or anything else compete? Help me remember that always. Amen.
Challenge: Take a moment today to look up the story of St. Christopher ferrying the Christ-child across the river. How does this story make you feel? Can you picture yourself in St. Christopher’s shoes?

Day 12: St. Michael the Archangel

Prayer: All-powerful God, we are in awe of your glory! Over and over again your love comes in and sweeps away every darkness and conquers every sin! Thank you for letting us take part in your triumph. Amen. 

Challenge: Take time today to read some verses about the archangel Michael. Revelation 12:7-12, Daniel 10:13-21, and Daniel 12:1 all show Michael as a protector. As you read these verses, pay attention to how they make you feel, and what they make you curious about. What questions do these verses bring up for you?

Day 13: St. Gabriel the Archangel

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for always reaching out to us. Thank you for always having something to say, no matter how quiet or how unexpected the message. We are so blessed to have you, who loves us so much. Amen.
Challenge: Take time today to read some verses about the archangel Gabriel. Luke 1:5-7 and 1:21-25 both show Gabriel acting as God’s messenger. As you read these verses, pay attention to how they make you feel, and the questions they might bring up for you.

Day 14: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Prayer: Teaching God, thank you for all of the wonderful educators in my life. Show me how I can live by their example, and teach others the wonders of your love! Amen. 

Challenge: Today (and for the next few months too!) collect books for our church’s Book Carnival! The church is looking for new and gently loved books in both English and Spanish that can be used from birth through Young Adulthood. Call the office or email to ask when to drop books off!

Day 15: St. Antony the Great

Prayer: God of the quiet, sometimes it’s hard to find time to be alone with you. Help me find more moments, please, so that I can be at peace. Amen.
Challenge: Spend time today with just yourself and God. Take time away from others, even if it’s just a moment, to be quiet and listen for what God might be saying to you.

Day 16: St. Benedict of Nursia

Prayer: God, I’m ready to organize my life around you! Today, help me take small steps toward a bigger, more complete life in your love. Amen.

Challenge: Today, write a letter, email or text to a teacher in your life. Let them know how their presence and guidance has affected your life, and thank them for being who they are! Let them know you’re praying for them and will continue to support them.

Day 17: St. Scholastica

Prayer: Lord, help me remember to be kind to my family and friends today. Help me let them know that I love them and appreciate them. Amen.
Challenge: Take a moment to pray for or with someone in your family today. Maybe do both! Let that family member know what you appreciate about them, how loved and special they are.

Day 18: St. Joseph
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you have looked after me every day of my life, and you have sent fantastic people to be part of my family on earth. Thank you for the mentors I have and all they have taught me. Amen.
Challenge: Today, take time to write a note to your dad, grandad, uncle, or any other father figure in your life. Are they funny, wise, empathetic, or kind? Let them know what you appreciate about them, and what you have learned from them.

Day 19: St. Teresa of Calcutta

Prayer: Healing God, give me a heart for serving even when it is hard. Let my hands work for you even when I am tired. Amen.
Challenge: Spend time today crafting first-responder encouragement cards or posters. A simple message of encouragement, hope, and thanks is more than enough to brighten someone’s day! If you’re not sure where your cards should go, feel free to drop them by the church.

Day 20: St. Vincent de Paul

Prayer: God of the forgotten, help me remember the people that others so often leave behind. I want to remember all of the people you love God, and I want to serve everyone. Amen.
Challenge: Set time aside during your prayers today to pray for all of the people involved in the prison system. Consider incarcerated persons and their families, the professionals who work in prisons and their families, and the lay people who work with Kairos prison ministries. This is a vast network of people who always need the love and power of prayer!

Day 21: St. Maria Goretti

Prayer: Forgiving God, give me a heart like yours. Bring me to a place of radical love and profound forgiveness so that I can truly be the person I am meant to be. Amen.
Challenge: Forgiveness can sometimes be the most difficult thing we are called to do as Christians. Today, consider these questions: Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive? Do you need to forgive yourself for something? How can you pray for forgiveness for yourself and for others? What does God’s forgiveness look like?

Day 22: St. Bernadette

Prayer: Wonderful God, call me to action! I’m ready to be used, God, put me to work for your glory! Amen. 

Challenge: Today, take a mindful walk around your neighborhood or in a local park. As part of your mindful walk, try not to listen to music or distract yourself (if you normally do that) but instead spend time praying. If you have chalk, consider leaving encouraging messages on the sidewalk as you go!

Day 23: St. Anne

Prayer: God, you are my caretaker and my provider. Thank you for all of the incredible people who helped raise me and make me into the person I am today. Amen.
Challenge: Today, take a moment to write a note, email, or text message to a grandparent or another older person in your life who has cared for you. How has that person nurtured you, loved you, and helped you grow into who you are today? Be sure to let them know how loved they are!
Day 24: St. Gertrude the Great

Prayer: Lord, help me to go through today with a renewed sense of purpose. Let me be dedicated to your will. Amen. 

Challenge: Today, collect old luggage! Look for luggage, bags, and backpacks that are in good condition and ready for a new home. (Ask your friends and neighbors if they have anything they’re ready to part with.) These bags will find a second life with local foster children who don’t have bags of their own. Bring the bags you collect to church!

Day 25: St. Hildegard of Bingen

Prayer: All knowing God, I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made! Thank you for making the world such an interesting and fantastic place, and for putting me in it! Amen.
Challenge: Today, make a point to dig in and learn fun science facts about the world around you! What interests you about this planet? Is it dinosaurs? Plants? Rocket Ships? Share what you learn with your family or a friend!

Day 26: St. Joan of Arc

Prayer: God of boldness, through you I am capable of anything! Give me the courage to act faithfully every single day. Amen. 

Challenge: In the coming days, focus on being a leader at school, at work, or among your friends. Volunteer to help others and give words of encouragement!

Day 27: St. Valentine

Prayer: Holy God, I am so grateful for the people in the Church that raised me to know you and love you. Thank you for placing them in my life. Amen.
Challenge: Tell someone you love them. Don’t just tell them you love them, though, tell them why you love them. Make sure you let them know God loves them too!

Day 28: St. Nicholas

Prayer: God, on this day and every day, help me remember to be kind and give back to others the way that so many people have been generous to me! Amen.
Challenge: Today, collect items that Mission Arlington and the Arlington Life Shelter need. Lists of donation needs can be easily found online at the previous links.

Day 29: St. Patrick

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for providing me with a church home, and a church family. Thank you for never letting me truly be stuck in a foreign land for long. Amen.
Challenge: Ask your parents, grandparents, or other family members about where they’re from, or where your family is from. What are your family’s stories? How did you get here? Celebrate your unique family history! Be sure to write things down!

Day 30: St. Barbara
Prayer: Creating God, thank you for crafting such a wonderful place for us to live, a planet so beautiful that we can look out and see your face in it! Amen.
Challenge: Take time today to play outside and be in God’s creation. Take in the wonder of nature and have fun!
Day 31: St. Jude Thaddeus
Prayer: Father God, you watch over your children so well, and your love is never-ending. Give me a heart for love and service like yours. Amen.
Challenge: Today, make cards that can be delivered to people in hospitals, nursing homes, long term care facilities, or who are generally home-bound. A simple message of hope and God’s love can bring so much joy! Bring the cards to church and we’ll have them delivered.

Day 32: St. Teresa of Avila

Prayer: Holy God, help me to always have the courage to do the right thing, and turn myself back to you when I feel myself getting off track. Amen.
Challenge: Today, why not go barefoot? Spend at least a bit of time barefoot, and consider if there are any gently used shoes in your closet that can be donated to Mission Arlington.

Day 33: St. Jerome

Prayer: God of infinite wisdom, thank you for the many brilliant thinkers who came before us and all of the wonderful knowledge that we have been given through their work. Amen.
Challenge: Try to figure out how many different bible translations there are! (Hint: it’s a lot!) Try looking up Hebrews 10:19-25 in different translations. What changes about this verse when you switch translations? What stays the same? The YouVersion Bible app might be helpful for this exercise!

Day 34: St. Catherine of Siena

Prayer: God, bless our leaders today. From community leaders, to church leaders, to people in government, cover our leaders in your love and guidance. Amen.
Challenge: Write a letter to someone you consider to be a leader. This could be a member of Arlington City Council, a member of the government at the local or state level, or even a congressperson or senator! Let this leader know that you are thinking about them and praying for them.

Day 35: St. Luke

Prayer: God, your message is meant for everyone! Today keep that thought in my mind, so that I can be a person who spreads the Good News to all the people I meet. Amen.
Challenge: Today, try journaling. Write down how you’re feeling and answer some of the questions we asked you about these saints. Give yourself space to think and reflect on your day, your week, and anything else on your mind.

Day 36: St. Mary of Bethany

Prayer: Jesus, you have walked alongside me for every moment of my life; you have been with me through absolute joy and through the deepest pain. Thank you for never wavering. Amen.
Challenge: Today, focus on being the best friend possible! Reach out to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and let them know you’re thinking of them. Ask if they need anything right now or if you can support them in any way. Find a funny picture or meme and share it with your friends.

Day 37: St. Mary Magdalene

Prayer: Christ Jesus, your friendship is like a warm hug, or like coming home. Help me tell others about your incredible grace and fantastic love. Amen.
Challenge: Find a woman in leadership and let them know how important they are! Send them words of encouragement, let them know you’re praying for them, and that you love and respect them!

Day 38: St. George

Prayer: Defender God, you are constantly guarding us against danger, warding off our fears and doubts! Thank you for being by our sides no matter what. Amen.
Challenge: Today, put together a military care package, or thank you and encouragement cards. Check out Operation Gratitude’s webpage here: www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks-virtual to see how you can support service members and their families!

Day 39: St. Brigid of Ireland

Prayer: Giving God, let me have a heart for your people and hands that are open and ready to serve. Amen.
Challenge: Collect food items and canned goods and deliver them to Mission Arlington. Turn this into a friendly competition: challenge a friend to see which one of you can collect the most non-perishable food items from your friends and family. Let us know how you do!

Day 40: St. Mark

Prayer: God, help me to see - really see - the world around me and appreciate it for how wonderful it is, and help me share your glory with other people. Amen.
Challenge: Spend time today listening to music or reading poetry that puts you in a happy mood! Check out Rend Collective or other Christian worship artists that make your soul sing. Read out of the book of Psalms; try Psalm 27, 29, 84, 104 and many others!

Day 41: St. Matthew

Prayer: Lord, your forgiveness overwhelms me and your mercy is unceasing. Thank you for loving me and standing by me always. Amen.
Challenge: Do you collect coins? Maybe you have a piggy bank that’s been collecting dust or you’ve been saving up your allowance. What can you do with your money today to bless the life of someone else? Consider buying something that the Arlington Life Shelter has listed as an “Immediate Need” on their website and donating it, or simply donating your money!

Day 42: St. John the Apostle

Prayer: Holy God, you called my name and I am trying hard to follow you! Teach me today how I can be better tomorrow. Amen.
Challenge: Try your hand at writing poetry today. Go with the flow, write what you’re feeling, and see what happens!

Day 43: St. James the Greater

Prayer: Lord, thank you so much for calling me to follow you! Help me live today in service of your name! Amen.
Challenge: Today, work on serving God wherever you are. If you find yourself in a drive-thru, pay for the car behind you. If you can pay for someone’s groceries, do! Hand out grocery gift cards! Commit to a random act of kindness today.

Day 44: St. Mellitus

Prayer: God, help me to not be intimidated when there are big tasks in front of me. Thank you for always being beside me as I try to do your will. Amen.
Challenge: Take time today to learn something you didn’t know before about the Holy Roman Empire. If you already know a lot about it, then share what you know with your family or a friend. Imagine what it might have been like to live in such an empire back then!

Day 45: St. John Chrysostom

Prayer: Powerful God, help me to always be bold when I talk about you. Let me proclaim your glory in front of everyone! Amen.
Challenge: Today, collect toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss! Donate what you collect to the Arlington Life Shelter.

Day 46: St. Nicodemus

Prayer: Teaching God, help me continue to be curious about the world around me and give me the courage to always ask questions. Amen

Challenge: Today, put together a small goody bag and visit a neighbor. Knock on their door and if they answer, get to know them! There’s no such thing as too many friends in this world!

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