I don’t know about you, but the feast of the Archangels (and Guardian Angels feast day a couple of days later) seems to creep up on me and I’m never prepared. I considered doing the Lent of St. Michael but thought about it too late to do it this year. Of course, I can pray the Chaplet of St. Michael and have angel food cake to celebrate but this year I want to do something a little out of the box.
I’ve come up some great ideas of things we can all do in honor of the archangels based on their patronages. Are you game? If so, here are just some ideas you can do last minute.
1. St. Michael Archangel
Patronages: police officers, and soldiers, bakers, and against temptations.
Police officers: Thank a police officer for their hard work. I know this one will be a bit controversial due to all the civil unrest we’ve seen over the last year but it’s also the idea behind this suggestion. I’ve seen and have heard so much abuse thrown at police officers who just want to ensure our safety. So, if you see one (or more), thank them for putting their lives at risk for the good of the community. Also consider paying for their coffee or meal if you see them on a lunch break.
Soldiers/military: in the same vein as police officers, don’t be afraid to thank them… especially those who are in uniform. They, too, put their lives at risk for our safety and for our freedom. You can also adopt a soldier. Whether you seek to send a care package to a deployed soldier or do something for a veteran in need, I can’t think of a better way to thank them.
Bakers: so many small businesses were hit hard during the COVID lockdowns. I saw one of my favorite local diners shut down and many others suffer. Why not buy something delicious at a “mom and pop” bakery? Even in big cities there will always be small bakeries who could use your patronages. And, bonus, you’ll get a sweet treat in the process. You can’t go wrong!
Against temptations: this one is a bit trickier since temptations range in severity. If you know someone who is battling a particularly bad temptation or habitual sin, offer to pray for them and be their accountability partner if they need one. If they’re open to getting help for any temptation that has become a habitual sin (especially one that is grave, e.g. pornography), you can help them find the resources needed to combat it.
2. St. Raphael Archangel
Patronages: against nightmares, patron of doctors and nurses, lovers and happy meetings.
Against nightmares: do you know a child who suffers from reoccurring nightmares? Why not buy them a nightlight, a comfort item (think stuffed animal or blanket) or a good book (physical or audio) to be read aloud before bedtime? It may not get rid of the nightmares right away but having that sense of comfort when they awake may eventually help them. Consider coupling this with prayers to their guardian angel and you have a recipe for success.
Lovers and happy meetings: Be someone’s wingman (or wingwoman). No, I’m not telling you to be a busybody and play matchmaker. Well, not the way you think. Have a friend who is struggling to meet their future spouse? Consider getting them a subscription to the dating site of their choice (like Catholic Chemistry).
Do they already have a significant other or someone in mind? Offer to help them plan a romantic date or something that’s in your specialty. I’ve had the immense honor of helping a couple of my guy friends plan their proposals to their now-wives. I’ve helped friends come up with their wedding day playlists. I’ve helped friends find the perfect gifts for their significant others in music and bookstores (two topics I’m well-versed in). Whatever you can help them with, don’t be afraid to offer it to them.
Doctors and nurses: Have you ever sent your doctor a “thank you” card? If not, this may be a good time to do so. As we all know, doctors and nurses have been at the front lines during the COVID pandemic. Some of them worked tirelessly and many were never even thanked for it. As someone who had doctors who put in extra hours on their days off and weekends to help get answers to medical conundrums — and as the daughter of a retired convalescent hospital worker — I can attest to how thankless the job can be. A simple acknowledgment can help remind them why they chose their careers in the first place. If you can afford it, consider sending your doctor’s office a basket full of baked goods or lunch.
3. St. Gabriel Archangel
Patronages: postal employees, communication, and radio and television
Postal workers: thank your mailman. Summer is over but it’s still warm in some parts of the country for a couple more weeks so consider offering them a cold water bottle. No longer hot? How about some snacks for the road? This can also be extended to UPS, FedEx, and/or other delivery services if you don’t know your mailman well enough or don’t see them as often.
Radio and television: Consider donating to your favorite radio or television station if they rely on public funds. Love classical music? Radio stations like Classical KUSC rely on listener donations to keep their station running. Want to keep it Catholic? Catholic radio stations and even podcasts like the Poco a Poco Podcast (the highly recommended podcast by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal) are worth the financial support you can offer them. Love Catholic television? Consider donating to EWTN.
Communication: Consider visiting or calling someone who you haven’t spoken to in a long time. Let them know that you’re thinking about them. Trust me, as someone who spent most of 2020 sick, in and out of the hospital, unable to see friends or even family members for months, simply hearing their friendly voices did me a world of good. Yes, texts and emails can be easier — and I’m personally allergic to phone calls — but sometimes making that effort to have a real-time, live chat speaks louder than anything else you may want to do for them.
Of course, there are so many more things you can do in honor of the archangels but i hope these ideas helped spark some of your own creativity.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I have a date with a slice of angel food cake… after a dish of angel hair pasta.
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