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Who Is The Patron Saint Of Worriers?

 

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak is available to speak at your parish or conference

Is There A Patron Saint For Worriers?

I get asked this question frequently and it’s a good one. Several years ago, I came up with a list of “10 Saints Every Worrier Should Know” and blogged about them. Some are well known, others are not. If you’re someone who struggles with anxiety, I thought you would benefit if I republished the post. Take some time and get to know these folks. Their stories will help you to understand how powerfully God can work in our lives if we let Him.

Photo by twinsfisch on Unsplash

Although we’d rather not admit it, many of us worry (or are tempted to worry) each day of our lives. One of the reasons that we worry is that we sometimes feel we are facing our problems alone. Once we meet others who are dealing with similar problems, we usually feel better. Even more comforting is when we encounter someone who has survived the issue that is troubling us. As Catholics, much can be gained by studying the lives of the saints. Far from living easy lives, these men and women have struggled with many of the same anxiety producing problems experienced by you and I. Furthermore, we know that they’ve ended up we all want to go – Heaven!

Are you anxious or worried? Do you have serious problems in your life? Here are 10 saints that you should get to know. We can learn A LOT from their lives.

1. Saint Dymphna – Many Catholics who are anxious are familiar with Saint Dymphna, the patroness of those afflicted with nervous disorders and anxiety. According to tradition, she was born in Ireland (in the 7th century) to a pagan father and a Christian mother. When Dymphna’s mother died, her distraught father traveled in vain searching for a new wife. Eventually he reached the unimaginable conclusion that he would take Dymphna as his wife! At the urging of a priest, she took flight and was ultimately located and murdered by her father. It’s easy to see the kind of emotional stress that this young girl was under and equally understandable to see why she became known as the patron saint of those who suffer from anxiety. Many miracles are reported to have taken place at her shrine in Belgium, located near the place of her death.

2. Saint Jude Thaddeus – If there’s one saint that Catholics turn to when all looks bleak, it’s Saint Jude Thaddeus. One of the twelve Apostles, he is known as the patron of hopeless cases. Although many are aware of Saint Jude’s reputation for providing assistance when all else fails, there is some confusion as to how he was chosen for that role. One of the most popular theories is that, due to the similarity of his name with that of fellow Apostle Judas, the faithful steered clear of devotion to him. As a result, devotion to him became something of a “lost cause”. He is available and willing to intercede for our most desperate intentions.

3. Saint Rita of Cascia – Born in 1381 in Italy, Saint Rita is known as the patroness of impossible cases. She was married to a man with a violent temper who abused and mistreated her. After eighteen years of marriage, her husband was murdered. One day Rita overheard her two sons plotting to avenge the death of their father. Fearing the loss of their souls, she prayed that her sons would avoid taking revenge on their father’s murderer. Suddenly, both of them took sick and died before any retaliation could take place. Although her prayers were answered in an unlikely manner, they were indeed answered and her sons were prevented from carrying out a grave offense.

4. Saint Padre Pio – With a motto such as “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry”, it’s easy to see why I included Saint Pio in this list. He was a firm believer in God’s providence and understood that worry was useless. Any time that we waste on worrying could be more productively spent in prayer. What should we pray for? One thing could be an increase in the theological virtue of hope, which allows us to believe that “all things work for the good” (Romans 8:28) and that the problems of this life are temporary. One day, along with Saint Pio, it will be possible for us to live in the problem-free paradise known as Heaven!

5. Saint Henry II – While at Monte Cassino in 1021, Saint Henry II (emperor of the Holy Roman Empire) became ill. Tradition has it that Saint Benedict then cured him by prayer. How common are miraculous cures? Maybe more common than we realize! We’re always quick to downplay God’s involvement in our lives, often referring to favorable outcomes as “luck”. In 1997, my wife and I were told that our twin girls would probably not be born alive. Today, Mary and Elizabeth are healthy 21 year old young adults. Eileen and I (as well as many of the members of the medical staff) know that their survival was a miracle, the fruit of countless prayers. While they were assisted by numerous doctors and nurses, we believe that the Lord worked through these skilled individuals. God can (and does) still perform miracles…let’s give Him the chance!

6. Blessed Julian of Norwich – Although not technically a saint, Blessed Julian of Norwich is greatly revered by many Catholics. Although very little is known about her life, she is famous for a quote that has provided consolation to many throughout the years. Those of us who tend to be anxious sometimes look at the waves crashing around us and fail to see the Lord’s providence. Blessed Julian helps us to regain our focus and recall that God is ultimately in control. “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

7. Saint Vincentia Lopez – Canonized in 1975, Saint Vincentia Lopez was the foundress of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate for Domestic Service, a religious congregation dedicated to ministering to working girls. In a letter to her mother, she wrote: “Come and stay with us, and your ills will certainly mend. Imagination plays a large part in them, and here there are so many distractions that you will have no time to think.” I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. One of the best ways to stop worrying is to keep busy. If anxiety motivates you to do something, then it can be productive. If, on the other hand, all you’re doing is mulling over the bad things that could happen in your life, it’s time to take Saint Vincentia’s advice and get busy.

8. Saint Juan Diego – I decided to include Juan Diego in this list not because of anything that he said or did, but because of what was said to him. In December of 1531, the Blessed Mother appeared several times to this poor Aztec Indian in Mexico. His bishop was skeptical and asked for a sign. On December 11, Mary promised Juan that on the following day she would give him a sign that he could take to the bishop. The next day, his uncle became seriously ill and Saint Juan avoided meeting Mary as she had instructed him to do. Mary appeared to him and said, “Listen and be sure, my dear son, that I will protect you; do not be frightened or grieve, or let your heart be dismayed, however great the illness that you speak of. Am I not here? I, who am your Mother, and is not my help a refuge? Am I not of your kind? Do not be concerned about your uncle’s illness, for he is not going to die. Be assured, he is already well. Is there anything else you need?” Instead of worrying, have you discussed your problems with Mary? Why not? Just as she did with Saint Juan Diego, she is waiting to help you.

9. Pope Saint Leo the Great – Attila the Hun was a ruthless and powerful warrior who conquered many lands, including Austria and Germany. In 452, he set his sights on Italy and proceeded to successfully conquer several cities and was heading toward Rome. Attila boasted that conquering Rome would be his greatest victory. Standing firm in the face of enormous odds, Pope Saint Leo the Great met Attila and his army near Mantua and convinced the tyrant to change his plans and turn back. Rome was spared. According to tradition, when Attila was asked why he backed down so easily, he noted that while the Holy Father spoke, he saw a vision of Saint Peter holding a sword in his hand. This frightened the ruthless Hun and caused him to change his plans.

10. Saint Stephen Harding – Born in England in the 11th century, Saint Stephen Harding was educated at the Sherborne Abbey and eventually became a monk at the Abbey of Molesme in Burgundy. Feeling that the Lord was calling him to found a monastery, he did just that. In 1098, along with twenty other monks, St. Stephen founded a monastery at Citeaux. They lived a simple life, in accordance with the Rule of Saint Benedict. Eventually, Saint Stephen was elected abbot. As the monks began to die off, they were not being replaced by novices and their numbers began to dwindle. Just as it seemed the monastery would be forced to close, guess who showed up at the door? Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, along with 30 companions who were looking to join a monastery! During the next 8 years, a dozen new houses had to be built in order to house the many new monks who joined the order. This story serves as a reminder that God does provide, although he operates according to His own schedule. Sometimes He allows us to walk in the darkness in order to strengthen our faith. God will never give up on us…don’t make the mistake of giving up on Him!

In addition to being inspired by their lives, these saints can help us in another important way. As residents of Heaven, they can intercede on our behalf and help us to obtain the graces we need to deal with our problems. They have all “been there, done that” and know what it’s like to experience difficulties. They also know what it’s like to live in eternal happiness and are more than willing to do what they can to ensure that we too experience that joy. Don’t make the mistake of facing your problems alone. Turn to your heavenly friends and ask for their help today!

Give Up Worrying In The New Year!

Book Catholic Speaker Gary Zimak for the popular retreat - Give Up Worrying In The New Year

How do you feel about New Year’s resolutions? For years I thought the concept was silly, but I’ve grown to appreciate it. Resolutions are especially important when it comes to the spiritual life. Looking back at the past year, most of us would probably admit that we could have done a better job in the “following Jesus” category. But, instead of feeling discouraged, I recommend that we embrace the idea of the fresh start that arrives on January 1st. Furthermore, I propose that we target one of the most physically and spiritually damaging practices known to man…

WORRY!

You Have Limited Control

It’s no secret that I have wasted years worrying about all kinds of issues. I have spoken from coast to coast and written numerous books on my personal struggle with worry. It is a battle that I fought unsuccessfully for years until I discovered the secret. In order to break free from the worry trap, I must first acknowledge my weakness. In other words, I must accept the fact that there are many things in life that I cannot control. Although this doesn’t come easy for the typical worrier (because worrying is generally a control issue), it is an important first step. On the flip side, there are some things that I can control. When I speak about worry, I always give the following advice – if there’s something you can do about your problem, do it! God expects us to use our limited ability to do what we can.

God Has Total Control

Once we do what we can and admit that we have limited control over our lives, we need to recognize that someone has total control. Even though it may not feel like it at times, God is one hundred percent in control of my life, your life and everything that happens in the Universe. Nothing happens without His permission. And, while we can’t say that He causes or wills everything (such as evil), everything that happens (good or bad) is permitted by God. This is an important point and you must accept it if you wish to find peace. You might be powerless over certain things, but God is not. He is always in control. If you lose sight of that fact, you will soon be consumed by stress.

He Wants To Help You

If God was willing to become man and live among us (John 1:14), doesn’t it make sense that He cares about the problems we face each day? Unfortunately, we often live our lives as if that is not the case. We are told several times in the Bible that Jesus had pity on various individuals. This isn’t just flowery rhetoric. It is an example of just how much He cares about you. If you’re worried about your job, your health, your marriage or even finding a parking spot in a crowded lot, Jesus cares and wants to help. Because He respects your free will, however, He will not force His way into your life. You must give Him permission to help!

“Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)

Ask And You Shall Receive

By now, I’m sure you figured out the next step. Turn to the Lord and ask for help with all of your problems, including your lack of trust. We’re often afraid to tell Him that we don’t trust Him. Take it from me – He already knows. In addition to the fact that He can read our thoughts, we express our distrust every time we worry. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask Jesus to help your lack of trust.

Give Up Worrying In 2019!

I don’t care how many times you have tried in the past, make a resolution to give up worrying in 2019. With the help of Jesus Christ, it is totally possible. If you’re on the West Coast, I invite you to attend my Give Up Worrying In The New Year retreat on Jan 25-27, 2019 at the Mary and Joseph Retreat Center in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Click on the following banner for more information.

Book Catholic Speaker Gary Zimak for the popular retreat - Give Up Worrying In The New Year

Feel free to email me if I can help in any way. Because I am anxious by nature, I understand what you’re going through. The Lord has helped me and He can help you. Now is the time to make the decision to turn to Him.

Let’s make 2019 the year that you finally break free from worry!

Looking to bring the leading Catholic speaker on anxiety to your parish or conference? Gary Zimak is now booking parish missions, talks and retreats for 2019 and beyond. Click HERE to find out how to bring Gary to your church!

How To Handle Any Problem

But as for me, I will look to the LORD, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. (Micah 7:7)

One of the most difficult tasks we face as disciples of Jesus Christ is to surrender to His will each day. This is especially challenging for those of us who are anxious by nature. For, even though we claim to be Christians and pray for God’s will to be done, we struggle to give up control. If you have a pressing need in your life and are beginning to lose hope, this Bible verse is pure gold!

Speaking through the prophet Micah, the Lord provides us with a plan to handle any problem that we could ever face.

Turn to God

When faced with a problem, the world provides us with many sources of comfort. And, rather than addressing the issue, we often choose to “numb the pain” through entertainment, alcohol, shopping or other diversions. These short term solutions will not make the problem go away and will only make you feel good for a short time. In times of crisis, the Lord wants us to turn to Him. Not only is He capable of fixing any problem that we encounter, but He is the only lasting source of peace in this world. Ask Him to help you!

Be Patient

During the season of Advent, we hear a lot about waiting. Like it or not, God is smarter than any of us. If He makes us wait, there is a reason. Don’t waste your time trying to figure out why He is not fixing your problem. Keep asking, but give Him the benefit of the doubt. Use the opportunity to submit to His will. That’s exactly what Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane. Whenever we pray the Our Father we ask for God’s will to be done. Waiting gives us the chance to put our words into action.

Know That He Will Hear You

When our prayers are not answered immediately (or within our given time frame), we often assume that God is not listening. This verse puts that argument to rest. The Lord always hears the cries of His children. Furthermore, there is no problem to small (or too big) to give to Him. It gives Him great pleasure when we turn to Him for help.

Although these steps sound simple, they are not necessarily easy to put into practice. It all begins with the realization that God loves you and is interested in your life. He wants to enter into a personal relationship with you and that’s why He sent His Son. During Advent, the Church invites us to prepare to welcome more Jesus more deeply into our hearts. Turning to Him today with your needs would be a great start.

Give Up Worrying In The New Year – A Weekend Retreat With Gary Zimak

Are You Tired Of Worrying?

Gary Zimak Is Bringing His “Worrier’s Retreat” To
Southern California!

Book Catholic Speaker Gary Zimak for the popular retreat - Give Up Worrying In The New Year

Join Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak for a “one of a kind” weekend retreat designed to help you stop worrying.

Jan 25-27, 2019 at the Mary and Joseph Retreat Center in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Click on the above image to find out more or register TODAY

LET’S DO THIS!

Finding Jesus In The Storm

Then he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. (Matthew 14:22)

You are probably familiar with the story of St. Peter getting out of the boat and walking (briefly) on the water. Responding to the call of Jesus, the fisherman turned Apostle did something that should have been impossible. It’s a dramatic and powerful saga that most of us have heard many times.

What often gets missed in this story, however, is the verse at the top of page. Take note that Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and sent them right into a storm. He literally “set them up” without warning them of what they would be facing. I know it sounds nasty, but it ended up being a great blessing. Although Peter’s faith certainly faltered (as evidenced by the panic that set in when he felt the wind and saw the waves), he learned that Jesus was present, even in the midst of the storm. He also discovered that ALL things (even walking on water or calming the sea) are possible for the Lord. Matthew ends this story by stating that everyone in the boat worshiped Jesus and acknowledged that He was the Son of God. Good stuff, right? Now, let me ask you a question. Despite the happy ending, do you think the disciples would have gotten into the boat if they knew that a life threatening storm was waiting for them?

Being a follower of Christ means more than just going to Mass on Sunday and saying some prayers. It involves waking up each day and letting Him lead you. Just like the disciples, He may lead you right into a storm. Sometimes the entire Church is asked to get into the boat and head into stormy seas. The Lord doesn’t necessarily cause the storms, but He does allow them to exist. That’s okay. There is a reason. The fact that we may not understand or approve doesn’t matter. What does matter is that Jesus loves us and is present in the midst of the storm. As long as we keep focused on Him, we’ll be fine. Rather than concentrating on the waves and the wind, keep your eyes on Jesus and borrow the words of St. Peter as he began to sink. It’s one of the most powerful prayers imaginable:

“Lord, save me!”

Give Up Worry For Lent – Let’s Do This!

Isn’t it time your church heard this message?


Click on the above image to bring Gary Zimak to your church in Lent of 2019. He will show you that it is possible to give up worry for Lent. Selected dates for Lent 2019 are still available. Let 2019 be the year that you finally give up worrying for good!

(Gary Zimak is the author of several books, a frequent speaker at churches and conferences across the country and is recognized as the leading Catholic speaker on the topic of overcoming anxiety. In addition, Gary is a regular guest on Catholic TV & Radio and the creator and host of Spirit In The Morning which aired on Holy Spirit Radio in Philadelphia from 2016-2018)

Stop Worrying And Start Living!

 

Catholic speaker and retreat leader Gary Zimak will be leading a Pray, Hope and Don't Worry retreat at the Malvern Retreat House in Malvern, PA on August 5-7,2016

Are you tired of worrying?

Do you need peace in your life?

Would you like to deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I invite you to join me for the 2nd Annual “Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry” retreat at the Malvern Retreat House on Aug 5 – 7, 2016. In addition to Mass, Confession and plenty of time to spend in prayer and meditation, I will be giving five brand new talks – all designed to help you stop worrying and start living!

Once again, the retreat will be held at the beautiful McShain-Horstmann Family Life Center located at the Malvern Retreat Center in the Philadelphia suburbs. Click HERE to register today. Last year’s retreat sold out and I expect that this year’s will also. I look forward to seeing you in August.

Get ready to…

Stop Worrying And Start Living!

Packing My Bags And Heading To Louisiana!

 

Gary Zimak, the leading Catholic speaker on overcoming anxiety, will be revealing the secret of happiness in New Orleans in November!

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak will be leading a parish mission at Saint Peter's Church in Louisiana.

Looking For Recordings Of My Talks? Here’s Some Good News…

 

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak is available to speak at your parish or conference

Catholic speaker Gary Zimak is now offering several of his most popular talks on CD and MP3.

“Gary, are any of your live talks available on CD?”

Over the years, I have heard that question many times. Well, I am pleased to announce that I can finally answer, “Yes”! For the first time, several of my live talks are now available (for immediate shipping) on CD and MP3 download.

Thanks to a partnership with James Louviere and Champions Of The Truth, you can now purchase recordings of some of my most popular talks including:

From Fear To Faith (Overcoming Anxiety With The Help Of Christ)

Getting Personal With Jesus (Practical Suggestions For Growing Closer To The Lord)

You Can’t Walk On Water If You’re Sitting In The Boat (Overcome Your Fear And Let God Do Great Things)

What Does God Want Me To Do? (How To Discern God’s Will)

What If Mary Said “No”? (A Look At Mary’s Amazing Faith)

All of these recordings are in stock and available for immediate shipping. Click HERE To find out more about each of the talks or to place an order.

Gary Zimak is the author of “Faith, Hope & Clarity: How To Know God’s Will”, “A Worrier’s Guide To The Bible”, “Listen To Your Blessed Mother”, and “From Fear To Faith”. He is a frequent speaker and retreat leader at parishes and conferences across the United States and Canada, has an international radio following and is recognized as the leading Catholic speaker on the topic of overcoming anxiety. In addition to hosting his own daily radio show on BlogTalkRadio, Gary is a regular guest on EWTN television and radio.

Pray, Hope & Don’t Worry Retreat A Big Success!

 

Catholic speaker and author Gary Zimak is available to speak at your parish or conference

Catholic speaker, author and retreat leader Gary Zimak recently led a Pray, Hope and Don't Worry retreat at the Malvern Retreat House

“Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled.” (John 14:1)

On August 14 – 16, I had the pleasure of leading the first ever Pray, Hope and Don’t Worry retreat at the Malvern Retreat House in the Philadelphia suburbs. We had over 50 individuals who came from all over the country to spend 3 days moving away from anxiety and closer to Jesus. It was an amazing weekend and provided us with the opportunity to withdraw from the craziness of the world and spend time in the presence of Our Lord. As I have discovered in my own life, spending time with Jesus (through prayer, Scripture and the Sacraments) is the best way to stop worrying and experience peace.

In case you missed the retreat, all of my talks (a total of five) will soon be available on CD and MP3 download. In the very near future, I’ll be announcing how you can purchase them.

Want some even better news? Because this retreat was such a success, I have been invited by Malvern to lead it again in the Summer of 2016! I’ll announce the date once it’s finalized, so stay tuned for more information!

Gary Zimak is the author of “Faith, Hope & Clarity: How To Know God’s Will”, “A Worrier’s Guide To The Bible”, “Listen To Your Blessed Mother”, and “From Fear To Faith”. He is a frequent speaker and retreat leader at parishes and conferences across the United States and Canada, has an international radio following and is recognized as the leading Catholic speaker on the topic of overcoming anxiety. In addition to hosting his own daily radio show on BlogTalkRadio, Gary is a regular guest on EWTN television and radio.