Today’s Saint

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February 8 | Vision

Saint Jerome Emiliani

A.D. 1481–1537

“Where there is no vision, the people will perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)

All transformation begins with a vision. All great change is first an idea in our minds. And if you cannot visualize a better life for yourself, you cannot take steps toward that better life.

Saint Jerome Emiliani was given an extraordinary opportunity to visualize a new life for himself when he was locked in a dungeon.

Born in 1481 into a noble family in Venice, Jerome pursued a military career and made great progress. That all changed, however, when he was captured in battle at the age of twenty-seven and imprisoned.

Jerome’s first response to his imprisonment was despair. But eventually, he realized that despair wasn’t getting him anywhere, so he started to imagine a different life for himself. What if he turned away from his military career, and devoted his life to the poor? What if he cared for the sick and the lonely? What if he founded orphanages to take care of children who had no one to turn to?

What if he somehow escaped from his cell?

In deep prayer, Jerome was able to visualize all these things. And in time, his prayers started coming true. He miraculously escaped from prison, and attributed it to Mother Mary. He dedicated his life to the poor and founded orphanages. After his death, the Order of the Somaschi Fathers were founded to continue his legacy and care for orphans.

And it all started with prayerfully visualizing a new life for himself.

The dungeon gave Jerome the silence and solitude he needed to visualize a new life. You don't need to go that extreme, but you do need silence and solitude to discern God's dream for your life. 

What do you think God’s dream for you is? Find a quiet place and begin to visualize yourself living it out. Imagine yourself making all the small decisions in line with what God wants for you. Before long, you’ll begin actually making those small decisions. And in time, you’ll begin to live God’s dream for you.

What is God’s dream for my life? What moments in the day can I find to visualize myself living out that dream?

I will find pockets in the day to visualize becoming the-best-version-of-myself.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Orphans and Abandoned Children

Symbols: Ball and Chain

Feast Day: February 8

Canonized: July 16, 1767

Canonized By: Pope Clement XIII

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