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 | By Sheri Wohlfert

Praying with our heavenly heroes

“Follow the saints because those who follow them, will become saints.” - Pope St. Clement I

As I type this article, I’m in Missouri helping to welcome my newest grandson to the world. I’m thrilled to be able to help out so Mamma and Daddy can get some sleep. The truth is, we all need help sometimes, but knowing who and when to ask can also be tricky. We certainly wouldn’t ask a toddler to mow the yard or an elderly neighbor to take our preschooler to a trampoline park!

The other night, as I rocked baby Dominic in the wee hours of the morning, I began to wonder, who would be there for him, in addition to his parents, as he grows? Who will help him when he nervously walks into school on the first day or when he gets sad or frustrated? I pondered all the times he will need help making the right decisions, and finding his way to sainthood in a mixed-up world. As much as I would like to follow him around and clear his path to sainthood for him, I obviously cannot. But then, like a blanket of peace, the Father spoke to my heart, “Grandma Sheri, I’ve already thought of all of this and I have a plan. His helpers are already in place.”

The helpers the Father was referring to were the saints. These holy men and women who have gone before us have lived the paths we’re walking. They have sinned and triumphed, they have struggled, suffered and laughed, they have done it right and done it wrong. Their stories encompass every human experience, but they have achieved holiness and eternal life in heaven, and that, my friends is our ultimate goal. How do we go about asking for their help? Here are some thoughts to get you plugged into the treasure trove of aid from our heavenly heroes.

Saints are the Father’s helpers.

We ask them to intercede or take our request to the Father. Only God can answer prayers; the saints are there to root for us and take our petitions to God. Teach your children to think of them as a team of warriors who are close to God cheering for us, supporting us and leading us to the Father. We pray WITH them, not TO them.

Start with a name.

Introduce your child to the saint they were named after. If they weren’t named after a saint, choose one with a similar name.

Find the connections.

If your child loves dancing or sports or reading, point them to a saint who shared a similar interest. If your child struggles with math or friendships or worry, find stories about saints who shared those same struggles and unite them. Share the stories of many saints and ask the Holy Spirit to spark a connection between a saint and your child.

Heroes on display

We have pictures in our homes of people we love and want to remember, so make this new helper visible to your child as well. Medals, pictures and statues are great reminders to pray with our favorite saints. Don’t worry about investing a lot of money, a simple image printed and framed will do the trick. As children grow and change, so can their saintly friends.

Enlist their help

Remind your kids to ask their saint for help. When they are trying to make a decision or do the right thing, ask them if they have chatted with their heavenly helper or ask them to pray about what their saintly friend might do in a situation. Remind them they can pray with their saintly friends and ask them to make the Father’s plan clear to them.

“To be saints is not a privilege for a few but a vocation for everyone.” Pope Francis

Sheri Wohlfert is a Catholic school teacher, speaker, writer and founder of Joyful Words Ministries. Sheri blogs at

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