Each year, our Friars celebrate Epiphany Extractions. Franciscans hold great reverence for the saints. We customarily celebrate the Epiphany as a feast for promoting personal holiness. During the para-liturgical ceremony of the Extractions, each friar draws the name of a saint (who becomes his patron for the year) and a short spiritual exhortation (as a focus for spiritual refinement). During Epiphany the community also renews the sanctity of our homes (friaries) by processing to bless each room. Early in Franciscan history, this tradition developed for our friars. We Franciscan Friars Conventual would like to share this cherished tradition with you and encourage you to add it to your holiday celebrations.
The ritual is simple. Pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance. Choose a card randomly. On the card will be the name of a saint, a mystery in the life of Jesus or perhaps a particular devotion. Announce your choice to the people praying with you. Some of them may have their own experience with your choice. Read up on it in Catholic literature or on the internet. With the help of the Holy Spirit, look for some direction in your life and spirituality from these “living words of God.”
You may be surprised how your choice touches your journey of faith. Remember too, that we are all saints. Sinners too, but saints nonetheless. What can others see in us that reflects “the living word of God?” Your Epiphany patron may help you plan your resolutions or just be your companion in prayer, in the New Year. Look at this as just one more gift from God on Epiphany, the Feast of Gifts.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Your love.
Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us Pray: God, Who instructs the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that we may be truly wise in the same Spirit and ever rejoice in His consolation.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
On a bitterly cold evening, the friars from the mid-Atlantic area gathered at Immaculate Heart of Mary Friary (Baltimore, MD) for Evening Prayer and the Extraction of yearly patron saints in celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany. A festive atmosphere and a good dinner was enjoyed by all.