Among the various saints we commemorate today, one is St. Emilia, the mother of ten children, five of whom are canonized saints. Below is a reflection from our Sr. Emilia on the occasion of her feast day and Mother's Day.
Eight months ago, when I was given the name “Emilia” at my tonsure, I was in awe of the Lord’s reminder that He had named me as His many years ago, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you...” (Jeremiah 1:5). Mother Theodora chose the name Emilia because of the connection with motherhood and my love for children. Accordingly, at my confirmation (10 years ago) and again at my tonsure; the words of Isaiah 62:2,5 were fulfilled, “You shall be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord shall give…as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” The Lord continues to speak to my heart, showing me how I am called to love in a maternal manner; showing me His great desire to love me, as my Father. I have loved hearing and responding to the voice of Abba calling out to me, His little girl, “Emilia!” Never have I felt so loved.
After my tonsure, I looked at the calendar to see on which day my feast fell this year and whether it was in a fasting period or not (important, right?!). I was happy to see that it fell on a non-fast day. Then I looked again and laughed at God’s work…of course my first feast day as “Sr. Emilia” would fall on Mother’s Day! He truly does give us the desires of our hearts.
This feast day, falling on Mother’s Day, is perfect because the reason I am named Emilia is due to motherhood. I chose that name for my confirmation in 8th grade in honor of my mom and the mother of St. John Paul II. Then, I was given that name again 10 years later as a byzantine monastic, at my tonsure as a rasophore nun. St. Emilia has been to me a mother who consoled me in the loss of my mom, who guided me in my love for children as a nanny, and now in my discernment of whether I am called to biological or spiritual motherhood.
|Sr. Emilia with her mother, dad & step-mom, "Aunt" Shirley, & godmother|
I celebrate today the joy of being a spiritual mother to many children. I am especially grateful to God for the children who hold a special place in my heart: my youngest siblings, as well as Matthew, Abigail, Andrew, Maria and Daeclyn Emmelia Rose. I am thankful for the mothers that God placed in my life, especially Our Lady and my mother and godmother, who have gone to be with the Lord, as well as those mothers who God gave me in place of them, to lead me in my walk closer to union with the Bridegroom: Mother Theodora, Aunt Shirley and my step-mom, Lisa. These children and women are to me the people who lead me to be a better “mother.” Who are the women in your life who are being honored today? What children has the Lord given you? Let us thank the Lord today for all women who accept the call to be "Mom" and pray for those who desire to be biological mothers, but are unable to be.