On July 9th, Pope Francis tweeted a message on Twitter that is a great slogan for all single Catholics:
Christians are always full of hope; they should never get discouraged (@pontifex).
To be always full of hope and never discouraged—even when you’re lonely and wondering when it will be your turn to find love—is a great witness to the world but admittedly one that isn’t always easy to keep up. But it’s a guidepost for those days when you just don’t feel like putting a smile on your face.
Prayer is the key to linking your yearning heart to the will of God and being able to tap into that hope that keeps you motivated and moving forward. In the past, I’ve shared with you the importance of prayer in your search for the right one and today, I’d like to share with you one woman’s personal account of how prayer, particularly a novena to St. Anne, led her directly to her future husband. Here’s how it happened for Annie Piekarczyk (now Deddens) in her own words:
I’m not always very patient, but I am diligent. About three years ago, I started praying to Saint Anne. I never knew too much about her, but a few girls I used to live with joked about asking Saint Anne to, “send me a man as fast as you can!” It was quick, catchy and it caught on.
At the time, I knew of another girl who also prayed to her and, who shortly thereafter, met her future boyfriend (and now husband). So I thought I would try it and see how things worked out—and let me tell you, it definitely worked out!
I prayed the novena to St. Anne a couple of times—and all the while, I had been growing in patience and learned to trust more in God’s timing and His will for my life—not just for my heart.
I knew that I wanted to grow a relationship and build a career centered around my faith—rather than a faith that somehow worked itself around a relationship and a career. And I wanted to marry someone who shared those same values and the same faith—so that’s what I was praying for.
It was maybe about a week after I finished the novena that I met John-Paul. I was working as a reporter at the time, and I actually ended up contacting him as a source for a pro-life campaign I was covering. We met for the interview—probably one of the longest interviews I’ve ever done (he’s not a big talker—but he was talking a lot!). Afterwards, I turned off my recorder, was ready to go—but he surprised me and said, “So, tell me about yourself.” The tables had been turned! I had been a reporter for a while—always the one asking questions, so this definitely made him stand out to me.
A couple months later, we began dating—we dated for about a year and a half before we got engaged. During that time, I continued to pray through St. Anne’s intercession—her novena, among others, and those prayers changed my life. I’m not sure I would have met John-Paul if I hadn’t prayed to St. Anne and if I hadn’t covered that pro-life campaign three years ago. Pray More Novenas wouldn’t even exist if I hadn’t met him or if I had never learned about a novena—but that’s another story.
What a beautiful story of romantic love that began with love for the will of God and acceptance of His timing. Not only did the habit of prayer lead them to find each other, but it also became the signature of their life as a couple. Their website is PrayMoreNovenas.Com, a site dedicated to helping people enrich their lives and discover God’s will through prayer, specifically novenas.
I invite you to join Annie, her husband, John-Paul, and thousands of other Catholics around the world in praying this novena to St. Anne, beginning July 17th. Just visit their website and sign up for their daily delivery of novena prayers to your email box. Like Annie and John-Paul, you will receive great blessings through the intercession of your extended family in heaven.
Feel free to send your comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.