Saint Medard, patron saint of bad storms, pray for us!
Preparing for Hurricane Matthew:
Hurricane season runs annually from June 1 to November 30.
Since we retired in 2014, my husband and I spend a great deal of time at our home on Singer Island in South Florida. Today, all eyes are on Hurricane Matthew, which formed quickly and was just upgraded this morning to a Category 3 hurricane, currently with 120 mph winds.
The National Hurricane Center classifies as “major hurricanes” all those in Categories 3 (111-130 mph), 4 (131-155 mph) and 5 (156+ mph) on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Matthew is now off Aruba, moving toward Jamaica and Cuba early next week, then it’s likely headed toward the Bahamas by Wednesday. The storm continues to evolve, and it is really too soon to know where its exact track will go.
All news media outlets and weather are urging families to review their emergency plans and be prepared in the event that the hurricane comes our way. It has been twelve years since a hurricane has directly impacted Palm Beach County, and most families in the area have become rather complacent. Florida is vulnerable geographically to tropical storms and hurricanes that might make landfall here. And no matter where the tracking for Matthew goes, we will at the very least be on the outer bands and get lots of wind and rain.
Back in September of 2004, Hurricanes Frances (105 mph winds) and Jeanne (120 mph winds) hit our area just twenty days apart. The next year, Wilma (105 mph winds) hit South Florida, causing 25 deaths and again leaving a number of counties without power.
Prayers for hurricane protection at Mass:
Parishes here in Florida often incorporate a prayer for protection from hurricanes and tropical storms during the general intercessions at Mass each week. Our parish, Saint Paul of the Cross in North Palm Beach uses the following intention
That we would receive the grace of physical protection from
all storms, disaster and calamity this hurricane season, we pray…
Lord, hear our prayer.
Offering prayers for safekeeping is comforting, even if Mother Nature has other ideas.
Saint Medard, patron of bad storms:
I first wrote about Saint Medard in February of 2014 in anticipation of the winter snowstorm Pax: “Praying to Saint Medard, the patron saint of bad storms.”
Saint Medard is the perfect patron saint for the hurricane season. He was a sixth-century bishop, preacher, and missionary, who, as a child, according to legend, was once sheltered from the rain by an eagle hovering over him. His feast day is observed each year on June 8.
An old French folktale refers to the June 8 feast day:
“Should Saint Médard’s day be wet,
It will rain for forty yet;
At least until Saint Barnabas,
The summer sun won’t favor us.”
In a similar manner, Cajun folklore, which refers to June 8 as “Samida” (for Saint Médard), holds that if it rains on this day, it will rain at least once a day for the next forty days.
Pray for us:
This week, we again call upon the intercession of Saint Medard to keep us safe and to protect all those who are vulnerable to the rage of Hurricane Matthew.
Saint Medard, patron saint for protection against bad storms,
we ask you to intercede for us during the storms of our lives as well as the storms in nature.
Protect our families and our homes.
We pray for assistance for the victims of snowstorms, hurricanes,
tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters,
especially now with the impact from Hurricane Matthew.
Loving God, send in more helpers,
and multiply resources and supplies for the aid of those in need.
You calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee;
Deliver us from the storms that are raging around us now.
Saint Medard, pray for us.
Check out Saint Medard on Pinterest.