Praying to Saint Medard, the patron saint of bad storms




We are in the calm before the storm… a huge snowstorm. And they are calling it Pax. How ironic is that? Naming a storm the Latin word for peace brings a chuckle to those who are familiar with religious uses of the word. Pax Christi?

When did they start naming storms anyway? I was really curious and did some research and learned that the Weather Channel has been naming snowstorms for the past two years. Where have I been?

Apparently they had social media in mind when they decided to start naming storms so that hashtags could be used to convey information easily and quickly. When this was announced in 2012, the following rationale was offered for naming storms:  

  • Naming a storm raises awareness.
  • Attaching a name makes it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress.
  • A storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which adds to awareness.
  • In today’s social media world, a name makes it much easier to reference in communication.
  • A named storm is easier to remember and refer to in the future.

The names for this 2013-2014 winter season were created by Latin students from Bozeman High School in Montana where winter storm Brutus hit hard in November of 2012.

Here’s the full list of potential names for 2013-2014: 


Motivating our youth to help: 

This morning at John Carroll I prefaced our opening Morning Prayer with a few words to the students about being proactive in helping their parents and neighbors get ready before the bad weather hits tonight. With their teenage energy and vitality, our students were encouraged to surprise their parents with positive attitudes and unsolicited helpfulness with shoveling and digging out around their homes and cars when the storm is over on Friday.

We are also concerned about the strong potential for power outages and more downed trees. Yesterday one of our school families finally had their power restored after last week’s ice storm caused downed power lines. Seven days without power is a long time to withstand in the low winter temperatures for a family with kids and dogs.

Calling on Saint Medard:

Saint Medard, sixth-century bishop, preacher, and missionary, whose feast is observed on June 8, is the patron saint for protection from bad storms. As a child, so the legend goes, he was once sheltered from the rain by an eagle hovering over him.  


As the hours pass and we get closer to the start of winter storm Pax, let us call upon the intercession of Saint Medard to keep us safe and to protect all those who are in particular need of shelter and heat.


Prayer to Saint Medard:

 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 for the upcoming snowstorm that is headed our way tonight.

 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.


Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.