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Patron Saints As More Than Intercessors

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On the Feast Day of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, my patron saint, it occurred to me to wonder how others of the faith relate to their own patron saints. Are they perhaps seen as far-off, above our lowly human state, unreachable other than by solemn prayer and petition to intercede on our behalf? Or perhaps (and, to me, better!) as companions and constant friends, ready and willing to be there for us at any time, for any reason?
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If I may, I'd like to share with you my own relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary, my beloved patron saint. It is ever-changing in the most wonderful and helpful of ways. 
When for years I would only reach out to her respectfully and from afar to intercede on my behalf with petitions and requests, I now feel quite comfortable and free to reach out to her in a constant stream of companionable and silent conversation throughout my days, just as I would to a trusted friend and confidante. And what I feel is especially wonderful about my …