Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Electing to Pray for St. Chad's Humility

Being a political animal, I first became familiar with St. Chad only after the contest Year 2000 Presidential elections, when hanging chads were the rage in Palm Beach County, Florida.  Even though there is no Patron Saint of Disputed Elections, St. Chad of Mercia (England) offers a wonderful example of public service and humility.

In the 7th Century AD, Chad was the abbot of several monasteries who was elevated to be Bishop of Northumbrian by King Oswiu. But when his appointment was disputed, the Archbishop of Canterbury asked Chad to step aside from his episcopacy.  Chad complied with remarkable humility. 

As it is only the second day of Conclave 2013, it is unlikely that the College of Cardinals is deadlocked on voting for the next Supreme Pontiff.  Still, St. Chad's example of humility and public service epitomizes the ideal of being elected the Servant of Servants of God. 

Almighty God, whose servant Chad, for the peace of the Church, relinquished cheerfully the honors that had been thrust upon him, only to be rewarded with equal responsibility: Keep us, we pray, from thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, and ready at all times to step aside for others, (in honor preferring one another,) that the cause of Christ may be advanced; in the name of him who washed his disciples' feet, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. 

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