I love my birthday. Not for any presents or cake, but more for the celebration. Getting together with friends, unexpected phone calls and texts, and all the freebies from restaurants. Free coffee from one place and free pastry from the place next door – birthday breakfast! Office party – birthday lunch! Last summer, we went to Mass first and then to lunch, so it was an even better celebration.
I think I enjoy it more now than I did as a child because my birthday is in the summer, and I never got to celebrate with friends at school. Or even much during the summer growing up because either my friends would be on vacation, or my family would be gone ourselves. And now I can celebrate with whomever I want. I even share a birthday with one of my coworkers, which is extra fun as we can celebrate together!
When my coworker found out how much I love celebrating my birthday, he seemed a little nervous to share that it was his birthday, too. I think he was worried that I wouldn’t want to share my special day. However, he didn’t need to think that way. Much like today’s feast of Sts. Simon and Jude, it is often better to share one’s special day with another.
Sts. Simon and Jude, Apostles and martyrs, aren’t the only saintly pair we celebrate throughout the liturgical year. Others include:
January 2 - Sts. Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, bishops and Doctors of the Church
January 26 - Sts. Timothy and Titus, bishops
February 14 - Sts. Cyril and Methodius, brothers (monk and bishop, respectively)
March 7 - Sts. Perpetua and Felicity, martyrs
May 3 - Sts. Philip and James, Apostles
May 12 - Sts. Nereus and Achilleus, brothers and martyrs
June 2 - Sts. Marcellinus and Peter, martyrs
June 22 - Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, martyrs
June 29 - Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles
July 26 - Sts. Joachim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
September 16 - Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian, martyrs (Pope and bishop, respectively)
September 26 - Sts. Cosmas and Damian, brothers and martyrs
October 19 - Sts. John de Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues, priests and companions, martyrs
And just recently, a new triad was added to the liturgical calendar:
July 29 - Sts. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus
These are all in addition to other feast days where we celebrate certain saints and “companions” or groups of martyrs, such as the Korean martyrs on September 20. I’m sure all of these saints, much like myself, don’t mind sharing their special day with others and, in fact, rejoice at the joint celebrations!
Sts. Simon and Jude, pray for us!
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