It’s hard to listen to the news these days without hearing about another catastrophic event set off by bad weather: a record-breaking drought in California; flooding in Texas; hurricanes and raging storms across the world.
These devastating events take an all too real toll on human life, whether through immediate devastation and destruction or through their crippling impact on food production and ecological systems. While all are affected, the rural poor–those who live closest to the land and who are the least able to adapt when disaster sets in–suffer disproportionately.
While many of these disasters are unavoidable, some of them may be linked to human activity. This highlights a direct connection between environmental stewardship and care for the poor, a theme that Pope Francis is expected to expand upon in his forthcoming eco-encyclical. At the very least, our societal response to weather-related problems like droughts and flooding leaves much to be desired in terms of prioritizing the needs of the poor.
While efforts to curb ecological degradation are, of course, essential, so is prayer. As Catholics, we have a natural advocate in Saint Medard, a sixth-century bishop whose feast day is observed today. Saint Medard 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. Saint Medard is also known for his incredible love of the poor. Let us turn to Saint Medard and ask for his intercession.
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 hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters.
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!