St Orlkur Patron Saint Of Iceland And People With Autism
By Staff|Dec 22 2017
Þorlákur Þórhallsson A 16th century embroidery from Hóladómkirkja, the bishopric of North Iceland.
Þorlákur Þórhallsson is an interesting figure. He is the only Icelander to have been canonized by the Catholic Church. He is also the only Catholic Saint who was recognized by Icelanders after the reformation.
Þorlákur was recognized as a saint by the Icelandic parliament in 1198, but was only canonized by the pope 800 years later. Throughout the centuries, even after the reformation had banned the belief in saints, Icelanders recognized him as the patron saint of the poor and the common folk.
When John Paul II canonized St Þorlákur in 1984 he recognized him as the patron saint of Iceland. In recent years some have been pushing to have him recognized as the patron saint of people with autism or autism spectrum disorders.
A poor, but intelligent and kind man
Þorlákur Þórhallsson, Þorlákur Helgi, Þorláksmessa, by Vísir
Þorlákur Þorláksson was born in 1133 to a poor farmer at Hlíðarendi farm in Fljótshlíð in South Iceland, near Seljalandsfoss waterfall. As a young man he quickly became recognized for his intelligence and kindness. He spent six years in England and France where he studied at seminaries. After returning to Iceland he served as a priest in South Iceland, where he in 1168 founded the first Augustinian monastery in Iceland.
A ca 1590 Map of Iceland The two bishoprics are shown in yellow and pink .
Only Icelandic saint
Is Father A Prayer
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Hail Mary, full of grace.
Stations Of The Cross For Autistic People
One of my more recent hats is spiritual advisor/director for the Mission of Saint Thorlak. This website is devoted to spiritual outreach to autistic people , inspired by the example of Saint Thorlak. He was a 12th century bishop of Iceland who may well have been autistic. A number of people believe that he would be an ideal patron saint for autistic people. Click the link to the Mission website that I gave above for more information.
My most recent project for the Mission is putting together a version of the Stations of the Cross that I hope will be especially helpful for people on the autism spectrum. As you may recall, I am autistic. I have not found much in the way of devotions and prayers that speaks specifically to the gifts and the challenges faced by people on the spectrum. I have put together these Stations as one little attempt to address this need.
The Stations that I have put together are based on the Scriptural Stations of the Cross that St. John Paul II used on a number of occasions. I wrote the reflections for each station, and adapted prayers with autistic people in mind. People who are not autistic will find some food here as well, I trust.
You can find the Stations here. While you are on the Mission website, feel free to explore further, to learn more about Saint Thorlak, and about the Mission.
Your constructive feedback is most welcome!
You May Like: Is Level 2 Autism High Functioning
Catholic Saints To Pray To For Fertility
One of the main goals of most married couples is to build a family. Most women often dream of being pregnant and raising a child. However, some have tried many times to conceive but are still unlucky.
If you are having a hard time becoming pregnant, here is the list of Catholic Saints to pray for fertility.
Possible Patron Saint Of Autism
Good morning! I would like to share a website bearing the name of my personal patron, St. Thorlak of Iceland, and spread the news that there is bona fide movement afoot to consider him as a patron saint for those who have autism. The content is constantly expanding and growing and is a window into the work being done to explore this possibility and to offer ministry to individuals who struggle with loneliness and social anxiety. Please visit the page, share and use its contents, and above all else, please, pray for the Mission of St. Thorlak to bear fruit and feed hungry souls. God bless!Patron of Autism page:
Also Check: Level Two Autism
Trinity Sunday And Saint Thorlak
First of all, I am not scheduled to preach this weekend, so I have not prepared a homily. However, if youd like a reflection on Trinity Sunday, please check out this post that I wrote for a previous Trinity Sunday. It says pretty much what I would say if I wrote a new one this year!
Secondly, as some of you are aware, I am also the spiritual director for the Mission of Saint Thorlak. Please check out the link for more information about the Mission. We at the Mission are working with Bishop Tencer of Reykjavik, Iceland, to prepare a formal petition to ask the Holy Father to declare Saint Thorlak the Patron Saint for people with autism and related conditions. We are now gathering testimonials as part of this petition.
Anyone can, on their own, choose Saint Thorlak as their personal patron. It would be a great affirmation of the dignity and the place of autistic people in the Church, however, if the Holy Father were to declare someone a Patron Saint for autistic people.
Okay. Fair enough, you say. So, why Saint Thorlak?
If you or someone you know is autistic and has benefited in some way from the intercession of Saint Thorlak, we would love to hear from you! Please send us your testimonial at or by using the Feedback feature of this blog.
St Christina The Astonishing And Autism
After my son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism, I came to see many things through the lens of all that I learned about autism. Sometimes, this led me to view something in a new way. Christina the Astonishing is perhaps the best example of how knowledge about autism opens the door to a new way of understanding something. Although her legend is somewhat outrageous and charming, when it is read from the perspective of deep familiarity with autism, it becomes a different story. Allow me to say a little about this saint.
The Catholic Church has a long history of identifying human beings who have arrived at perfect union with Christ as saints. Some saints become so well known that they are identified with certain classes or professions of people as their patrons. Devotion to saints can help Catholics live exemplary lives so that they too can one day be united with God.
The people of Saint Christina’s time understood all this as the result of a vision Christina had while she was thought to be dead. I am more interested in what she did than why. Many of Christina’s behaviors remind me of autism: seizure disorders, odd reactions to sensory stimulation, lack of sociability, spinning, imperviousness to extremes in temperature, disordered and limited speech, withdrawal from other people. Therefore, I propose that we claim St. Christina the Astonishing as the patron saint of people with autism.
Read Also: Is Level 2 Autism High Functioning
Autism And Spiritual Starvation: A Problem An Unlikely Patron And A Mission
Mar 24, 2017 11:30:40 AM | by Guest
There has to be a better way. 38-year-old school psychologist Aimee OConnell, having spent much of her career studying autism and related disorders of high sensitivity, already had a good grasp of these conditions from multiple, simultaneous angles. Growing up herself with Aspergers Disorder had been a contrast of high academic honors and clawing loneliness. Learning her own daughter had autism taught her to nurture first and keep professional expertise a distant second. Aimee was consistently frustrated that no intervention ever quite reached the core of her daughters need and autistic inability to feel valued by others.
A largely bypassed but widely recognized side effect of autism is this pervasive sense of loneliness that nothing seems to touch, which Aimee calls spiritual starvation. Countless destructive and self-destructive consequences of spiritual starvation can be seen among people with autism, Aimee noted, but so, too, in the culture at large. Social skills training teaches people with autism how to make friends, but it cant convince them they are valuable to God and others if they cant feel it. It is a problem becoming more rampant among all young people of our time, but most especially among those with autism.
Meet Thorlak Thorhallsson, Patron Saint of Iceland.
Saga of Bishop Thorlak
Aimee asked: Where is St. Thorlak today?
St. Thorlak, Pray for Us!
Copyright 2017 Aimee O’Connell
Prayer To Consecrate Ones Autism
Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know of my devotion to St. Thorlak as an unofficial Patron Saint of Autism. This prayer is intended as a means for someone on the autism spectrum, or a family member of someone who cannot pray this themselves, to offer ones autism to St. Thorlak, its gifts and its challenges, so that, through St. Thorlaks intercession, ones autism may serve the Lord in some way.
In this time of great uncertainty, which also provokes great anxiety among many on the spectrum, it is my fervent prayer and hope that, through this prayer, the Lord and St. Thorlak may bless and guide us and show us more clearly how our autism may serve the Lord.
You May Like: The Good Doctor Actor Autistic
St Gianna Beretta Molla
St. Gianna Beretta Molla is the patron saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children. She sacrificed her life to save her unborn childs life. It showed a heroic sacrifice that provided us with a strong example of the values and virtues of Christ and his ultimate sacrifice for us.
St. Gianna Beretta Molla was described as a woman, doctor, and lover of life. She was the last person to be canonized by the blessed John Paul II.
Bringing People With Autism Closer To Christ
For people with autism, there can be a feeling of isolation, and that may include a sense of being isolated from God. Seeking to help them connect with Christs salvific love, Father Mark Nolette, a priest/hermit of the Diocese of Portland, wrote reflections for the Stations of the Cross intended for autistic people as well as their family members and friends.
When I began to put these together, my hope was that I would be able to connect the experiences of autistic people with the experiences of Jesus in a way that people could relate to, he explains.
Father Nolette, who is autistic, says that while people with autism share a common humanity with everyone else, he believes the story of Jesus Passion and death can speak powerfully to them. He says he is hoping they will find parallels in their own lives and, as a result, draw closer to Christ.
I am hoping that autistic people can look at these, and it will help them see: God understands me. God has chosen me. God has sent me. I am sharing Gods suffering. God wants me as an autistic person, he says.
The idea is to look at St. Thorlak as a model and a guide as to how autistic people can love, and how they can show love, and how they can then share their love with others, and how they can be a sign of Gods desire to love everyone, he says.
Father Nolette based his reflections on the Scriptural Stations of the Cross first used by Pope Saint John Paul II on Good Friday in 1991.
Don’t Miss: Does Jerry Seinfeld Have Autism
When Was Dymphna Canonized
. Also know, when did St Dymphna become a saint?
Saint Dymphna is a Christian saint honoured in Catholic and Orthodox traditions. According to tradition, she lived in the 7th century. She was murdered by her father. The story of Dymphna was first recorded in the 13th century by a canon of the Church of St.
Similarly, why did Saint Dymphna become a saint? St. Dymphna is the patron saint of the mentally ill and those with nervous disorders, according to the Catholic Church. Dymphna was secretly baptized. According to the legend, when her mother died, her father sought in vain for a wife that could compare to her.
Similarly one may ask, who is the saint of anxiety?
Who Killed St Dymphna?
at Geellinked with the Irish . Dymphna. According to tradition, in the 7th century she was beheaded there by her demented father after she refused to marry him, and persons suffering from mental illness are said to have been cured at her tomb.
Autism Patron Saint Dymphna And Nicholas Silver Puzzle Piece Expandable Charm Bracelet Adjustable Wire Bangle Expandable Autistic Teacher Gift
Heart with Cut out Cross charm, Saint Nicholas and Saint Dymphna Medal with Puzzle piece for Autism Awareness.
Rhodium Plated Silver Puzzle Piece Representing Autism Awareness. Charm secured onto a Silver Plated Expandable Adjustable Bangle Bracelet.
Meaningful Charm Bracelet great gift idea for teachers! This can be sent directly to your intended with your personal message included.
One size fits all!
My bangles are expandable ensuring the perfect fit for every wrist. Each Bangle is made with the Best Quality components to be Durable and Sturdy yet with an Elegant and flowing style. Perfect for collecting and today’s most trendy jewelry accessory! Great individually and super trendy as stackable bangles. Stainless Steel Split rings attach charms to bangle making them almost impossible to come off. No more lost charms!!!My original designs allows everyone to have a piece of jewelry which is truly customized with meaningful symbolism.
Recommended Reading: Visual Schedules For Autism
St Margaret Of Antioch
St. Margaret of Antioch, also known as Saint Marina, the Great Martyr, is a patroness of childbirth. According to some Christians, Margaret had an encounter with Satan who disguised himself as a dragon and swallowed her whole. But because of the cross that she was carrying, the devil was forced to spit her out her unharmed. Hence, her designation as a patron saint of expectant mothers particularly those who are in difficult labor.
Helping You Develop A Joyous Life
As I have mentioned in previous posts, my oldest son was diagnosed with being on the autism spectrum a couple years ago.
This journey toward an answer to helping our son has been filled with both joys and struggles. One of the fruits of this process is my wife has discovered her calling as a special education teacher. Another benefit of her knowledge is that it helps my cousin who is experiencing similar trials as my son.
Recently, my mom was doing research on saints who assist with people on the autism spectrum. She came across St. Thorlak who is currently being considered as a patron saint for people with autism spectrum disorder.
Born in 1133 A.D. Thorlak received the sacrament of Holy Orders at a young age. He was ordained a deacon at age 15 and became a priest when he was 18 years old! Eventually founding a monastery based on the rule of St. Augustine, Thorlak lived a monastic way of life for a several years. Thorlak was ordained a bishop of the Icelandic diocese of Skalholt. He continued to carry out the reforms instituted by Pope Gregory VII. St. Thorlak die in 1193 at the age of 60.
Relatively little information is known about Thorlak compared to other Catholic saints, such as Augustine, John Paul II, Teresa of Avila, Joan of Arc, etc. Despite this, my review of the website that is championing his cause for patron sainthood provides some insight as to how Thorlak could be a relieving guide in both my sons life and our family in general.
Read Also: Dyslexia Vs Autism
Are You Interested In Seeking A Deeper Connection With God
Come, join us! We, the Lay Cistercians of South Florida, are a community of lay people who seeks to have a deeper connection with God by living a life inspired by the monks and nuns through Lay Monasticism. Anyone who aspires to do the same is always welcome to join us. We meet every second Saturday of the month at Emmanuel Catholic Church in Delray Beach, Florida. Visit our homepage to know more about what is a Lay Cistercian and the Lay Cistercian Formation Program.
What Does Dymphna Mean
The name Dymphna is a girls name meaning fawn. Dymphna, also spelled Dympna, is the name of an Irish virgin martyr. The story goes that she was a Celtic princess who fled to Belgium to escape the abusive attentions of her father, and his mad actions led to her becoming the patron saint of the insane.
Also Check: Chromosome 16 Autism
These Saints Struggled Greatly With Their Behavioral Difficulties But Persevered And Followed God’s Will In The Midst Of It All
Autism spectrum disorder affects millions of individuals around the world, and more and more children and adults are being diagnosed each year. It is a condition characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
In the past individuals who possessed these traits were highly misunderstood and often badly treated. They were viewed as different, quirky, or in severe cases locked in mental institutions.
However, with all the struggles of being on the autism spectrum, there is hope that this apparent defect can be united to the cross of Christ and lifted up to become a great benefit to others. There have been many saints over the centuries who struggled greatly with their behavioral difficulties, but who persevered and followed Gods will in the midst of it all.
Having such little information about the life of a saint makes it difficult to make a certain diagnosis of autism , but there are a few individuals where a positive diagnosis may have been likely. For the purposes of this article here are three saints who, if they lived in the 21st century, may have been labeled as on the spectrum.
Servant of God Brother Juniper
One of Saint Francis of Assisis original followers, Brother Juniper was well loved by Francis for his devotion and profound humility. However, according to the Little Flower of St. Francis, Juniper did not always understand the accepted standards of social interaction.