Saturday, January 31, 2009

Workers worried in recession should pray to patron saint of bankers, says Catholic church

Despite the widely-held view that those in the financial sector are to blame for the current economic crisis, a new webpage set up by the church recommends turning to St Matthew for help.

One of the 12 Apostles and author of the first Gospel, he is the patron saint of accountants, bankers, bookkeepers, customs officers, financial officers, money managers and stockbrokers.

However the Catholic church says people who are consumed by worries about money should aspire to be like him, because he gave up his job as a tax collector to follow Jesus.

According to The Catholic Herald newspaper, visitors to the new internet page are encouraged to imitate the saint who "abandoned a life unhealthily focused on finance to pursue the lasting treasure found in the message and person of Christ."

The Life4Seekers website, intended for possible converts to Catholicism, states: "It's important to have a support network when things get tough. Catholics believe that the Saints in heaven are in communion (closely united) with those living on earth.

"We can ask them to pray to God for us as our spiritual friends. The patron saint of financial matters is St Matthew the Apostle."

But it adds: "Depending on the severity of your situation you may feel that the patron saint for desperate causes is more apt – St Jude."

Its page devoted to coping with the "uncertainty and hardship" of the credit crisis also includes an MP3 meditation, prayers to relieve anxiety and links to church charities.

The website, developed by the Catholic Enquiry Office, states: "It can be a difficult 'financial, emotional and spiritual place' to be, but take heart, you're not alone. Many people face uncertain times and there are numerous Catholic organisations and church communities who are willing to walk with you and where possible help practically."

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(Source: CCNR)