Yesterday, on the way into another GCSE exam, a year 11 pupil asked me – “who should I pray to for exams”. My initial response was a bit cheeky “God”. “Obviously!” he said, and we both knew what he really meant, who is the patron saint of exams?
A quick Google confirmed that the patron saint of examinations and studying is St Joseph of Cupertino. He was an interesting character, apparently pretty dim and a failure in most pursuits including becoming a monk! However his persistence saw him through.
But returning to my initial response, perhaps this question presented an opportunity to explore how we interact with a Trinitarian God. To be specific, maybe the Holy Spirit, who by His gifts gives wisdom and knowledge (handy in an exam!), and Whom cultivates in us the the fruits of self-control (essential for us procrastinators when it comes to revision) and peace (for those who struggle with anxiety) is the person of God who we should call upon in such situations.
So in addition to asking St Joseph of Cupertino to pray before the throne of God for those taking exams, let us also call upon the Holy Spirit to come upon our students with His gifts and fruits.
Veni Sanctus Spiritus – Come Holy Spirit!
Liam Lynch (Lay Chaplain, St Joan of Arc Rickmansworth)
Click here to read about St Joseph of Cupertino’s impressive list of failures!