On this day, many moons ago, I was baptized in Saint Patrick’s church, in Dumbarton, Scotland, on the commemoration, now, of Saint Louis IX and Saint Joseph Calasanz. I recommend to Catholics to discover their baptismal day, and commemorate and celebrate it, for, in light of the ‘sacramental life’, that day is more significant than our birth day. After all, with the cleansing waters of baptism, we became instant saints, heirs of the kingdom of God, filled with His grace. Yes, most of us have sullied our garments since then, but baptism also offers the opportunity and openness to confession, many times over, seventy times seventy, and then some.
In Poland, they celebrate their name day, the feast of their patron saint. Hence, Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla, was, fittingly enough as things turned out, named after Charles Borromeo, and so November 4th was his special day. But I bet he also recalled his baptism. On a pilgrimage to Poland back in 2015, I had the privilege of venerating the very baptismal font in the church of the Presentation of Our Lady, in which baby Karol was cleansed of original sin.
Why not celebrate all three? Birth, baptism, and patron saints? The calendar of Christendom was filled with feast days, and fast days, in a liturgical cycle that prepared us well for heaven. We should adopt at least some of their very practical wisdom.