Saints we don’t know

angelico-saints-martyrsOn All Saints Day we celebrate, remember, and honor all the saints, known and unknown. Back in the earliest days of the Church, we did not so much think of “saints” but rather martyrs were especially esteemed. It was very much a local event, as the local church celebrated the anniversary of a martyr’s death on the anniversary date and in the place of martyrdom. By the 4th century the list of martyrs had grown considerably with some martyrs being celebrated more universally. The Church was caught between its desire to remember and celebrate the martyr’s witness and death, an ever expanding geography, and the practical matter of finding days to set aside to celebrate. Very soon there was a movement to find a common day to celebrate martyrs that were important to the Church while leaving the local communities to set aside days for martyrs that loomed larger in local memory. Continue reading

Saints, known and unknown

angelico-saints-martyrsToday we celebrate, remember, and honor all the saints, known and unknown.  The feast day has its own history of how it came to be. Back in the earliest days of the Church, we did not so much think of “saints” but rather martyrs were especially esteemed. It was very much a local event, as the local church celebrated the anniversary of a martyr’s death on the anniversary date and in the place of martyrdom. By the 4th century the list of martyrs had grown considerably with some martyrs being celebrated more universally. The Church was caught between its desire to remember and celebrate the martyr’s witness and death, an ever expanding geography, and the practical matter of finding days to set aside to celebrate. Very soon there was a movement to find a common day to celebrate martyrs that were important to the Church while leaving the local communities to set aside days for martyrs that loomed larger in local memory.

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Five New Saints

On Sunday, October 19th, Pope Francis declared John Henry Newman, Mother Giuseppina Vannini, Mother Mariam Thresia Mankidiyan, Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes, and Marguerite Bays Catholic saints. In the west I suspect John Henry Newman is the best known, but here is the briefest of resumes of all five Saints. Of the new saints, one is the first woman born in Brazil; another is from Kerala, India. Five were priests or members of a religious order; one was a Swiss lay woman. Continue reading

History and Holiness: Being Stewards of Your Own Life

Who are the holy ones of Christianity? Or more pointedly asked, “Who do you consider the holy ones?” In the beginning it was the Apostles, the people who had actually met and lived with Jesus. They saw the miracles, heard the teaching, witnessed the healings, saw the Resurrected Savior, and went to the ends of the earth preaching and baptizing. Surely, they were the holy ones – especially called by Jesus himself! Continue reading

Saints and Halos?

I have to admit that I never wondered about the depiction of saints and their halos. It was just the way things were. True, but it is not the way things always were. Ever wonder why halos? Philip Kosloski over at Aleteia supplied an answer the question I did not know I wanted to ask.

“And did you know that not all halos are circular? The different shapes convey different meanings. Continue reading

Saints, known and unknown

angelico-saints-martyrsToday we celebrate, remember, and honor all the saints, known and unknown. Back in the earliest days of the Church, martyrs were especially esteemed. The local church celebrated the anniversary of a martyr’s death in the name of Christ – on the anniversary date and in the place of martyrdom – it was all part of what people just knew. By the 4th century the list of martyrs was very much longer and the Church was caught between its desire to remember and celebrate the martyr’s witness and death, an ever-expanding geography, and the practical matter of finding days to set aside to celebrate. Very soon there was a movement to find a common day to celebrate martyrs that were important to the Church while leaving the local communities to set aside days for martyrs that loomed larger in local memory. Continue reading