Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Saints (and new books)

Tomorrow's feast of St. Pio got me thinking about the upcoming canonizations of Fr. Damien and Jeanne Jugan (and three others I had never heard of before their canonizations were announced).

Damien, of course, was world-renowned even in his own time (when newspapers were the only "mass media"). Drawn by his story (and controversies about Damien's character) Robert Louis Stevenson (he of "Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hyde" and "Treasure Island") even traveled to Molokai shortly after Fr. Damien's death (and predicted that he would one day be canonized).

Roughly Damien's contemporary, Jeanne Jugan was so unknown that for decades, she wasn't even recognized as the foundress of her own community, but stayed in the background, obedient to those who had become the formal superiors. The truth had been so well suppressed that after her death, an investigation had to be launched so that the community could really know who they were.
As Paul wrote about Jesus, Jugan, too, will be fully "vindicated by the Spirit" on October 11.

For kids:

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