Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Today's Saint

No, not Padre Pio (even if it is his feast day), but today's saint: the missionary and "founder" of California who is being canonized today in a first-ever canonization on US soil: Junipero Serra.

The 18th century Majorcan Franciscan who founded a good many of those famous missions along the West Coast was (like every saint who ever lived) a man of his times, as conditioned by his cultural milieu as each of us is by ours. But there are ways in which he also transcended his culture and its expectations (as we are called to transcend our society's demands).

Today's Gospel is entirely fitting both as a background to Pope Francis' first pastoral visit to the US and for the canonization of a missionary saint: "Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He said to them, ''Take nothing for the journey'..."

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