History, VOLUME 11

All Saints Day! Remembering our Ancestors in the Faith

Today is All Saints Day …

The day in the church year in which we remember (that is, reconnect ourselves with) the faithful sisters and brothers in Christ who have gone before us.

Below you will find a selection of resources on our site that will help you connect to the stories of the saints. We recommend learning about a saint or two that you know little or nothing about…

 

Ten Women Saints Whose Stories You Should Know.

Here are brief introductions to ten women saints (I use this term loosely to include other prominent women of faith, not just those who have been canonized by the Roman Catholic church) that you should be very familiar with. There are so many more faithful women that could have been included on this list. With the focus here on history, I have limited myself to saints who have lived prior to 1900.
 

Poems - St. Francis

St. Francis – 3 Poems on his Feast Day

 
 

Hildegard of Bingen – Introduction to her Music

St. Hildegard was not only a prominent mystic and theologian, she also was a composer.  Her works are reminiscent of the tradition of Gregorian chant, and will appeal to those who appreciate medieval chants.

 

Seven Martyred Monks of Gafsa

Seven Martyred Monks of Gafsa: Liberatus, Boniface, Servus, Rusticus, Rogatus, Septimus, and Maximus. Martyred 483 A.D. Today (August 17) is the traditional feast day for these seven martyred monks.  This is their story… 

 

St. Thomas Aquinas –
Our Most Important Theologian
[Reading Guide]

Aquinas was an astute student of the first millennium of Christian theology, and his works have been read over the intervening centuries as a solid representation of the Christian theological tradition. Over the last century, the theological witness of Aquinas has dimmed a bit (as has the project of systematic theology that he initiated), but agree with him or not, his influence on Christian theology, but also Western philosophy and culture cannot be ignored.

 

St. Dymphna

St. Dymphna – Patron Saint for #MeToo?

Dymphna resisted the incestuous sexual abuse and advances of her father, and ultimately her resistance infuriated her father to the point of him beheading her. Although she lived in a very different era than our twenty-first century world, Dymphna’s adamant resistance to this sexual abuse makes her a striking candidate for a patron saint of the #MeToo movement.

 
St. Brendan

St. Brendan the Navigator [Feast Day, May 16]

Saint Brendan of Clonfert (c. AD 484 – c. 577), called “the Navigator”, “the Voyager”, “the Anchorite”, and “the Bold”, is one of the early Irish monastic saints and one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. He is primarily renowned for his legendary quest to the “Isle of the Blessed”, also denominated “Saint Brendan’s Island”.  READ J.R.R. Tolkien’s Poem, “The Death of St. Brendan”

 

Aelred of Rievaulx – Remembering the Saint

St. Aelred’s most familiar extant work is On Spiritual Friendship (read an excerpt here), a work that some have interpreted as a paean to same-sex love.

 

St. Augustine – Three Poems.

Here are three poems by the saint from Hippo. *** You might also enjoy Longfellow’s poem “The Ladder of St. Augustine”

 

Thérèse of Lisieux

Therese de Lisieux – Three Poems

 

St. Athanasius

St. Athanasius – Celebrating his feast.

St. Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 296–298 – 2 May 373), also called Athanasius the Great, Athanasius the Confessor or, primarily in the Coptic Orthodox Church, Athanasius the Apostolic, was the twentieth bishop of Alexandria (as Athanasius I). His episcopate lasted 45 years (c. 8 June 328 – 2 May 373), of which over 17 were spent in five exiles ordered by four different Roman emperors. He is considered to be a renowned Christian theologian, a Church Father, the chief defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism, and a noted Egyptian leader of the fourth century.

 

St. Vincent De Paul Remembered

“Charity is the cement which binds communities to God and persons to one another ” – St. Vincent DePaul

 

Which stories of saints have been most formative for you on your journey of faith?

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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com


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