A belated All Saint's Day reflection

Photo by Jialiang Gao. CC.

A friend of mine posted this on All Saint's Day:

Remembering and honoring the saints today. What saint(s) do you carry with you close to your heart? A parent? A spouse? A mentor? A beloved hero? An activist?

Today my heart seems to be moved to remember and honor my grandpa, Jim Henson, Fred Rogers, Sojourner Truth, Bartolomé de las Casas, Miriam, Origen, Malcom X, Queen Elizabeth I, Iqbal Masih, and Teresa of Avila.

I will be honest. It had never occurred to me that we could think of saints in this way. Saints are dead people who the Catholic Church has decided are extra-holy for a variety of reasons and are dedicated to certain causes that you can pray to for help. (It has never been clear to me if you pray to the saints to get them to help you directly, or because they'll be able to bug God on your behalf, but that's the kind of confusion that happens when you grow up in as a not-Catholic.)

My friend changed the saints into anyone whose life and work holds meaning for you.

Thinking of the saints in this way is quite lovely, don't you think? Imagine asking Malcolm X for courage in the face of injustice or Prince for inspiration and perseverance to be your true self? We could ask Marie Curie for the focus and dedication to keep working a problem and Amelia Earhart for passion and courage.

Do they have to be dead? Let's say they have to be dead. Unless you really want a living person to be one of your saints. Then you do you! And hey, bonus! That means you have a saint you can ask for help in real life instead of just in your mind.

This month is one of reflection and potential transformation. It's one where I need to listen to my heart and have some measure of courage about what I find. So... I'm going to pick myself a patron saint for the month, and I'm going to go with Frida Kahlo. She faced herself with creativity and courage and honesty. She is my saint this month.

Homenaje a Frida Kahlo
Image by GEMDIAZ. CC.


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