Friday, July 3, 2009

Saints for today

I've been writing some new mini biographies for an Italian holy card line. I thought my new list had some truly obscure saints to write about and yet their stories are found everywhere. Many of the stories come with the idea that they are legends passed down and embellished along the way. Hey, I understand that fully because in our family, that's how stories flow. By the time the tenth person hears what has happened, they are truly amazed. Truth is, we entertain as we go and keep life exciting. On to the saints...

The first bio I had to write of whom I knew nothing was St. Pancras. He's young when both parents die and he goes to live in Rome with his uncle. This is during the persecutions of Diocletian and although everything I read says it couldn't possibly match the dates, the stories are all the same. Both he and his uncle convert to Christianity and as Pancras begins to give away all his possessions to those in need, he draws attention to his beliefs. He's brought before the courts and asked to worship false gods, which he refuses. Then, he's offered wealth and power if he'll deny his religion and he refuses. At age 14, he's beheaded. Age 14.

The next obscure saint is St. Rosalia. I'm thinking they'll be nothing on her only to find out that in Palermo, Sicily there is a huge celebration on July 15th around her life in a cave and her saving of the city. Legend tells that she dedicated her life to Jesus by living in a cave. Years after she died, a plague broke out in Palermo and she appeared to a hunter and told him to get her relics and process with them through the streets of the city. He found her body just as she had said and three days after the procession, the plague ended completely. I found many pictures and information about the grotto they've built inside her cave and the huge celebration in July around her life. It tempts me to plan a trip next July just to see the festivities.

As I read the hundreds of stories about these saints' lives, I try to write something that would make us want to learn more. They're all fascinating in their own odd ways. There's always a life event that prompts their choices. Most start life just as we do but, the paths they lead us through in their choosing to follow Christ so intently is truly amazing. Those choices, and many at such a young age, are what sets them apart. Choices that each one of us could probably make most days if we walked with our eyes wide open. Some simple. Some complex. If you want to be truly fascinated by the legends and the lives, read on. I have put these mini bios on my website, or or you can find them in most Catholic book or gift shops. I hope they prompt you to want to know more. They are truly amazing.

1 comment:

  1. well. Julie..These we truly interesting!!
    I had never head of these last 2..How do
    you find out so much??? Thanks for
    passing it on.