All Saints’ Days

Study the lives of saints; you are inspired at once. Remember their sayings; you are elevated immediately. Walk in their footsteps; you are freed from pain and sorrow.” ~Sivanandaji

Long ago the Catholic Church designated November 1st as All Saints’ Day or The Solemnity of All Saints. It was commonly known as “All Hallows”, meaning all holy (people) and thus the night before was “All Hallows’ Eve”, which eventually became Halloween. It is still a Day of Obligation, meaning you must attend mass however it is hardly celebrated and Halloween gets all the cultural attention. It is important to remember these spiritual giants. They are for us a source of inspiration, acting as models and guides. Many have earned their sainthood at a cost of great personal suffering and some through extraordinary acts of faith and courage.

In the New Testament, the only adventures we find are recounted in Acts of the Apostles. This book is part two written by a Greek speaker to a Greek audience and Luke’s gospel is part one. Acts narrates the start of the first Christian community and the work of the Apostles. The most interesting parts relate Paul’s voyages and trials. The literature of the early church also offers an abundance of legends of saints, particularly the bloody adventures of the martyrs. I do want to draw our attention to another wonderful treasure house of stories. In 1945 at Nag Hammadi Egypt, twelve leather bound volumes were discovered in a sealed jar, containing 52 texts. The Nag Hammadi library was the single greatest discovery to revolutionize our understanding of early Christian thought and attests to the existence and flourishing of a beautiful variety of Christianities outside (and in many cases pre-dating) the Roman Church. Among the texts are countless legends of Apostles and saints of the early Church. These texts, in addition to various other texts often discovered in similar fashion, make up the vast sea of literature outside of the New Testament. These texts are called Apocryphal and they are much more numerous than the books that did make the cut (the New Testament contains 27 books).

The inspiration for my stories will come from these sources and in the case of medieval or modern saints, I will differ to the literature of their respective cults and the official litany of the Catholic Church. There are so many great saints and so many great stories. I thought it would be good to have a little Western flair to add a variety to my stories.  I propose to interchange stories of Christian saints and my ongoing series concerning the avatars of Vishnu. Please let me know if you have any requests for a specific saint.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christian
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 21:57:11

    I think this is a great idea and a massive undertaking. From what little I know of saints many of them have lead extraordinary lives. In many cases some have started out in dark and menacing paths only to become enlightened in their later years. We often think if saints in angelic form, incapable of doing any wrong to others and always saving the day ( superman ) but it important to learn that they are regular sometimes mean people who found a way, a purpose, that allowed them to transcend into greater beings. You have a great deal of work ahead of you in uncovering the very human back stories of the saints and I wish you good luck. Can’t wait to read what you discover . [c]

    Reply

  2. Sri Satchmo
    Nov 05, 2012 @ 20:27:35

    Thanks for the encouragement Christian. I agree, their humanity is what makes them great.

    Reply

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