Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saints preserve us!

Some people have a favourite saint. My favourite happens to be St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of those who despair. Actually, I just like the name Jude, which I first heard in that eternally wonderful Beatles song from 1968 (first 'really' long song I ever heard, but that was all na-na-na's). Anyway, St. Jude also has a little bit toward the end of the New Testament, and I guess it's the subject matter that makes him the patron saint of despairing people. He was writing to comfort and reassure the Christian people who were facing a lot of despair in those days. It's a noble enough goal and it must've done the job. Hey, he got into the Bible, and that's a feat in itself. Of course, being Jesus' cousin did not hurt either. A few of Jesus' cousins got into the Bible as well, either by being mentioned in the Gospels or they had letters of their own in the New Testament.
Anyway, I've done some not-so-serious thinking about saints, especially the ones who are in the Bible. God, to my knowledge, never said to anyone that so-and-so should be a saint. It's been the popes who have canonized and created saints. I have to assume that guys like St. Jude got in because they are in the Bible or have some connection to Jesus - like blood ties, for instance. Jude was also one of the Twelve Apostles, which adds to his supposed holiness. However, in the early 21st Century, there are people working perhaps much harder than Jude ever did to make the world better in the name of the Church and they will probably never be beatified and canonized.
I'm sort of hoping there's an authority somewhere that's reviewing the histories of these saints, especially the ones in the Bible, just to see if they still deserve the title of St. I understand that Pope Paul VI did do some housecleaning back in the day and removed the title from some saints, but I wonder if the saints that are in the Bible should be checked out to see if they still warrant the title. I don't know if St. Jude still warrants the honorific, but I don't think I'm any authority to make such judgments. I'm still waiting for Mother Theresa to be made a saint. It takes the Church a while to make such decisions.

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