Holy People You Have Never Heard Of

Sometimes we need a role model—someone who knows what we are going through or just someone to talk to. In the realm of religion and theology, we look to the saints or those deemed to be holy people. You can find most saints of the Catholic church in Books of the Saints. These are more the traditional saints most from centuries ago. I prefer to look at holy people of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, which are more relevant to our lives and lifestyles. In the Catholic Church, the Vatican has a Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which has four levels leading to canonization. Once submitted by the bishop of the diocese that they have researched and deemed worthy for consideration, the package is forwarded to the congregation. If accepted by the congregation, the holy person is called a servant of God and the investigation is on. Generally, the process doesn't start until the person has been dead for five years. There have been expectations like Mother Theresa.

Following the investigation, the person may be taken to the second level were they are proclaimed venerable. The process continues and advancement from this level is dependent on a verifiable miracle attributed to this person. This third level calls for papal approval and a beautification ceremony is performed, subsequently that person is called blessed. At the time of a second miracle, the pope can canonize that person, thereafter that person is called saint. Frequently, I use the names of those going through the process especially the more recent lives. We are encouraged to pray to and for these people, yet most of us know nothing about them. That is the purpose of this book, to educate not only youth awaiting confirmation but the entire parish. All of us need this kind of information at some point in our lives. The other reason I prefer, the more recent holy people is that as a wood-carver, I can obtain photos of these people rather than an artist rendition. All the photos are from these photos done in relief carving. Obviously, some of the more traditional saints are from artist renderings.

--Cornelia Leary

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