Friday, November 2, 2007

Who is today's saint?

Answer: Nobody.

Today we remember All Souls. Yesterday we remembered All Saints. If you are dead and were never canonized today is your day!

According to my Saint-A-Day Guide:

Obviously not all of us are good enough for Heaven or bad enough for Hell. We can anticipate spending some afterlife remedial time atoning for our sins in the fires of Purgatory. Dante visited the place in 1300 and the Council of Florence made its existence a matter of Catholic dogma in 1439. But four centuries earlier a French pilgrim to the Holy Land chanced upon an opening in the earth through which the howls and moans of the suffering Souls could be heard. He told Abbot Odo of Cluny about it, and that good man immediately instituted the Feast of All Souls-the Day of the Dead, when Catholics the world over remember and pray for the souls of the Faithful departed. The notion of indulgences (which so upsets non-Catholics) simply means that our prayers, good deeds, and financial contributions to the parish here on earth can-if they are "offered up for the intentions of those souls-shorten their sentences.

Today is celebrated with joyful festivals in many Latin countries as "Dia de los Muertos". You might have a picnic in the graveyard and celebrate the life of a loved one who has passed. (Traditionally, children who have died are celebrated on Nov. 1st and adults are celebrated on Nov. 2nd). The Day of the Dead was an Aztec celebration that was co-opted by the Church and moved from the entire month of August to a single day in November.

If today's saints (souls) were alive today it would be impossible to get a seat on the bus or reservations at that cool new bistro.


FranIAm said...

I wrote about this for my church blog. But let's just say it came out a bit different than yours and with different graphics!

Tee hee!

Distributorcap said...

what about Saint George -- didnt he kill a dragon or something...

i get all my saints mixed up.....there arent too many in the Torah

Dr. Zaius said...

Great post. Any day is a good day to have a picnic in a graveyard!

fairlane said...

I thought this was purgatory? You mean it gets worse?

Suzy said...

I love dias de los muertos.