Sunday, October 21, 2012
ON THE MATTER OF SAINTHOOD
It's Sunday, a day of worship. On the whole, religion is good, and I go so far as giving it credit for perpetuating the dominance of Homo Sapiens, for, perhaps, 100,000 years ago, the notion of God, and the need to therefore be a good citizen, insured for the success of Humanity.
However, in those very early days, ignorance was widespread, and I can understand why so many could believe. My mystification is that a universal education system today has not adjusted attitudes on religion. Almost every survey has shown that more than 90% of Americans believe in God. However, in 1967 this figure was 98%, with only one percent being non-believers. Now, "only" 92% believe, but 7% say NO. A particularly overwhelming fact is that only 5% of National Academy of Science biological members believe in God. Anyway, this trend underscores my contention that over the next millennium there will be a golden evolution as described in my SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity (you can see inside by first clicking on this title). The E-book version costs $3.99. What is this Golden Evolution? Well, click on it.
Understand, thus, that I don't believe in miracles and appreciate that this is my one and only life. A few years ago I posted on "How to Become a Saint." In the 2000 years of the Catholic Church, perhaps 3,000 have been sainted. That's 1.5/year. With very little doubt, they all deserved this highest of status. It is remarkable that in a three-year period, two saints have come from Hawaii: Saint Damien and Saint Cope. Today, Sister Marianne Cope was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI. Six other also gained this honor, with a total of our being female.
Two of them particularly caught my attention. Kateri Tekakwitha (in the attached photo), the "Lily of the Mohawks" and first native American saint, died in 1680 at the age of 24. She was venerated by Pope Pius XII in 1943 and beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980. Why her? I think it was because she was the symbol of hope for American Indians. Pedro Calungsod from the Philippines was born in 1654 and died at the age of 18. He did his missionary work in Guam. Why did he become the second Filipino saint? Not sure.
I might add that Saint Cope was a 45 year old nurse and hospital administrator when she left Syracuse in 1883, and spent her first five years in Hawaii in my neighborhood, cleaning up the Kakaako Branch Hospital, the receiving station for those with Hansen's disease (leprosy). She then followed now Saint Damien, who by then had already contracted the disease, to the isolated community of Kalaupapa on Molokai, where lepers were sent. Here is a photo of Sister Cope at the funeral of Father Damien:
She never left the island and eventually passed away from natural causes at the age of 80.