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The Saints of Tomorrow
by Rev. Richard S. Kirby, Ph.D., Oct 15, 1999
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By virtues three

Love, obedience, humility,

Poor folks saints may be.


Some of yesterday's saints are known; others are unknown. The same is true of today’s saints.

Tomorrow’s saints are mostly unknown, though some are now preparing themselves for the noble lives they will lead. But we can ask ourselves what kind of saints we would like — and in which lands — and for what purposes. In an age of genetic engineering, We cannot perhaps design saints, but we can seek God’s grace — which is a source of saintliness.

Those of us who are employed as inquirers into the near and far future are in the habit of thinking about what tomorrow might, could, and even, what it should, hold. For example: In The Temples of Tomorrow I wrote, with the late Earl D.C. Brewer, of tomorrow’s religions and their possibilities.

I have also been lecturing on the churches of tomorrow, the youth and seniors, the gardens, the sciences and technologies and even the banks and financial ethics of tomorrow. The work of inquiring into the near and far future is a creative work. It must be so, as the future is not yet; we must imagine it. Even extrapolation of trends requires some creativity.

I announce a major WNRF initiative for peace and civilization building.

I am appealing to folks everywhere to join me in doing something which I think would be truly useful about the Littleton, CO, shootings.

What can we do?

One answer is to find ways to inspire kids with something that is the antidote, and anti-type, to violence, the occult, Nazism, etc. I believe that we can do something useful by calling for a national movement to celebrate All Saints Day [Nov.1] as fully and even as commercially as we celebrate - if that's the word - all Hallows Eve on Oct. 31.

Halloween is supposed to be a prelude to All Saints Day [Nov.1] and All Souls Day [Nov.2]. I attach a letter which I sent to several editors last year. They did not publish it. But I believe if we could get, say a hundred [not just Christian] clergy, and a thousand youngsters to adopt this as a movement, we can get companies and the media interested too --- and school principals. At my lecture on Inspiration for Civic Action on May 2nd, 1999, I 'launched' this signature campaign. It is time to ask people which heroes and heroines of faith have inspired them.

This, task is worthy of the young, and holds exciting possibilities to awaken the heroism of youth religious groups and their leaders. It is also a task for the Senior Religious groups in all religions. Saints are for everyone!

WNRF members [and other readers of this ‘editorial’]: Please help strategize about this. I think we can get a lot done. How would you revise the attached letter*? Please feel free to forward it, to get businesses and schools and journalists interested. And – to get the support of ‘the Communion of the Saints.’

Let's be creative about Saints. This is not a 'Roman Catholic' appeal! Personally, I am basically an Anglican/Episcopalian with a touch of Jew, Hindu and Buddhist! It is a human appeal for people of all faiths. ! It is an appeal to celebrate those heroic souls who have believed in the life of superlative goodness. We call them ‘saints.’ As the poet Longfellow said, "Lives of great men all remind us, we may make our lives sublime …

So we want a multi-faith celebration November 1, 1999, November 1, 2000, November 1, 2001. What’s to celebrate? What the saints show us of the great possibilities of human nature. The dregs we know. We know how to be disgusted. Let's be exalted. Let's celebrate the saints of all religions and lands these three years of the Millennium [1999-2001] with a day, All Saints Day, worthy of their heroism and joy and beauty. Let's mobilize civic inspiration and have a great day of love and innovation.

"Let us not weary in well-doing." --St. Paul

- - -

* Specimen ‘Letter to the Editor’ re. All Saints Day

Subject: Who stole the saints?

Sent: 10/24/97

To: Seattle P-I editor

Letter to the Editor:

I am looking forward to celebrating Halloween with my wife and my beagle. The pumpkins will taste good and look scary. The children and the retailers will have a wonderful time. It is a great business in every sense.

A reminder, though. Halloween means All Hallows Eve, All Saints (Hallowed Ones) Eve. October 31 is not an end in itself but a preparation for the celebration of All Saints Day on November 1st.

But where are these Saints? Mother Theresa is gone. Princess Di and even John Denver have departed.

It is up to us now, folks.

In my work as a theologian, I'm looking for tomorrow's Saints today. On Halloween, please look around and see if you can notice a living saint in your life. Look everywhere, even in the mirror. You might have a pleasant surprise.

At my research institute in Seattle, and at certain participating churches, we will collect stories of living Saints — and definitions of saints [e.g. ‘a saint is all love’]. Know any good ones?

November 1st can be a sweet day if you find a saint nearby. You might even live with one. They are often nearer than we think.


Rev. Dr. Richard Kirby
Stuart C. Dodd Institute for Social Innovation


Talking Points for religious groups on All Saints Day 1999-2001

  1. A New Paradigm of hagiography [saint study] — and therefore of heroism
  2. They also serve those who only kneel and pray!
  3. A garden of healing saints in each of a thousand cities.
  4. A thousand churches or other religious congregations adopt a city apiece and plant or design a garden of healing saints.
  5. World religions publish visions of their ideal gardens of healing saints
  6. A community, crossing the Generation Gap, of Gardeners of Tomorrow who trace their own spiritual Path of the development of Gardens of Healing Saints, and Gardens of Peace for the Cities of the Future
  7. All Saints Day 1999, 2000 and 2001 is celebrated entrepreneurially
  8. Caravans of civic celebration and creativity
  9. Saint-naming competitions: The Hero with a Thousand Faces
  10. Laboratories of religious experience
  11. WNRF Website for Saint-watchers
  12. Global theology of sainthood:
  13. Anglican Hagiology
  14. Inter-Faith Hagiology


Saints of the New Millennium

John Paul II's Message for World Youth Day of 2000

VATICAN CITY, JUL 1 (ZENIT)- World Youth Day of the year 2000 promises to be the most popular and well attended of all the great events that will be held in Rome during the Jubilee. John Paul II is preparing for it with great enthusiasm, and today he published the message that the hundreds of thousands of youths will read and meditate on that day, August 20, in the Eternal City.

The subject chosen by the Pope for the event, also known as the Youth Jubilee, expresses in an emblematic phrase the great mystery of Christianity: "The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us."

Youths' Cross

As the Pope points out in his message, the Cross will be at the center of this event, a wooden Cross that he, himself, gave to youths fifteen years ago, during the first World Youth Day, with an invitation to young men and women "to carry it across the world as a sign of the love which the Lord Jesus has for mankind and to proclaim to everyone that only in Christ who died and is risen is there salvation and redemption."

"After spanning the continents, that Cross now returns to Rome bringing with it the prayers and commitment of millions of young people who have recognized it as a simple and sacred sign of God's love for humanity," the Holy Father writes.

Open the Doors to Christ

In addressing the youth, John Paul II makes the same invitation he made at the beginning of his pontificate: "open wide the doors to Christ." "To receive Jesus Christ means to accept from the Father the command to live, loving Him and our brothers and sisters, showing solidarity to everyone, without distinction; it means believing that in the history of humanity even though it is marked by evil and suffering, the final word belongs to life and to love, because God came to dwell among us, so we may dwell in Him."

Thus, the letter becomes a simple and profound meditation on the mystery of Christ. John Paul II invites youths to be contemplative. "Stop and look with wonder at the infant Mary brought into the world, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. The infant is God himself, who has come among us. Look at Jesus of Nazareth, received by some and scorned by others; despised and rejected. He is the Savior of all. Adore Christ, our Redeemer, who ransoms us and frees us from sin and death: he is the living God, the source of Life."

"Young people of every continent: do not be afraid to be the saints of the new millennium! Be contemplative, love prayer, be coherent with your faith and generous in the service of your brothers and sisters. Be active members of the Church and builders of peace," the Pope exhorts the youth.


Saint Watchers

Hagiographical Associations

Arbeitskreis fr hagiographische Fragen (Germany):

Contact: Klaus HERBERT Historisches Seminar der Universitt Tbingen Wilhelmstrasse 36 D - 72074 Tbingen

Contact: Dieter R. BAUER Akademie der Diz. Rottenburg-Stuttgart Im Schellenknig 61 D - 70184 Stuttgart

Associazione Italiana per lo studio della Santit, dei Culti e dell' Agiografia (Italy): Contact: Sofia BOESCH GAJANO Dipartimento di Studi Storici Terza Universit di Roma via Torino 95 I - 00184 ROMA Fax: + 39 6 4741082

Hagiography Society (United States of America):

Contact: Sherry REAMES English Dept, Univ. Wisconsin 600 N Park Madison WI 53706 USA E-mail: slreames@facstaff.wisc.edu

Hagiologia: Atelier belge d'tudes sur la saintet (Belgium):

Contact: Paul BERTRAND, Prsident Franois DE VRIENDT, Secrtaire F.U.N.D.P. Dp. Histoire Rue de Bruxelles, 61 B - 5000 Namur Fax: + 32 81 724203 E-mail: philo-ha@fundp.ac.be


Introduction to Hagiography

Ren AIGRAIN, L'hagiographie. Ses sources, ses mthodes, son histoire. Paris, Bloud & Gray,1953.

Jacques DUBOIS - Jean-Loup LEMAITRE, Sources et mthodes de l'hagiographie mdivale. Paris, Cerf, 1993.

Hagiographies. Histoire internationale de la littrature hagiographique latine et vernaculaire en Occident des origines 1500. Sous la direction de G. PHILIPPART (= Corpus Christianorum). Turnhout, Brepols. Vol. I, 1994; vol. II, 1996.

Rginald GRGOIRE, Manuale di agiologia. Introduzione alla letteratura agiografica (= Biblioteca Montisfani, 12). Fabriano, Monastero San Silvestro Abate, 21996, 541 p. agiografica (= Biblioteca Montisfani, 12). Fabriano, Monastero San Silvestro Abate, 21996, 541 p.


The Bollandists: The Prototypical Saint-Scholars

Bollandist Hagiography A tradition for more than 350 years

Hagiographical studies have never taken such an important place as in recent times: innumerable publications and conferences have been highlighting for some years the eminent role of hagiographic sources in our knowledge of societies, cultures and civilizations of the Christian world.

For the Socit des Bollandistes, however, hagiography is not a temporary fashion: it has been a tradition for more than 350 years! It was indeed in 1643 that the first volume of Acta Sanctorum, the prestigious collection of ancient and medieval Lives of saints (68 vol. in-folio), was published.

Since then, a small group of hagiographers has been strenuously continuing the work of John Bollandus (+ 1665). Methods may have progressed, as well as knowledge, even the aspect of the books has changed, but the spirit is always the same. It is the spirit of a team of specialists, entirely devoted to hagiographical research: only hagiography, but the whole of it (Latin, Greek, Oriental).

A Short History of the Socit des Bollandistes

1607: Publication of Fr Heribert Rosweyde's Fasti sanctorum quorum Vitae in Belgicis bibliothecis manuscriptae: plan for the publication (in 18 folio volumes) of the Lives of the Saints, as found in the manuscripts kept in Belgian libraries.

1615: Publication of Rosweyde's Vitae Patrum: the foundation stone of the Acta Sanctorum.

1630: Fr Jean Bolland (Bollandus) is transferred to the Jesuit Professed House at Antwerp, in order to bring Rosweyde's work to completion.

1643: Publication of the two volumes of January of the Acta Sanctorum by Bollandus and Henschenius.

July 1660 - December 1662: Henschenius and Papebrochius travelling through Germany, Italy and France in order to collect copies of hagiographic manuscripts.

1783: Publication of the first volume of Acta Sanctorum Belgii selecta by Joseph Ghesquire.

1788: Suppression of the Bollandists by the Austrian Government of the Low Countries. The work continues for while in the Abbey of Tongerloo. From 1643 to 1794, 53 folio volumes of Acta Sanctorum had been published, covering the saints from January 1 to October 14.

1837: Constitution of the new Socit des Bollandistes in Brussels.

1882: Publication of vol. 1 of Analecta Bollandiana: journal of critical hagiography, which counts 116 yearly volumes (the 117th being published this year) in 1999.

1886: Publication of the first volume of the series Subsidia Hagiographica: collection of monographs, repertories of texts (as the Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina or Graeca) and catalogues of manuscripts, entirely devoted to hagiography.

1940: Publication of the critical commentary of the Martyrologium Romanum directed by Fr Hippolyte Delehaye.

1996: The Socit des Bollandistes launches this site devoted to hagiography on the Web.

For more details:

H. DELEHAYE, The Work of the Bollandists through three Centuries, 1615-1915. Princeton University Press, 1922. From the original French: H. DELEHAYE, L'oeuvre des Bollandistes travers trois sicles. 1615-1915, 2nd ed. (= Subsidia Hagiographica,13a), Brussels, 1913.

P. PEETERS, L'oeuvre des Bollandistes, 2nd ed. (= Subsidia Hagiographica, 24). Brussels, 1961 (reprint 1968).

D. KNOWLES, Great Historical Enterprises. Problems in Monastic History. London, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd, 1963, p. 3-32: "The Bollandists".


Dictionaries of Saints


Donald ATTWATER, A New Dictionary of Saints. Edited and Revised by John CUMMING. London, Burns Oates, 1993.

The Book of Saints. A Dictionary of Servants of God Canonized by the Catholic Church: Extracted from the Roman Other Martyrologies. Compiled by the Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine's Abbey, Ramsgate. London, A C Black, 6th edition, 1988.

Butler's Lives of the Saints. Edited, revised and supplemented by Herbert THURSTON and Donald ATTWATER, 4 vol., London, Burns Oates, 1956. New revised edition in twelve volumes. General Consultant Editor: David Hugh FARMER. Vol. I: January. Vol. V: May. Vol. VI: June. Vol. VIII: August. Tunbridge Wells, Burns Oates - Collegeville, The Liturgical Press, 1995-1997.

Butler's Lives of the Saints. New Concise Edition. Edited by Michael WALSH. London, Burns Oates, 1991 (reprint 1995).

John J. DELANEY, Dictionary of Saints. Kingswood, Kaye Ward, 1982.

David Hugh FARMER, The Oxford Dictionary of Saints. Oxford University Press, 3rd ed., 1992.

Alison JONES, Saints. Edinburgh, W R Chambers, 1992.

D. ATTWATER - C. RACHEL JOHN, The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. 3rd ed., London, Penguin Books, 1995.

Don't forget: The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Dictionary of the Middle Ages, Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, The Coptic Encyclopedia, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes by J. N. D. KELLY, the various national biographies...

Bulgarian - Bulgar:

PARTENY, Zhitya na b&acircl;garskite sveti. 2 vols, Sofia, 1974-1979.

Czech - Cesky:

Bohemia sancta. Z'ivotopisy c'esky'ch sve'tcu' a pr'a'tel boz'i'ch. Ed. J. KLADEC. Prague, 1989.

Dutch - Nederlands:

Met de Heiligen het jaar rond. Ed. J. HUYBEN, H. J. SCHEERMAN, A. COOLEN, A. VAN DUINKERKEN. 2 vol., Hasselt, Uitgeverij Heideland, 1953-54.

L. GOOSEN, Van Afra tot de Zevenslapers. Heiligen in religie en kunsten. Nijmegen, Sun, 1992.

French - Franais:

Georges DAIX, Dictionnaire des saints. Paris, Jean-Claude Latts, 1996.

Dictionnaire historique des saints. Publi sous la direction de John COULSON. Paris, S.E.D.E., 1964.

Dix mille saints. Dictionnaire hagiographique. Rdig par les Bndictins de Ramsgate, Turnhout, Brepols, 1991.

Histoire des saints et de la saintet chrtienne. 11 vol., Paris, Hachette, 1986-88.

Alison JONES, Les saints. Paris, Bordas, 1995.

Thierry LELIEVRE, 100 nouveaux saints et bienheureux de 1963 1984: Leur vie et leur message. Prface de Mgr J. F. ARRIGHI. Paris, Tqui, 1985.

Thierry LELIEVRE, 100 nouveaux saints et bienheureux de 1985 1988. Prface de Mgr J. F. DE LANVERSIN. Paris, Tqui, 1990.

Pierre PIERRARD, Dictionnaire des prnoms et des saints. Paris, Larousse, 1987.

Vies des saints et des bienheureux selon l'ordre du calendrier avec l'historique des ftes [Vol. 1-3 : par les RR. PP. BAUDOT et CHAUSSIN; vol. 4-13: par les RR. PP. Bndictins de Paris]. 13 vol., Paris, Letouzey et An, 1935-59.

Louis RAU, Iconographie de l'art chrtien. 3 tomes en 6 vol., Paris, P.U.F., 1955-59.

Gaston DUCHET - SUCHAUX et Michel PASTOUREAU, La Bible et les saints. Guide iconographique. Paris, Flammarion, 1990.

En outre, n'oubliez pas: Catholicisme, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de gographie ecclsiastiques, Dictionnaire de Spiritualit, Dictionnaire encyclopdique du Moyen ge, les dictionnaires biographiques propres chaque nation.

German - Deutsch:

Gnter BEAUGRAND (Hrsg.), Die neuen Heiligen. Grosse Christen auf dem Weg zur Heilig- oder Seligsprechung. Pattloch Verlag, 1991.

Franz von Sales DOY, Heilige und Selige der Rmisch-katholischen Kirche. 2 Bde, Leipzig, Vier Quellen Verlag, 1929.

Ferdinand HOLBCK, Die neuen Heiligen der katholischen Kirche. Band 1: Von Papst Johannes Paul II. in den Jahren 1979 bis 1984 kanonisierte Selige und Heilige. Band 2: Von Papst Johannes Paul II. in den Jahren 1984 bis 1987 kanonisierte Selige und Heilige. Band 3: Von Papst Johannes Paul II. in den Jahren 1988 bis 1991 kanonisierte Selige und Heilige. Stein am Rhein, Christana-Verlag, 1991-1994.

Otto WIMMER - Hartmann MELZER, Lexikon der Namen und Heiligen. 5. Aufl., Innsbruck - Wien, Tyrolia Verlag, 1984.

Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie. Hrg. E. KIRSCHBAUM. 8 Bde, Rom - Freiburg - Basel - Wien, Herder, 1968-1976.

Otto WIMMER, Kennzeichen und Attribute der Heiligen. Innsbruck - Wien, Tyrolia Verlag, 1993.

Marienlexikon. Hrg. Remigius BUMER - Leo SCHEFFCZYK. 6 vol., St. Ottilien, Eos Verlag, 1988-94.

Vergessen Sie nicht: Lexikon fr Theologie und Kirche, Lexikon des Mittelalters, die nationalbiographischen Wrterbcher.

Italian - Italiano:

Bibliotheca Sanctorum. 13 vol., Roma, Citt Nuova Editrice, 1961-70; Prima Appendice, 1987.

David Hugh FARMER, Dizionario dei Santi. Padova, F. Muzzio, 1991.

Il grande libro dei santi. Dizionario enciclopedico. Diretto da Cl. LEONARDI - A. RICCARDI - G. ZARRI. 3 vol. Cinisello Balsamo, Edizioni San Paolo, 1998.

Non dimenticate: Enciclopedia cattolica, Dizionario patristico e di antichit cristiane, Dizionario degli Istituti di Perfezione, i dizionari biografici nazionali.

Polish - Polski:

Henryk FROS - Franciszek SOWA, Twoje Imie. Przewodnik onomastyczno-hagiograficzny. Krakow, Wydawnictwo WAM, Ksieza Jezuici, 1995.

Ksiega imion i swietych. Opracowali: Henryk FROS - Franciszek SOWA. Tom 1: A-C. Krakow, Wydawnictwo WAM, Ksieza Jezuici, 1997.

Hagiografia Polska. Slownik bio-bibliograficzny. Red. O. Romualda GUSTAWA OFM. 2 vol., Poznan - Warszawa - Lublin, Ksiegarnia Sw. Wojciecha, 1971-72.

Cf. Encyklopedia katolicka.

Portuguese - Portugues:

Jorge CAMPOSTAVARES, Dicionario de Santos: hagiologico, iconografico, de atributos, de artes e profissoes, de padroados, de compositores de musica religiosa. Porto, Lello Irmao, 2a ed., 199

Russian - Russkij:

[Anon.],Slovar' istorichesky o svyatykh, proslavlennykh v Rossiyskoy tserkvi, i o nekotorykh podvizhnikov blagochestiya mestno chtimykh. 2nd edition, St-Petersburg, 1862; reprint ed. S. BELYAYEV, Moscow, 1990.

FILARET, Zhitiya svyatykh chtimykh Pravaslavnoyu Tserkoviyu, so svedeniyami o prazdnikakh gospodskikh i bogorodichnykh i o yavlennykh chudotvornykh ikonakh. 12 vols., 3rd edition, St-Petersburg, 1900.

Ye. GOLUBINSKY, Istoriya kanonizatsii svyatykh v russkoy tserkvi. 2nd edition = Chteniya v Imperatorskom Obstchetve istorii i drevnostey rossiyskikh, 204 (1903); reprint 2nd edition, Farnborough, 1969.

SERGY,Polny mesyatseslov Vostoka. 2 vols, 2nd edition, Vladimir, 1901.

V. VASILYEV, Istoriya kanonizatsii russkikh svyatykh, in Chteniya v Imperatorskom Obstchestve istorii i drevnostey rossiyskikh, 166 (1893), p. 1-256; offprint, Moscow, 1893.

Slovenian - Slovensky:

Leto svetnikov. Ed. M. MIKLAVC'IC' and J. DOLENC. 4 vols, Ljubljana, 1968-1973.

Spanish - Espanol:

Ao cristiano (= Biblioteca de autores cristianos, 182, 184-186). 4 vol., Madrid, 1959. Juan FERRANDO ROIG, Iconografa de los Santos. Barcelona, 1950.

Cfr tambin: Diccionario de historia eclesiastica de Espaa. 4 vol., Madrid, 1972-75; Suplemento I, Madrid, 1987; los varios diccionarios nacionales de biografia.

URL: http://www.wnrf.org/cms/saints_tommorrow.shtml

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