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You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
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Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
- November 1, 2012
First among the saints is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Holy Mother of God; and following her are the apostles, the men chosen by Our Lord himself to carry on his mission. Then come the martyrs, the first witnesses of the faith in every local Church. We find numerous women among them, virgins foremost; but there are also the mothers of families, founders of religious groups, and queens and noblewomen as well. Then there are the doctors of the Church, those learned saints whose teachings have influenced, and whose lives have inspired countless generations. Missionaries, pastors and confessors, the list goes on and on.
Today, November 1st, is the day to remember them.
This feast goes back to the 4th century, when the Syrian Church honoured its martyrs. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon, an early Roman temple, to Our Lady and the martyrs in Rome. Gradually, the feast grew in universality, until its present date in the calendar.
Today âsainthoodâ has a bad press, and the young as well as the old feel that the saints led curious lives, sacrificing human joy and creativity for some kind of crippling obedience to Godâs call. People protest with embarrassment that âthey arenât saints,â repressed and mortified, but âregular human beingsâ.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
To be holy is to discover and cherish the truth of oneâs life, and to express it with joy and courage. In an age which promotes âcopycatâ living, the saint is the genuine, authentic article. Thatâs why no two saints are similar, whereas most celebrity lives are boringly so. Today we draw inspiration from the men and women of all times who had the courage to follow their star.