Like a book’s acknowledgments page, telling the stories of the saints reminds us that we didn’t get here on our own. Since the beginning of the church, there have been empires to be resisted, riches to be given away, and dishes to be washed. Not so different than today. So follow along as we chronicle the lives of some of the saints who inspire us. We hope you’re inspired, too.

Eric Clayton 07-13-2016

Image via Maryland National Guard / flickr.com

I remember talking to my mom on my walk into work not long after the death of Freddie Gray. She had been watching the news and was wondering what my sense of things was on the ground.

“Are there protests?” she asked. “Are people upset?”

Stephanie Pacheco 07-05-2016

Image via BRJ INC./Flickr

In her life, St. Elizabeth went from being a princess to Russian nobility, to nun, to prisoner and martyr. Some roles were her choice — some were not. The state can be fickle. Yet all the while, Elizabeth never stopped using her gifts to contribute to society 

Angela Doll Carlson 06-09-2016

Image via  / Shutterstock.com

I am driving down Western Avenue in Chicago trying to remember a prayer by heart. I drive this way most days. It’s a speedy through-route to points of interest south of me. Suddenly, the overpass that took the brunt of that traffic is gone, and we are left with one, wide road. The middle lanes are closed to rebuild. We drive on the outer roads, either side of the construction zone, banked up against the chain link fences that keep us out, and the workers in, I suppose.

Justin Redemer 06-01-2016

Image via Lawrence OP / flickr.com

Would St. Justin Martyr recognize us as Christians? After reading his, “Discourse to the Greeks,” I have my reservations. I doubt he would recognize me.

Magaly Garcia 05-17-2016

Image via  / Shutterstock.com

I keep finding myself repeating “it’s 2016” to my friends and family, on social media, and in my head. We read about all these things in history books that actually didn’t even happen that long ago like women “winning” the right to vote, schools being desegregated, or the first president of the United States having some melanin.

Martyrdom of Vitus, Modestus, and Cresentia. Public domain image via Wikimedia Commons

Hers is a hidden and uncertain story, but it is said that the martyr St. Crescentia of Lucania was part of “the help” in a Roman senator’s household. She is one of a trio of holy martyrs that also includes St. Vitus and St. Modestus, all originally from Sicily. She might not even have been real, if we’re to trust modern, historical standards.

Angela Doll Carlson 05-01-2016

Image via  / Shutterstock.com

When I am alone, and everything is quiet, I feel the weight of the holy pressing in like a warm comforter tucked up tight around me. When I am alone in this quiet, God feels so close, so tangible — so present.

Colin Chan Redemer 04-25-2016

Image via  / Shutterstock.com

I love Saint Mark. I truly do. But if the apostles were in a line-up and we threw Mark in there with them, I wouldn’t be able to tell him from second Judas. Frankly I wouldn’t be able to identify half of them. At this point, some folks have likely paused to Google, “there were two Judases!?"

Rachel Malinowski 04-25-2016

Image via  / Shutterstock.com

I don’t practice the corporal works of mercy.

The realization left me stunned. As I sat in a cluster of retreatants I thought about what that meant. Sure, I donate money to various charities, participate in food drives, and donate clothes that I no longer need, but do not practice the corporal works of mercy — I have other people or institutions do it for me.

Christopher Hale 03-19-2016

Image via  / Shutterstock.com

The poor Italians! Every March 17 across Ireland, United States, and around the globe, there are thousands of parties, parades, and festivals celebrating St. Patrick. Sadly, the feast of St. Joseph — the patron saint of Italy — celebrated just two days later on March 19 gets comparatively little attention. But Pope Francis has been trying to change this. Three years ago, he chose to have his inauguration as the Bishop of Rome on the Feast of St. Joseph. On that occasion, he hailed Joseph as a person of “unfailing presence and utter fidelity” who is “constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans, and not simply to his own.”

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