jeremiah116Every week in my parish bulletin, I include a short life of one of the saints commemorated in the coming week. (You can find my weekly bulletins here, if you care to see – Weekly Bulletins from Prescott) I try to include a wide variety of saints – well known, obscure, men, women, children, families, soldiers, martyrs, confessors – you get the picture. I’ve done this for many years now, and I’ve often had people tell me how much they like these little hagiographic inserts.

This makes excellent blog material for the pastor, and here’s why:

One can make the focus of a particular week, month or season a particular class of saints not generally well known, such as:

  • Celtic Saints (Irish, Scottish, Welsh) – these men and women were tough!
  • English Saints,
  • Unmercenary Saints,
  • Stylites, and other stationaries (dendrites, etc.) – Stylites are my very favorite,
  • Saints with handicaps (!) – this would make a great book,
  • Saints who turned away Attila the Hun (yes, there are more than one!),
  • Child Saints,
  • Deacon Saints,
  • Saints of a particular country,
  • Saints who were pen pals,
  • Saints who were friends, etc.

You see, the lives of saints are not just a repository of experiential theology and the Apostolic spiritual Tradition, they also lived as we do, with friends, detractors, rejected by friends, accepted by others. Sometimes their circumstances speak volumes to us about our own. They had brothers, sisters, moms and dads some of whom were sick, crippled, ill-treated rejected; soldiers, merchants, barbers, cooks, farmers, physicians, philosophers, musicians, old people, young people and kids.

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They were just like us.

They were JUST LIKE US.

By presenting a group of saints, their lives, deeds, struggles and stories, we not only draw God closer to our readers/parishioners, we draw the saints closer to them. They go from being (often) considered fables or allegorical tales – pious fiction – to being alive in Christ. When the Christian soul feels close to the saints, they feel that everything is possible. God indeed loves them, and it is not simply their emotional feeling about it. It is real.

When you are blogging, and want your readers to draw nearer to Christ, draw them nearer to the God-pleasing men and women, the heroes of our faith.

Saints alive! Brethren, blog away!

About Fr. John A. Peck

Director of the Preachers Institute, priest in the Orthodox Church in America, award-winning graphic designer and media consultant, and non-profit administrator.
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