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Four Seasons
Celebrating the Saints

As you will discover if you research the lives of the saints, many of the earliest saints of the Catholic church resemble ancient gods and goddesses. Just as Juno was known to the Romans by several aspects, because she absorbed the qualities and cults of regional goddesses whose role she appropriated, so did the saints absorb the stories and customs of regional divinities. See St Lucy (Dec 13) for a particularly good example of how this happened.

The same process happened again when African slaves in South America and the Caribbean “recognized” their own deities in the Catholic statues and paintings of saints. For instance, St. Barbara (Dec 4) was associated with Chango, the thunder and fire god, because she is always dressed in red and white and her legend contains references to explosives and war.

Working with Saints Days

Here are some ways to use these listings:

1. When a saint is a patron of something, give a gift of appreciation to those who fit the description. For instance, on St Luke's Day, you might take a painter friend to dinner. Or, better yet, purchase a painting!

2. Take a theme from the day and elaborate on its meaning in your life.

3. It used to be common to celebrate on your name day as if it was your birthday. Identify the saint's day (if there is one) associated with your first or middle name and throw yourself a party.

Creating Your Own Saints

Begin to develop your own gallery of saints. I have a shrine dedicated to St Joseph Campbell and a friend just nominated Marija Gimbutas for sainthood.

1. Saints are people whose lives serve as models for us. Read a biography or two about your saint.

2. Saints are intercessors. They provide protection and answer prayers. Try praying to your new saint.


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