May we find inspiration in the lives of the hidden saints such as St. Nathalan and may we continue to turn to them, asking their intercession! May the holy ones from every era, nation, and culture assist us in our efforts to bring healing and hope to the poor, lost, and wounded among us! May we seek to learn more about the saints of past times, applying what we learn to our lives as imitators of Christ! May we seek to make God known and loved through our works in order to glorify Him, avoiding the temptation for self-glorification! May we continually turn to the Holy Spirit to lead us closer to God in our desire to grow in love for Him! And may we never cease to desire to grow into holiness, according to the call we have received from God! Let us continue to meet in the Sacred Heart of Jesus! Peace!
©Michele L. Catanese
Notes: Next post will be July 1.
* This reference is to a famous comic strip which was written by the cartoonist Walt Kelly for Earth Day 1971 in which the main character, Pogo, was lamenting pollution in a forest. You can view the comic at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogo_(comic_strip)#/media/File:Pogo_-_Earth_Day_1971_poster.jpg
More can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogo_(comic_strip)
** Considering our 2000+ years as a Church, canonization as we know it began rather recently in Church history: the process which is not the same as, but similar to the one used today, began in the 16th century, more or less. In the early ages of the Church, saints were declared mostly due to local acclaim because the people who knew them had the best sense of these men and women. Often a local bishop would approve of it, but eventually the Pope was deemed the proper spiritual authority to grant approval. As the Church grew and more candidates for canonization grew, the Church realized a need to regulate canonization, with accurate evidence of holiness, and so it became a more elaborate process.
More on Saint Nathalan: http://catholicsaints.info/blessed-nathalan-of-aberdeen/
1. The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs, attributed to Blessed Fra Angelico, 1423-24): I chose to begin with this since there are myriads of Blesseds and Saints who are both known and unknown, therefore it seemed appropriate to begin with a depiction of the cloud of witnesses, as described in Hebrews 12:1. You can learn a bit more at https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/probably-by-fra-angelico-the-forerunners-of-christ-with-saints-and-martyrs
2. Statue of St. Nathalan which is on the church in Ballater: This is not one of my photos. I never actually saw this when we were at St. Nathalan in Ballater because it was raining and so we could not really spend time looking at the exterior of the building, but now I wish I had. However, this photo is a good depiction of him, given that there are no paintings that would be accurate likenesses, anyhow.
3. The Island of Mull, my photo: I chose this photo because this is typical in much of Scotland. The scene is humble, beautiful, and peaceful, a reminder of what life may have been like during the time of St. Nathalan.
4. Another of my photos, the Dee River near Ballater: We were hiking in the area and came across this spot on the river. It seemed appropriate to the story of Nathalan throwing the key in the Dee and miraculously finding it in the fish he bought in Rome, as explained above.
5. Bluebell Wood, painted by Nicholas Hely Hutchinson: This is exactly how we experienced the ubiquitous bluebells all over Scotland, including some of the islands. They are humble little flowers, yet their presence changes everything around them. We should emulate them!
6. Icon, The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, by Fr. William Hart McNichols: This seemed quite appropriate for the end of the post because Mary was the most humble of saints, even as Mother of God. She always points people to Jesus and was content to pray in intercession for Him throughout His ministry, and continues to intercede for us today. Jesus gave her to us as Mother of the Church when He was on the cross, and it was she who was at the center of the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. She is an excellent example of the humility which we should strive for. For more go to: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-blessed-virgin-mary-mother-of-the-church-william-hart-mcnichols.html
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