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The Celebration of Vigils on the Anniversaries of Saints

Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Chapter 14

On the feasts of saints, and indeed on all solemn festivals, the Sunday order of celebrations is followed, although the psalms, refrains and readings proper to the day itself are said. The procedure, however, remains the same as indicated above.

The meaning of this chapter is not so much in its content as in its existence. The fact that it is here at all in a document written when the identification of saints was largely a matter of public acclamation and then far fewer than they are now says something about Benedict's ideas both about church and the meaning of prayer. Benedict's theology of prayer is as much attuned to the Communion of Saints, to our connectedness to those who have gone before us in the faith, to those who stand as sign to us that the Christian life is possible, as it is to the feasts that mark the Paschal Mystery of Christ.

We all need heroes. We all need someone in our lives who brings courage. We all need to get to know how the Christian life looks at its best, at its most difficult, at its most joyous.

The lesson is that we must keep the human dimensions of the faith very much in mind and find in models from the past proof that daily chaos can be ordered and the ordinary transfigured for us, too.