Ordinary people with extraordinary lives

This post is in the series Rite Reading.

In addition to the cycles of seasonal and ordinary time there is another calendar which overlays it. This, the calendar of saints and other holy days only intrudes on the Sunday cycle occasionally, and has much more influence on weekdays. In the diagram I’ve been using, I represent this as a looping arrow going around the year.

The calendar of saints loops around the seasonal cycle

Someone – presumably an academic used to writing copious footnotes on their sources – once described saints as “footnotes” to the gospel. That is to say, their lives show us something of the details of what a Jesus-shaped life might look like in different times, places and circumstances. Different saints bring different Christian virtues into prominence, and show what a really committed Christian life might look like at a particular time in history, or a specific cultural context.

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