He mentioned that it wasn't until the middle ages that the Pope canonized saints, and before that it was members of local communities that defined sainthood, based on their ideas of heroic behavior. Communities exalted their heroes by making them saints.
It makes me wonder:
- When the canonization of saints became standardized (is that the right word?), did the qualities of the saints change at all? How could/did the papal selections for saints reflect the characteristics of a hero established in local communities across the Catholic world at that time?
- What heroic characteristics do we value as a local community today? (at FSHA, in Los Angeles, in the US, etc.)
- If sainthood was still in the hands of local communities, who would we look to as those 'qualified' (again, this is probably not the right word) to become saints?
- Our society exalts people (hold them in high regard) for a wide variety of reasons. What are the moral/spiritual/ethical/religious foundations for these exaltations?
- Are our modern heroes aligned with our historical/religious heroes (like the saints)?
- Who are our American heroes, and how do they stack up?
So, that's what I thought about today. What did you think about?