Thursday, February 19, 2015

#PatronSaintOfHip: The Beatific Battle Begins!

We've hit this Catholic Hipster thing from quite a number of different angles since we got going.

We've hosted a Catholic Hipster of the Year competition; there was Hipsters with Holy Orders and Habited Hipsters; we've created the Ultimate Catholic Hipster Spotify Playlist; and on and on and on. 

This leads us to our latest endeavor.

One of the greatest things about being Catholic is our understanding of the Communion of Saints. Holy men and women who have gone before us, interceding for us, helping to get us through the day to day without us even realizing it. 

A lot of us Catholic Hipsters love delving into the lives of some of the more obscure Catholic Saints, and that definitely is fun...but we have started to wonder, who should be declared the Patron Saint of Catholic Hipsters? 

With that in mind, we have selected five members of a very exclusive club (Heaven), and are asking our readers to let us know who they would most often like to turn to with their Hipster intentions.

Let the Beatific Battle begin (disclosure: I really like saying beatific battle, and said it out loud each time I typed it)! 

1. St. John Paul II

I know it may seem a tad unfair for the other nominees to place the man we call The Original Catholic Hipster on this list, but we wouldn't have it any other way. As a cradle Catholic born in the early 1980s, Pope John Paul II was the main man for me. 

Hipster Cred: For starters, there aren't very many people who have a name as hip as Karol Wojtyla. 

He was formed through suffering, once stating, "At twenty, I had already lost all the people I loved." 

He excelled at sports, often joining the youth in hiking, skiing, bicycling, camping, and kayaking. 

During his time as Pope, he made trips to 129 countries, and consistently pulled in crowds that were considered the largest gatherings in human history. He was a Pope of so many firsts, it would take the whole day to make note of them. 

His Theology of the Body has changed the lives of so many Catholics, young and old, and continues to be the message that this word so sorely needs to hear. 

I could go on and on about this beloved man, but let's leave it at this:

"We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.”

2. Blessed James Alberione

It's hard to argue with some of the hippest nuns on the planet. Blessed James Alberione was clearly ahead of his time, doing the evangelization through the media thing way before it was cool. 

Hipster Cred: The Father of the the many religious institutes that make up the Pauline Family, with the Society and Daughters of St. Paul leading the way, best known for their evangelization through the media. 

At age 16, he decided to enter the seminary, and rode there on an ox-driven cart! On the night that divided the 19th and 20th centuries, Blessed James Alberione prayed for hours before the Blessed Sacrament and felt that he was called to do something for the people of the new century. 

He dedicated himself to putting the technology of the modern means of mass communication to work on behalf of the Gospel message. 

Obviously, there is so much more that could be said (enough to fill a feature length movie, even), but let's leave it at this:

"The world needs a new, prolonged and profound evangelization. Adequate means are necessary, along with souls on fire with faith. No other means is as adequate for providing this except the press, and no other apostles use it as ardently as young people."

3. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frasati

I'll never forget when I first met Blessed Pier. A Norbertine Canon shared his story during a homily, and I was hooked. He is one of the ultimate saints to share with young people!

Hipster cred: He was born into a well-to-do family who owned La Stampa newspaper in Turin, Italy. He dedicated himself to social action, charity, prayer, and community, and was heavily involved with the Catholic Youth Groups of the area. 

He established his own newspaper, which was founded on the teachings of Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum. He was a layman, who juggled his career as a mechanical engineer, along with his intense prayer life, and desire to help the poor. His mother often scolded him for showing up late for dinner, not knowing that he was late because he had been walking the streets of his hometown helping the less fortunate. His father also often scolded him when he would return home without his jacket, not knowing that he was literally giving the clothing off of his back to the poor.

He was known as the prankster of his group of friends, and in many ways was a typical young adult. But when you look under the surface, you see the heart on fire for Christ that motivated him throughout his life. 

We could easily keep going on about Pier, but let's just leave it at this: 

"Foolish is he who follows the pleasures of this world, because these are always fleeting and bring much pain. The only true pleasure is that which comes to us through faith."

4. St. Maximilian Kolbe

Every single time I hear the story of St. Max, I'm inspired. Every single time. 

Hipster cred: You mean, other than the specs and beard? 

Long before he volunteered to be put to death in place of a stranger at Auschwitz, he was making a difference in the world. As a child, in 1906, he was visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary, and I'll just let him explain it: 

"That night I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked me if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both." 

Chills, right? 

By 1919, St. Max was working hard to actively promote consecration to Mary. Despite being opposed by communists, he founded the monthly periodical, Knight of the Immaculate, and by 1927 he founded a publishing house at a Conventional Franciscan Monastery. After that, he went on a mission trip that included Japan, China, and India. Upon returning, he started his own radio station with the call sign SP3RN

It's also worth noting that first-class relics consisting of the hairs of his beard are still around. Yes, we could continue talking about his beard at length, but let's just leave it at this:

"No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hetacombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?” 

5. St Rose of Lima 

The first saint canonized from the Americas was also the first saint I received from the Saint Name Generator back in the day. 

Hipster cred: Nicknamed Rose after a boyfriend of hers reported that he saw her face transform into an actual rose, this amazing saint has inspired generations of Catholics to suffer for Christ. When she was still a young girl, she began to fast three times per week as a form of penance. When she was complimented for her beauty, she cut off her hair and smeared pepper on her face, which obviously upset her suitors. 

She also spent hours upon hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament, which was quite uncommon for that time. She allowed herself to only sleep two hours per night, intensely devoting her life to prayer, and even took to wearing a silver crown of spikes on her head to bring herself closer to the suffering Christ. 

For 11 years, she lived in a state of intervals of ecstasy, dying at the age of 31. 

My year with her, after getting her from the Saint Name Generator is a journey I will never forget, and to this day, I continue to reach out to her for her intercession and inspiration. 

I could keep blabbing about her awesomeness, but let's leave it at this:

"Apart from the cross, there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven."

So, there you have our list of the most-worthy nominees. Let us know who you're voting for via the poll to the right of this page, via Twitter with the hashtag #PatronSaintOfHip, or directly on Twitter @theghissilent. 

And may all of these amazing saints pray for all of us!

1 comment:

  1. Y'all should have added Ven. Solanus Casey to this list!