Bringing the Text to Life
Do you know who your patron saint is? Maybe you didn't even know that you were born on the "feast day" of Saint Somebody-or-other. "Feast Day" refers to the death date, not the birth date, of a designated saint.
Death dates, rather than birthdays, were celebrated as "feast days" because it was assumed that the saint's birthday into eternity was on this date. Since an excess of 2,000 saints have made it into the official canonical calendar at one time or another, there are more than enough saints to fill every day of the year. It used to be that devout families incorporated the name of the saint on whose feast day their child was born into the child's name. The hope was that since the child shared the saint's name and feast day, this particular saint would take special care of the child.
Saints are called saints because through their lives and often through their deaths, the saints imitated Christ and embodied Christ-like virtues. The popular notion of Christian virtue has had a...