Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Sainthood- Real Life versus Fictional

If you watch the news at all you saw Pope Francis canonized Mother Teresa, making her a saint. Usually the path to sainthood in the Catholic Church takes decades, or even centuries. First the candidate's, called the Servant of God, life has to be examined to make sure they lived and died in an exemplary holy way and the person is worthy of being a saint. So there is a lot of paper work and documentation to reach this state, all their writings and speeches are examined, their whole life is under a microscope. Pope Francis intervened and put Mother Teresa on a fast-track, where instead of having to wait five years, they only had to wait two after her death to being this process. 

When enough information has been gathered, a report of the candidate's heroic virtue will be passed up to the pope. If the report is favorable then the candidate becomes "Venerable."

After this comes the process of searching for verified miracles. Or in the case of the Venerable being declared a martyr, where they gave his or her life voluntarily as a witness for the faith and/or in an act of heroic charity for others, you jump right up to being "Blessed." If the person wasn't a martyr, such as Mother Teresa, then a miracle is needed to become "Blessed." Miracles today usually take the form of a miraculous healing/cure after praying to the candidate. They have to include suddenness, completeness, and long term stability of the cure. Such was the case with Mother Teresa when another nun was healed of stomach cancer after praying to Mother Teresa.

To be declared a saint, a second miracle must be recorded. That came for Mother Teresa in the form of a Brazilian man who placed an icon of Mother Teresa in his home and prayed to her for intercession with his brain abscesses. All of this of course occurred after Mother Teresa's death.

That's the real life way to become a saint. The fictional method for my Birth of Saints series takes a whole lot less time, includes more magic and sword fighting, and the characters are very much alive--for now. It's an invented religion, a mishmash of different pieces of the real thing, but the journey to sainthood does happen in three stages.

The story opens in GRUDGING with the characters standing against an invading army come to enslave them. They are tested again and again as they prove or fail at heroic virtue. The book blurb says it best and doesn't give away the ending.

A world of chivalry and witchcraft…and the invaders who would destroy everything.

The North has invaded, bringing a cruel religion and no mercy. The ciudades-estados who have stood in their way have been razed to nothing, and now the horde is before the gates of Colina Hermosa…demanding blood.

On a mission of desperation, a small group escapes the besieged city in search of the one thing that might stem the tide of Northerners: the witches of the southern swamps.

The Women of the Song.

But when tragedy strikes their negotiations, all that is left is a single untried knight and a witch who has never given voice to her power. And time is running out.

The second book FAITHFUL comes out this November. And as the world falls apart around them and the Northern threat escalates, the major players fight to hold tight to their beliefs and each other.

A world of Fear and death…and those trying to save it.

The Northern invaders continue their assault on the ciudades-estados. Terror has taken hold, and those that should be allies betray each other in hopes of their own survival. As the realities of this devastating and unprovoked war settles in, what can they do to fight back?

On a mission of hope, an unlikely group sets out to find a teacher for Claire, and a new weapon to use against the Northerners and their swelling army.

What they find instead is an old woman.

But she’s not a random crone—she’s Claire’s grandmother. She’s also a Woman of the Song, and her music is both strong and horrible. And while Claire has already seen the power of her own Song, she is scared of her inability to control it, having seen how her magic has brought evil to the world, killing without reason or remorse. To preserve a life of honor and light, Ramiro and Claire will need to convince the old woman to teach them a way so that the power of the Song can be used for good. Otherwise, they’ll just be destroyers themselves, no better than the Northerners and their false god, Dal. With the annihilation their enemy has planned, though, they may not have a choice.

And I'm in the process of writing the third volume for release in 2017, tentatively titled BLESSED. Miracles will happen. Lives will be given. Will it be enough to stop the blood-thirsty Children of Dal? 

Dreamer. Warrior. Politician. Philosopher. Counselor. Who will live to become saints?

Honor Has No Gender, Bravery Has No Race, and Family Has No Limits

Grudging: Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads
Faithful: Find It: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | HarperCollins | Goodreads


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