Lives of the Saints

I just found out that Joan of Arc is the patron saint (among other things) of opposition to Church authorities. I was very surprised there was such a thing, but evidently there is! She shares this distinction with Teresa of Avila, who often struggled with local Church authorities when establishing new convents, and Mary MacKillop, who was actually excommunicated (which was later revoked) for helping to turn in a priest accused of sexually abusing children.

All the patron saints of opposition to Church authorities are women (that I know of), which surprised me, although it is strangely appropriate. On that front, Teresa of Avila is one of only three female Doctors of the Church: she shares this honor with Therese of Lisieux and Catherine of Siena.

This quote of St. Therese of Lisieux about honoring the saints I found on Wikipedia, which I found wise, and especially apropos considering the hagiography surrounding her: “We should not say improbable things, or things we do not know. We must see their real, and not their imagined lives.”

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