Requirements to becoming a Saint

In The People of Paper the character Juan Meza is described as being a saint.  The book explains that saints have certain physical characteristics that make them saints such as sweat that smells of potpourri, pupils that do not contract and the soles of the feet are pale and marked by fresh stigmata.  This led to a line of questioning as to what qualifies saintlyness.

First the claim is made that saints do not become saints, but rather are created by God himself.  Whether or not one believes this obviously depends greatly on one’s own personal convictions to what ever faith one decides is right.  The story People of Paper primarily uses this requirement in its own identifying of saints.

Next a saint is identified as people who, “have emerged as individuals who can light the way ahead.”  This classification obviously being the way a saintly person lives his/her personal life.

Lastly after the person in question has past on, there must be two confirmed miracles caused by a person praying to a potential saint for help, and the help is miraculously given.  Mostly these miracles are miraculous healing.

These standards have not always been the standards by which a saint is given saint hood.  At the start of the Roman Catholic church martyrs that gave their lives in the service of the church were awarded sainthood almost immediately.

As The People of Paper explains the saint in the book had none of these qualifications or miricles occur other than being created by God to b a saint, instead he simply smelled good while sweating.  And he was not dead which is another classification to becoming a saint, the person has to be dead atleast five years before the sainthood process can even be started.  On top of all this the character in the story fought on a regular basis, which doesn’t seem to be along the lines of sainthood.  All of this leads ot the conclusion that the story is poking fun at the whole process along with the belief in saintliness, especially considering the only saintly quality that Juan Meza had was being created, by God, to be a saint, which is the only qualification that the church can’t quantify or prove.

Gary Hitchins

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~ by garyhitchins on March 29, 2010.

 
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