Well, farewell for a week, that is... This week, I’ll be embarking on a "blog tour" to talk about the saints and discuss my book "My Life with the Saints." What’s a blog tour? That’s what I asked when my publisher first suggested it. Essentially you "visit," or write, for a series of blogs, one per day, for one week. It’s a "tour" similar to the traditional "book tours" that authors use to talk about their books. A "blog tour" may a new way of spreading the Gospel, but, if you think about it, the saints themselves have long used creative ways to evangelize. From the earliest days of the church, the saints understood that it was important to use any means possible to proclaim the Good New. St. Paul for example, travels by land and by sea, writes long letters, and basically does whatever it takes to bring the word--or rather the Word--to a world that had never heard of Jesus. Also, Paul used familiar images, like Jesus did in his parables, to tell people about the Church--famously comparing it to a person’s body with many parts. Later saints built on Paul’s legacy, presenting the Gospel in new ways, and through innovative "media," if you will. St. Augustine virtually invented the genre of autobiography when he told the story of his conversion in "The Confessions." St. Francis of Assisi wrote poems like "The Canticle of the Sun." St. Ignatius of Loyola asked people to use their imaginations, another "medium" that was considered in his day a highly suspicious way of praying! The saints understood that any "media" that could lead people to God was worthwhile. It’s the same today. And not only are people spreading the Gospel in new ways, but the lives of the saints themselves are being told in new ways. Just think of all the great movies about the saints. "A Man for All Seasons," about St. Thomas More. "The Song of Bernadette," about St. Bernadette Soubirous. More recently, the beautiful movie "Millions," about a little boy’s love for the saints. Now the saints are now finding their way into cyberspace. Just Google the word "saints" and you’ll see what I’m talking about. A few weeks ago, a reporter asked who the patron saint of the elderly was, and instead of looking it up in Butler’s "Lives of the Saints," I turned to the web. (It’s St. Anthony of Padua, by the way.) There’s even a clever new website called "Saintcast," which uses podcasts to tell the stories of the saints. "Preach the Gospel," said St. Francis of Assisi. "Use words when necessary." Today, that clever but profound remark could be reworked as "Preach the Gospel. Use all forms of modern technology when necessary." Anyway, if you’re curious, here are the "locations" for the tour. See you there! If not, see you back here in a week! June 2 Some Have Hats June 3 A Nun’s Blog June 4 The Dawn Patrol June 5 The Anchoress June 6 Happy Catholic James Martin, SJ

Comments

Anonymous | 6/1/2008 - 1:00pm
I love the movie 'Millions'! It is one of the best modern portrayals of the sacramental imagination I have seen in film. Your ability to understand the relevance of a blog tour to our world today also does justice to this important Catholic concept! Best wishes as you navigate the web.