Having a St. before your name is not the only qualification for sainthood. There are many heroes and heroines, sung and unsung, and miracle workers in our midst. Let’s go back in history and work our way forward.
It’s the 16th century and the region of Hindustan, now known as India, is being ruled by Jalaluddin Mohammed Akbhar. Palaces are furnished in flowing silk and tapestry and battles are fought on horseback with flags flying. Akbhar conquered many territories to consolidate his empire, but emerged as a generous ruler known for his enlightened policies. He walked among the common people in disguise to discover their grievances and attempt to right the injustices in his kingdom mesaje de sfantul gheorghe, urari si felicitari de sfantul gheorghe. Although illiterate, he became a patron of art, music, architecture and culture. Akbhar married a Rajput princess for political purposes but subsequently fell in love, his alliance became an epic romance, and because of the differences in their religions it became his goal to embrace spirituality and all forms of faith. He is now remembered as the greatest Mughal Emperor because of his religious tolerance and genuine compassion for his people and his country.
Born in India 1893, deep in the religious traditions of his country, Mukunda Lal Ghosh climbed the Himalayas, met both swamis and scientists, and followed a personal pathway of discipleship. His name was changed to Yogananda when he entered the monastic Swami Order in 1914. He received a university degree, cared for his family and studied both the Vedic scriptures and the Bible In 1920 he addressed the International Congress of Religious Liberals in Boston. He moved to America and went on to meet Luther Burbank, studied George Washington, American poets and Catholic saints. He founded the Self Realization Fellowship in Los angeles to spread the message of the Eastern masters, yoga and meditation to the West, crediting not only his Indian gurus but also Jesus and Buddha. “The time-tested scriptures of the world are one in essence, ” Yogananda said, “inspiring man on his upward journey. ”
In 1918, Nelson Mandela was born in the embattled country of South Africa. Mandela became an anti-apartheid activist and was arrested for his leadership of the movement against this racist segregation enforced by the government. He served 27 years in prison, emerging in 1990 ready to forgive those who had imprisoned him and to lead the transition towards multi-racial democracy. Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa in 1994, is now celebrated around the world as an elder statesman and has received the Nobel Peace Prize. In November 2009, the United nations made his birthday, July 18th, “Mandela Day, ” marking his contribution to world freedom. “Let freedom reign. ” Mandela said, “The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement. ”
A saint may meditate and pray, be cloistered or live in a Himalayan cave. A saint may also fight battles for justice, open his heart to forgiveness or embrace all faiths as one. A saint may also walk the simple life of a mother, a worker, a stranger, a firefighter or a friend, performing acts of achievement or mercy, large and small. Look closely because there may be a saint in your neighborhood.