• 9 Reasons for Giving a Gift on the 4th of July


    • Acknowledge neighbors with secular sainthood. It’s a holiday and people complete feats on that day, e.g. organize a neighbor hood BBQ.
    • A friend gets you a ticket to the holiday MLB game. What about modern sainthood for that person?
    • Think of the families who travel to join your family. They are destined for sainthood.
    • A sibling and family drive from a very distant place to be with your family for the holiday. He and other picnickers like him are real life saints.
    • 4th of July is a great day for awarding veterans with heroic secular sainthood
    • Commemorating a special coach or teacher is always appropriate. Even more appropriate is a gift of modern sainthood for them.
    • A way to show your regard for a dedicated and patriotic Scout or Scout leader is honoring such a person as a secular saint.
    • Consider a prize for the winner of a difficult game at your picnic at the park or beach.
    • Honor the person who has to work on the holiday like our fire fighters, police officers, restaurant workers, the barista. All deserve to be a secular saints.


    Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis is one of my favorite comic scripts. After I enjoyed looking at and reading this one, I thought it expressed the whimsicality of My Secular Saint’s miracles.



    When you promote a saint at, your candidate doesn’t automatically become a saint just because you want to promote this special person whom you hope to single out as a secular saint. You’re expected to provide a miracle. That’s right. All our board asks for is one miracle just one.


    The miracle doesn’t have to be something of spectacular proportions, something that Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman or Sister Therese might do. If you have a friend in mind or even someone you admire from afar, they don’t necessarily have to have performed a heroic feat. If they did, that will definitely work. The miracle can be quite commonplace or even whimsical as Rat’s in Stephan Pastis’ cartoon, the recycling of a beer bottle.



    St. Lynne of Elmwood


    In the Hall of Saints, St. Lynne of Elmwood has an honored place in the Hall of Woods. She has a warm hearted disposition. She carries that with her to those she shows compassion and empathy. She brings that same warmness to her friends. She has a special creativity she draws from when she lovingly works in her garden. Anyone visiting her garden or walking by it sees evidence of her special artistic touch in that outdoor work of hers. People meeting her or luxuriating in the beauty of her garden can’t help but see the miracle of her life. There are many other people out there who might also be recognized as secular saints. They need  to be discovered by relatives or friends as St. Lynne of Elmwood was. She was delighted when her friends handed her the Certificate of Sainthood. They had gone through the trouble of promoting her as a secular saint. It didn’t seem that much to them, but it meant a world of joy to her.



    Parrot Saints of Post Street


    If a rat might have a chance of becoming a secular saint in the daily comics of Stephan Pastis, why not a couple of colorful parrots? If you go to the Hall of Feathers on this website you’ll find the Parrot Saints of Post Street. Their miracle? They arrive faithfully every morning to have their breakfast. It’s provided by the adoring staff of a dentist office in downtown San Francisco. As they enjoy the birdseed scattered on the 16th floor window sill of the  commercial building, they brighten the lives of staff and patients who come to what could be a dismal surrounding, though this is one dental office that has marvelous magazines. The parrots’ miracle is the color and enjoyment with which they endow this dentist office. And it just so happens the dentist’s name is Dr. Parrett.



    St. Jaime of the Inspired


    Stephan Pastis has to be inspired daily, as he creates his comic strips. In the Hall of History you’ll view St. Jaime of the Inspired. HIs story of ending up in the Hall of HIstory carries with it an amount of inspiration in itself. Twenty-five years ago he was listening to a radio station in his home state, Morelos. The broadcast originated all the way from San Francisco, California. The airwaves whisked into this second smallest state deep into the southern part of Mexico. In that moment St. Jaime of the Inspired decided to move to the city of his dreams. A miracle in its own right. He now has two grown daughters working for Silicon Valley companies. His son is still in his high school and plays soccer. St. Jaime of the Inspired coaches a middle school soccer team. Another reason for a miracle. Beyond all that he is a loyal friend and a very spiritual man. He’s skilled as a handyman. He’s installed a kitchen pantry and worktop and a garbage disposal without assistance. He made sure he became a citizen, so he could vote in the last election. Currently he works for Uber and routinely achieves a bonus. He has so many miracles they would burst Santa’s bag.

    There are so many miracles out there. I would think we would be flooded with applications to create secular saints whether in the human or animal world. Just the other day my wife was trying to pull into a tight parking place. A limo driver was leaning on his car and noticed our struggle. He got into his black shining auto and pulled ahead. We thanked him profusely. That right there is a miracle.


    St. Bailey


    Then there’s St. Bailey now deceased. She brought joy and warmth to the family who wholeheartedly embraced her. Her presence in their home was cut short by an immune disorder. Though most of the secular saints in the Halls of Saints are living, vibrant people, the Halls of Saints can memorialize people or animals you’ve loved. Having secular saints makes them feel more present in your life. A member of the family can go to and proceed to the Hall of Whiskers, and with a smile can say, “There she is, good ol’ St. Bailey.“


    St. Lou de las Naranjas Sabrosas



    St. Lou de las naranjas sabrosas was promoted to sainthood by her sister-in-law. St. Lou de las naranjas sabrosas has an abundance of miracles in her life. She’s a mother of five children who are eminently successful. Not just hobby woodwork, but skilled major carpentry is among her many miracles. She put in hardwood floor throughout her residence. At her summer home she constructed a sun window. She drove school buses and designed their routes. She has as many birds descending on her garden as St. Francis had following him, because she provides seed for them. Her sister-in-law singled her out because of her prowess in nurturing nature, especially the orange tree. She generously sends over bags of “naranjas sabrosas” to the husband’s sister, who claims, “These are the best oranges I’ve ever tasted.” She has innovatively constructed her whole health regime. She could easily be renamed St. Lou the Amazing.


    St. Carleigh


    In looking at St. Carleigh in the Hall of Woods, an observer might think, “Isn’t that kind of overreaching to promote someone so young as a saint?” My initial answer is to say that there’s no restriction of age for secular sainthood. She’s a couple years older now than when she was first promoted as a secular saint. Her miracle was that she had read all five books of the Harry Potter series and was starting to read them in Spanish. She was in the Spanish Immersion program from Kindergarten. Also her sainthood at her early age marks a special miracle in an honored place, Hall of Woods, at that time. It doesn’t preclude her having many more miracles in her life that could be commemorated again in another Hall with an added attachment to her sainthood with a new photo of her current stage in life. One example, in the Hall of Sport for a miracle-worthy act. Let’s say she composes a suspenseful short story in her writing class. She could be promoted as a secular saint with the designation St. Carleigh del cuento apasionante and have another portrait depicting a different time in her life in the Hall of Quill.


    As I finish this piece on miracles, I’m looking out over the San Francisco Bay at Oyster Point. A couple blackbirds peck between blades of grass. One flies past me with a chunk of something she foraged. Seagulls are flapping their wings wending their way over the water. In the distance a little girl with long black hair joins a boy a bit older by the shore. A sweat-suited runner winds up exercise in front of me. An orange-peel furred dog delays his companion to do his business off the walking path. His escort pulls out a poop bag from his backpack to take care of the business. A cyclist whizzes by. A ways behind him stroll a middle aged couple quite tall. And here I am writing about everyday miracles.Within the people and animals I have named lie many unseen miracles waiting for recognition. If the famed character in Pearls Before Swine, Rat, can get a miracle out of recycling his beer bottle, the dog’s compadre has one by his almost heroic act. The miracles are there. All you have to do is perceive them. Such perception will benefit the person you saint. It will make you much more aware of what’s going on both in and around your life. Happy Sainthood!

    Aesop said, “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted”.


    My Secular Saint provides the means of acknowledging even small acts of kindness, love and even luck.


    Let’s say someone walks your dog faithfully for a week. This is a perfect candidate for My Secular Saint.


    Maybe your willful teenager finally cleaned their room, at least it was cleaner than when they started. Again candidate for sainthood.


    What about your favorite pot roast dinner? The cook is a candidate for sainthood.


    My Secular Saint expresses gratitude and acknowledgement for these saintly acts.


    Give us a try.

    Modern days with current challenges call for fresh ways to recognize those who have made our road easier. Think of the computer whiz who is willing to take a few minutes to find your elusive password or explain how track changes work with ease. There is the helpful person on the phone who knows their system and is happy to guide you through the quagmire of a telephone tree or explaining complex medical navigation.


    We run into these distinctive individuals every day in our travels and now have a unique, inexpensive way of saying “thank you” with My Secular Saint.


    Many will say they are “just doing the job” expecting little reward when day in and day out they are a blessing to those they contact. There is the mailman who trudges steep stairs or returns later at the end of his route to bring you a package. He’d be a perfect person for the Hall of Cities as one of the many working individuals that make keep a city efficient.


    The Service People in our lives are those who “Just do the job.” There is the dry cleaning person who runs your bedspread through three times to get that persistent stain out. She is a great candidate for the Hall of History as the person who never gave up over the ages on your bedspread. She will go down in history for her dedication to eviscerating that stain.


    There’s always the upbeat expert at the computer store who looks at your impossibility as something he can fix. When our computers don’t do what’s expected or they take on a mind of their own, It’s a bit like getting lost in the woods where one doesn’t have a clue of where to go next. That computer expert would be a welcome addition to the Hall of Woods in that he’s led so many who are hopelessly lost in computer weeds from the tangled mess to the sunlight.


    There’s the reliable carpool driver who has the unfaltering ability to show up on time and drive in a reasonable way to your destination. (There’s a lot to be said for drivers who are courteous in their driving habits.) Here’s a way for those fellow travelers to say, “thank you”. Car Pool drivers are great candidates for the Hall of Cities as they again contribute to making a city run smoothly. It would be a special treat to award sainthood to that driver with a special notification they might put in their car as a reminder of their destination for sainthood. It’s recognition for their decent and thoughtful driving.


    Think of the person who loves to cook and shares their foods with others. There’s nothing better than a good soup, and they know how to produce the tastiest. One way to say thank you is with a certificate of Sainthood. Perhaps in the Hall of Sport as they follow sports while cooking away.


    There may be a generous teacher who gives so freely of their time, yet gets little recognition. Anyone who can explain statistics, standard deviations or the concept of economies of scale in a coherent way is surely destined for the Hall of Quill or the Hall of History. These are unique skills so very valuable to those still learning.


    Our world is full of individuals who qualify for Sainthood and having this unique gift of Sainthood awakens us to recognize those exceptional individuals in their lives. Now there is a way to honor them through notification in the Halls of Sainthood and certification for their good deeds.

    Q. What gave you the idea for My Secular Saint?


    Ten years ago I was hearing of new start-ups. eBay and other business were getting started. I thought such a thing as offering everyone Sainthood might be a fun business. My brother Larry was a Jesuit and he would talk with me and plan how to canonize people. He said he’d help me to approve miracles and serve on the Board of Directors but unfortunately he died a couple years ago.


    We devised that anyone could be a saint, based on their miracle after they paid a small fee. We wanted to make it available to everyone.


    Q. How Is What You Have Different?


    Other Saints are tied to the Catholic Church and they have rigid criteria. First off, the person has to be deceased. I want to canonize people while they are still living. At first, I considered only people and then expanded it to include animals, pets, and other living things.


    The Catholic Church is very strict about having three miracles that evolve outside the realm of nature. Their miracles have to go beyond science and ordinary belief. I see miracles as happening every day such as a baby being born, that’s a miracle. It’s marvelous to look beyond the expected. I want to include the usual, such as an adopted person finding their biological mother. Let’s say years have gone by and think of the first time they see that mother. There’s something miraculous about that.


    Consider an Uncle that tells corny jokes all the time. That’s a singular trait to be recognized, a talent not easily duplicated. A miracle in its own way.