• Pearls Before Swine

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    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!

    1 Comment

    1. This makes me ponder about the saints in my life — my dishwashing husband comes to mind. Is that a miracle? It seems so most nights. But why do I want my Saint to be deceased? Does death give sainthood more merit? Not being Catholic it is hard to know the rules.

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