Saturday, November 12, 2011

I Ran Into 4 Saints

I covered 21 miles during my pilgrimage run today. (Related story on I mapped my route to visit 3 churches named after saints; but along the way, I ran into a 4th saint.

My first stop was St. Joan of Arc in San Ramon, CA. St. Joan of Arc was a maiden military leader who followed heaven-sent voices and visions to lead her country to victory. She believed the voices to be God's directions. The only way she could have discerned this revelation was through her piety and prayer. Condemned as a heretic for her visions, St. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.

Then I visited St. Raymond Parish in Dublin, CA. St. Raymond of Penafort lived up to 100 years old. A doctor of the church, he wrote and compiled numerous church decrees. His most notable work was a collection of cases for confessors and moralists. As an adviser to the King James of Aragon who engaged in an illicit affair, St. Raymond deserted him by using his staff and cloak to sail across the sea. He devoted the final years of his life spreading the Gospel to the Jews and to the Moors.

The third stop was St. Isidore's in Danville. St. Isidore was a farmer who went to visit a church before he plows the field every day. He maintained a spirit of prayer as he went about his work in the farm.  A very devout worker and husband, he is said to have visions which helped him in his work in the field.

Finally, the fourth saint. Well, not quite a saint by the church standards. But definitely, living up to example of a saint. His name is Mark who was chugging at an awesome pace (I can tell) when he slowed down from nowhere to talk to me. A father of three, a husband to his wife who has hardness of hearing. Once a heavy smoker and alcoholic, he reformed his life and is now lives the Gospel. He hosts Bible study in his home every week. And by the way, he is a sub-3 marathoner!

St. Joan of Arc Church in San Ramon, CA at Mile 4.8

St. Raymond Parish in Dublin, CA at Mile 10.8

St. Isidore's Church in Danville, CA at Mile 20.6

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