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A Saint of Our OwnHow the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American$
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Kathleen Sprows Cummings

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469649474

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469649474.001.0001

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✦ Introduction ✦

✦ Introduction ✦

American Saints Are Rare Birds

(p.1) ✦ Introduction ✦
A Saint of Our Own

Kathleen Sprows Cummings

University of North Carolina Press

The introduction explains the Catholic concept of patronage, reviews the broad history of the canonization process, and explains the book’s historiographical interventions and transnational approach. It highlights the dissonance U.S. Catholics felt between belonging to a church that moves slowly, such as in a painstakingly sluggish process, and living in an American culture that adapts easily and quickly. Because new moments generated new models of holiness, U.S. Catholics’ attachment to a newly-canonized saint rarely matched the enthusiasm shown by the generation that had originally proposed him or her as a candidate. What remained constant was U.S. Catholics’ desire to use holy figures to cement their connection to the Holy See and to affirm their place in the American nation.

Keywords:   Patronage, Canonization process, Transnational, Holy See

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