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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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✦ North American Saints ✦

✦ North American Saints ✦

(p.15) 1 ✦ North American Saints ✦
A Saint of Our Own

Kathleen Sprows Cummings

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter traces saint-seeking from 1884 to 1925, providing short biographies of the early U.S. nominees for sainthood, most of whom were European missionaries to North America in the colonial and early national period. It argues that these prospective saints served as double symbols, proving to Rome that holiness had flourished on American soil and demonstrating to Protestant Americans that Catholics could be loyal U.S. citizens. This chapter highlights the connections between hagiography and historiography in the work of prominent church leaders like James Cardinal Gibbons and John Gilmary Shea, provides short biographies of the Jesuit Martyrs and other early nominees for sainthood, explains key terms such as postulator, and outlines the procedures for canonization and its precursor, beatification.

Keywords:   North American martyrs, Third Plenary Council, James Gibbons, John Gilmary Shea, Postulator, Anti-Catholicism, Jesuit, Missionary, Conversion, Beatification

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