Saint Francis of Assisi

Few saints in the history of the church have had such an immediate and such a lasting success as Francis of Assisi. His first two followers, Bernard of Quintavalle and Peter of Catani, joined him in 1208, yet by 1222, three, if not five, thousand men are said to have assembled together for a Convocation. And in our own time the stream of visitors to Assisi and the flood of books and articles devoted to Francis show that the appeal of il poverello has not diminished. Indeed, the current Pope took the name Francis – for he was told “don’t forget the poor” when he was elected.

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Rabbi Martin Riesenburger

Martin Riesenburger was a German Cantor married to a Christian during WWII, and lived in Berlin. During WWII, he was given protected status and was allowed to function as Cantor and Rabbi at Weissensee, the old-age home that had a chapel and a Jewish burial ground attached to it. He survived the war and became Chief Rabbi of East Germany. Some revile Rabbi Riesenberger, some have sympathy for his role and his courage. We present a simple history of Rabbi Martin Riesenberger, the “Last Rabbi in Berlin” as a candidate for Saints of a New Era.

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Antonio Stradivari – Instrument Maker for the Divine

God is the embodiment of wholeness and perfection. Whatever is offered to him should be total and perfect. This was demonstrated by the Italian violin maker Anthony (Stradivarius) who took one year to make one violin, but made it to perfection as an offering to God. Whatever is said, done or given, it should be perfect. To please God, who is perfect, whatever is offered should be perfect. Anthony declared that he was making perfect violins only to please God. (Sathya Sai Baba, 25 Aug 1997)

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Baal Shem Tov – Master of the Good Name

Israel Ben Eliezer, later known as The Baal Shem Tov (The Master of the Divine Name, var. Master of the Good Name), was born on August 27, 1698 to Rabbi Eliezer and his wife Sarah. They lived in the small village Okup on the Russian-Polish border. Both Rabbi Eliezer and Sarah were already very old when their first child, Israel was born.

Baal Shem means “Possessor or Master of The (Divine) Name”, which contemporaries and subsequent followers conferred upon him. Martin Buber (in Tales of the Hasidim) explained more kindly: ‘One who lives with and for this fellow-men on the foundation of his relationship with the Divine’.

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Johann Sebastian Bach – Devotion in Music

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. In his childhood he was given an extensive religious education which was to profoundly influence his works, particularly where he obtained employment as organist and master of choir in various churches. He once wrote a short note to himself” “Where there is devotional music, God with his grace is present“.

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The ‘Great Freedom’ Teachings of Candice O’Denver

As someone who has spent more than 20 years on the spiritual path, met many Saints and studied numerous New Age, Hindu and Buddhist teachings, I am very happy to be able to say othat the ‘Great Freedom’ teachings of Candice O’Denver are the highest, clearest, and most accessible wisdom teachings I’ve ever heard. Several hundred hours of her full-length talks are now available for free download as MP3 audio files on the website, and I highly recommend them to anyone seeking the ultimate meaning and fulfilment of human life. Although the verbal element of her teachings is convincing and compelling in itself, Candice’s laughter-filled presentation directly conveys the great bliss, peace and freedom she has discovered, and her responses to questioners clearly show her compassion, strength and remarkable open-mindedness. After listening to the downloads, I’m convinced both of the greatness of her teachings and the depth of her attainment.

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Florence Nightingale

Following a deeply rooted passion to serve the Divine, Florence Nightingale combined a strong will and intellect with a determination to serve where it was most needed. She went to the Crimea to aid soldiers dying with war wounds and her efforts brought about long-lasting social reform, initiatives in nursing and hospital administration.

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Nelson Mandela

Viewed from the vantage point of the present, the whole of Nelson Mandela’s life seems to have carried the energy of legend and the weight of epic narrative. His story was woven into the story of South Africa’s journey from colonialism, through apartheid, to democracy. That long walk to freedom of a nation was unimaginable without Mandela’s personal long walk. But it was during the more than twenty-seven years of his incarceration that his life assumed its epic proportions. Mandela became an international symbol of the struggles for justice. He was without doubt the most famous prisoner in the world. A prisoner ready by 1990, on his release, to stride across a global stage.

The scriptures of India, the Vedas, pronounce: Na Karmana Na Prajaya Dhanena Thyagenaikena Amrutathwa Manasu (not by action, not by progeny, not by wealth, but by sacrifice alone is immortality obtained) . In this article, we look to the life, writings and actions of Nelson Mandela. Mandela originally trained to obtain freedom for South Africa by way of conflict. His soul blueprint did not allow for this to happen, and Mandela was imprisoned. This person, this soul-blueprint, was for the World, and not just for South Africa as we shall read.

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Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day (1897-1980) began her adult life as a socialist seeking religious truth and ended it as a Catholic influenced by socialist ideals. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Chicago, her early adulthood included work as a progressive journalist reporting on social issues of the day. In November 1917 Day went to prison for being one of forty women in front of the White House protesting women’s exclusion from the electorate.

In 1927, following the birth and baptism of her daughter, Day was received into the Catholic Church and became committed to using Catholic teachings to fight poverty and social injustice. In 1933 in New York City, she co-founded (with Peter Maurin) the Catholic Worker newspaper that advocated pacifism and positive social action. Day opened homeless shelters across the country and later led movements protesting nuclear war, militarism, and racial bigotry.

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Swedenborg was a respected academic who methodically described the spiritual world, and left a strange collection of works which captivated the most eminent thinkers. Swedenborg derived inspiration from dreams and visions, and claimed to be able to visit heaven and hell at will. His works were widely read after his death and highly regarded by poets, writers and mystics such as Blake, Baudelaire, Strindberg, Balzac, Yeats, Jung, and William James.

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