Catholicity is normal for the Church

Catholicity is normal for the Church May 18, 2016

Periodically, I get told that “Christianity is a white religion”.

Certainly, some expressions of it here in the US give that impression as they prostitute themselves for a man beloved by Neo-Nazis and the KKK (a man who has not done one thing to distance himself from that filth and who has, in fact, selected a white supremacist as a delegate).

But looking beyond the provincial world of Right Wingnut American Christianism, we discover there is rather more to the Church than that. Mike Flynn gives us a little taste of Catholicity of the Church in his sampling of the Church’s great saints and heroes:

Jews: Joseph of Palestine, Pope Zozimus, Romanus the Melodist, Daniel of Padua, Julian of Toledo, Edith Stein of Dachau, etc.
Syrians: Habib the Martyr, John of Damascus, Pope John V
Lebanese: Nimatullah Kassab Al-Hardin, Rafka al Rayes, Sharbel Makluf
Anatolians: Nicholas, Gregory Nazianzen, Macrina the Younger
Greeks: Irene, Athanasia of Aegina, Alexander Akimetes
Romans: Agnes, Cecilia, Pope Cornelius
North African: Augustine of Hippo, Perpetua and Felicity, Cyprian of Carthage
Egyptians: Anthony the Hermit, Mary of Egypt, John the Merciful, Catherine of Alexandria

Arabs: Moses the Arab, Cosmas and Damian, Sheikh Aretas of the Banu Harith and the Martyrs of Najran, Mary Baouardy, the Little Sister to Everyone
Assyrians/Iraqis: Thaddeus and Maris, Maruthas of Maiferkat, Ephraem, the Harp of the Holy Ghost
Persians: Anastasius Majundat, Abdon and Sennen
Ethiopians: Iphegenia of Ethiopia, Kaleb Elesbaan of Axum, Moses the Black
Armenians: Isaac the Great, Gomidas Keumerigian
Georgians: Euthymius the Enlightener, George Mtasmindeli
Italians: Thomas Aquinas, the “Dumb Ox,” Clare of Assisi, John Bosco, Pope John XXIII
Spaniards: Nathalia and Aurelius, Theresa of Avila, Bonifacia Rodríguez de Castro
Basques: Ignatius Loyola
Portuguese: Anthony of Padua, Isabella
French: Jane Frances de Chantal, Margaret Mary Alacoque of the Sacred Heart, Theresa of Lisieux, the Little Flower
Bretons: Alan de Solminihac
Belgians: Mary of Oignies
Irish: Brigit of Kildare, Columba, Colmcille of Iona, etc.
Scots: David, King of Scots, Margaret of Scotland
English: Margaret Clitherow, the Pearl of York, Thomas More
Welsh: Winefride of Holywell, Cadoc of Llancarfan
Germans: Gertrude of Helfta, Herman the Cripple, Hildegarde of Bingen, the Sybil of the Rhine
Austrians/Swiss: Nicholas von Flue, Jakob Gapp
Scandinavians: Willehad of Denmark, Hallvard of Oslo, Bridget of Sweden, Thorlak Thorhallsson of Iceland
Balts: George Matulaitis
Magyars: King Istvan the Great, Elizabeth of Hungary
Czechs: Good King Wenceslaus, Agnes of Bohemia
Poles: Hyacinth Ronzki, Stanislaus Szczepanowski, Mother Mary Theresa Ledochowska, Pope John Paul the Great
Albanians: Mother Theresa of Calcutta
Slovenes: Lojze Grozde
Serbs: Sava
Croats: Mark Korosy
Romanians: Ieremia Stoica
Bulgars: Bishop Eugene Bossilkov
Russians: Olga of Kiev, Sergius of Radonezh, Euphrosyne of Polotsk
Native Americans: Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks, Black Elk of the Oglala, Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin of Guadeloupe
Puerto Ricans: Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Santiago
Mexicans: María Guadalupe García Zavala, “Mother Lupita”, Bartholomew Laurel, Padre Pio
Central Americans: Peter Betancurt of Guatemala, Bishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador
Peruvians: Rose of Lima, Ana de los Angeles Monteagudo
Ecuadorians: Mercedes of Jesus, Mariana de Paredes, the Lily of Quito
Brazilians: Pauline of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus, Antonio de Santa Ana Galvao
Paraguayans: Roque Gonzalez de Santa Cruz
Argentinians: Ceferino Namuncurá, the Lily of Patagonia
Chileans: Teresa of the Andes, Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga
Americans [USA]: John Nepomucene Neumann, Elizabeth Seton, Katherine Drexel, Mother Frances Cabrini
Canadians: Marguerite D’Youville, Mary Rose Durocher
Indians: Alphonsa Mattahupadathus, Kuriakose Chavara, Mother Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan
Chinese: Thaddeus Lieu, Agnes Sao Kuy
Japanese: Father Thomas Hioji Rokuzayemon Nishi, Magdalene of Nagasaki
Koreans: Agatha Kim, Paul Chong Hasang
Thais: Philip Siphong, Sister Lucy Khambong
Vietnamese: Vinh Sơn Phạm Hiếu Liêm, Micae Hồ Đình Hy, Agnes De, Father John Dat
Filipinos: Lorenzo Ruiz
Australians: Mary of the Cross
African diaspora: Benedict the Moor, Martin de Pores
African: Charles Lwanga of Uganda, Mother Josephine Bakhita of the Sudan, Anwarite Nengapeta of the Congo
Victoria Rasoamanarivo of Madagascar

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  • Rebecca Fuentes

    My husband and I were talking about the Trump juggernaut and how certain “patriotic” rhetoric seems to really resonate with certain evangelical factions. I was wondering if those Christian denominations that started in the US have a great deal of the “Manifest Destiny” idea built into them from the get go.

    • Artevelde

      And American Catholics tend to imbibe that culture, just like Italian Catholics, when they really let themselves go, turn the Church into a pleasure ground, and Indian Catholics into polytheism with bunches of Saints as avatars to worship. My own people in NW Europe, being protestant once, still love liturgical innovation and being doctrinally contrarian. I’m exaggerating more than a little bit, but these are interesting patterns to observe.