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November 1, 2005
O Rosa Parks and Thurgood Marshall, pray for us. O Oscar Romero and Raoul Wallenberg; O Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Medgar Evers, O William Wilberforce, pray for us. O all you whose names we do not know who lived your lives or gave your lives in the struggle for freedom and justice, pray for us that we will be worthy of your sacrifices.

O four chaplains who chose to die so others might live, and the four little Birmingham girls who did not get to choose, pray for us.

O Thomas Merton and Dame Julian, O Father Damien and Mother Theresa, O Thomas Beckett and Li Tim-Oi, pray for us. Blessed Augustine of Hippo, pray for us. Blessed Paul, pray for us and help us to pray.

O Chaucer, O George Herbert and James Joyce, O William Shakespeare, O Thomas Gray and Jane Austen, O Dostoyevski and Chekov, O Moliere, O Wilfred Owen and T.S. Eliot, pray for us and accept our thanks.

O Hildegard, O Bach, O Vivaldi and Tallis, O William Byrd and Scott Joplin, O Stravinsky and Gershwin, O Leonard Bernstein, pray for us and accept our thanks.

O Giotto, 0 Piero della Francesca, O Michelangelo and Caravaggio, and Rembrandt and Vermeer, O Corot and Turner, O Matisse and Monet, O artists whose hearts were broken and whose names forgotten but whose work lives forever, pray for us and accept our thanks.

O Louis Pasteur, O William Harvey, O Florence Nightingale, O Albert Schwietzer, O Jonas Salk, O all you who died of diseases that would not have killed you if you had lived today, pray for us. O you who have died of preventable diseases simply because you were poor, pray for us and forgive us.

O Mom and Dad, O David, and O my little David who never saw the sun, pray for us.

We give you thanks, O God, for setting us among the community of the saints, and for allowing the grace they showed in their lives to continue in ours -- for in your kingdom, nothing is ever completely lost.
These are only a few of the saints I most revere. You have many more, as well -- on this All Saints' Day, I invite you to visit and light a candle in thanskgiving for the life of a saint whose life has blessed your own.
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