“The Lord has called us from different nations, but we must be united with one heart and one soul.” — St. Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad
A Lutheran convert, St. Maria Elizabeth was radical in her efforts to unify all people in Christ, including the revitalization of St. Bridget’s Order of the Most Holy Savior in Sweden and protection of at least twelve Jews at her Roman convent during World War II, which earned her Yad Vashem’s Righteous Among All Nations award. It’s comfortable to be around people who are just like us. A friend of mine once said that she was grateful she and her husband lived in a Catholic neighborhood, because that way, they knew the values (and parents) of their children’s friends. My response was probably less than gracious; I noted that while I grew up in a very Catholic neighborhood, I washed a whole lot of cars and baked a whole lot of brownies for my friends in the Luther League and similar organizations for Episcopalians, Baptists, and Methodists, because the Catholic kids looked askance at me for going to public school. But it does happen, that Catholic cocoon (or Lutheran, Episcopalian, Baptist, Methodist, Jewish, or Muslim, for that matter). And if we’re supposed to go forth and proclaim the Good News, that’s going to involve talking to people who aren’t just like us, right in our own backyard.
— from Radical Saints: 21 Women for the 21st Century, by Melanie Rigney