A bit of a different post today. If you follow Tolkien news on the Internet (and if not, why not?), you’ll probably have heard that there is a movement underway to get Tolkien officially canonised as a saint.
Yep, you read that right: people want Tolkien to be officially recognised as a Saint in the Catholic church.
So far I have not been able to find low-level detail concerning the argument in favour. There is this article which identifies the cause at a bare minimum, whilst the author of the article spend a great deal of time waxing lyrical about the virtues of Tolkien both as a role-model and visionary creator. This is fine but it gets us no closer to the meat on the bone.
Though I walk in the noncommittal fields of agnosticism these days, I was raised Roman Catholic (Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic), and so I know that in order to be recognised officially (“canonised”) as a Saint in the Roman Catholic church, one not only has to live an exemplary life devoted to God, but one also has to (and here’s the rub) have performed miracles. That’s miracles plural. These miracles need to be verifiable.
I find it difficult to imagine anything miraculous being discovered about Tolkien during his lifetime, however wonderful a man he may have been. But that won’t slow down the application process. Miracles may be performed posthumously. In the case of Pope John Paul II, for example, a woman with Parkinson’s disease allegedly prayed for PJII’s aid, and was suddenly and inexplicably cured. So I suppose it’s not entirely unreasonable to assume that there will be people praying to Tolkien … perhaps even right now … pleading for his aid.
What does all this mean? I don’t know. But my gut tells me that Tolkien wouldn’t have been keen on the idea. There is a Facebook Group apparently run by those responsible for the application. I have requested membership to the group if for no other reason than to keep tabs on the news related to this, quite frankly, rather odd bit of Tolkien-news.
What do you all think? Saint Tollers: good idea/bad idea?