The Daughters of St. Paul are on a mission to bring the tradition of Memento Mori into the 21st century. Through an effort spearheaded by Sr. Theresa Aletheia Noble, the self-described “media nuns” are crowdsourcing funds for a new book about the Catholic meditation on death.
Memento Mori, or “remember your death,” is a spiritual practice that brings focus to the inevitability of death. Its roots stretch back to the dawn of the Church, but the concept became particularly popular in the medieval Church. It is a tradition present in many religions, but in Christianity it illuminates the hope brought by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
According to Sr. Theresa Aletheia, an understanding of death is of paramount importance to Christian faith practice., she explains:
“If we don’t understand that Jesus has saved us from death, then we won’t understand the Gospel message. We have to understand what death is before we can understand what Jesus has saved us from.”
The whole affair began with a tweet. One day, Sr. Theresa Aletheia felt called to meditate on the Memento Mori. Following the example of her order’s founder, Bl. James Alberione, Sr. Theresa Aletheia placed a skull on her desk as a reminder of her mortality. That same day, she decided to begin sharing the fruits of her new faith practice on Twitter.
Sr. Theresa Aletheia’s daily musings blew up on social media. Once viral, the Pauline nun used the platform to educate on Memento Mori and instruct the faithful on the long-forgotten practice of meditation on death. With growing demand for literature on the subject, Sr. Theresa Aletheia began publishing.
Sr. Theresa Aletheia has published several works on the Memento Mori, including a journal, Lenten devotional, and a prayer book. Now she is working on the Memento Mori Advent Companion. The work will be published from the order’s own Pauline Books and Media publishing house, but the funds will come from generous supporters on Kickstarter.
The Kickstarter page descirbes the work as “scripture-based daily reflections from the liturgy for each day of Advent.” It includes daily reflections on the Last Things, a daily review, classical art, and a host of writings from the religious sisters. The full-color pages are presented with a stylish sliver-stamped cover to make it the pride of any bookshelf.
The Kickstarter campaign is nearing its completion. With just 20 days left, they are less than $4,000 away from their goal. If they meet their first goal, every backer will receive a copy of the new Advent companion. If they exceed their initial goal, they have several stretch goals with mysterious prizes that have yet to be revealed.
Donation packages start at just $15, which is effectively a $10 discount on the finished book. Other packages include additional copies of the Advent companion, as well as add-ons. Donors can also obtain copies of Sr. Theresa Aletheia’s previous Memento Mori themed titles.
Visit the Kickstarter page to support the Daughters of St. Paul’s mission to revive the spiritual tradition of Memento Mori.