Not many religions view Jon Muir as a semi-deity, so for the ones that do, here’s our way of saying, ‘thumbs-up’.”Blessed Creator of the earth and all that inhabits it: We thank you for your prophets John Muir and Hudson Stuck, who rejoiced in your beauty made known in the natural world.” This is written on the website for the Episcopalian church. On the church’s Calendar of Saints, today, April 22nd, celebrates the lives of two great Americans (although both were born and raised in Europe: Muir in Scotland and Stuck in England.)
Hudson Stuck is most famous for his co-leading of the 1913 party to first summit Denali. He was also an Episcopalian priest who traveled throughout the 49th state, preaching to Native Alaskans. Before Denali, Stuck had little mountaineering experience, and his party was severely under-equipped for the expedition. Nevertheless, Stuck and his partners reached the summit in what was one of the boldest mountaineering feats in history.
Muir was the famed naturalist whose advocacy led to the creation of the National Park system. He wrote widely about his travels and adventures among nature. Although Muir was never a follower of organized religion, his writing reveals a profound religious sense, one grounded in the sublimity of nature. “Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves. No wonder the hills and groves were God’s first temples,” he wrote.
Join the Episcopalian church in celebrating the lives of these two men who loved the natural world.