Last Sunday in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis canonized seven new saints:
- Pope Paul VI who led the last sessions of the Second Vatican Council and its initial implementation
- Oscar Romero who defended the poor, called for justice and was assassinated in 1980
- Vincent Romano, an Italian priest who died in 1831
- Nazaria Ignacia March Mesa, a Spanish nun who ministered in Mexico and Bolivia and died in 1943
- Catherine Kasper, the 19th-century German founder of a religious order
- Francesco Spinelli, a 19th-century priest and founder of a religious order
- Nunzio Sulprizio, a layman who died in Naples in 1836 at the age of 19
What a blessing to have seven more people to look up to as examples of how to achieve eternal life. Seven more saints to pray for us and intercede on our behalf.
This brings the total number of saints canonized by Pope Francis since 2013 to 892. That’s a lot of saints!
But I am reminded that there are a lot more saints in heaven who a pope has not recognized. After all, it’s not the pope who decides who gets into heaven. That alone is up to God.
When the pope declares someone a Saint, it just means they’ve gone through the rigors of our sainthood process and the evidence has shown that person is in fact in heaven working on our behalf. The pope declares beyond a doubt that person is a Saint.
No doubt every day there are people entering the kingdom of heaven … without our knowledge or confirmation. Like me, you probably have relatives or friends who you believe are in heaven … or should be there soon. But we don’t really know. We continue to pray for the repose of their souls.
Tens of thousands of them will never be declared a saint. But that doesn’t mean they’re not enjoying eternal life.
How we live our live on Earth will determine if we are rewarded with eternal life in heaven. We may never be declared a saint, but we can all seek to enter the kingdom of God. This week’s Genuflect focuses on the newly named saints, how to become a saint, and how to live a life destined for heaven.
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Until next week …
Pope Francis canonized several new saints to the Catholic Church on Sunday, Oct. 14. Here’s some information about these amazing witnesses of holiness, and some of the miracles attributed to their intercession.
Being named a saint in the Catholic Church is a very high honor. It means the saint’s name is added to the official catalogue of saints, and that Masses and feast days can be celebrated in his or her honor. Here’s what it takes for someone to be named a saint.
It’s not easy to become a saint in the Catholic Church. Until now, there have only been three paths to canonization: by dying for the faith (or martyrdom), by living a life of “heroic virtue” (like Mother Theresa) or in “exceptional cases,” where someone has been venerated as a holy person from ancient times and this is taken as evidence of their saintliness. But now, Pope Francis has opened up a fourth path to sainthood.
We are all called to be holy in little ways, just like St. Therese, who was known for completing even the most mundane and ordinary tasks with great love, dignity and devotion. While most of us Christians are not serving others in African missions, we do have the ability (and responsibility) to live like saints in our daily lives. There’s no blueprint or step-by-step plan on how to live like a saint. But the path to sainthood likely begins with these basics.
We’re all called to be saints — to give our lives fully to God like the saints that have gone before us. Naturally, then, we should look to canonized Saints as examples and role models. But how on earth are we supposed to be saints when those who have gone before us have done such remarkable things? Though written for teens, this article has some great insight for all of us on the importance of seeking and acknowledging His presence in every moment of our lives.
If there’s one undeniable fact about human nature, it’s that we all want to be happy. We crave joy—infinite, endless joy. The problem is, we often look for happiness in all the wrong places, leaving ourselves frustrated and miserable. One man found the secret of true happiness. His name was St. John Bosco. Here’re his six recommendations for living a joyful life.
Society desperately needs passionate Catholics – those who put Church teachings above secular ideologies, who strive daily to grow in the knowledge of God, who base their decisions around the Church, and who maintain joy through life’s trials. How can we truly experience the depth of the Church and lead others to do the same? Here are some ideas.
St. Alphonsus Liguori wrote a book called: How to Converse with God that gives little explanations and practical tips on how to make each day about God. He shows how everything in our day can become a prayer: from our work, to the things we notice throughout the day, to the moments when we’re happy, to the moments when we’re frustrated or trying to make a decision. Here are six pieces of simple advice from this little book of wisdom.
Brother Silas Henderson reflects on last Sunday’s Gospel reading from Mark 10:17, 21-22 and explains the danger of having a divided heart. The issue at stake is whether or not we are willing to let go of all the stuff we use to self-medicate and insulate ourselves from life’s challenges and the demands of discipleship. The choice is ultimately ours to make.
The saints of the ages inspire and instruct us in how to lead lives of holiness. Men and women should study the lives of these 20 awe-inspiring woman saints.
A Harvard University study suggests both an uptick in saint-making and a larger portion of new saints coming from outside Western Europe. In addition to where saints have originated from, see the number of confessor saints canonized by century and by pope, and a few other interesting facts.
It’s one thing to understand the theology behind praying to the saints. It’s another thing to actually do it. So how do you start? Here’s a suggested guide.
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