Youth and Young Adults

Saints to Befriend

June 3, 2020

Regional Youth Ministry Coordinator

Wouldn’t it be magical if we could speed-dial someone who was in Heaven? That one person who would always answer and would listen to your thoughts, rants, and laughter?

There are a wide variety of real people who are in Heaven looking out for us. Each saint has a real and unique story that we may be able to relate to. Sometimes when I think of a saint, I think they must be ancient, canonised back in the 1st Century.

Oh, how I am mistaken!

While it isn’t normal for any person to be recognised as a saint by the Pope every day, it does occur now and again. The latest person to be recognised was in October 2019. And, there are plenty of people who haven’t been given the title ‘saint’! Which means there is an endless amount of people available for us to talk to whenever.

So, I have listed some saints that you may or may not know about below. Maybe someone will become your new best friend this year!

Your Confirmation Saint

It’s time to rewind the memory banks and remember the saint you chose at Confirmation! Many Catholics choose a saint that they find inspiring at their Confirmation. The purpose is to create a connection with a friend that will help you on your Christian journey. Some people say that they didn’t choose their saint, the saint chose them. In these cases, the saint wants you as a friend!

Now, if you haven’t completed the Sacrament of Confirmation, don’t fret! You can still choose a saint ‘buddy’ to learn about and gain inspiration from.

Saint José Luis Sánchez del Rio

Most people have a phrase or a saying that they repeat in their head or out loud at a given moment. “Vivo Christo Rey” was St Jose’s phrase for his life. St José’s road to sainthood might not be pretty in some people’s perspective. But for St José, it was his ultimate goal.

St José was known for his powerful example of youth, bravery, and faith. He grew up in Mexico when the Mexican Government was attempting to remove all influence of the Catholic Church. Churches were shut down, religious schools closed, and Catholic priests executed. José desperately wanted to join the rebellion to stand up for his faith. Eventually, his mother allowed him to become a Cristero fighter, a rebel fighting for religious freedom. During a battle, José was captured, tortured, and told to deny his faith. His only response was “Vivo Christo Rey” [Long live Christ, the King]. He suffered horrendous wounds during his captivity, including having parts of the skin on his feet removed and made to walk to a site that eventually became his grave. All the meanwhile, José kept saying “Vivo Christo Rey”. St José died one month short of his 15th birthday.

St Therese of Lisieux

St Therese had a spirit that wanted everything. Therese is known widely as “The Little Flower” and her “Little Way.” Early on in her life, Therese experienced serious illness, and this remained the case for the rest of her life. It limited her ability to do everything that she wanted. Therese was known for her littleness, as described in her autobiography Story of a Soul.

St Therese had a strong love for Jesus since childhood. At the age of 9, just after one of her sisters entered a convent, she rocked up and asked to enter the convent herself. She was turned away and was advised to come back when she was older. And she did at 14. She was told, once again, to come back at 21 or go to the local Bishop and ask for permission to enter earlier. So, Therese did and even went to the Pope to request permission. She was soon accepted into the Lisieux Convent at 16, where she would remain for nine years until her death.

It was recognised that Therese’s life inside the convent was filled with seemingly normal everyday tasks which included working in the sacristy, cleaning the dining room, painting pictures, and sharing her creative side through creating plays and poems for her community. As well as these tasks, Therese was deeply immersed in the intense community prayer life and became an instructor to the new sisters entering the community. It was during this time that Therese developed her “Little Way”. She was aware of her littleness and often felt incapable so she surrendered her lift to Jesus with the hope that He would act through her. Many people have been interested and attracted to St Therese and this “Little Way” and she has become one of the most influential saints in modern times.

There is just so much to St Therese and her short life. Click here for more details about her life and her “Little Way.”

St Augustine of Hippo

There once was a story about a young man who would climb fences to get apples, not to eat, but to smash them along the road. This was St Augustine in his youth.

St Augustine is known for being a famous and incredible theologian in the 4th Century. However, he only became known for this much later in his life. Augustine was raised as a Christian by his mother, St Monica. However, he was a non-believer. He didn’t agree with Church teachings or in the idea of a God. His spiritual autobiography Confessions details Augustine’s search for meaning and how he eventually finds peace within the Church. This book isn’t necessarily an easy read; however, I have found that the questions he asks are profound and are a cause for reflection. St Augustine has significantly contributed to the Church and its teachings. He was able to create a theological system that we still use today where many of his written works are still used and adapted to suit modern times.

There are hundreds and hundreds of saints that have been recognised by the Catholic Church! I have only begun to skim the surface on the lives and stories of St José, St Therese, and St Augustine.

All of the saints have contributed to the wider Church not only in the period where they were alive but even in today’s times. Each saint has a unique and interesting story that allows us to connect and draw closer to God. These people are a prime example of how we can live our lives in ordinary and extraordinary circumstances.

Will you allow the saints to become an inspiration for you in your daily lives?

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