When I first heard those words many years ago, I was completely incredulous. I thought, “Yeah, right – I’m just a mom with little kids. How am I expected to become a saint?” Like some of you, I had this false notion that sainthood was reserved for special people – mainly priests and nuns – who did really incredible things like convert hundreds of people, give away all their money to the poor, or build orphanages. So it was a shocking revelation to learn that being a saint simply means going to heaven when we die. Yes, of course, I wanted to become a saint then…and I wanted all my family and friends to be saints, too!
While it’s true that we have many recognized saints in the Church, heaven is filled with multitudes of saints whose names we don’t know – but they are there nonetheless! And God wants each of us there with Him for eternity, too. So how do we get there? Holiness in our everyday lives – loving God and loving our neighbour. It’s a simple idea, but a much harder reality to live each day. But that’s where the named saints – the canonized ones – come in. They can help us in so many ways: as examples to us – evidence that God can and does work through ordinary people to do extraordinary things; in their writings – the thoughts and ideas that God inspired in them; and in their prayers for us – those who sit perpetually in the presence of our Heavenly Father…how efficacious those prayers must be!
Today we are starting a new feature on Swords of Truth that will help us get to know the saints – our heavenly helpers – a little better. Each month, we will feature a different saint – their picture, a short bio, and maybe a link to some of their writings. Just click on the image to find the rest! There will be well-known saints, but also some you may never have heard of. Either way, our hope is that they will inspire you…and that you will begin to consider these men and women as friends to support, encourage, and pray for you on your journey to heaven.
– Kelley Holy