St. Kizito, St. Maria Goretti, St. Dominic Savio, St. Agnes of Rome, St. Philomena, St. Pedro Calungsod, St. Dymphna, St. Stanislaus Kostka… and the list goes on. But what makes these people particularly important? What do these eight Saints have in common?
These are the names of Saints who lived and died for their faith when they were under the age of 20 years old. Even at a young age they loved Jesus and strived every day to follow him and reach heaven. They weren’t knowledgeable scholars, famous leaders, or thought-provoking theologians, but young men and women just like you and me who loved Jesus and endeavored humbly each day to follow His Will.
When I read about the lives of other saintly men and women who wrote many books, performed countless miracles, and prayed for hours, sometimes I wonder how I could ever become as holy and wise as them. How could I possibly be a Saint with all the mistakes I make? But Saints made mistakes too and it is through the grace of God and perseverance that they rose to eternal union with God. “There is no Saint without a past, no sinner without a future” (St. Augustine).
Striving for Sainthood (Heaven) doesn’t mean striving for perfection, but striving to reach the arms of Jesus so He can give you the grace and love to do His Will here on earth and reach Heaven. St. Maria Goretti was 11 years old and because she loved Jesus and tried each day to follow Him, He gave her the strength to persevere and do what is right. Now she is a Saint. You too can become a Saint. You are never too weak or strong, big or small, rich or poor, ignorant or knowledgeable, old or young to become a Saint. When you are feeling defeated and in despair, think of these eight Saints and remember that God can give you the strength to reach Heaven, no matter what. Don’t give up. Keep up the good fight and you will win the race.
“To be Saints is not a privilege for few, but a vocation for everyone” (Pope Francis).
Is there a saint you look up to? I’d love to hear about him/her in the comments below!
If you would like to learn more about the eight Saints I listed above, here are some biographies about them:
St. Kizito: http://www.ugandamartyrsshrine.org.ug/martyrs.php?id=4
St. Maria Goretti: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/saint.php?n=530
St. Dominic Savio: http://www.donboscowest.org/saints/dominicsavio
St. Agnes of Rome: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=106
St. Philomena: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=98
St. Pedro Calungsod: http://sanpedrocalungsod.com/?page_id=241
St. Dymphna: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=222
St. Stanislaus Kostka: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-voices/16th-and-17th-century-ignatian-voices/st-stanislaus-kostka-sj