In honor of All Saints Day, we wanted to feature some of the great content and resources about the saints that we’ve written about on LifeTeen.com. Share this with your friends and celebrate the lives of the saints!
When I ask you, “How many friends do you have?” what pops into your mind? Is it … How many “true” friends? How many Facebook friends? How many friends in my whole lifetime? Actually, it’s far more than any of those numbers. In truth you have more friends than you can count. The saints in heaven are the best friends you could ask for – and they’re pulling for you.
Growing up in a non-denominational Christian home, I was told many things about Catholicism. Few were true. Regarding the Saints, I was only told “Catholics idolize them and talk to the dead, which is a sin.” I never questioned this until my junior year in college when I lost my beloved Uncle Luis.
Writing a resume can be a painful experience, especially for a Christian. Christians aren’t supposed to lie. Christians are supposed to be humble. Yet there you are, having to cram your personality and life’s accomplishments onto a page – to be judged often times by very worldly eyes, who might value what you do more than who you are. Titles matter to employers but not to God. In fact, the only “title” God cares about for us is that we are His son or daughter. Beyond that, the only earthly “title” that would leave Heaven applauding would be that of a “saint.”
Too often, I think, we associate saints with angels. Saints were not angels, and they were not perfect. Angels don’t have human needs like saints did. Angels don’t go to the bathroom like saints did. Why am I bringing this up? Because we need to remember that what made the saints, well… saints was their response to God, through their humanity. The saints screwed up sometimes, the saints sinned sometimes, just like you and me. They fell down, but they got up again.
What do you want to be the patron saint of? Spending too much money at Starbucks? Ace-ing Algebra? Being Awesome? Don’t laugh; it’s a valid question. We are all called to be saints, whether or not we get the “St.” before our names in the saint books. Almost all the saints in the ‘giant book of saints’ have various (some would even say random) things they are patrons of. Many are patrons of more than one thing. So when – not if – you are named a saint, what do you want to be the patron of?
St. Rose of Lima: A beautiful young woman who dedicated her life to the service of God. She lived with great humility and devoted herself to the Blessed Sacrament. The funny thing is, I had no idea who Rose was and how similar we were until two years after I picked her as my Confirmation saint. Looking back, I wish I would have taken my saint choice more seriously. I thought I was simply honoring my godmother Rose Mary. Although it was a pure intention, I didn’t understand that I was picking a saint as a model of holiness and asking her to intercede for me on my faith journey.
You might not know very much about your family tree, but you should. It’s incredible. Your family has a long legacy. Your family has made a huge impact on the world. In fact, your family has changed the world in almost every conceivable way. If it weren’t for your family, modern culture would look a whole lot different and far darker than it does.Your Catholic family tree has born a lot of fruit, my brothers and sisters, and it’s fruit that has remained (Jn 15:16).
Even when I don’t get a chance to go to daily Mass, I like to check out the readings for the day (you can find them in our Daily Devotional or on the USCCB website). And something I noticed about this week is that it’s particularly saintly. Every day this week has a different Saint attached to it. That got me thinking: how much do I really know about the saints?
In high school I always felt like sainthood was unachievable. I felt that greatness was reserved for the few and rare. But becoming a saint doesn’t seem so impossible when you see the example of someone who lived their life in faith, humility, sacrifice, passion, and in the selfless service of others. It’s inspirational. It’s marvelous. It’s living our Catholic faith fully.
As many of you are aware, October in America is “Breast Cancer Awareness” month. One of the great gifts we have as Catholics is a deeper understanding of the Communion of Saints, and the power of intercessory prayer. The saints and martyrs lived heroically virtuous lives. One such model of heroism and virtue is St. Agatha, who also happens to be the patron saint against breast cancer and breast disease.
The Church gives us feast days throughout the year so that we can look to the Saints who went before us, learn from their example, and ask their intercession. Today is the feast of one of my favorite saints – Saint Pio of Pietrelcina! Padre Pio was an amazing role model for every one of us.
When I was ten years old, I asked Saint Therese for a kitten. It makes me laugh now, but back then I desperately wanted one. My aunt, who knew more about Saint Therese than I did, had told me that she promised a shower of roses to whoever invoked her aid. So I begged for that kitten. After all, it had to be easier than sending a torrential downpour of roses. Years later, my youth minister gave me a book about her spirituality called “I Believe in Love.” I started reading it – no, I raced through it. I could relate to her so much more than any other saint I’d yet encountered. She fell asleep while praying, messed up her daily chores…
When I was a teen picking out my Confirmation saint, I searched long and hard for someone who was least likely to change my image… meaning someone like me! But while I was drowning myself Googling saints, I stumbled across a loud-mouthed girl around my age who converted almost every pagan she encountered. Although I hadn’t converted anyone from my knowledge, I knew that I loved reasoning with people and speaking openly about my faith; I knew I wanted to be more like her.
St. Athanasius is my absolute favorite saint. He is awesome, he is unique – he’s pretty much my BSF (Best Saint Forever). You may be asking yourself: “Self, what is so cool about St. Athanasius?” I’m glad you asked. Here are the top three reasons.
“You’re out of control! I’m sending you to the convent.” Are those words that you would want to hear? A teenager named Teresa sure didn’t appreciate when her father told her that. As a little girl, born in Avila, Spain in the 1500s, Teresa tried to run off and be a martyr, but by the time she became a teen, all of that enthusiasm for the faith was gone.
A question that teens usually ponder regarding sex is, “How far is too far?” But a new question I challenge us to consider is, “How far would you go to protect your purity?” Saint Maria Goretti was only eleven years old when she was stabbed to death for refusing to give up her virginity to a neighborhood boy, Alessandro.
Kickball was a huge deal in my neighborhood. My house was the one with the large, nicely mowed field (thanks dad) and so the kickball games always happened there. We would play until it was too dark to see the ball and the mosquitoes too unbearable. It was really fun but kind of stressful too. I remember when all that mattered to me was being able to kick that yellow rubber ball past the tree line and be the fastest to sprint around the bases. It sounds bad, but I didn’t care about the important things like getting to heaven and becoming a saint. All I wanted was to be the best at kickball and I felt like if I wasn’t, my friends would think less of me or not want me around.
Saintly Minute Videos
St. Teresa is one of the most popular saints around right now… from Confirmation names to devotions, her fan club is blowing up. Get to know her story a little better with our ‘Saintly Minute’ video on St. Teresa of Avila.
Saint Faustina is a powerhouse of holiness. Check out the video for a Saintly Minute on St. Faustina.
You might see the title of this and think, “Theotokos? That’s as hard to read as Greek!” You’d be right, because it is Greek! Find out what it means – and how it applies to Mary – in this Saintly Minute video.
Saint Stephen, the proto-martyr for the Church, was an amazing witness of faith. Take a look at his life in our ‘Saintly Minute’ video.
Even if you’ve never heard of St. Jerome, you’ve read his work; he helped translate much of the Bible while he was alive. Take a quick look at the life of this Doctor of our Church.
We’re happy to share the life of another powerful example of faith: St. John of the Cross. Check it out.
The most famous Catholic to ever get knocked off his horse – literally – St. Paul is definitely someone worth knowing about. In this video, we share a little bit of the life of the man they once called Saul.
Here is a quick look at the life of Maria Goretti, one of the youngest saints in the Church. Her story is a call for all of us to defend our chastity, and to forgive those who sin against us.
Today we take a glimpse at St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan priest who offered his life at a concentration camp during World War II. St. Maximilian Kolbe is a good example of having courage in the face of great adversity. If only we could all have his bravery!
A favorite saint among theologians, St. Thomas Aquinas was one of the greatest minds in Church history. Here is our short video on the priest known as ‘The Angelic Doctor.’
Saint Francis of Assisi is one of the most well known and beloved Catholic saints. His life of poverty and humility has captivated millions of people throughout the centuries and led to establishing an order devoted to a life of poverty for the love of God. He also well known for his love of nature and for creating the Nativity Creche seen at Christmas. His feast day is October 4.