Saints are people like you and I who love God deeply. Their love for Christ is shown in action through living the human and theological virtues to a heroic degree throughout their life. People often think that sainthood is reserved for the ‘extraordinary’ people, but this is not true.
Saints are people who have made mistakes and have sinned against God, but they never gave up. In the words of St Augustine, ‘a saint is a sinner who never stopped trying. There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future’.
The common stereotype for saints usually held, is that they are people who have left the world to be nuns, priests or part of the clergy. While this is true, this commonly held view on saints is very narrow. Every person despite their profession, age, ethnicity or background are called to be saints, to be holy.
A school student, a university professor, a stay-at-home mother and a religious nun all have the same vocation to be a saint.
This universal call to holiness was highly emphasised during Vatican II – an ecumenical council in the Catholic Church from October 11, 1962 until December 8, 1965, which addressed the relationship between the Catholic faith and the modern world. This universal call to holiness reminds every baptised Catholic that they have the same dignity as the Lord. We are told in the very first book of the bible, in Genesis, that we are made in God’s image and likeness. Therefore, we share the same vocation to holiness. In other words, to be saints.
Each person carries out their personal call to holiness by living out all the virtues according to their own circumstances and by relying on the grace of God.
A poem called ‘We need saints’, attributed to St John Paul II said: ‘We need saints without veil or cassock. We need saints who wear jeans and sneakers. We need saints who passionately love the Eucharist and who are not ashamed to drink a soda or eat pizza on the weekends with friends.’