There are individuals whom the Church officially recognizes as Saints. These individuals have their dates added to the Church calendar. Some feast days of saints are celebrated locally, while other feast days of saints are celebrated universally within the Church.
In order for an individual to be recognized officially as a saint, there is an investigation into the individual’s life and their writings. Two miracles need to be granted through this person’s intercession. The process for sainthood can be measured in years or centuries. Right now there is a cause to make Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen a saint so his life and all of his writings are being investigated by the Church.
A saint is someone the Church holds up as a model to be inspiration to fellow Catholics in following Jesus and living the Catholic life in a world which is not always welcoming or appreciative of the Catholic faith. Following Jesus is not easy but it can be done. It takes trust in God and perseverance.
Saints come from all walks of life (poor, middle class, rich, farmer, doctor, children, adults). Some saints died for their faith (martyrs) while other saints lived in convents and yet through their writings inspired and touched the lives of others. Some saints are former popes, while some saints are founders and foundresses of new religious orders. Some saints had visions of Jesus, Mary, St. Joseph, and angels (such as St. Margaret Mary Alacoque).
Saints are individuals who are with God in heaven and have the ability to intercede for and aid those on earth who are struggling to follow Jesus. Perhaps you are struggling with a particular temptation or trying to live your particular occupation in a manner which is also true to the Catholic faith. There are saints who struggled with the very same temptation or chose the same occupation as you. Pray to them for help and guidance.
March 19th, St. Joseph Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary highlights the importance of Joseph’s role as the husband of Mary. Joseph had a serious responsibility in protecting Mary and Jesus as well as guiding Jesus as Jesus grew up. [Remember Joseph (warned in a dream) took Mary and Jesus to Egypt when Herod was looking to kill all baby boys when the Magi failed to return to tell him the exact location of the newborn King. After the joyful feast of Christmas, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Innocents which remembers this unfortunate event.] God chose Joseph to be the foster father for His son, Jesus. Even as a refugee in Egypt, Joseph had to care for, protect, and teach Jesus. It was Joseph who taught Jesus how to say His prayers, it was Joseph who shared the Jewish faith with Jesus, and it was Joseph who shared the carpenter trade with Jesus. St. Joseph is the model of the man who said yes to God. He cooperated with God’s plan even if he did not understand it. Ask St. Joseph for his guidance and help. Make a habit of going to St. Joseph! St. Joseph can help you. Ask for his help.
July 3rd, St. Thomas, Apostle
This Apostle is an interesting character – he is called the Doubting Apostle. Have you ever wondered why, this Saint has that title? When Jesus appeared to the apostles the first time (after His Resurrection), Thomas was not there and so did not believe the other apostles when they said Jesus had appeared to them. Thomas was present the second time that Jesus appeared to the apostles and Thomas said “My Lord and my God” after seeing for himself and believing that Jesus had indeed risen from the tomb (See John 20:24-29). We hear about St. Thomas on Divine Mercy Sunday (the First Sunday after Easter). Even though Thomas was weak in his faith and doubted the other apostles, Jesus still used Thomas as his apostle who traveled to India to spread the message of the Good News. St. Thomas is also known as the “Apostle of India”.
If you are experiencing doubts, concerning your faith, pray to St. Thomas – for this saint understands what it is like to have doubts and to doubt.