SANDS: Are you saint material?
October 26, 2021
Photo by Michael O'Sullivan
Have you ever wondered if you have the ability to become a saint? COVID-19 impacted all our lives, so I decided to spend my COVID-19 isolation researching on the internet about that question.
Why? Because in Matthew 28:19 (NAB), Jesus instructs the 11 to “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations,” and it has been the mission of the Church through the commissioning of the Apostles to continue “….teaching them to observe all I have commanded you.”
This instruction was applied to the whole world; not one nation or a certain group of people. Acts tells us that the 11 Apostles began following the instructions given by Christ, and through the Church, they continue today. Those instructions continue through the actions of the followers of Christ and are exemplified through the lives of saints.
Have you ever wondered if you were saint material? Do you know what a saint is? According to the Glossary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a Saint is defined as: “The ‘holy one’ who leads a life in union with God through the grace of Christ and receives the reward of eternal life.”
Another way to say it is that a saint is a person who, during their life, was an example of God’s love for people as they followed Christ’s instructions as found in the Gospels and elaborated on in the other books of the Old Testament. That’s basically it.
Not all saints were priests, nuns or religious. They were bankers, authors, hairdressers, clerks, notaries, philanthropists, school teachers, parents or teens and people who, by their lives, showed the love of Christ to others. Saints come from every country in the world, like Ireland, Vietnam, Peru, Malaysia, Columbia, China and the United States. They are Native Americans, like Kateri Tekakwitha or of African descent like Josephine Bakhita; like Felicity and Perpetua during the reign of Nero, or living their faith through wars like Felipe de Jesus in the late 1500s, Maximillian Kolbe in a WWII concentration camp, and Oscar Romero in El Salvador in 1980. Some began their journey of service to our Lord like Carlo Acutis, who at the age of 11 in 2002, created a website dedicated to cataloging every reported Eucharistic miracle in the world and completing it in 2005.
Some, like Nicholas Black Elk, did not become a Catholic until he was well into his 40s, then became an active Catechist. Faustina established the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and Teresa of Calcutta founded a congregation whose members adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty, obedience, and to give “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.”
The Roman Catholic Church has a process for certifying a person as a saint. The process of achieving and receiving sainthood in the Catholic Church is called canonization. If you are interested, detailed information of all of the steps are found online at www.usccb.org and in several YouTube channels.
But to answer my question: Of course you are and yes you can!
Daphine H. Sands, a retired City of Houston employee, is a member of St. Mary of the Purification where she is the coordinator for youth ministry and Assistant DRE.