Saint Joseph, St John the Evangelist, St. Augustine, St. Clare,  St Benedict, St Ignatius of Loyola, St Teresa of Avila, St Louis de Montfort, St. Maximillian Kolbe---- what do these all have in common?   They are all saints, with God in heaven, and our friends while we journey on earth towards our eternal home: HEAVEN!   Saints are born in  different times, cultures, social environments, still they have many points in common. Let us  see!

1. SAINTS BORN SINNERS!   All saints are born as sinners, with Original sin and the effects of original sin-- the innate tendency towards evil called concupiscence.

2. STRUGGLE!   That means that all saints had to struggle to overcome evil within themselves. They were "Spiritual warriors" fighting against  the devil, the flesh and the world.

3. ALL CALLED!  Indeed all men and women of every time and place are called to become saints.  Jesus could not be any clearer when He said:  "Be holy as your heavenly Father is holy."  (Mt. 5:48). Once again,  "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for holiness, they will be satisfied."  (Mt. 5:6).

4. PRAYER WARRIORS!  Saints are firmly convinced that their strength does not come from themselves, but from God and God communicates His strength through prayer!

5. CONFIDENCE!  Saints fall, but they are resilient; they do not stay down but bounce up. They trust in God.  They know that they are weak. However, they are convinced in the power of God.   "Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth."

6.  HUMILITY!  The saints are imbued with a spirit of humility. In practice, this means that they are aware that their successes come from the author of all God--- God Himself. Whereas there failures are of their own doing!  Humility is truth. (St Teresa of Avila).

7. FRIENDS FROM HEAVEN.  Now as they perpetually praise the Blessed Trinity in heaven, they look down upon us with love and are always ready to come to our aid if we simply invoke them, call upon their name!  A beautiful habit: pray to 10 saints every day! How consoling the thought!

8. HOLY SPIRIT AND THE SAINTS.   Blessed Pope John XXIII asserted:  "The saints are the masterpieces of the Holy Spirit." One of the titles for the Holy Spirit is "The Sanctifier--- meaning "He who makes holy".   St Louis de Montfort resounded with these words: " When the Holy Spirit finds Mary in the soul, He flies to it. He enters therein and communicates Himself to that soul in abundance."   Allow the Holy Spirit to transform you into another "masterpiece".  He has the chisel and hammer ready!

9. SHORT CUT TO HOLINESS!   If we want to use the shortcut to arriving at holiness of life, then we must strive to make  faith-filled, frequent, and fervent Holy Communions. Why? The reason is simple: Jesus is the "Holy of Holies". He is truly present in Holy Communion and He works, according to the disposition of the individual, in transforming them into living copies of Himself. For that reason the great Saint Paul  proclaimed:  "No longer I who live but Christ who lives in me."    In your thanksgiving after receiving Holy Communion beg Jesus for this grace: LORD JESUS MAKE ME A SAINT!!!!!   Jesus is ready and willing and waiting for you!

10.  MARY, THE QUEEN OF SAINTS!    The saints all have this point in common: a loving, trusting, filial relationship to Mary most Holy the Queen of angels and saints. Now the saints rejoice to share eternity with their Mother and Queen, but they long with Mary to help us to arrive HOME!  Listen to a saint who was on fire with love for Mary:  "Those who burn with the fire  of Divine Love are children of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and wherever they go they enkindle that flame. Nothing distresses them; they rejoice in poverty, labor strenuously, welcome hardships, laugh off false accusations, and rejoice in anguish."   (St. Anthony Mary Claret)

Future saints, pray to the saints, read the lives of the saints, love the saints, imitate the saints; turn to Mary, Queen of the saints. They are your friends and will be so in time and for all eternity!