Why is it that the saints were able
to accomplish so much in relatively short time? The response: FAITH AND LOVE FOR GOD! The saints had a limitless faith in the love
and in the power of Almighty God. But then they manifested their love for God
by apostolic zeal—a thirst for the salvation of souls!
St. Francis Xavier, St. Louis de
Montfort, St Francis of Assisi, St Thomas Aquinas, St Charles Borromeo, St,
John Neumann all had at least to things in common: they are now canonized
saints praising God forever in heaven and they all died even before they reached
The extraordinary missionary feats,
the incredible zeal for souls and Mary, the uncompromising evangelical poverty,
the zeal for reform in the Church, the love for the Eucharist and Parochial
schools--- yes, so much was accomplished by one man!
Jesus said that He came to cast fire
on the earth and that He is not at peace until that fire be enkindled. The saints were men and women consumed with
a burning fire to promote the honor and glory of God and an insatiable hunger
to save souls.
The last words that Saint Ignatius of
Loyola said to Saint Francis Xavier as he was sent off to India to be the
greatest missionary only after Saint Paul were, “Go set all on fire.” This,
the saint took literally! At the end of
many of his days he could no longer lift up his arm anymore because he had
baptized so many souls in that one day!
This is fire!
Saint John Bosco had a deep faith and
a passion for Jesus and the salvation of souls. It was this great saint that
gave his life’s blood for the salvation of the young people of Turin and
eventually the world at large.
A young lad felt an irresistible
attraction to this saint and entered into his office. On the wall was posted
some saying in Latin. The boy inquired of
Saint John Bosco as to the meaning of the saying. Bosco translated: “Give
me souls and take all the rest away.” This was the motor force and motto of Saint
John Bosco’s life—to save as many souls as he possibly could, with the help of
St Thomas Aquinas, the greatest
theologian in the Catholic Church, teaches that one immortal soul is worth more
than the whole created universe. He also
teaches that one soul that prepares himself well, goes to confession, sincerely
repenting of his mortal sin and leaves the confessional forgiven, is greater
than the creation of the whole universe.
For this reason, the understanding of the value of an immortal soul, did
the saints extend themselves even beyond the limits of mere natural powers!
Why did Saint John Mary Vianney fast
on potatoes, sleep on the floor, scourge his poor body to the shedding of
blood, sleep three hours a night, and spend from 10 to 18 hours in the
confessional for close to forty long years???? Why? The response is the same that all saints
agree on--- the value of the immortal soul and the honor and glory of God.
The saints also are keenly aware of
the price of an immortal soul. The Word
of God teaches us that we are not redeemed through the price of gold or silver,
nor the blood of lambs or goats. Rather, we have been purified, sanctified and
redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
PADRE PIO. One of the most famous modern saints is Saint
Padre Pio. A modern saint who died in
1968 and canonized by Blessed Pope John Paul II is one of the most venerated
and loved saints in the modern world.
Among the many extraordinary
accomplishments of this great man of God was the willing acceptance of the
In 1918 while praying in front of a
crucifix, Padre Pio received the same mystical grace and gift that his Father
Founder Saint Francis received seven hundred years earlier--- the gift of the
His hands, and feet and side were pierced
in imitation of our loving Savior’s crucifixion on Good Friday. Jesus told Padre Pio that he would carry
these wounds in his body for fifty years and then they would disappear. This
prophecy indeed came true. In 1968
shortly before Padre Pio died, after carrying these wounds of Christ for fifty
years, the wounds disappeared!
Why did Padre Pio willingly accept
these wounds that entailed so much suffering? Someone once asked him if the
wounds hurt him? With a bit of irony he
responded: “These are not decorations!”
He suffered these wounds of Christ as a victim soul to repair for the
many sins of the world, but also for the conversion and for the salvation of
For this reason Saint Faustina
stated: “Love for God is measured by the willingness to suffer for the loved
one and for the salvation of souls.”
If we love God then we should love
what God loves! In all of God’s
creation—read Genesis chapters one and two—the crown of creation is man and
woman! Everything God brought into existence in the natural world He made for
man as a stepping stone and ladder to heaven.
Therefore, we should love what God
loves--- the salvation of souls! One immortal soul is worth more than the whole
The high point, apex, zenith of the
spiritual life is manifested by the saints, but in a special way the martyrs.
They imitated Jesus by dying and shedding their blood for love of Jesus.
A modern saint who died during the
“Cristero” revolt in Mexico is Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rios. The anti-Catholic
government tried to force this mere teenager to renounce Christ the King. With
a courage and energy that came from the Holy Spirit the mere boy cried out “Viva Cristo Rey!” “Long live Christ the King!” He was tortured
by knives slicing his feet, brutally bludgeoned with sticks, machetes and
knives, but still he proclaimed loud and strong “Viva Cristo Rey!” Finally
he was shot in the head. The boy-saints’
last gesture was to make the sign of the cross in the ground with his own
The saints, the saints, the
saints! How glorious, magnificent,
noble, heroic, courageous, faithful to their last breath. May God inspire you
to become a great saint to proclaim the glory of God and to win a multitude of
immortal souls to glorify the Blessed Trinity for all eternity!