Who are some of your favorite priest-saints in the modern era? In this time of the abuse crisis, we need models of holy priests. What saints and blesseds do you think of?
One who comes to mind is Maximilian Kolbe whose feast day was yesterday.
He was a prisoner of the Nazis. After a prisoner escaped, the Nazis selected 10 other men to die. Fr. Kolbe offered to take the place of one of the men who was a husband and father. He was starved and finally poisoned to death.
I see him as a model of self-sacrificial love. I don’t think I could live up to the standard he set, but I hope that I can find small ways of incorporating his choices into my life.
You can read more about him:
Another is Blessed Miguel Pro. His priestly ministry was cut short by the religious persecution in his native Mexico. From all accounts, he was a joyful, dedicated, enthusiastic priest, who had neither the time nor the inclination for wrongdoing. All his energy went into serving God and saving souls.
But I also think of the priests I have known in my life who are not official saints and will likely never be canonized, like my pastor growing up. He had been an Army chaplain in World War II, and then founded our parish, serving there until his death in 1977. He was a little gruff when I knew him as an older man, but also caring, dependable and trustworthy.
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) is a favorite of mine and I chose him as my confirmation name.
“The life of a Christian is nothing but a perpetual struggle against self; there is no flowering of the soul to the beauty of its perfection except at the price of pain” ― Saint Padre Pio
Yes! Great. Let’s keep them coming.
Fr Bill Thomas, who died 5 years ago.
and a still living priest, Fr. John Riccardo (Detroit MI)
What are some more holy priests with heroic virtue that would be recognized as such even by those outside the Church?
For example, Padre Pio is surely a #1 example of a modern holy priest. But I’m also trying to keep in mind those holy priests who would be deemed virtuous even outside Catholic piety — like priests like Maximilian Kolbe, who is easily recognized for his sacrificial actions.
Father Hugh O’Flaherty - he helped during WWII. He saved those who were military and others near the Vatican. I was impressed by him when watching “The Scarlet and the Black”. He was able to forgive hie enemy.
Father William Doyle, SJ
Died serving as Chaplain for Irish Soldiers serving with the British Expeditionary Force in Belgium, WWI 16 August 1917, rushing around the battlefield, delivering Last Rites and aid to wounded and dying soldiers.
Two martyrs come to mind…
St. George Preca (rumored to have been gay and celibate)
St. Maximilian Kolbe
St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)
St. Leopold Mandic
Bl. Jerzy Popielusko
Bl. Miguel Pro
Bl. Titus Brandsma
Bl. Solanus Casey
Bl. Stanley Rother
Bl. Zenon Kovalyk
Ven. Fulton Sheen
Ven. Patrick Peyton
Ven. Nelson Baker
Servant of God Emil Kapaun
Servant of God Edward Flanagan
Servant of God Bill Atkinson
Servant of God Jacques Hamel
Servant of God Walter Ciszek
Servant of God Vince Capodanno
Servant of God Terence Cardinal Cooke
Fr. Mychal Judge
Fr. Willie Doyle
A few more:
Venerable Alphonse Gallegos (the “Bishop of the Barrios”)
Servant of God John Hardon
Servant of God Leo Heinrichs
Servant of God Thomas Price
Servant of God James Walsh
Servant of God Joseph Walijewski
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