A huge part of my draw to Catholicism comes from being introduced to the lives and works of Sts John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and Therese of Lesieux while in high school, and, now, Thomas Merton (wthough I don’t know if he’s even considered Blessed?) I’ll post the reasons for liking them individually later, but in the meantime, which saints or holy figures do you most admire, an if there is a specific reason, why?
Since my patron saint is St. Therese of Lisieux, I have a devotion to her and try to live her “Little Way.” I also admire how she promised she would "spend her heaven doing good on earth."
Because of the mass murder of children in this country, I feel I can call upon St. Gianna Molla for her intercession.
Lastly, I ask for the intercession of St. Rita of Cascia, the saint of “impossible cases.” All these holy women play a special role in my life and I strive to be like them more and more each day.
I’ve been introduced to The Story of a Soul for the first time today and, although I’m only a quarter of the way through, I’m already deeply moved by Terese of Liseux’s beautiful spirit. I’m just getting to know about her, but I think I will admire her a great deal. Some of us are called to be saints in heroic ways, giving our lives for others or turning back armies, but most of us are called to be saints in little ways. It is inspiring to hear of a saint who managed to live ordinary life so well.
As far as I understand it, Thomas Merton is considered by some to have been a little too sympathetic towards Buddhism to be considered for a candidate sainthood. Personally, though, the few reflections I have read of which he was the author I hold in high regard.
Teresa of Avila is on my list of people to read, but I’ve yet to get round to her, I’m afraid, which is a shame because she sounds really interesting :o In fact all the saints you mentioned wrote - you must be an avid reader!
I particularly admire Maria Goretti and Maximillian Kolbe, two very dfferent saints who both died for their principals. Also, although we know barely anything about him personally, I feel an affinity for Cornelius the Centurion whose conversion story has struck a chord with me.
Oh dear, that is a lot of saints!
I like all those saints as well as St. Padre Pio for his acceptance of suffering and simplicity and love, St. Michael the Archangel for his courage and victory, St. Rita of Cascia for her patience bravery and fortitude, St. Thomas Aquinas for his brilliant mind, Bl. Mother Theresa for her suffering and perseverance, Ven. John Henry Newman for his courage and reason, **Sts. Mary and Joseph **for their faith and obedience, and so many more!!! :o
St Thomas More for being the most well-rounded Saint I’ve ever met.
A brilliant thinker, teacher and writer.
Great family man who adopted several children on top of his own four.
Successful and hard-working lawyer and statesman, yet made time for daily Mass and hours of prayer on top of his huge daily workload.
Devastatingly witty and entertaining at the royal court yet secretly wearing an ascetic’s hairshirt beneath his fine court clothing - and never ate or drank much, in stark contrast to his king Henry VIII.
Did everything that being skilfully diplomatic could do to stick to his principles without raising the anger either of the King or anyone else. Yet accepted the royal anger - and his own execution resulting - with such good grace that he could laugh and joke on the way to the scaffold.
I have several favorites:
St. Therese of Lisieux
St. Francis of Assisi
St. Clare of Assisi
St. Padre Pio
St. Anne (my confirmation saint)
St. Catherine of Siena
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Bl. Mother Maria Teresa of St. Joseph (the foundress of the Carmelite DCJ order)
At the top of my list is the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To love with a heat free of hatred, anger and recentlment.
Then comes our holy father Francis. He is among those men who had what on the surfface appears as a simple understanding of the Gospel, but when you examine his life and work more closely, you really see a very deep understanding of Christ and the entire Gospel message. He is the best teacher on Christian perfection that I have ever found.
St. Max Kolbe is one of my Franciscan brothers and his love for life and the dignity of human life are awe inspiring. I’m always inspired his love for the enemy and how he prayed for the Nazis. He is a man that is an example for us today who are fighting so many enemies of the faith. He prays for their conversion, but he also shows them love and respect at ever turn of the corner.
Mother Teresa and John Paul II I put together for their great love of the world and desire to bring all men to Christ by bringing Christ’s love to all men.
Then there is Augustine’s writing on prayer. I can’t find another person who can write on prayer as he did, in a simple and straightfoward manner. I do love Teresa of Avila, but Augustine is clearer on our search for the Lord. Teresa is more beautiful, while Augustine is more dry. I love her example of courage and her fidelity to the Church at the same time. She managed to renew the Order without disobeying the Church. We need to immitate that kind of example today.
Br. JR, OSF