Vatican, 06 October, 2022 / 8:00 pm (ACI Africa).
What does it look like to be a Catholic saint today? A Vatican conference taking place in Rome this week has been discussing just that.
Speaking to the “Holiness Today” conference on Oct. 6, Pope Francis underlined that saints are not disconnected from the realities of daily life, but faithfully live the Gospel to the fullest within the communities in which they find themselves.
“Saints do not come from a ‘parallel universe,’ but are believers who belong to God’s faithful people and are firmly grounded in a daily existence made up of family ties, study, and work, social, economic, and political life,” Pope Francis said in the Apostolic Palace.
Pope Francis and participants at the “Holiness Today” conference on Oct. 6, 2022. Vatican Media
“In all these settings, the saints strive constantly, without fear or hesitation, to carry out God’s will.”
Pope Francis pointed to the example of Blessed Carlo Acutis, who died as a high school student in 2006, as “a model of Christian joy for teenagers and young people.”
Holiness “is not primarily a matter of struggle and renunciation,” the pope said. “First and foremost, it is the realization that we are loved by God and freely receive his love and mercy.”
The pope also shared the less contemporary example of St. Francis of Assisi. He emphasized that the witness of the Church’s canonized saints is timeless and never loses its relevance.
“The saints are precious pearls … they provide a fascinating commentary on the Gospel. Their lives are like a catechism in pictures, an illustration of the Good News that Jesus brought to humanity,” he said.
The pope highlighted how the universal call to holiness was at the heart of the Second Vatican Council.