Why We Need to Canonize More Lay Saints

Ever since the Second Vatican Council spoke of the “universal call to holiness,” there has been a move to recognize more lay men and women as saints, as models of sanctity for lay Catholics.  Several contemporary saints have already been raised to the “glories of the altar,” among them St. Gianna Molla (1922-1962), an Italian mother (pictured here) who carried a child to term rather than consenting to an abortion, and who died in the process.  Others on their way include Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901-1925), the charismatic Italian social activist who once said, “Charity is not enough; we need social reform.” In that same vein is the redoubtable Dorothy Day, the American-born co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, whose cause for canonization has just been advanced.  And in 2008, Louis and Zélie Martin, the devoutly Catholic parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux (and her equally pious sisters) were beatified in 2008, the rare instance of a husband and wife recognized together. 

But when it comes to recognizing saints, the church still tends to favor popes, bishops, priests and members of religious orders.  Last month, Pope Benedict XVI released the latest list of 27 candidates for sainthood, which consisted of: martyrs in the Spanish Civil War, including a bishop and 13 Daughters of Charity; an Austrian priest killed in Buchenwald; the Mexican foundress of a women’s religious order; an 18th-century Italian diocesan priest and a Dominican priest who founded the Bethany community.  While there are plenty of holy Fathers and Mothers on that list, where are the holy mothers and fathers? 

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Fifty years after Vatican II, in the midst of the church’s continued invitation for lay people to lead holy lives, why are there still relatively few role models for the laity?

Many lay people have told me, over the years, that they long for more saints who lived lives extraordinary holiness in ordinary situations.  That is, a layperson other than a saint from the very earliest days of the church (St. Joseph); someone who wasn’t royalty (like St. Elizabeth of Hungary); someone who didn’t end up in a religious order at the end of his or her life (like St. Bridget of Sweden); someone who didn’t initially plan to live as “brother and sister” while married (like Louis and Zélie Martin); someone who didn’t found a religious order or social movement (like Dorothy Day); and someone who didn’t die in terrible circumstances (like St. Gianna Molla). 

While Catholics recognize that the canonized saint needs to have lived a life of “heroic sanctity,” many long for more saints they can hope to emulate in their daily lives.  Which raises an important question: Who is holier--Mother Teresa or the elderly mother who cares for decades for an adult child who is autistic?  Pope John Paul II or the pious educator who serves as a director of religious education in an inner-city parish, while holding down another job to support his family?  The answer: they’re both saintly, in their own ways.  As Blessed John XXIII said about St. Aloysius Gonzaga, the 16th-century Jesuit, “If Aloysius had been as I am, he would have become holy in a different way.”  (And not to put too fine a point on it, but that’s still a pope talking about a member of a religious order.) 

“Heroic sanctity” comes in many forms—and it includes both those whose faith inspires them to found a religious order, and those whose faith enables them to care for a sick child for years on end.

Currently there are three reasons that frustrate the desire for more lay saints of any stripe.  The first is the persistent belief, still ingrained in many Catholics, that ordination or taking religious vows represents a higher level of holiness than does, say, raising a child.  As a young boy in Sunday school class I was once given a picture to color.  It featured a priest and sister on one side of the page, and a husband and wife on the other.  Under the husband and wife the legend read: “Good.”  Under the priest and sister: “Better.”  But even the saints disagreed with this.  “Holiness is not the luxury of  a few,” said Mother Teresa. “It is a simple duty for you and for me.” 

The second factor is the more "public" nature of the lives of many of the priests and members of religious orders who are canonized.  It’s easier to see the “results” of the religious order founder or foundress; much harder is it to know about the elderly mother’s care for the autistic child: such accomplishments rarely make news. So the church’s requirement that a local “devotion” spring up around the person will naturally be thwarted.  This kind of “hidden” lay holiness will be less likely to attract the devout simply because it is less well known. 

The third reason is the arduous, time-consuming and expensive canonization procedures, which only religious orders and dioceses can afford (or understand).  Certainly it makes sense to have standards--and high ones--for someone to be canonized, and a thorough vetting process is required.  But not many children of holy parents are able to navigate the complex process required by the Congregation of the Causes of the Saints (if they even know it).  Once the mother of the autistic boy dies, who is there to advance her “cause”?  God alone knows of her holiness, yet her example might speak to many more Catholics than even that of a pope.

If the church hopes to offer relevant models of holiness for lay people, it’s time to make the canonization process far more accessible, and far less expensive, for those who knew a holy husband, wife, mother, father, friend or neighbor.  Santi subiti!

James Martin, SJ

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Jim McCrea
7 years 2 months ago
s/b Sergius.
Cody Serra
7 years 2 months ago
Thank you, thank you, Fr. Jim, for this article.  It reflects so clearly the feelings of so many of us, ordinary lay women and men.

There is one reason not clearly spelled out in this piece, though it can be intuited from it. I am referring to a simple concept: clericalism.  The belief that consecrated lives are, just because of that, holier, will be difficult to change in the climate of our church these days.

This view and perspective for sainthood is encouraging, but it may need unlimited number of prayers before it becomes a normal church process. In the meantime, there are, and there will be, many lay people deserving consideration.
Chris NUNEZ
7 years 2 months ago
ITA FORD, MAURA CLARKE, DOROTHY KAZEL, AND JEAN DONOVAN just to begin with. Though not all four of them were 'lay', this group represents who we are as The Church, and what we do as The Church.

I was going to 'remember them' in a reflection one Friday morning when our then-priest was 'off'. As a lay leader of worship, I thought it was appropriate to include them in the reflection for the morning on the 20th or so memorial of their assassination.

A 'powerful' woman religious at our parish caught wind of it (it wasn't a secret) and left me a scathing phone message on my answering machine the night before communion service.

I suspect some in mother church are not yet ready for us. But when it's time, I hope these four will be commended into that band of 'saints' with the words "Receive them Lord, into your kingdom." Though, likely they already have been.
Mark Harden
7 years 2 months ago
"Under the husband and wife the legend read: “Good.”  Under the priest and sister: “Better.”

And is there not a direct correlation between the cessation of such catechesis and the shortage of priests and religious?

Pope John Paul II led the canonization of more laypersons than any other Pope in history, so I guess progress is being made on the "universal call to holiness" front. Still, your second and third reasons above are to the point and difficult to overcome. By its very nature, the religious life tends not only to a higher proportion of holy lives, but to their public recognition. Perhaps one day a humble layperson will be canonized almost as a sort of representative of untold numbers of other unsung layperson saints?
F K
7 years 2 months ago
Fr. Martin,
I think a discussion of holiness would be helpful.

Does devoted care of a family member in itself constitute holiness? After all, there are nonbaptized and professed unreligious people who show such concern also. The total gift of self in a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience - whether lived literally with vows or analogously - provides a clear form of a holy life. The formation of the person is another factor to consider: prayer, reading, and retreats. Sacramental life is another factor. Above all, does the person announce the resurrection with words, life, and through their countenance?

Jerome Lejeune is a good candidate:
http://jeromelejeune.org/the-man/beatification.html
Michael Clarke
7 years 2 months ago
Great essay.  I would also suggest that the Church needs to tell us more about the sins of saints.  There is a false dichotomy in our secular culture between saint and sinner.  But we Catholics know that we are all sinners-even the saints.  No one attains sinlessness in this human life; holiness does not mean sinlessness.  It would be a tremendous help for ordinary people if they could see the faults of those who have been ''raised to the glories of the altar.''  I know that this insight is not new-it's just not widely taught.  I was reading a book by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., ''Courage to be Chaste.''  He pointed out that there are undoubtedly many canonized saints who struggled with homosexuality-but not a peep is said about that in anything I've ever read about saints.  As a gay Catholic man, it would be quite helpful to have that kind of example to emulate.  And until the Church is willing to put forward a gay example of holiness, it probably should tone down its rhetoric about gay people.  Until there is such a ''gay saint'', the bishops should not be surprised that their railing against the rights of gay persons while claiming to respect the dignity of gay persons is viewed suspiciously.
Beth Cioffoletti
7 years 2 months ago
I think that this whole idea of "sainthood" and canonization inadvertantly feeds into our ego's need for recognition and glorification.   We end up wanting to be a saint for the glory of it all.

Yes, we need examples of holiness, but we also need to be reminded of the holiness of being hidden and ordinary.  Nobody.  I think of Mary, whom we know absolutely nothing about other than her consent and surrender to God.  She then virtually disappeared, and said nothing.  Perhaps there is the reason we don't call her "Saint Mary".

There is also the C.S. Lewis story adapted by William Meninger whereby a man is able to tour heaven, a magnificent vision whereby he sees the dancing and rejoicing all the angels and saints, prophets and bishops.  And then he sees 4 of the greatest angels carrying on their shoulders a golden chair wherein is seated a woman of great beauty. 

Thinking that this must be the mother of God, he barely manages to gasp out the question, "is that, is that?"

The archangel laughs and replies, "No, no, that' Molly Schultz!  You wouldn't know her.  She lived in your town in shantytown.  She was a scrubwoman and she loved much.  She is one of the Great Ones here!"
ed gleason
7 years 2 months ago
That married saints have to live lives at their end years as 'brother and sister' screams for a review of Catholic sexuality. No change brings no change. Fr James; I met saints from your hometown Philly , They had 11 children and were an inspiration to a entire parish in San Francisco by their service to all and to each other in their declining tears. They were acknowledged saints by popular parish vote. They influenced more people directly than some with Curia rigmarole
Jim McCrea
7 years 2 months ago
What Ed Gleason said - in spades!  It's amazing that lay Catholics are always urged to have families, but won't be considered for sainthood until they stop doing what it takes to create these families.

How darned dumb do the Vaticanes think people are, anyway.

Wait, maybe I know the answer to that already.
Jim McCrea
7 years 2 months ago
"Until there is such a 'gay saint',"

There 2 fully acknowledged by the church:  Servius and Bacchus.
Beth Cioffoletti
7 years 2 months ago
Jim (#7):  As long as we can agree to canonize people who were not well known while they were alive (nobodies), and who didn't make a big splash, I don't disagree with you.  I would love to see the Molly Schultzes of the world held up as examples of holiness!  I would like to nominate a man who spent his last 25 years of his life on death row.
Jim McCrea
7 years 2 months ago
" - the religious life tends not only to a higher proportion of holy lives - "

Mark, in this day and age that is ONE outrageous unsupportable claim to make!

Plaster saints chip very quickly and their blemishes show from afar.

Besides, the greater majority of people live out their Catholic lives, not as religious, but as good and holy layfolk going about going about.

That needs to be recognized over and over and over.  And we don't need the approval of clerics to know it, either.
Beth Cioffoletti
7 years 2 months ago
P.S.  What I don't want to see is "sainthood" being paraded around as yet another thing that one can attain, as in a title or job promotion, brownie points.  To me, this does not jive with the underlying spiritual attitude necessary for "holiness".
Sean Gallagher
7 years 2 months ago
When we say that ''the Church'' should canonize more lay saints (something I agree with, btw), we often mean ''the leaders of the Church'' should do that.

But, believe it or not, the canonization process is ultimately a grass roots effort. Although a lot of work happens in tribunals and at the Vatican, none of that can ever really start unless there is a ''fama sanctitatis'' (a reputation of sanctity) for a possible saint among the faithful at large. Pope Benedict actually tightened up that regulation early on in his pontificate.

So if there is not a solid, active devotion to possible lay saints among the ''people in the pew'' then there simply won't be lay saints. The bishops at VatII may have taught the universal call to holiness, but it's one teaching that still needs to be truly internalized in more and more hearts before we see lay saints raised to the altars on a regular basis.
ed gleason
7 years 2 months ago
Sean G. you are right saying we need more intervention at the parish level. My saint mentioned above is Charlie Friel, a Philly plumber. Just a short while ago I had a plumbing problem and asked Charlie for a little help.. loudly in frustration. The elbow pipe moved. Now this would not play well as an interventio miracle. In the Vatican  their plumbers are probably all non-church goers. (-: 
Beth Cioffoletti
7 years 2 months ago
I agree with Sean (#15).
Up until now saints have largely come from Official Churchdom.

Yet holiness extends beyond and sometimes even outside of that circle.

I have a question.  Must a person be a card carrying member of the Catholic Church, adhering to all the "rules" to be considered for sainthood?  My death row friend was a Catholic, but not "religious" in the sense that he put going to Church at the top of his list.  (Perhaps like Molly Schultz?)  But he did touch deeply, with humility and love, all of those who knew him.

Perhaps, as laity, we know many "holy" people - plumbers, washwomen - but if they are not "Church people", does that exclude them from offical sainthood?'

It seems to many that many saints of are canonized because they are primarily Church people.  Like Dorothy Day.  We can only consider her because she made Catholicism the center of her life.  Which leads me to ask another question, is the purpose of sainthood to promote the primacy of Church teachings in the quest for holiness?

Dunno.  I'm still skeptical about how sainthood and the promoting of "Church" (rather than holiness) are awfully close to each other.

And I don't doubt that the teachings of the Church can lead one to holiness.  But there's some mixed motives in the canonization process that confuse me.
Michael Clarke
7 years 2 months ago
@JimMcCrea #10 (looking for a gay saint): Ss. Sergius and Bacchus, as I understand it, are not acknowledged by the Church as having been gay. They are described by the Church as having been friends. It is theorized by some historians that they were gay, and that theory apparently is hotly contested by other scholars. That is my point. It is theorized by some that Bl. John Henry Card. Newman was gay, but that's not acknowledged by the Church, and certainly not acknowledged by the cause for his canonization.  In fact, I would venture to bet that the cause would be hurt by such an acknowledgement.  That is also my point.  I complained about this lack of a holy role model to my spiritual director, and he sympathized... the best he could offer was to say he could only imagine all the things St. Augustine must've been into before his conversion.
Sean Gallagher
7 years 2 months ago
Crystal (#19)-I've seen the "positio" (basically the case for sainthood) of a saint (Mother Theodore Guerin) and it was THICK-Oxford English Dictionary thick.  When there person has a reputation for sanctity among the faithful at large (at least in a certain region) and the leadership of the Church confirm this, the ground for this confirmation are usually quite broad, taking in the whole of the possible saint's life.

How the media interpret a particular saint or boil his or her life down into a two-minute segment (at most) is quite another thing.

In any case, being a saint is ultimately about living one's life as Christ lived among us-a life centered on loving self-sacrifice for others.  I think the way in which St. Gianna died embodies that quite beautifully.

Beth (#17), "Official Churchdom" has a legitimate role to play in the canonization process. So do the people in the pew.  They both need each other, really.  And they also, when they live and serve according to their God-given nature, help each other to live lives of holiness.
Crystal Watson
7 years 2 months ago
 Am I wrong in thinking that she was chosen a saint because she allowed herself to die?  I'm not saying she necessarily should have made another choice, but when she's made a saint for that choice, it's like the church telling women their lives aren't as important as the lives of unborn babies, and in fact, a church official did say this ... http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1883598,00.html .... in the case of the pregnant nine year old in Brazil.   I think living for others is as worthy as dying for others.
Leslie Rabbitt
7 years 2 months ago
As someone who works in a children's hospital and has the privilege of caring at the bedside of dying children and young adults, I KNOW that many of these patients die in sanctity - extraordinary sanctity.  Think of Blessed Francisco Marto and his sister, Blessed Jacinta Marto of Fatima.  They consciously chose to offer sacrifices of their lives as reparation to Our Lord and to Mary's Immaculate Heart for sinners.   Guess what?  Many of our patients (especially the cancer patients who have lived a long, painful diagnosis for most of their young lives) have made a similar oblation of their lives of suffering offering this in intercessory prayer for others.  This happens in the privacy of individual hospital rooms and within the family circle.  It's just not on the Church's radar. I regularly ask our deceased patients to intercede for us to the Lord our God. 
William Logan
7 years 2 months ago
?Fr. Jim, thank you for writing this article!!! I'd note as part of your third point that not only do dioceses and orders understand the canonization process, but they are able to promote causes in an institutional manner. For instance, you noted the requirement that there be a local devotion, and Sean Gallagher noted the requirement that there be a reputation of sanctity. But it is much easier for an order or a diocese to popularize the life of their member and help create that repuation and devotion than it is for an individual lay person to do so.

Why not make these institutions available to the laity? Perhaps every diocese in the United States could be required over the next 10 years to promote the causes of canonization of 3-10 regular lay persons. The causes might not go far, but the process of asking people in the diocese to name persons they know, and then for the diocese to promote the lives of those persons in the diocese, would hopefully inspire others by providing them with examples of lives of holiness among the types of people they know.
Patrick Downes
7 years 2 months ago
This excellent column by columnist Kathleen Choi in the June 24 Hawaii Catholic Herald explores this subject further.
 http://www.hawaiicatholicherald.com/Columnists/KathleenChoi/tabid/410/newsid999/3714/Default.aspx
Christa Beranek
7 years 2 months ago
I think that a lot could also be done about the way female saints (lay or religious) are described that would help lay women at least to identify with them more.  In my parish bulletin a few years ago, one of the listsings was of a saint-a-day on their feast day, with a short description.  The male saints were listed as "doers" - male saint so-and-so, founder of X and advocate of Y.  The female saints were almost universally listed as "virgin and martyr."  What kind of model of holiness is a married woman to take from that kind of repeated characterization?  That the only way a woman can be recognized as holy is to die a virgin?  While I know that for each of those women, their lives were more complex, the way my church selected and described them did not illumintate that at all, while one could easily grasp some of the personalities of the male saints.
Barry Hudock
7 years 2 months ago
Fr. Jim, I think part of the ''problem'' here is that candidates for canonization must be ''renowned'' for their holiness.  But those who are truly saintly moms, dads, husbands, and wives are, by the very nature of the ''job,'' little known (unless they died a miserable death while doing it).  Pastoral leaders, on the other hand, naturally and rightly come to the attention of the people of the Church when they are great in wisdom and holiness.  While it's understandable why one of the criteria would be that a person must be ''famous'' for their sanctity, it sort of stacks the deck in favor of clerics.
Thomas Rooney
7 years 2 months ago
Father Martin, thank you so much for shedding light on this topic.

I would be remiss as a recovergin alcoholic (coming up on 10 years sober in August) if I didn't mention Ven. Matt Talbot as a model of lay Catholic sainthood.  I credit him with carrying my prayers to God when I simply didn't want to talk to God, when I didn't want to take it one day at a time anymore.

Thank you, Lad, for watching over me.

http://saints.sqpn.com/saintm8j.htm
Daniel Marshall
7 years 2 months ago
Posting says it, almost all.

1-The highest calling is the one that each of us is called to.

2-My mother and father are possibly the greatest saints I know.  Lives of generosity, works of mercy,  raising peoples' minds and hearts to God, and bringing song and cheer.  My mother's funeral, when she died at 93, drew a full church, and you should have heard the singing and seen the ladies of the prayer group standing with candles in white beside her casket.  Talk about "fama sanctitatis"!

3-How about making canonizations of couples less rare?  Some suggestions;  Frank Sheed and Maisie Ward; Jacques and Raissa Maritain; Peter Maurin, along with Dorothy Day (who were not sexually linked).
Nina BG
7 years 2 months ago
St Gianna Beretta Molla led a very holy life and was actively involved in her parish, most especially in Catholic Action.  It was the way she lived her whole life, with Our Lord as her compass, faithfully, that brought her to the moment of deciding to risk her own life for the life of her unborn child.  I am a member of a recently merged parish in Northfield, NJ, named after this great saint and have loved learning about her.  She wrote much, and it was in her writings that her great faith was made known to all.  If not for her letters and other written examples of her love of God and the Church, we would not know her so well.  It was in the writings of St Therese of Lisieux that the whole world has come to know her Little Way - but only because her superior (her own sister) directed her to write it down.  Perhaps now, with the encouragement of teachers, sisters, priests, pastors and spiritual directors to WRITE IT DOWN - and all the opportunities we have in the media and 21st century communications - we may learn more about ''saints like us'' and have ''something to go on'' when the question of proposing the sainthood of a holy, lay soul arises.  Saint Gianna, pray for us!
Harry McDargh
7 years 2 months ago
A wonderful example of the kind of ''big tent''  understanding of sanctity is the Episcopal Church's  ''Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints'' (2010)  -  the liturgical calendar that includes not only many traditional  saints of the common tradition (heavy on Celtic and British bishops, abbeses and monks)   , but many Roman Catholic saints (Ignatius Loyola,  John Henry Newman) and such figures as Roger Williams and Anne Hutchison, poets Christina Rossetti and James Weldon Johnson, Karl Barth and Thomas Merton  (who died on the same day and are celebrated on that day, December 10th),  and Florence Nightengale.   The calendar lifts up persons whose art, prophetic witness or heroic charity built up the body of Christ.
Anne Chapman
7 years 2 months ago
John, thank you for bringing the practice of the Episcopal church into the discussion - I was familiar with it as I am in a serious discernment period about converting to the Episcopal chruch. Their approach is one the Catholic church should follow.

 The very notion of canonized sainthood should have gone out with indulgences (oh, wait - that nonsense has been revived too, hasn't it?).  John Paul II's sainthood assembly line was an interesting twist - he seemed to be using it as a way to gain favor with particular consitutiencies - was that good - a step towards recognizing ''local'' saints? Or was it manipulation?  He dropped the ''miracles'' requirement to one, and it should be none as that process is also highly problematic,  Like others here, I have known, and know now, ''saints'' - ''ordinary'' people living lives of great holiness - even when not religious. Many aren't Catholic, at least one is an agnostic. Fortunately God is not Catholic, God is not made in our image, and God makes the "rules", not us. It's impossible to force God to live in a small, closed box.  All can be open to God's grace working in our lives, even if one doubts the existence of God.  I do appreciate that Fr. Jim is among the few in Catholic ''officialdom'' who understands that putting on a clerical collar or joining a formal religious order is not necessary for ''sainthood.''
Sean Gallagher
7 years 2 months ago
After reading my and others' comments, I recalled writing a column on this for The Criterion, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis (I'm a monthly family life columnist for this paper, writing from the perspective as a husband and father of four young boys):

http://www.archindy.org/criterion/local/2007/10-26/gallagher.html

And here's one that I wrote about the hidden holiness of parents, in light of the beatification of Louis and Zelie Martin:

http://www.archindy.org/criterion/local/2008/09-26/gallagher.html
Jim McCrea
7 years 2 months ago
Michael @ 18:  do you really expect for this church to actually admit that there are gay saints? 

Would you like a good buy on a bridge across the Golden Gate?  Give me a call.
Crystal Watson
7 years 2 months ago
Perhaps St. Aelred of Rievaulx was gay?

Anne Chapman
7 years 2 months ago
It's sad, isn't it, to have this discussion at all. It shouldn't matter if a saint is "gay" or "straight" or male or female, or black or white, or Catholic or not Catholic o rmarried or unmarried, or virgin or not virgin. It's how some individuals live their lives that matters - is it lived out of love of God, and thus love for God's people and God's creation and do their actions and words reveal this? And what can we learn from them? Can "holiness" be taught"? Or "caught""?  The church has messed up this process, but that doesn't mean we have to consider only their choices to be "saints' - find the saints in your own life, and obseve, and see how you can be more like them.

  Once the church grows up a bit, discussions like these won't happen.
Kay Satterfield
7 years 2 months ago
I personally agree with this article that more lay people need to be recognized as role models for us ordinary folk.    The reason the saints are important is that when a person is even just put forward for consideration that person's life is made public. We all take notice.  It is the hope that this now public record of his/her life will help to inspire and encourage the faithful.  By just putting forward religious as the saints they deserve to be our church hopes to encourage more in religious life.  However, it needs more balance.  It just doesn't speak to "our universal call to holiness" which is for everyone.  
Crystal Watson
7 years 2 months ago
In a Spiritual Exercises style retreat I once took, we were asked to think of people we knew personally, or knew of from the present and past, "who show us the way to getting it right ourselves"  and see what qualities in them inspired us.  I think who we're willing to think of as saintly says  something about us - what we value.  The saints the church has chosen says something about what the church values (I'm afraid, mostly those who exemplift church teachings or who were church officials).  I don't  think we can "catch holiness"  from saints ... the ones we believe are holy are the ones who show back to us what we already think is worth emulating.
Crystal Watson
7 years 2 months ago
I too wonder about the way saints are chosen.   I worry St. Gianna Molla   was made a saint because she exemplifies a church teaching that I think is problematic  (pro-life at the expense of the mother's life). 
isabelle andrews
7 years 2 months ago
We hope for the canonization of Blessed Frederic Ozanam, husband and father. As a twenty year-old , he called together seven other students and founded the St. Vincent de Paul Society.   
Antonin Artaud
7 years 2 months ago
I would like to propose Elisabeth Leseur as an excellent candidate for sainthood from the laity.

Her writings are moving and profound, and she lived a life of noted charity and sanctity.

I'd encourage everyone to read the Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur. I think she is just the kind of person that Fr. Martin is seeking to have recognized here.

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