Fr. James Martin, S.J.: Who is your favorite saint?

"Saints Peter, Martha, Mary Magdalen, and Leonard" by Correggio, (detail) ca. 1515. Met Museum. 

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Who’s your favorite saint? Do you have one? If you’re Catholic, there’s a good chance that you do. For me, my top three are St. Therese of Lisieux, St. John XXIII and St. Bernadette Soubirous. That list, by the way, changes from month to month, and year to year. The saints serve as both our patrons and our companions. That means first, that they pray for us in heaven. Now that can sound strange to people unfamiliar with the idea, but basically when you ask for their prayers, it’s like asking for the prayers of a person on earth. Except the saints are a lot nearer to God.

They are also as examples in the Christian life. They lived different kinds of lives in different countries and different centuries. The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner said that the saint shows us what it means to be a Christian “in this particular way.” They show us that you can be yourself and be holy. You can be, as St. John XXIII said, “holy in a different way.” So have you ever asked for help from a saint? Ever asked for their prayers? Maybe now is a good time to start. And have you ever taken a saint as an example for you in the Christian life? Maybe it’s time to start that too. So the next time someone asks you who your favorite saint is you’ll be able to answer.  

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Todd Witherell
7 months 2 weeks ago

St. Andrew Greeley

Tim Donovan
7 months 2 weeks ago

Like Father Martin, I have several favorite saints, and my list also changes from time to time. In a sense, my favorite saints are rather mundane. One is St. Joseph, whom I pray to for a happy death. Another is St. Jude. As a Catholic who's gay, I have always struggled with lustful desires. I pray to St. Jude as he is the patron of hopeless causes, and I often feel that my desires will never end. Perhaps the most interesting saint that I pray to is Saint Lucy. She is the patron of protection against eye ailments. I began to pray to her for the intentions of my sister-in-law's Mother, Lucy, who was a dear woman who had Alzheimer's disease. Finally, I felt fortunate that years ago I saw St. Teresa of Calcutta. She was concerned with all human life, including the unborn, the poor, the seriously ill, and the dying, It seemed appropriate that I saw,her in a
very impoverished city in suburban Philadelphia. St. Teresa was visiting the Gift of Mary hospice for women with AIDS.

Joseph J Dunn
7 months 2 weeks ago

Zacchaeus (Luke 19: 1-10)

John Walton
7 months 2 weeks ago

St. Catherine of Sienna -- Doctor of the Church

Leonard TIGHE
7 months 1 week ago

I love Bl Charles de Foucauld. Best kept secret in the community of heaven. Just beginning to get better known in the US. Amazing life and presence to Islam.

Leonard TIGHE
7 months 1 week ago


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