10 Quotes on Sainthood from the Saints

Today in the Catholic Church we celebrate one of the great solemnities of the year – The Solemnity of All Saints. It is the solemnity that focuses on all the unknown saints who are now in Heaven. Since holiness is reachable by all and the call to be holy is given to us at our Baptism, it is through the Communion of Saints that each piece of the Mystical Body of Christ assists every other to grow and seek holiness.

Although today is about All Saints, particularly the unknown saints, below are 10 quotes about Sainthood from some of the more well-known Canonized Saints in the Catholic Church –

1. “We can, if we will, become a saint, for God will never refuse to help us to do so.” – St. John Vianney

2. “What saint has ever won his crown without first contending for it? – St. Jerome

3. “Let us become saints so that after having been together on earth, we may be together in Heaven.” – St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)

4. “After seven years in the religious life, I still am weak and imperfect. I always feels, however, the same bold confidence of becoming a great saint because I don’t count on my merits since I have none, but I trust in Him who is Virtue and Holiness.” – St. Therese of Lisieux

5. “The saints live not after the fashion of the world…The dignity of the saints is so great because they are not of this world, but ‘of the household of God.’” – St. Thomas Aquinas

6. “One should not wish to become a saint in four days but step by step.” – St. Philip Neri

7. “A saint was once asked, while playing happily with his companions, what he would do if any angel told him that in a quarter of an hour he would die and have to appear before the judgment seat of God. The saint properly replied that he would continue playing because I am certain these games are pleasing to God.” – St. John Bosco

8. “Though you have recourse to many saints as your intercessors, go especially to St. Joseph, for he has great power with God.” – St. Teresa of Avila

9. “All the science of the Saints is included in these two things: To do, and to suffer. And whoever had done these two things best, has made himself most saintly.” – St. Francis de Sales

10. “The saints are like the stars. In his providence Christ conceals them in a hidden place that they may not shine before others when they might wish to do so. Yet they are always ready to exchange the quiet of contemplation for the works of mercy as soon as they perceive in their heart the invitation of Christ.:” – St. Anthony of Padua

All Holy Men and Women of God…Pray for Us 

Mother Angelica’s Insights on the Saints

Today we celebrate one of the great days in the Catholic Church – the Solemnity of All Saints. It is also the first All Saints’ Day when Mother Angelica could be a resident of the Heavenly Kingdom. I say could be since she might be there or still making her way there, but nevertheless, for today’s blog post and the humor that lies within some of these quotes from her, we will say that she is there. And, if she isn’t there by now, God help the rest of us. Ha!

If you don’t know, Mother Angelica was pretty hard on the Saints, particularly the Apostles of Jesus. And although she had a great love for the Saints and wanted everyone she encountered to achieve sanctity as they did, she didn’t sugarcoat their lives, since many of their lives were just like ours – they suffered, they sinned, and they were just miserable at times. She would often speak her mind on the saints, so often she knew that when she did get to Heaven they might have a special place for her. She said,

“I love to pick the saints apart, but I fear there’ll have to be a solitary confinement in heaven, just for me. I’ve been telling the truth about the saints for so many years, nobody will want to talk to me when I get up there.”

I don’t know about you, but that quote made me laugh out loud the first time I read it. Come to think of it, it should have been included in my first blog post about her. With that being said, I am so glad that she told us the truth, the weaknesses, and the shortcomings of the saints for so many years, since it gives me hope that I have a chance “to get up there” someday too.

So for today’s blog post on the Solemnity of All Saints, here are 10 quotes from Mother Angelica on the Saints – some are funny, some will give us hope, and some will allow us to see that the saintly life isn’t all that far from where we are now.

I.  “A saint is one who empties himself and takes on the image of Jesus, so that person and Jesus are look-alikes. We should not aim to be a great saint for the purpose of being a great saint. A saint is the last to admit or know that he is a saint [boldness mine]. A saint’s goal is to get as close to God as he can, not for his sake, for His sake. The aim is to give honor and glory to God, and to totally forget the self.”

II. “Being a saint is being who you were meant to be: a frail human being keeping the Commandments, especially the last one. It’s loving when you are not loved in return. It’s being patient when you want to hit somebody on the head. It’s loving you family as they are, not as you want them to be. It’s not letting the disappointments in your life crush you.”

III. “Canonization is nothing more than the Church saying publicly that they know for sure that this person is in heaven. I mean, there are millions of people in heaven who are not canonized. That why we have All Saints’ Day…”

Communion of Saints Icon

Speaking on not finding saints like her since she like to eat, sleep, sit in bed, sit in comfortable chairs, Mother said,

IV. “But I came to the conclusion that the saints weren’t the problem, it was their biographers. I’ve often said that I wish every biographer of every saint, who did not depict the truth, would go to purgatory for forty years, because they have made the saints unreal. You’d swear these people were holy when they were conceived…the saints would be the first to tell you: they struggled like you do. They ate, and drank and slept, and were frustrated, and victims of injustice. They were like you!…they had their faults and eccentricities.”

V. “Our saints had faults. There’s only one Immaculate Conception and there ain’t any others.”

VI. “The saints suffered. Therese had tuberculosis. Teresa of Avila had cancer of the stomach. Padre Pio had perpetual diarrhea and asthma. Bernadette had asthma too. Mother Cabrini had high fever to malaria she contracted during her travels. Holiness is not for wimps and the cross is not negotiable, sweetheart, it’s a requirement” [Boldness mine].

I particularly loved this quote by Mother because I can be grouchy and I’m Italian too –

VII. “Did you ever see a statue of grouchy state? I saw one once. It was the most gorgeous statue I ever saw. It was Padre Pio, who was a grouch, you know…he was a typical Italian grouch – which I can relate to!…See that’s my kind of saint. I want a saint who struggles like I do. There’s no such thing as perfection. There is only the struggle for holiness.”

VIII. [St. Peter] “was so holy that his shadow healed (Acts 5:15). Can you imagine a shadow healing? He was a big, blustery fisherman – just like you, without the fish. He was a man who always spoke before he thought. He was convinced he could do everything better than everybody else, then he forgot to do it. Peter should give us great hope.”

IX. “If you are going to be holy, for God’s sake, aim for the top. I wouldn’t aim to get in the gate. Your faults and weaknesses and sins have absolutely nothing to do with achieving holiness. Many a great sinner became holy.”

X. “I think these are times for great holiness and great saints, greater than any time in the past because there is more evil, more temptation. The fighter is greater…God is not mocked and this world is not going to pot. You can save it. You can change it by being faithful to the duties of your state of life with holiness.”

I pray that some, and even all, of these quotes have given you some hope in your striving for holiness and being saints – I know that have done so for me! One of the reasons why I like Mother Angelica is because of the plain way she speaks – straightforward, no nonsense, and she loves Jesus.

All Holy Saints of God…Pray for Us.

Source:

Angelica, M., and Raymond Arroyo. Mother Angelica’s Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality. New York: Doubleday, 2007. Print.