The Saints are a very integral part of our faith. They are those that have gone before us, that show us how to live a life united with Christ, emulating the virtues of faith, hope and charity. Saints are people that we can look up to, because just like us, they walked the road of life and lived ordinary lives. The Church canonized these people not for their ordinary lives, but for their extraordinary ways of spreading the Gospel of Jesus and ministering to all in need. I look up to the Saints for motivation, for the Saints are fallen sinners that have gotten back up. Some Saints that I am close to are St. John Bosco, St. Dominic Savio, St. John Vianney, and soon to be saint, Servant of God Maria Esperanza.
I once heard someone say that you do not find the Saints, the Saints find you. To me, this statement reigns true. January 31st is the Feast Day of Saint John Bosco. St. John Bosco is what I call my “patron Saint.” When I was in the 7th grade, I remember walking through my living room in my house to get to the kitchen for a snack. My father was watching a movie on EWTN, as he did almost every Saturday night. I would never stop to watch these movies before because most are old and not my favorite genre. But something drew me over to the couch this time, and I began to watch a movie on the life of Saint John Bosco. Before I knew it, two hours had gone by and I was so fascinated by John Bosco, there was an instant connection. To see the love he had for the neglected youth and the desire to bring Christ to those who needed Him the most, made me want to be just like him. John Bosco would take in homeless youth, or “street rats” as they were called, and bring them to oratories that he started. Here he would feed them, teach them valuable skills to get jobs, play sports and games, and most importantly; teach them the faith. John Bosco was a light to these kid’s dark worlds. Many criticized him for his work, some even tried to physically hurt him, but amidst all the persecution, John Bosco never stopped ministering to the youth. Here are words from St. John Bosco on the importance of educating the youth, “If young people are educated properly, we have moral order; if not, vice and disorder prevail. Religion alone can initiate and achieve a true education.”
It is important to stay close to the Saints, so that we may have good role models in our lives that can intercede for us and bring us closer to Christ. God-willing, as a future priest, I hope to bring Christ to the youth just as St. John Bosco did and still does through his intercession of the Salesian community that he founded. May we all strive for sainthood and live lives that radiate God’s love and mercy to all. Saint John Bosco, pray for us.