Recently, a co-worker took his family on a trip to Montreal, Canada. Prior to leaving for the trip, Phil informed me that he intended to visit both Notre Dame and St. Joseph’s Oratory. He began to tell me about a visit to St. Joseph’s with his family as a youth, and how he learned then of the miraculous healings that occurred there over the years. It was refreshing to see that this man was excited about taking his family on a vacation that would both educate his children, as well as potentially impact their faith formation.
Upon his return from Notre Dame and St. Joseph’s Oratory, Phil presented me with a booklet about the man responsible for the establishment of St. Joseph’s, Blessed Brother Andre. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the life of such a great man of God, but what truly impressed me was my co-worker's thoughtfulness! When Phil gave me the booklet, I couldn’t help but think, here is a man that took the time to pick up a booklet that he knew I would enjoy reading, all while vacationing and spending time with his family. Thank you, Phil! May God always give you the grace necessary to continue to love and care for your family the way St. Joseph cared for Jesus and Our Blessed Mother!
Phil also told me that he prayed and lit candles at St. Joseph’s for one of our co-workers and the wife of a retired friend and co-worker, both of whom are seriously ill! Let us all keep Doreen and Linda in our prayers!
I love reading about the saints and also about those whose cause for beatification and canonization is in progress!
As Catholics, we look to the saints as role models. Saints, as well as those being considered for canonization, are ordinary people whose love for God and gratitude toward Him, manifests itself in what the Church refers to as living lives of heroic virtue. Heroic virtue is extraordinary and supernatural in nature because it is made possible only by the grace of God.
As Christians, we look to Christ as our number one Role Model. In his infinite wisdom, Christ, through his Church, also gives us the saints as role models.
The saints exemplify the extent to which we should all attempt to imitate Christ, and so it is useful to examine their lives to see what caused their transformation from ordinary to extraorinary.
For most it was a recognition of God’s love and mercy. Saints are not perfect people. St. Paul zealously pursued and persecuted Christians before his conversion. St. Peter, the rock upon which our Lord built his Church, publicly denied knowing Christ out of fear for his own life three times. St. Monica prayed for her son, St. Augustine for seventeen years before his conversion. There is hope for all of us through the grace of God!