Do you consider yourself a saint? Well, in a sense you are. All who are baptized are members of the communion of saints and called to follow Jesus’ teachings and example. This is one of our basic Christian beliefs that we profess in the Nicene and Apostles’ Creed.
The Catholic Church defines saints as individuals who lived holy and exemplary lives. Some are canonized but many other good people are saints even if they haven’t been officially named as such.
The purpose of recognizing saints is to offer us role models to follow on our road to heaven. When you study these holy people, you find that life wasn’t particularly easy or privileged for them. They struggled and stumbled along the way. They sinned, had periods of doubt, and most suffered greatly.
Saint Theodora’s guideline for sainthood was basic, yet challenging. She said that everything we do should be with God in mind. Saints have this practice in common. Sinning is tough to do when God is in every one of our thoughts, words, and actions.
In a letter to Sister Mary Xavier Saint Theodora also wrote, “Be very submissive to the will of God. Will only what He wills. Remember your resolutions of the retreat, especially this one: To suffer everything from others, and not make others suffer. If you would be faithful to this little practice, soon after your death your feast would be celebrated with those of the saints (Journals and Letters, 416).
I think that piece of advice is a lot more than a “little practice,” don’t you?
In addition to living a holy life, it literally takes a miracle, actually two, after your death to be an official saint. The component of miracles is important because it proves the candidate’s close relationship with God. All miracles come from God, but Scripture instructs us to petition prayers from the righteous, and the Church believes that if miracles occur after asking someone to pray for them, that person is close to God.
October is an important month for Saint Theodora (Mother Theodore Guérin). She arrived at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana on October 22, 1840, she was canonized on October 15, 2006, and October 3rd is her Feast Day. Not only were two miracles attributed to Saint Theodora’s intervention after her death and prior to her canonization, many people claim to have received miracles in her name since then. So why not celebrate the month by asking her to help you follow her guidelines for sainthood as well as pray your prayers along with you? You just may experience a miracle in your own future.
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©Mary K. Doyle