saints samWhat is the definition of a Roman Catholic saint? Simply speaking, a saint could be said to be anyone who is currently residing in heaven. The Catholic Church, through the process of canonization, officially recognizes this fact. In the book "Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma", we read that a saint is "...a member of the Church [who] has been assumed into eternal bliss and may be the object of general veneration."

A saint is also a person of remarkable holiness who lived a life of heroic virtue, assisted by the Church, during their pilgrimage on earth. They are as varied and exceptional as only God could create them, and each has his own distinct story.

There are great saints whose stories are well known to us, like St. Francis of Assisi, or St. Gerard Majella, and other saints whose stories have received legendary status, such as the Legend of St. Patrick. Some of the saints wore armor, like Saint Joan of Arc or King Saint Fernando III, and others, like Saint Valentine, who is usually forgotten even on his own feast day. All are saints of virtue, and their lives are celebrated by the Catholic Church and her members.

There are also great Catholic heroes in history who are not recognized by the Church as saints.  Saints, they shed a light for us in these dark times, teaching us to bear our crosses and to conquer ourselves, seeking to do God’s will in all things, no matter to what vocation we are called.

All throughout history the Church has produced great saints, proving that the Church is holy and able to provide us with what we need to reach sanctity. In reading the lives of the saints, we see that the saints each reflect, in a unique way, a special facet or virtue of God Himself. Learning about Catholic saints and their lives can inspire us to reach the summit of perfection that God wills for each of us.

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