During this time of the year, when our focus is on those saints who have gone before us, we may think first of those towering people of faith whose names are well-known throughout the universal Church.
Fr. Steve Dos Santos, C.PP.S., suggests that we may want to look beyond them to discover some new friends.
Fr. Steve gave a day of recollection at St. Charles Center on Tuesday, the theme of which was “Little-Known Saints.”
“My starting point was our own founder, St. Gaspar del Bufalo. Fr. Jeff Keyes, C.PP.S., always said that ‘St. Gaspar was an obscure Italian saint, but he’s OUR obscure Italian saint.”
Fr. Steve says there are many faithful people in the Communion of Saints who can help and inspire us, if we go to the trouble to learn more about them. Some examples? He listed, along with brief descriptions:
– Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin, whom he called “a couple of everyday saints.” Canonized together as a married couple, they are the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux.
– St. Gemma Galgani, “a daughter of the passion”
– Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati (pictured right), “the man of the eight beatitudes” (a title given to him by St. John Paul II)
– Blessed Carlo Gnocchi, “priest of heroic kindness.”
– Blessed Jozef Kowalski, “the other priest martyr of Auschwitz.”
– Blessed Chiara “Luce” Badano, “icon of evangelical joy.”
All of the saints on his list lived within the lifetime of our Congregation, which celebrates its 200th anniversary this year.
Fr. Steve said he learned of some of these saints during his years of youth ministry. “Some are saints who are connected to youth in some way, and whose names come up at youth/young adult rallies and events.”
Why not learn a little more about these holy, if not wholly famous, saints? “As you explore the lives of these saints, it will be like making new friends. And as you investigate these, you may find others, sort of like when you do a search on Amazon and other suggestions pop up,” he said. “These are people who may not have grand hagiographical stories. Instead, they were simple men or women who lived out their lives as Christian vocation,, and lived it well. And yet they can intercede for us as well as any of the better-known saints.”