Can we be saints?

A saint is just a sinner who keeps trying

“Can we be saints?” is a blog written to introduce you to the saints of the Catholic Church in a new way. These won’t be just boring bios. We’ll show you how saints struggled and faced the same kind of problems we do today. You’ll see the intersection of our lives with their lives. We can be saints. We just have to keep trying.

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St. Teresa of Calcutta

St. Teresa of Calcutta

Can we be saints?
By Renae Kranz Perhaps the most well-known modern-day saint in the world today was a tiny woman who lived in a poor country and cared for the least among us. She did not seek fame, but in many ways it found her anyway. She also found criticism from some because she did not do her work the way they thought she should. She did her work anyway. [caption id="attachment_5400" align="alignright" width="210"] Vatican City - October 1994. Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary with the Missionaries of Charity, who lived most of her life in India, attended the 1994 Synod as an invited auditor. (L'Osservatore Romano)[/caption] The most difficult trial she faced was one that was unknown to the world until after her death: a spiritual absence of…
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St. Thomas the Apostle

St. Thomas the Apostle

Can we be saints?
By Renae Kranz [caption id="attachment_5231" align="alignright" width="300"] St. Thomas inspects the wounds of Jesus.[/caption] Have you ever doubted something was true or that it actually happened? Maybe you hadn’t seen enough evidence to convince you, or the person making the claim wasn’t as trustworthy as you’d hope. Doubt can drive us to seek out the truth and stretch our beliefs. Or, it can haunt our thoughts and drive us away from the truth instead. Doubt is tricky. Doubt is so tricky in fact, I need to clarify what I mean by doubt right from the beginning. I don’t mean doubt as a willful rejection of belief but rather a questioning of a difficulty in belief. To simplify, think of doubt as we’ll discuss here as questioning with the desire and…
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St. Bernadette of Lourdes

St. Bernadette of Lourdes

Can we be saints?
By Renae Kranz Fame. Attention. Popularity. Our world seems to thirst for these things. In many ways, we seek them out, even setting aside good things we already have in our lives in pursuit of these ego boosters. Many of us find that once we get there, fame, attention and popularity don’t make our lives better. Instead they cloud our judgement and pull us away from our true selves and from God. While she was still a young girl, St. Bernadette of Lourdes could have been swept from obscurity into the fame and attention that was pressed upon her. Instead she put all the attention on the visions she had of Holy Mother Mary and shared her important message with the world—the need for prayer and penance. Then she hid…
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St. Juan Diego

St. Juan Diego

Can we be saints?
By Renae Kranz During the difficult times of our lives, we look for someone to turn to for help. We turn to our mothers or fathers when we’re young, probably our friends during our teens and twenties, and then to a spouse or trusted friend over most of our adult years. But there is one person whom the saints turned to over and over but we often forget—Mother Mary. Saint Juan Diego learned during one of his four visitations from Mary that he could always trust and depend on her motherly love in times of trouble. We can depend on her, too. [caption id="attachment_4982" align="alignright" width="200"] Juan Diego by Miguel Cabrera[/caption] Juan Diego was born in 1474 in Mexico with his native Aztec name Cuauhtlatoatzin. His father died early, leaving…
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St. Maria Faustina Kowalska

St. Maria Faustina Kowalska

Can we be saints?
By Renae Kranz When I decided to write this month’s post about St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, it was originally because it would be posted just before Holy Week and the beginning of the Divine Mercy Novena which starts on Good Friday. But God, as is His way sometimes, had more in mind. As I write this, we are in the midst of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. Most of the country is staying home. Schools are closed. Events are cancelled. The world is at a standstill. Worst of all, public Masses are not available to the faithful. So many things are unknown right now. We’re trying to hold it together, but we may feel fear and helplessness in a way we’ve never experienced. It’s the perfect time to…
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St. John Vianney

St. John Vianney

Can we be saints?
By Renae Kranz We face many challenges in life. The saints faced them, too. We tend to think we can never be as holy as they were, as if they were simply born that way. But they met their challenges head on, putting their trust in God to help them through. Heaven was always their goal as it is ours. One saint, St. John Vianney, was thrown into the fire of challenge almost from the beginning. Many thought his lack of intelligence and education would keep him from becoming a priest. And once he became a priest, he faced massive resistance from the very people he was trying to help get to heaven. He faced these challenges and instead of failing, brought thousands to the Church. In the process, he…
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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

Can we be saints?
By Renae Kranz We’ve all felt rejected at some time in our lives. Friends might reject us. We might be rejected for a new job or promotion. Even our own families might reject us. It can cause deep hurt and lead to overwhelming loneliness if the rejection is widespread enough. Now add to those feelings of rejection the loss of loved ones. Many of us might become discouraged and feel like building walls to protect ourselves from more hurt. But is that the best way to handle these challenges and still get to heaven? If you consider the life of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, you would say we should aspire to do just the opposite. Let’s dig in and see how the first American-born saint can help us face rejection…
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St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine of Hippo

Can we be saints?
By Renae Kranz Do you have hope? Do you think you can get to heaven or that you’re even worthy of God’s love? One of the greatest saints of the Catholic Church was the best example we have to believe we can persevere and attain heaven. St. Augustine’s life offers me great hope for my own salvation, and his example should do the same for you. There is much to look at in the life of St. Augustine of Hippo, but I’m going to focus on a small part of it for this post. His life before his conversion was filled with sin and a refusal to see the truth. With God’s grace, he found his way to the truth of Jesus. It’s concrete proof that even the worst and…
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St. Anna Schäffer

St. Anna Schäffer

Can we be saints?
By Renae Kranz Suffering is a fact of life. It’s a hard fact to explain and endure, but it’s a fact we all face. Some of us suffer a little here and there, seeming to skate through life mostly unscathed. Some suffer greatly and suffer often. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to suffer. I imagine no one likes it. The best we can do is bear it and desperately swim to the other side. Thankfully we don’t swim alone. One saint suffered greatly throughout her short life and in more than just physical ways. St. Anna Schäffer’s story is one of great faith and trust in God’s goodness and in the power of the Eucharist. Early life Anna Schäffer was born February 18, 1882, in Mindelstetten…
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St. Peregrine Laziosi

St. Peregrine Laziosi

Can we be saints?
By Renae KranzCancer.Is there a word that strikes greater fear than this one? I know for me, there are few things that terrify me more (except perhaps fire, but that’s a story for another day). We’ve all been touched in some way, whether directly or indirectly, by this disease that sends even the strongest of us cowering in a corner.Now imagine having cancer in the early 1300s. No treatments known. A nearly certain death sentence. That was the news St. Peregrine Laziosi faced midway through his life.This saint’s early life started out a bit rocky as well. Let’s just say he didn’t exactly feel the love early on for the Church that eventually made him a saint.[caption id="attachment_4575" align="alignright" width="263"] Filippo Lippi, Presentation of the Temple, with St. Philip Benizi…
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