Lest it had somehow escaped you, I love the saints. I love the saints because we can ask them to pray for us. And I love the saints because we can imitate them.
Thaumaturges — wonder-workers like St Philomena, St Vincent Ferrer, St (Padre) Pio — are grand, and I certainly ask them for favours and recommend others ask them for favours. But my favourite saints are “saints of the ordinary” — especially modern figures like St Thérèse, Fr William Doyle, and St Josemaría.
I don’t hold much hope that I will ever imitate a thaumaturge by levitating or bilocating or reading penitents’ souls, nor do I really want to. But I can imitate St Thérèse’s little way, Fr Doyle’s butter war, and St Josemaría’s plan of life.
For the same reason, I’m very interested in living and breathing contemporaries who are, if not holy, at least “heroically good.” None of us are saints yet, I know. But we can aspire to be saints, and some people can inspire us to be saints.
Two such figures recently came to my attention. The first is Chito Tagle, the world’s youngest Cardinal. Until this week, I knew Archbishop Tagle only for his association with the dubious “Bologna school” of conciliar history. But now I know a bit more:
Besides being a fine theologian, a master of the internet and mass media, a very competent administrator, in a society filled with extraordinary corruption, Chito Tagle stands as one of the few public figures who is absolutely unbribable. And on top of that, he is authentically humble. He is simply the smartest, holiest, most courageous, most sacrificial, most pastoral man, priest, bishop, archbishop and now cardinal I have ever met anywhere. These are the reasons he is so popular in the Philippines and why he has so many “likes” on his Facebook page. This is why politicians and government officials, not to mention priests and seminarians, religious and laity, seek his counsel in their difficult moments.
Read the rest: The Tears of A Cardinal . . . The Hope of A Church?
The second “living saint” is Michel-Marie Zanotti-Sorkine, who comes across as a modern-day Jean-Marie Vianney.
A pastor whose Masses are crowded with people. Who hears confessions every evening until late at night. Who has baptized many converts. Who always wears the cassock so that everyone may recognize him as a priest even from far away . . .
And in this parish on Rue Canabière, which leads from the old port through ramshackle houses and shops, with many homeless, immigrants, Rom, where tourists do not venture to go, in a Marseille and in a France where religious practice is almost everywhere at the lowest levels, Fr. Michel-Marie has made the Catholic faith blossom again.
This is a great article: Fr Michel-Marie, a Cassock in Deep Marseille.