Saints – ordinary people like me!


Saints are not unreachable “exceptions of humanity” said Pope Francis on Wednesday.

They are ordinary people who worked diligently to grow in virtue, and are a sign of humanity’s virtue, he said.

Think of the saints as “a kind of small circle of champions who live beyond the limits of our species” Francis wrote for his general audience on Wednesday in St. Peter’s Square.

In fact, saints are people “who fully become themselves, who realise the vocation of every person” his audience heard.

“How happy would be a world in which justice, respect, mutual respect, the breadth of the spirit and hope were the shared norm and not a rare anomaly” he wrote.

The homily drew on a series of catechesis on virtues and vices.

A virtuous person is not one who allows him or herself to become distorted but “is faithful to his or her own vocation and fully realises his or herself” Francis wrote.

He noted the nature of virtue has been discussed and analysed since ancient times. It is not an “improvised” and “casual” good exercised from time to time, he explained.

Even criminals have performed good acts in certain moments, he said.

He described virtue as being a “good that is born from a person’s slow maturation until it becomes his or her inner characteristic”.

“Virtue is a ‘habitus’ (expression) of freedom” he continued.

“If we are free in every act, and each time we are called to choose between good and evil, virtue is that which allows us to have a habit toward the right choice.”

Cultivate virtue

The pope encouraged everyone to remember the lesson taught by ancient thinkers: “that virtue grows and can be cultivated”.

For Christians developing virtue depends primarily on the grace of God, he added.

He said that by developing open-mindedness, good will and the wisdom to learn from mistakes, people can be guided toward a virtuous life.

This is possible even in the face of the “chaotic forces” of passion, emotion and instinct to which humanity is susceptible, he said.


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News category: World.

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