Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 27 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope: “The Church needs everyday saints”

Vatican Insider - published on 06/30/16

They are the testimonies of ordinary life and today’s martyrs, who guide God’s people by being coherent and courageous messengers of the Risen Jesus. Thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit. What today’s Church needs above all, is “everyday saints”. Pope Francis stressed this at this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House 

Today’s First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles, described the courage of St. Peter who, after the healing of the lame beggar, speaks of Jesus’ resurrection before the heads of the Sanhedrin. But they are furious and want to sentence him to death as he was forbidden from preaching in the name of Christ. But Peter continues to proclaim the Good News because as he says: ’We must obey God rather than men’.” 

This courage is completely unlike “Peter the coward” on Holy Thursday night, the Pope pointed out, “when he denied the Lord three times out of fear”. Now, the future first Pope becomes tenacious in his testimony and “Christian testimony has the same mission as Jesus: to give life”. 

So in every place and in every age, the Christian “puts his life on the line bearing true witness to the faith”. 

“The consistency between life and what we have seen and heard,” Pope Francis observed, “is the very beginning of testimony. But Christian testimony,” he pointed out, “has something else, it does not just pertain to the person who offers it: Christian testimony always takes two. We and the Holy Spirit are witnesses to these facts. Without the Holy Spirit there is no Christian testimony. Because Christian testimony, Christian life is a grace, it is a grace that the Lord gives to us with the Holy Spirit.” 

Francis emphasised that “without the Holy Spirit we are unable to be testimonies.” So who is the witness? Is it the person who is coherent in their words and actions, in what they have received, that is, the Holy Spirit.” “This is what Christian courage is, this is what testimony is”. 

It is the “testimony of today’s martyrs, many of them, who have been expelled from their lands, displaced, their throats slit, persecuted: they have the courage to profess their faith in Jesus right up until the very end; it is the testimony of those Christians who are serious in the way they live their lives: ‘I cannot do this, I cannot hurt someone else; I cannot steal; I cannot live my life in half measures, I must bear witness to the faith’.” “Bearing witness means pronouncing what one has seen and heard in the faith, the Risen Jesus in other words, with the Holy Spirit they have received as a gift.” 

The Bishop of Rome then accentuated the following point: in history’s difficult moments, we say that “the homeland needs heroes”: “This is true and right. But what does the Church need today? Testimonies, martyrs.” Because the true testimonies, that is saints, are the everyday saints, those who lead ordinary but coherent lives and are testimonies to the very end, until death.” These “everyday” and “close” individuals are “the lifeblood of the Church; it is they, the testimonies, who make the Church move forward; those who bear witness to the fact that Jesus is risen, that he is alive and they do so by leading coherent lives with the Holy Spirit they have received as a gift,” Francis concluded by saying. 

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.