Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Tuesday 28 June |
Saint of the Day: St. Irenaeus of Lyons
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Youthfulness no obstacle to holiness, says Vatican official in charge of saints


George MArtell/Pilot Media/Archdiocese of Boston

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 02/27/18

Notes that Fatima visionaries Jacinta and Francisco, aged 9 and 10, are the Church's youngest saints

Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Saints’ Causes, prefaced a book on young saints and blesseds, and gave an interview to Avvenire, the publication of the Italian bishops, published this week. “Holiness is not reserved for a particular stage of life,” he explains in that conversation.

Martyrdom and holiness “are ageless,” says the cardinal. Thus, for example, the Church has always venerated the martyrdom of the Holy Innocents, and Saint Agnes, who was martyred at the beginning of the 4th century at the age of 12.


Read more:
How many Holy Innocents were killed by King Herod?

Moreover, “youthful holiness is not reserved only for martyrs,” Cardinal Amato continues. Sts. Francis and Jacinta Marto, two of the visionaries of Fatima, Portugal, who died at 10 and 9 years of age respectively, were recognized for “their truly heroic testimony of the virtues of faith, hope and charity.” Canonized in 2017 by Pope Francis, these are the youngest non-martyr saints.

These canonizations thus bear witness that age is “not an obstacle to perfection and holiness.” According to the cardinal, this is “good news for all,” especially as we approach the October synod on youth and vocational discernment. For without this testimony, he argues, Christianity would be “reduced to a simple and sterile human ideology.”

Read more:
The miracle that led to the canonization of Fatima’s Jacinta and Francisco


Read more:
Meet Chiara Badano, an average teenager who loved to play tennis and listen to pop music

Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.