The list includes a "computer geek," "popular girl," and "smart kid."
When reading the lives of the saints, we can sometimes be discouraged because we do not find anyone who is even remotely like us. It can seem as though only old priests, nuns and monks can be saints. Its almost as if you have to be a gray-haired religious to be holy.
However, this is nowhere near the truth. Pope Francis clearly points this out in his exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate.
To be holy does not require being a bishop, a priest or a religious. We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.
Young people especially are capable of becoming saints, though we often think that is impossible. Their zeal and energy, if pointed in the right direction, can change the world.
Here is a short list of three teenagers who prove that holiness is possible for everyone, and how God uses their gifts and talents for his greater glory.
Bl. Chiara Badano
Badano was a popular girl in her class with lots of friends. She frequently played sports, sang, danced and stayed out late with friends. She was paralyzed at 17 and offered everything to God, saying, “For you, Jesus, if you want it, I want it too!” She died of cancer at 18 with the words, “Goodbye. Be happy because I’m happy.”
Servant of God Carlo Acutis
Acutis loved computers and used them to spread the faith. One of his most significant computer ventures was cataloguing all the Eucharistic miracles of the world. He said, “The more Eucharist we receive, the more we will become like Jesus, so that on this earth we will have a foretaste of Heaven.” He died of leukemia at age 15.
Servant of God Anna Zelíková
Zelíková was a simple teenager who loved Jesus dearly. She wrote, “true beauty is hidden in faithfulness in little things. I always desired to do great and heroic deeds of love, but when I saw that I was unable, I was grieved by it. Now I find great heroism precisely in little things, so that now I haven’t the slightest regret whether I can do something or not.” She died of tuberculosis at age 17.