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we pronounce it \ ă-lә-`tay-uh \
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Launched with the blessing and encouragement of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication, Aleteia provides a new kind of journalism, with a well-tempered Catholic perspective on today’s news, culture, inspiring stories and evangelization.

5 Saints who lived a “luminous life” despite their painful childhoods

Josephine Bakhita
Public Domain
"...St. Josephine Bakhita, who grew up in a horrible slavery..."

These holy men and women persevered in the faith even after experiencing great difficulties during their youth.

Recently Pope Francis commented on the fourth commandment and the duty of children to honor their father and mother. He explained how this commandment focuses on the actions of children and their ability to honor their parents, regardless of how good or bad their parents are.

In fact, Pope Francis said, “Many saints, and many Christians, after a painful childhood, lived a luminous life, because, thanks to Jesus, they reconciled with life.”

He went on to explain that our childhood wounds start to be healed when because of God’s gift of grace, we discover that the true question is no longer, “why me,” but rather, “for whom?”

The Holy Father mentioned five different saints who all struggled with that question and experienced great difficulties during their youth. However, they were able to orient their lives to God and ask themselves, “How can my experience, although it may have been sorrowful and painful, become, in the light of love, something for others? For whom (can it become) a source of salvation?”

Here are those five saints and what Pope Francis had to say about each of them.

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