He invokes the example of St. Maria Goretti and all the young martyrs who gave their lives for the Catholic faith.
Yet, when young people encounter the lives of heroic saints, they are able to see a beauty that speaks to their inner soul. The Vatican document Way of Beauty explains how young people are enamored by these holy examples.
It is clear today that, for young people, saints are fascinating—think of Francis of Assisi and José of Anchieta, Juan Diego and Therese of the Child Jesus, Rose of Lima and Bakhita, Kisito and Maria Goretti, Father Kolbe and Mother Teresa and the theatrical works, films, comic strips, recitals, concerts and muscials that re-create their stories. Their example calls each Christian to be a pilgrim on the pathway of beauty, truth, good, in journeying to the Celestial Jerusalem where we will contemplate the beauty of God in a relation full of love, face-to-face.
This is why we need to present young people with young saints, such as St. Maria Goretti, who stood up for her faith, even when it cost her life. Below is an address to young people written by St. John Paul II that can also be turned into a prayer. It can be raised up to God, asking him to inspire young people everywhere to follow after the examples of the saints.
Dear young people, it is up to you to be the watchmen of the morning who announce the coming of the sun who is the Risen Christ!
Walking in the footsteps of the divine Teacher always means standing up for him and committing oneself to follow him wherever he goes. However, on this path, young people know that they are not alone. St. Maria Goretti and the many adolescents who down through centuries paid the price of martyrdom for their allegiance to the Gospel, are beside them, to instill in their hearts the strength to remain firm in fidelity. Thus they will be able to become watchmen of a radiant dawn, illumined by hope. May the Blessed Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, intercede for them!
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?