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!
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 Aleteia.org every month
- Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, 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!