Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 23 July |
Saint of the Day: St. Bridget of Sweden
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Wish you were more popular? These saints can help get you through

CATHOLIC SCHOOL

By cheapbooks | Shutterstock

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 08/12/19

Something that happened to St. John Vianney because he was unpopular might make you laugh. He probably didn't find it that humorous though!

Youngsters in the northern hemisphere are preparing to head back to school, and there’s nothing quite like the return to the classroom to heighten anxiety about how popular you are, and how many friends you have.

For kids in this predicament — and yeah, for adults too — there is some saintly wisdom to remember.

First off, don’t forget that human affections are fickle. You can be a living saint and still have people who don’t like you. In fact, chances are good that if you are a saint, you WILL have people who don’t like you. The same happened to Christ, after all.

Here’s an amusing anecdote from St. John Vianney, though it probably didn’t make him chuckle as it might make you:

Soon after his arrival in Ars, several women of his new parish approached him and requested that he say a Mass each week for a “special intention.” Fourteenyears passed with the holy priest praying for this intention. Finally, he asked these parishioners what they had him praying for: “We’ve been praying that you’d be sent to a different parish.”

This account is found in Saintly Solutions to Life’s Common Problems, by Fr. Joseph Esper.

Fr. Esper points out a number of unpopular saints, or saints who endured unpopularity for a time, each of them suffering derision and dislike for a variety of reasons. St. Joseph Cupertino (who might have had autism, some scholars think) suffered because of his wanderings and absentmindedness, for example. St. Athanasius suffered because he was dedicated to overcoming the heresy of Arianism, which was embraced by many powerful people.




Read more:
3 Saints who may have had autism spectrum disorder

Fourteenth-century nobleman St. Elzear told his wife his secret for staying calm when being mocked:

I turn and look on Jesus, who was despised and rejected, and I see that the affronts to me are nothing compared with what He suffered for me; so God gives me strength to bear it all patiently.

Remember, though, if you are being bullied, please tell an adult.


POPE FRANCIS

Read more:
Pope asks kids (and all of us): Are you a bully or a peacemaker?

Support Aleteia!

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 seven languages: English, French, 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!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
HEADACHE
Kathleen N. Hattrup
2 Bible verses when you’re weary down to the soul
2
nightbirde
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
3
FRAY JUNIPERO SERRA
John Burger
Alumni sue after this Catholic saint’s name was removed fro...
4
CARDINAL
J-P Mauro
Italian police dressed as priests nab scammers disguised as cardi...
5
WEB2-Benjamin_West_-_Joshua_passing_the_River_Jordan_with_the_Ark_of_the_Covenant_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
6
Blessed Carlo Acutis
J-P Mauro
The Diocese of Brooklyn acquires first-class relic of Bl. Carlo A...
7
ŁACINA
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.