Sports-lovers young and old can find inspiration in these men and women
Though his perseverance in being “martyred twice” makes him a fitting patron for 5 a.m. workouts and ultramarathons, there’s no evidence that St. Sebastian took part in any organized sports. Fortunately for Catholic athletes, there are plenty of saints who have.
Blessed Chiara Badano (1971-1990) was a skier, a swimmer, and especially a tennis player. She loved to sing and dance and was known for her enormous smile. That radiant smile was undimmed when she got a diagnosis of bone cancer that pulled her off the tennis court and the dance floor and confined her to an oncology ward for the rest of her short life. Throughout her illness, she prayed, “Jesus, if you want it, I want it too.”
Blessed Benedict Daswa (1946-1990) was a South African convert to Christianity, a teacher, a principal, a husband, father of eight, and a soccer player. He was a great advocate of athletics as a means of keeping young people on track and trained other teachers to coach soccer, volleyball, and hockey as well. When the soccer team he had founded began to try to use witchcraft to win games, Benedict objected. Ultimately he quit the team and founded another, of which he was also manager. His stance in opposition to black magic later led to his martyrdom at the hands of his friends and neighbors.
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?