Quotes from Modern Popes on Saints

by | Oct 14, 2020 | Latest

In honor of our upcoming event on the saints, ‘Modern Saints: Missions from God‘, I wanted to share with you the quotes that we studied!

Our Holy Father Francis is a source of unity for us as SmartCatholics. It’s fitting that it’s his words, ‘missions from God’, that are the cornerstone of this event.

“The saints encourage us with their witness not to have fear of going against the current or fear of being misunderstood and derided when we speak of the Lord and of the Gospel… They show us with their lives that the one who remains faithful to God and to his words experiences now on this earth the comfort of his love and then experiences it a ‘hundredfold’ in eternity

“The saints are men and women who have joy in their hearts and spread it to others. Never hating, but serving the other, is the greatest need. To pray and to live in joy: this is the way of sanctity!”

To be a saint is not a privilege of a few… all of us in baptism have the inheritance of being able to become saints. Sanctity is a vocation for everyone.”

PAPA FRANCISCO, Vatican City, Nov 1, 2013, On the Feast of All Saints.


“To recognize the word that the Lord wishes to speak to us through one of his saints, we do not need to get caught up in details, for there we might also encounter mistakes and failures. Not everything a saint says is completely faithful to the Gospel; not everything he or she does is authentic or perfect. What we need to contemplate is the totality of their life, their entire journey of growth in holiness, the reflection of Jesus Christ that emerges when we grasp their overall meaning as a person.”

“A Christian cannot think of his or her mission on earth without seeing it as a path of holiness, for “this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thess 4:3). Each saint is a mission, planned by the Father to reflect and embody, at a specific moment in history, a certain aspect of the Gospel.”

Holiness, then, is not about swooning in mystic rapture. As Saint John Paul II said: “If we truly start out anew from the contemplation of Christ, we must learn to see him especially in the faces of those with whom he himself wished to be identified”.[79] The text of Matthew 25:35-36 is “not a simple invitation to charity: it is a page of Christology which sheds a ray of light on the mystery of Christ”.[80] In this call to recognize him in the poor and the suffering, we see revealed the very heart of Christ, his deepest feelings and choices, which every saint seeks to imitate.

97. Given these uncompromising demands of Jesus, it is my duty to ask Christians to acknowledge and accept them in a spirit of genuine openness, sine glossa. In other words, without any “ifs or buts” that could lessen their force. Our Lord made it very clear that holiness cannot be understood or lived apart from these demands, for mercy is “the beating heart of the Gospel”.[81]”

“If God is for us, who is against us?” (Rom 8:31): this is the source of the peace found in the saints. Such inner strength makes it possible for us, in our fast-paced, noisy and aggressive world, to give a witness of holiness through patience and constancy in doing good. It is a sign of the fidelity born of love, for those who put their faith in God (pístis) can also be faithful to others (pistós). They do not desert others in bad times; they accompany them in their anxiety and distress, even though doing so may not bring immediate satisfaction.”

“The saints surprise us, they confound us, because by their lives they urge us to abandon a dull and dreary mediocrity.”

Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete Et Exsultate of the Holy Father Francis on the Call to Holiness in Today’s World Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 19 March, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, 2018


Quotes from Pope Benedict XVI

“In the saints one thing becomes clear: those who draw near to God do not withdraw from men, but rather become truly close to them.”

“The figures of saints such as Francis of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola, John of God, Camillus of Lellis, Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac, Giuseppe B. Cottolengo, John Bosco, Luigi Orione, Teresa of Calcutta to name but a few—stand out as lasting models of social charity for all people of good will. The saints are the true bearers of light within history, for they are men and women of faith, hope and love.”

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 25 December, the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, in the year 2005.

“But how can we become holy, friends of God? We can first give a negative answer to this question: to be a Saint requires neither extraordinary actions or works, nor the possession of exceptional charisms. Then comes the positive reply: it is necessary first of all to listen to Jesus and then to follow him without losing heart when faced by difficulties”

Pope Benedict, Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est of The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI to the Bishops Priests and Deacons, Men and Women Religious, and all the Lay Faithful on Christian Love

The Saints are friends and models of life for us. Let us invoke them so that they may help us to imitate them and strive to respond generously, as they did, to the divine call.”

Holy Mass on The Solemnity Of All Saints Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI

There are so many more, obviously! What are your favorite quotes on the saints?

So what do you think? Join us in the community to share what you think!

PS: Who’s one person you know would like to read this post? Can you share it with them? Thanks!

Dominic de Souza | Founder of SmartCatholics
SmartCatholics | Marketer & storyteller. Geeks over epics, mystics, science, the angelic, & Netflix.

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