By Andrea Gibbs
Today, our Catholic Church honors a plethora of heroes. The saints we celebrate today are: Saint Adalgis, Saint Apuleius, Saint Augustus of Bourges, Saint Canog, Saint Dubtac, Saint Gerold of Cologne, Saint Helanus, Saint Julia the Martyr, Saint Justina of Padua, Saint Marcellus of Capua, Saint Martin Cid, Saint Osith, Saint Palladius and Blessed Chiara Badano.
These saints are my favorite because most of them are unknown. They don’t have Caribbean islands named after them, like some of their buddies do. They don’t have cartoon versions of themselves pasted on flashy greeting cards or an over commercialized holiday. These (not so famous) saints may not have lead great armies, converted entire cities or founded popular religious orders. Nonetheless, they are beautiful models of faith for us.
Blessed Chiara Banado was an Italian teenager who dreamed of becoming a flight attendant and a missionary. Her plans came to a halt with her diagnosis of bone cancer, which then ended her life at just 19 years old. She was able to witness her faith to her family and friends, as well as doctors and other patients in the hospital. She was an ordinary teenager who drew deep into the heart of Christ and gained strength to fight her battle with cancer. She used her pain to bring strangers into the Catholic faith.
The unknown saints are my people. They are ordinary people with extraordinary faith. God has called all of us to desire and strive for that coveted title of saint. To doubt that we are able to attain sainthood is to doubt the forgiveness and life renewal that Christ offers in the Eucharist. Let us all continue to strive for sainthood, even if it means being an unknown saint. Take some time to read the life story of a saint that is new to you! Blessed Chiara, pray for us!
About the Author:
Andrea Gibbs is a wife and homeschooling mother to five children. Her family leads student and adult mission trips to Guatemala. She previously worked as a curriculum coordinator and teacher in early childhood education, high school youth minister, and speaker to Catholic teens. She has a deep affection for strong coffee, 19th century British literature, dark chocolate, and all things Latin America.