Many years ago, when I was barely tall enough to see over the edge of the kitchen counter, I remember my mom setting out a special saint display every month. One in particular stands out in my memory, and it was to celebrate the feast of St. Therese. I can still picture the corner of the kitchen where there sat a small plastic statue of Therese and a poster where I wrote her name in pink marker. Plastic red roses were scattered around the statue and there were a couple saint books open to the page with her story. Therese stayed on the counter for most of the month and even though we didn't pay much attention to the display, it was there as a constant reminder that we had a special friend in Heaven who was praying for us.
This was just one of the ways that my parents helped instill in me a love for the saints, and looking back, I can now see what a profound impact it had on my spiritual life. But what exactly did I learn from the saints?
From St. Therese I learned to find joy in the little, ordinary tasks of my day.
St. Dominic Savio showed me that I can be holy no matter how old I am.
St. Joan of Arc taught me that I could be brave and courageous in whatever battle I faced.
In the life of St. Damien of Molokai, I realized that I can make sacrifices to serve and love other people, even when it isn't easy.
St. Joseph witnessed to me what it truly means to love and serve my family.
St. Andre Bessette taught me that incredible miracles can happen when I put my trust in God.
And I learned from St. Patrick that I can be bold and share my faith with others.
It's amazing to reflect on the dozens of saints that I grew up learning about, and how they continue to impact my life today.
As parents and teachers, it is so important that you continue sharing saint stories with your kids. Introduce them as heroes and friends who are there to help your kids on their journey through life. You could also get saint cards and posters, and maybe it will inspire you to set up your own little saint display each month. You're never too old or too young to make the saints a part of your life.
I am still discovering new saints that inspire me, and I want to encourage you to do the same. We don't have to walk this journey of faith alone, so let us follow in the footsteps of our Heavenly friends who desire nothing more than to lead us ever closer to Christ.
Who were some of the first saints you learned about? I'd love to hear in the comments below!