The Saints were listed in his newly released third apostolic exhortation titled “Gaudete et Exsultate: On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World.”
The Holy Father shared the names in his third apostolic exhortation — “Gaudete et Exsultate: On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World” released on April 9, 2018.
According to Pope Francis, he hopes that this document will encourage Christians to strive for holiness.
This is why, he is highlighting these saints, who he says are particularly relevant for the 21st century.
Here is a brief list of seven of these saints and why Pontiff believes people should emulate them.
“To depend on God sets us free from every form of enslavement and leads us to recognize our great dignity. We see this in Saint Josephine Bakhita: “Abducted and sold into slavery at the tender age of seven, she suffered much at the hands of cruel masters. But she came to understand the profound truth that God, and not man, is the true Master of every human being, of every human life. This experience became a source of great wisdom for this humble daughter of Africa,” Pope Francis writes.
Pope Francis writes, “Saint Thérèse of Lisieux tells us that “perfect charity consists in putting up with others’ mistakes, and not being scandalized by their faults.”
In Pope Francis’ words, “We thus share in the experience of Blessed Charles de Foucauld, who said: “As soon as I believed that there was a God, I understood that I could do nothing other than to live for him”.
“This is the grateful memory that Saint Ignatius of Loyola refers to in his Contemplation for Attaining Love when he asks us to be mindful of all the blessings we have received from the Lord. Think of your own history when you pray, and there you will find much mercy,” the Pontiff advises.
“We can think, for example, of Blessed Maria Gabriella Sagheddu, who offered her life for the unity of Christians,” Pope Francis says.
The Holy Father writes, “Saint John of the Cross proposed a different path: “Always prefer to be taught by all, rather than to desire teaching even the least of all”. And he added advice on how to keep the devil at bay: “Rejoice in the good of others as if it were your own, and desire that they be given precedence over you in all things; this you should do wholeheartedly. You will thereby overcome evil with good, banish the devil, and possess a happy heart. Try to practice this all the more with those who least attract you. Realize that if you do not train yourself in this way, you will not attain real charity or make any progress in it.”
“We should consider the fact that, as Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross suggests, real history is made by so many of them. As she writes: “The greatest figures of prophecy and sanctity step forth out of the darkest night. But for the most part, the formative stream of the mystical life remains invisible. Certainly, the most decisive turning points in world history are substantially co-determined by souls whom no history book ever mentions. And we will only find out about those souls to whom we owe the decisive turning points in our personal lives on the day when all that is hidden is revealed,” the Holy Father says.