I had a vision of a great multitude.
What does it take to become a saint? The Church does a thorough examination before declaring that a person is definitively in heaven and is worthy of universal honor. They comb through the person’s writings. They look for miracles. They take testimony from friends, family members, and other witnesses. They even appoint a “devil’s advocate” whose job is to argue against canonization—just to be sure. When all the requirements are met, the pope then declares the person a capital-S saint—someone whom all believers can look to as an example of heroic holiness.
But don’t let this rigorous investigation give you the wrong impression. Countless more men and women are in heaven right now singing the song of triumph that the capital-S saints sing. It’s these anonymous, unacknowledged small-S saints, whom we honor today. There are millions of them, spanning every century and every generation since the birth of the Church.
So what does it take to become a small-S saint? Take a look around, and you’ll see. Think of the people whose love for Christ has inspired you. Think of the people whose dedication to service has touched your heart. Think of the people who seem always to have a peaceful disposition. Think of the people who have made you want to press on in faith. People like these are gifts from God. They encourage us and lift our eyes to heaven.
Today is a day to thank God for the blessings that all these small-S saints have been in your life. It’s also a day to think about the effect you have on other people. You may not consider yourself a saint, but your witness can make a difference. Jesus said that anyone who is poor in spirit, merciful, pure of heart, or peaceable is blessed. And holiness always stands out.
Word Among Us