University of Surrey Catholic Chaplaincy
Throughout history, there have been thousands of men and women who lived their Christian lives heroically. Some of these are held up as examples by the Catholic Church, and are called Saints.

A Saint is someone who the Church believes is in paradise with God, having given themselves unreservedly to God during their lifetime. As a reward for having been so faithful to Christ and the Gospel, they exist forever in direct communion with God. This state is sometimes called the Beatific Vision, and is the ultimate end of a Christian life. St Paul says,

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

The role of the Saints is twofold. Firstly, they serve as examples of how the Christian life should be lived. Secondly, Catholics ask the Saints to pray to God on their behalf. This is because they are constantly in the presence of God, and have none of the hinderances to prayer that we have.

The Saints are a very diverse group of people. There are Saints who were students, priests, warriors, kings, peasants, lawyers, engineers, nuns, architects and authors ... and the list goes on! The vast majority were very ordinary people, who did not work miracles or give supernatural signs. What sets them apart from the rest of humanity is their virtue; they cooperated with God's plan for them, and put the needs of others above their own.

Communion of Saints (mosaic)

Perhaps the most radical message of the Gospel is that we're all called to be Saints. Christ says in the Sermon on the Mount,

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.
(Matthew 5 1-12)

To be a Saint is not to be weak-willed; indeed, it takes an incredible amount of courage to go against the grain of society and live the Christian virtues. Cooperating with God's plan for us is the only thing that can make us truly happy, and bring us to the fullest potential of who we are as a person. Without exception, all the Saints lived joyful lives, even in the harshest of situations, because they had put all their trust in Christ, and therefore had nothing to fear.

A few of the more famous Saints are:
Mary, the Mother of Christ
Saint Peter
Saint Paul
Saint Dominic
Saint Therese of Liseaux
Saint Faustina
Saint Francis
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina
Saint Ignatius of Loyola
Saint Francis Xavier
Saint Joan of Arc
Saint John Paul II

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The Roman Catholic Chaplaincy to the University of Surrey is provided by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton
The Arundel and Brighton Trust is a Registered Charity No. 252878

This website was last updated on 9th October 2015