Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sanctity and Youth

In our English documents we tend to call today's saint St. Anthony of Padua. Ask the Portuguese and they will tell you he is St. Anthony of Lisbon for the place where he was born.

Regardless of moniker, what remains to me most striking about this saint is how powerfully God's grace worked in him at such a young age. We tend to think of saints as wise and old, as if those two things go together. St. Anthony was only 36 when he died. And yet, he was such a gifted preacher than he made it all the way to the court of the Pope and after his death was named a Doctor of the Church, a title reserved for the greatest teachers of the faith.

What he accomplished in his short life was clearly not his work, but the work of God in and though him. For any of us who preach or teach the faith today is a day not only to look to the example of St. Anthony but also we should not be afraid to ask for his help. Now, as much as ever, we need the ability to translate the message of the gospel into words that can be understood by the world in which we live, especially a language that can be heard by our youth and young adults.

St. Anthony, pray for us.