November is the month when the Church celebrates All Saint’s Day. It’s a day set aside to remember all of the holy men and women who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. They lived such lives of heroic virtue that the Church honors them with the title Saint or Blessed.
It is also a time when youth ministers who are responsible for Confirmation also receive questions concerning choosing a Saint for Confirmation and the required Confirmation Saint Paper becomes due.
Why is it important for teens preparing for Confirmation to choose a Confirmation Saint? Is it just an outdated practice that really has no relevance in teen’s lives today?
St. Paul gives us some insight into this question in his letter to the Hebrews. He tells us that we ARE surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses… not WERE surrounded. They are with us now! Saints are there to pray for us on our journey of life and to help us draw closer to God. Here are several reasons for teens to choose a Confirmation Saint.
Each Saint models holiness for us
Each Saint shows us how to live holy lives in practical, everyday ways. Not every Saint did extraordinary things, but as St. Theresa of Calcutta said, you do small things with great love. Currently, in our world, everyone seems to be seeking fame, popularity, and fortune, or to be the latest person trending on Twitter. The Saints show teens that it is ok to be who you are, just as God made you to be.
Each Saint dealt with personal failings just like us
Teens live in a world where they see sin and its consequences all around them. Many come from divorced or broken homes. Some teens deal with the sins related to drug addiction or pornography.
Each Saint also dealt with personal failings and sins. St. Peter denied Jesus three times. St. Paul persecuted Christians and watched as they stoned St. Stephen to death. St. Augustine had an affair and caused his mother St. Monica much grief as a young person. The Saints show us that no matter what we have done, we can always go to our Heavenly Father for the love, forgiveness and peace that we seek.
Each Saint lived in a particular time and place in history.
For the teens, gathering information related to choosing a Confirmation Saint can be a wonderful history lesson. To understand the Saint that they choose, have them do a little research on the important historical events that took place during their life. For example, if a teen chooses St. Maximillian Kolbe, have them do a little research on what was going on during the horrible days of World War II and the Holocaust. If a teen chooses St. Elizabeth Seton, have them do a little research on what life was like in Maryland for Catholic converts like her during the early days of our country. This will show teens that holiness is truly possible in any time, in any place they find themselves… and that may just be the most important lesson of all!
God bless each of you abundantly, and Holy Saints of God, pray for us!