Do You Know This Person?

Many parish religious education and youth ministry programs require or give the candidate for Confirmation the option to choose a Saint or Blessed as their patron for the Sacrament of Confirmation. If you are responsible for preparing young people for the Sacrament of Confirmation at your parish, you may get questions like, “Who do I choose?” or “Can you give me some examples to choose from?” Well, look no further… here are four Saints and Blessed young people you can share with your candidates for Confirmation!

St. Dominic Savio was a teenage student of St. John Bosco. He was known for his piety and was also known for enjoying fun and games with his friends. He famously stopped a bad schoolyard fight between two boys by holding up a crucifix and asking them to hit him instead.

He was a good student and wanted to become a priest, but he became ill and died at the young age of fourteen, shortly before what would have been his fifteenth birthday. He was canonized in 1954 by Pope Pius XII.

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati was born into a prominent family in Turin, Italy in 1901. His family owned the newspaper La Stampa. As a young person, he was an average student who loved joking and having fun with his friends. He loved the outdoors, sports, and hiking in the mountains. He is known for his saying, “Verso l’alto!”, which means “To the Heights!”

Blessed Pier Giorgio was also passionate about prayer and the spiritual life. He was a lay Dominican and was known for his advocacy for political and social change. Also, he was dedicated to serving the poor and would often give donations to those he saw as more needy than him. When Blessed Pier Giorgio died of poliomyelitis in 1925 at the age of twenty-four, thousands of people attended his funeral. He is known as the Man of the Beatitudes for his kindness and charity towards those in need.

As a young boy, St. Jose Sanchez del Rio went to school in his hometown of Sahuayo, Michoacan, Mexico. His older brothers were rebels in the Cristero war, one of the darkest times in the Mexican Catholic Church’s history. Churches were seized and many priests were either exiled or murdered. Young Jose wanted to join his older brothers in the fight, but was told he was too young. Yet Jose never let up. He wanted to give his life for Jesus and thus go to heaven easily. Eventually, his family and the Cristero general let him join them as flagbearer.

One day, the general’s horse was wounded and Jose gave him his horse, saying he was more important. He ran to take cover, firing on enemy forces until he ran out bullets. Unfortunately, the Mexican government troops captured Jose . They imprisoned him in a sacristy at a local Church. They told him to renounce his faith or be killed. Jose refused. The soldiers tortured Jose, cutting the soles of his feet off and making him walk to his place of execution. They cut Jose with a machete along the way. They tried to get him to renounce his faith and say, “Death to Christ the King.” Jose said, “ I will not give in. Viva Christo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!)” At the place of death, he was stabbed with bayonets until a commander shot him.Jose is an example of courage and strength for us all during times of persecution. His story is depicted in the film, “For Greater Glory.”

Blessed Chiara Luce Badano was a fun -loving girl from a loving family in Sassello, Italy. As a teen, she was an avid tennis player and also enjoyed hiking and swimming. She was a conscientious student, yet had struggles in school and even failed one year of high school. Blessed Chiara was also very spiritual and became involved in the Focolare movement at nine years old. She enjoyed going to daily Mass and would often tell her friends about Jesus.

One day, at the age of 17, Blessed Chiara felt an acute pain in her shoulder while playing tennis. At first, she thought nothing of it, but the pain persisted. Upon seeking medical attention, she underwent a series of medical tests. It was osteosarcoma, a very aggressive form of bone cancer. She fought bravely, and refused morphine so as to remain lucid to offer her sufferings to Jesus. Blessed Chiara accepted the pain, saying, “For you, Jesus… if you want it, I want it to. “ She died in 1990, with over 2000 people attending her funeral. Pope Benedict XVI beatified Chiara in 2010.

Each one of these holy young people are great examples of courage and love for Jesus no matter what is going on in your life. As young people approach the Sacrament of Confirmation, may they light the way to a deeper relationship with Him through their intercession in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Melissa Hagen

Melissa Hagen holds a Master’s Degree in Theology and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. She has served in religious education and youth ministry for over ten years at both the middle school and high school levels.
A convert to Catholicism as a young adolescent from a Baptist and Methodist background, Ms. Hagen has always enjoyed passing on the riches of the Catholic faith with young people. She is currently very active preparing teens for the Sacrament of Confirmation as a member of her Church’s Confirmation Core Team. When she is not busy serving teens, she enjoys watching movies and spending time with her awesome family!

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