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We can look to the saints for hope. The saints know the ins and outs of the human experience – the nitty gritty and the glorious. The saints are ordinary people who opened themselves extraordinarily to the power of Christmas – to the power of Jesus becoming human and taking upon Himself our sins. There is nothing in our past that is not part of His plan for our future. We may feel helpless at times – overwhelmed by our own failures, by difficult situations with our family and friends, or by our circumstances. But there is nothing that is beyond His mercy, and the saints show us that.

The Lord wants to do something big for you this Christmas, something bigger than just gifts and carols and figgy pudding. We don’t have to get so wrapped up in all the details. Let’s anticipate the real graces He wants to give us. He wants to step into our hearts and into our families in a new way this year. Let’s let Him.


Blessed Bartolo Longo

Blessed Bartolo Longo was an Italian lawyer who became a satanic priest. He struggled deeply with mental illness, paranoia, depression, and anxiety, and it was only after the intervention of concerned friends that he decided to return to the Church. He spent the rest of his life promoting the Rosary.

Blessed Margaret of Costello

Blessed Margaret of Costello was an Italian woman born with severe disabilities and health issues. She suffered the pain of being rejected, mistreated, and forgotten by her family. Instead of harboring resentment, she gave her life to Christ and dedicated her time to the poor and suffering.

Venerable Cardinal Van Thuan

Venerable Cardinal Van Thuan was a Vietnamese bishop who was taken prisoner by the Communist government and kept in solitary confinement. He overcame loneliness, fear, resentment, a sense of failure, and nervous tension through personal, daily prayer.

Venerable Matt Talbot

Venerable Matt Talbot was a poor, single, Irish workman who struggled with alcoholism. The emptiness of his life and friendships caused him to take a pledge to refrain from alcohol and to return to the Sacraments.

Servant of God Dorothy Day

Servant of God Dorothy Day was an American journalist and social activist, who suffered much from love affairs, a broken marriage, a suicide attempt, and an abortion. Her love for the poor led her to encounter the love of Jesus in His Church, and she ended up becoming Catholic and founding the Catholic Worker Movement.

St. Josephine Bakhita

St. Josephine Bakhita was born in Sudan. She was kidnapped at age seven, abused, and sold into slavery. She eventually encountered Christianity, forgave her captors, gained her freedom, and became a religious Sister.

St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales was a French priest who struggled for years with anger issues. Even though he never lost his fiery nature, he was eventually so successful in controlling his temper that he became known for his gentleness.

St. Mary of Egypt

St. Mary of Egypt was an Egyptian woman who worked as a prostitute and struggled with deep sexual addiction. After meeting a group of pilgrims headed for Jerusalem, she powerfully experienced the Blessed Mother’s intercession and decided to give her life to Christ, choosing to battle temptations to unchastity.

Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur

Servant of God Elisabeth Leseur was a French woman who struggled in her marriage with her militant atheist husband, Felix. After she died, Felix read her spiritual journals and was so moved that he converted to Catholicism and became a priest.


“The saints are God’s true constellations, which light up the nights of this world, serving as our guides. If you live with Christ,…then you too…will become stars which go before men and women, pointing out to them the right path in life.” -Pope Benedict XVI

Holy men and women pray for us!

Originally printed in IMPRINT Magazine Winter 2018.