In this session we will look into what it is to be holy and the process of becoming a canonized Saint in the Church. We will also look into children saints and those who showed signs of sanctity early in life. There are many saints who fall into this category, but we will focus on St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. Maria Goretti, St. Tarcisius, and St. Teresa of the Andes. We will be considering what it was about saints such as these that enabled them to grow into holiness so young, and what we might learn from them in our own pursuit of holiness.
Week 2: Visionary Saints
In this session we will study saints who had experiences of God or the Blessed Virgin Mary through visions. We will look into the issue of the extraordinary spiritual experiences these saints had, and what makes a vision “valid” in the eyes of the Church. We will focus our discussion on St. Bernadette Soubirous, St. Faustina Kowalska, St. Catherine Laboure, and St. Hildegard of Bingen.
Week 3: Saints Who Make Us Squirm – Saints who Challenge
In this session we will study saints whose lifestyle or call is difficult for us to understand, or who might have been challenging to have around. These are people such as St. Benedict Joseph Labre, who chose to live as a beggar. Not all saints are easy to emulate, and so we will discuss the issues of how saints can often live a different lifestyle than that which is within our comfort zone. We will focus on St. Benedict Joseph Labre, St. Philip Neri, St. John Vianney, and St. Gemma Galgani as we discuss the issues of our own unique call.
Week 4: Social Justice and the Saints
This week we will look into saints who were champions of the cause of justice, those who gave their lives in order to work for justice in some way, or those whose lives were formed through personal suffering through injustice. We will focus on Bl. Franz Jägerstätter, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Josephine Bakhita, and Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. We will see how they can inspire us to live lives more attuned to doing the right thing in given situations.