(upbeat music) KAI: Libby! Libby.
LIBBY: What’s up? KAI: Hey! Well, I just want to make sure you don’t make any sudden movements. LIBBY: Why?
KAI: Apparently I cannot negotiate with wolves.
LIBBY: What? KAI: Well, you know how we’re
talking about saints today? I figured if I could
demonstrate a miracle, you know, for —
LIBBY: What about wolves? KAI: Yeah, well, St. Francis
and the wolf of Gubbio. You remember the story,
where he convinces the wolf not to attack the town? I figured maybe if I brought a wolf — LIBBY: Here?
(howling) KAI: No sudden movements.
(growling) LIBBY: Kai.
(growling) (rock music) LIBBY: Welcome to Catholic Central. I’m Libby.
KAI: And I’m Kai. LIBBY: So, today we’ll be
talking about the saints — the non-football related ones. KAI: But more importantly,
why should we care? LIBBY: You might be thinking
that long-dead people who lived in distant times and places could never have any effect on your life. KAI: Except possibly to give you nightmares about their statues coming to life and uniting as an army to kill you. No? Just me? OK. LIBBY: But anyway, the saints
can help us out a lot. KAI: And yet, still remain dead.
LIBBY: Because they’re alive in Heaven. Of course, we all know people on earth that we describe as living saints, but this is just an expression. KAI: Well, yeah. If your experience
is anything like mine, perhaps this is how people
routinely describe you. LIBBY: Or if your experience
is anything like Kai’s, that’s how people routinely
describe you in your dreams. KAI: Oh, come on, as arrogant
as that might sound, there’s no problem with hoping
you’ll be a saint one day. LIBBY: Actually, you’re right. Technically, sainthood is what we
should all be hoping for. KAI: The word “saint” comes
from “sancti,” the Latin, which literally means “holy ones.” LIBBY: Holy meaning someone who
uses their gifts and passions in a way that reminds us of God’s love, not necessarily that they
just walk around glowing. KAI: Although, it doesn’t
rule out glowing, either. Like the story of Saint Fillan, whose left arm was said
to give off enough light to read the Bible by.
LIBBY: Which brings us to the more specific definition of those formally recognized saints: The saint somebodies honored
by the Universal Church. KAI: The Church describes everyone
who is in Heaven as saints. They just don’t go putting the word saint in front of every dead person’s name. LIBBY: The people formally
declared saints by the Church are people in Heaven who lived holy lives, and had a lasting impact
in the life of the Church. KAI: So they’re like the VIP list. But even though they did amazing things and often played a major part in history, they were still real
people, everyday real people like you and me, with likes
and dislikes, vices and quirks. You don’t have to be a
perfect person to be a saint. LIBBY: Saints get depressed, angry, frustrated, and sometimes they think
they’re total failures. They might not look or feel like saints. In fact, as Thomas Merton says, one of the first signs of a saint may well be the fact that other people don’t know what to do with them. KAI: St. Jerome, for example,
was a notorious grouch. As one theologian put it, he “attacked just about
everybody for anything.” LIBBY: But the one thing that saint
somebodies, like St. Jerome, did have to do was be
radically open to God’s call to make a difference in the world, without worrying much about
whether it makes sense or seems possible in others’ eyes. KAI: The Church describes these
as lives of heroic faith, virtue and love, and
when the Church declares someone a saint through the
process called canonization, the Pope puts a saint
statue in a cannon and then, LIBBY: No. Canonization in the Catholic Church is recognizing whether
someone is worthy enough to be put on a formal
list, or canon, of saints. KAI: Although, the process of
canonization isn’t really simple. In fact, it’s amazingly complicated. LOUDSPEAKER: Now serving
B3 at window number 15. DECEASED KAI: Hello, so I just got out of Purgatory, and I’d like to see
about becoming canonized, so I can help people on earth
get their prayers answered. DEPARTMENT OF MAKING SAINTS ATTENDANT: You can’t apply for sainthood. Somebody has to have a reason
to think you’re a saint in the first place, and bring
your cause for sainthood, as they call it, to the Vatican. Maybe the process gets
started and maybe it won’t. DECEASED KAI: And maybe it will, there are
four steps to canonization, right?
DEPARTMENT OF MAKING SAINTS ATTENDANT: Right. The process can take years,
they’ll need a complete investigation of the person’s
activity on the earth, an honorable life of heroic virtues, and miracles happening after
they died, yadda, yadda, yadda. The first stage is can you read this? DECEASED KAI: Servant of God.
DEPARTMENT OF MAKING SAINTS ATTENDANT: Next level. DECEASED KAI: Venerable.
DEPARTMENT OF MAKING SAINTS ATTENDANT: What does it mean? DECEASED KAI: Venerable?
DEPARTMENT OF MAKING SAINTS ATTENDANT: I do the jokes. The word means honorable, next level. DECEASED KAI: Blessed.
DEPARTMENT OF MAKING SAINTS ATTENDANT: Blessed, next level. DECEASED KAI: Blessed.
DEPARTMENT OF MAKING SAINTS ATTENDANT: I’m talking here. Next —
DECEASED KAI: Sainthood! DEPARTMENT OF MAKING SAINTS ATTENDANT: No
canonization for you, okay?! For now, just be happy
you made it into Heaven. Maybe they’ll start your process later. DECEASED KAI: Yeah, St. Kaiser of Hollywood. DEPARTMENT OF MAKING SAINTS ATTENDANT: Don’t hold your breath, next. KAI: So canonization is a big deal. LIBBY: That’s why once a person
is canonized, Catholics may go crazy with enthusiasm, especially on Feast Days,
which each saint has. A Feast Day is a specific day of the year in which the Church remembers
the saint with prayers, readings or processions. KAI: Or parades and parties,
which might happen when a Feast Day goes mainstream,
like St. Patrick’s Day, St. Valentine’s Day, or Halloween, which comes from All Hallows’ Eve, or the day before All Saints Day. LIBBY: The feast of all 10,000
saints and counting. KAI: So, obviously, Catholics love saints. But why do they matter so much? LIBBY: One reason: They inspire. They show the amazing things that God can accomplish with human beings, beginning with St. Mary, otherwise known as the mother of Jesus
and Queen of Saints. KAI: But even the saints that
didn’t bear the Son of God are inspiring, because they
refused to let anything stand in their way. Like Joan of Arc, who fearlessly led an entire
army in the Middle Ages, despite being a teenager. LIBBY: Some saints inspire by demonstrating what it is to care for the
most poor and undesirable in society. Like Martin de Porres, who advocated for social justice in Peru for sick and radically oppressed mestizos. KAI: Or a martyr like Maximilian Kolbe, who gave his life in place of
another prisoner in Auschwitz, showing us the power and goodness of putting someone else’s
needs before our own. LIBBY: Saints also serve as inspiring guides on how to use the artistic
talents God gives us. KAI: Other saints fought
heroic internal battles, like Pope St. John Paul
II, who was a great pope, despite struggling against
debilitating illness. LIBBY: God was clearly working in their lives, and if they could do it, well,
as Catholics say, so can we. -KAI: For Catholics, even when
they don’t feel very saintly, they can all be inspired by how close the saints were with God. LIBBY: Saints show that the deeper
your connection with God, the closer you get to your own calling. KAI: The second reason Catholics love saints: they instruct us better than anyone on what it means to love
God and love neighbor, not only with their lives,
but with their writings, stories and preaching. LIBBY: Some were scholars who
saw the profound connection between faith and reason. KAI: St. Therese of Lisieux
wrote a bestselling book on the Little Way of our everyday lives, lived as a gift of love to
God and the people around her. The common thread with
saints is a deep trust in God for the shape and
evolution of their lives. LIBBY: And because the saints lead
such different kinds of lives and lifestyles with such
different evolutions, just about every aspect of life is covered by what we call patron saints. Patron saints are special protectors over pretty much anything
you can think of, including professions,
illnesses, countries and cities. KAI: There’s St. Joseph
for workers and fathers, St. Jude for hopeless causes. LIBBY: St. Anthony for lost things.
KAI: I know I’ve got St. Anthony on speed dial
just for my keys alone. LIBBY: You know who I’ve got on
speed dial? St. Genesius. KAI: The patron saint of clowns? Libby, you really should take
yourself more seriously. LIBBY: Funny. He’s also the
patron saint of actors, which has got to mean show hosts, too. Patron saints are perfect examples of the third reason Catholics love saints: They intercede. For Catholics, saints are like their friends in Heaven who they can ask for prayers, just like they’d ask
their friends on earth. KAI: You might say, “Isn’t
praying to saints idolatry or conjuring the dead with
superstitious mumbo-jumbo?” LIBBY: Valid questions, as we pointed out in our episode on Mary,
Catholics don’t worship saints or statues, and there’s no magic spell to get them to give us what we want. KAI: They are people that
are alive in Heaven, because of their faith and love of God. Since they were real, living,
breathing humans on earth, no matter what you’re going through — whether it’s grief,
addiction, or money problems — well, there’s a saint you can turn to who knows exactly what it was like. LIBBY: So, to wrap up, there
are just as many paths to sainthood as there are saints. For Catholics, the road
starts in daily life. It’s about making choices
that put love at the center, and a life that helps to move
the world to a better place. KAI: The Catholics look to saints, because, one: They inspire.
LIBBY: Two: They instruct, and three: They intercede from their place with God in Heaven. KAI: It’s possible for everyone
on earth to one day inspire, instruct, and intercede,
just like the saints that have come before us. LIBBY: After all, saints are
sinners that just keep trying. I’m Libby, and this is Catholic Central. KAI: And I’m Kai.
(growling) No sudden movements.
LIBBY: Kai! (upbeat music)