May Saints offer advice on how to help lead others to God
Meet an exiled bishop, a humble friar and a comical priest.
Many of us desire, with the help of the Holy Spirit and for the greater glory of God, to lead others closer to God; to help renew the zeal of those who have become lukewarm and to bring the light of faith to those who dwell in darkness.
The best advice on how to do this can be taken from the saints – the great cloud of witnesses who surround us and whose intercession we seek.
In this month of May, in honor of Mary, Queen of All Saints, let’s take a few minutes to listen to words of wisdom from Our Blessed Mother and some of her holiest fans. There is no better “help” than what they can offer as we shamelessly strive to become saints ourselves.
Here are four May Saints to admire, along with advice for your life, in their ownwords. These saints offer very specific advice on how to lead other souls to God. So meet an exiled bishop, a humble brother and a comical priest – all who join Our Lady of Fatima in helping you, this month of May, lead others to God in prayer.
May 2 — Saint Athanasius
Saint Athanasius, who died in 373, is one of the four doctors of the Church of the East and is called “Champion of the divinity of Christ”, because he fought against the Aryan heresy, which denied the full divinity of Christ. As bishop in Egypt, Saint Athanasius was exiled several times for defending the Nicene Creed. During his exile, he discovered comfort in a great relationship with the work of Saint Antoine du Désert. Saint Athanasius wrote the biography of Saint Anthony of the Desert.
How often do we wonder how we can more effectively preach the truth to others?
Saint Athanasius advises: “The holy and inspired scriptures are sufficient unto themselves for the preaching of truth.
To follow this advice, let’s spend time each day reading the scriptures, whether we open our Bibles, read or listen to the Divine Office, or sign up for The Bible in a Year with Fr. Mike Schmitz. The more we become familiar with and immerse ourselves in the Holy Scriptures, the more we will know what to say to bring other hearts closer to God.
May 13 — Our Lady of Fatima
On May 13, 1917, was the first appearance of Our Lady of Fatima to the three shepherd children – Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco. Although there have been multiple apparitions, May 13 is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima on the Church calendar. The seers were just children, playing together, when they saw Our Lady appear for the first time, “brighter than the sun”.
Mary urged them on this date to “pray, pray a lot. Make sacrifices for sinners. Many souls go to hell, because no one wants to help them with sacrifices.”
Our Lady also asked the three shepherd children: “Will you offer yourselves to God to endure all the sufferings that it pleases him to send you, both as an act of reparation for the sins of which He is offended and as an act of supplication for the conversion of sinners? Well, you will have much to suffer. But the grace of God will be your consolation. And then, Our Lady added: “Pray the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world and end of the war.
And so Our Lady’s advice on how to help souls is to pray the Rosary daily and offer sacrifices for sinners. Do we take advantage of this opportunity every day? Why not offer a daily chore or small sacrifices of love while praying the words our Lady of Fatima taught us: “O Jesus, it is out of love for you, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. »
Our Blessed Mother’s advice on how to help souls is clear: “Pray the Rosary daily.
May 20 — Saint Bernardine of Siena
We read above that Saint Athanasius was “the champion of the divinity of Christ”, just as Saint Bernardine of Siena, who died in 1444, also lovingly pointed out the divinity of Christ.
A famous Franciscan preacher, Bernardine is famous for spreading devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. He reconciled those who disagreed with each other; helped save souls through his fiery preaching and inspired many priestly vocations. Humble priest, he was offered three times to be named bishop and the three times he refused. After preaching fifty days in a row, he died, having truly spent himself for the Lord.
Saint Bernardine of Siena gives tremendous advice on how to bring souls closer to God, and that is by wishing them good luck and by loving them:
“For the love of God, love one another. Can’t you see that if you take pleasure in ruining each other, what will happen to you because of it? Change yourself for God’s sake.
May 26 – Saint Philip Neri
Saint Philip Neri (1515-1595) is a patron saint of joy and laughter and was known to be a superb teacher who led by example, as well as with humor and humility.
Her joyful energy brought people from all walks of life closer to God. He received many mystical graces, such as on the eve of Pentecost when a globe of fire entered his mouth, an unfathomable love for God overwhelmed him, and a physical swelling appeared on his heart.
However, despite these graces, he remained humble and did not take himself too seriously. He wore his cape backwards and even shaved off half of his beard to make people laugh while practicing humility.
Saint Philip Neri spent long hours listening to confessions and died after hearing confessions for eight hours. He reminds us that when we teach the faith to our young people, we must combine devotion and diligence in prayer with humble joy in the Lord. So let’s be crazy for God and for all that is holy!
St. Philip Neri is the patron saint of the Catholic Homeschool Conference, so if you or someone you know or want to consider, why not learn more about homeschooling in the spirit of great joy, while like St. Philip Neri did!
In the words of Saint Philip Neri, “A joyful heart is more easily made perfect than a downcast heart.” So when we evangelize, teach our children, or try to bring someone closer to God, let’s remember to do so from a place of genuine joy in the Lord.
May Saints, as we seek and follow your guidance, pray for us! And in the words of an age-old, prayerful longing that is said to accomplish exactly what it asks for when prayed with devotion, we pray: “Jesus, Mary, I love you! Save souls!