A saint is a person who can lead others through example, and their lives are used as teaching tools to remind us of right and proper behavior. According to the Catholic Education Resource Center, saints are not exceptions, but instead, they are a standard to which other believers should be held. What life lessons can the saints teach us, even today?
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St. Alban: Help Others
St. Alban was the first Christian martyr in Britain. As a pagan, he aided a priest who was fleeing from persecution, and eventually, he converted to Christianity himself. When he was forced to give up the priest, he instead switched clothes with the priest, allowing the learned man to escape. He was whipped, and then beheaded for his good deed, but his actions show us the importance of aiding others, even when the results are less than advantageous to ourselves. St. Alban’s sacrifice allowed the priest to continue instructing others, and he was happy to make it.
St. Thomas of Dover: Be Brave in the Face of Adversity
St. Thomas of Dover was also known as Thomas Hale, and he was a thirteenth century Benedictine Monk who served in the English city of Dover. When a raiding party came to Dover from France, St. Thomas was one of the people who could not feel from the area, as he was elderly and frail. The raiders demanded that the monk tell them where the rich church’s treasures were, and when he refused, the tortured him before executing him. He remained quiet to the last, and through him, we learn to be courageous in the face of adversity.
St. Dymphna: Understanding Our Own Boundaries
St. Dymphna was the daughter of a 7th century Irish king. When her mother died, her father went mad, looking for a woman who resembled his wife. His pagan counselors recommended that he marry his daughter, and when she fled, he pursued her. When her confessor tried to intervene, he was killed, and when Dymphna refused to consent to marriage with her father, her father cut off her head. St. Dymphna teaches us to be true to ourselves. Sometimes the people who would violate us are none other than the people we most trust, and it is essential to protect ourselves however we can.
St. Drogo: Looks Don’t Matter
St. Drogo should have had a lucky life. He was born to a noble family, but he was orphaned at a young age. He became a holy pilgrim, walking from holy site to holy site. He was afflicted with a disease that made him physically frightening, and because of this, he spent the last forty years of his life as a hermit. Despite his affliction, he never allowed his looks to get in the way of what was important. His faith shone through despite his misfortune, and that is something we can take to heart.
St. Barbara: Finding Faith Wherever We Can
St. Barbara was born to a pagan father who violently objected to her conversion. He was furious enough that he built a tower to imprison her, but even this couldn’t hurt her faith. She convinced the builders to put three small windows into her bathhouse, the number repeating that of the Holy Trinity. Her father was so enraged by her defiance that he denounced her to a tribunal and acted as her executioner. Shortly after her death, St. Barbara’s father was struck by lightening. From St. Barbara’s story, we learn that we can find faith in many things around us. Even small symbols can hold a great deal of meaning if you only look.
Clara Rose is a Christian school teacher and guest author at Online Christian Colleges, a site with guides and information to help prospective students evaluate online Christian schools. More from Clara can be found here