|my dad and I :)|
After Cinque Terre, we met up with the rest of our Austrian program in Rome. This was especially exciting for me, because my parents were able to come out to visit for the week! It was such a blessing to see them! It was a bit of a hectic time in Rome, with packed schedules, so many people, and tons of walking, but there was beauty amidst this Roman chaos. And the most beautiful thing I discovered during the adventure was…. Sainthood is REAL.
|early Christian martyrs|
We joked about how it would be difficult to visit Rome if you weren’t a Christian, because there is literally a church on every corner and not only that, but almost every church has a saint buried inside of it. Some I’ve heard of and some I haven’t, but it was so powerful to walk among these witnesses. To name a few, we visited the tombs of St. Cecelia, Blessed John Paul II, St. Maria Goretti, early Christian martyrs, and St. Peter! Visiting these saints, asking for their intercession, walking where they walked, sainthood suddenly became REAL. They were no longer just stories that I heard in my childhood. They were real people who lived real lives, who dealt with real struggles, who died real deaths, but who allowed themselves to be transformed by Christ in a real way to the point of giving their entire lives to Him.
|the church of St. Maria Goretti|
If so many ordinary people have been able to become saints, then so can I.
|the tomb of St. Ceceila|
Sainthood doesn’t necessarily mean doing something extraordinary. It just means doing the little things with the love of Christ, which will undoubtedly lead to the extraordinary. We don’t have to change absolutely everything about our lives, but rather allow ourselves to be transformed by Christ. We have so many models to look at! Ask for their intercession, they will help you!
|my mom and I in St. Peter’s Square :)|
As you grow in friendship with the saints, as you learn their stories, as you dive into their lives, it is SO easy to just want to be them. I mean who wouldn’t want to be the next Mother Teresa or St. Therese or St. Francis of Assisi?! But this isn’t what we’re being called to do. During our Rome pilgrimage, my friend and I discovered a song by Danielle Rose that is called, “The Saint That is Just Me.” If you haven’t heard this song yet, click the link below and listen! This is not a suggestion, you must listen! This song really impacted us, particularly as we were visiting so many saints in Rome. Christ did not die so that we can strive to be a saint who has already lived. Each and every one of us are called to be saints, and we have a story that is uniquely ours! We need our saint companions on the journey, but find your story! The world already has a St. Faustina, St. Bernadette, and St. Maximilian Kolbe… it needs a saint YOU!