Saints & Martyrs

Who are Saints and Martyrs?

The Catholic Church has a very long tradition going back to the first centuries of Christianity, of officially recognising some very holy members as saints. She sees them as important for fellow Catholics but not only for them. They also benefit the wider world because they represent the best in human nature. They are individuals of genuine uprightness, integrity and nobility of character. They are a source of pride and encouragement for many outside the Church as well as for those inside it..

The saints are our great ancestors in the faith who led good Christian lives and are now with God enjoying the happiness of heaven. Some of the saints died for their faith and are called martyrs. The lives of all the saints were ruled by love. They had a deep faith in God’s love for them. In response, they sought at all times to keep “the great commandment of the law” that “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind … You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Mat 22:36-39). Hence in planning their lives they put God first and tried to always do his will.

They built up their relationship with him as the most important one in their lives, nourished every day by a life of prayer. They lived Christ-like lives by letting the good news of the Gospel influence every area of their lives. All this was possible through the grace of the sacraments and the power of the Holy Spirit at work within them. They were inspired by the lives of the saints and helped by their prayers especially by the Blessed Virgin Mary.  There are the ordinary saints and the special ones whom we call church saints or canonized ones.

Ordinary Saints

We believe that there are countless saints in heaven, most of them being just ordinary men and women like ourselves. We can call these the ordinary saints. They just got on with the challenge of living their faith in their own families and communities. There was nothing very remarkable or memorable about them. Yet by living out the values of the Gospel, they helped to bring about the reign of God in our world, making it a more human and caring and loving home for all.