What Does It Take to Be a Saint, Anyway?
A Word to Kids by Kids
From Saints for Kids by Kids
God doesn't just pick out certain people to be saints and nobody else. After all, everybody is special to Him, right? I mean, I feel special. Don't you? God wants everybody to be good so I guess He wants everybody to be a saint.
Well, then, why are some people saints and not others? What exactly is a saint?
I'll bet they were a lot like you and me. They were real people with real feelings, with real problems. Just like me. They all lived on the planet Earth. Just like me. When they were kids. . . .
Some saints were really poor, some were rich.
Some were beautiful, some were average.
Some were skinny, some were fat.
Some were shy, some were forward.
Some were smart, some not as smart.
Some went to school, some were uneducated.
Some were healthy, some were sickly.
Some behaved, some were troublemakers.
Some were popular, some simply got on people's nerves.
Saints weren't born perfect. Nobody is perfect. They didn't walk around with halos over their heads. That would be kind of weird, don't you think? No, I think that saints started out just like the rest of us—the hard way.
But something must have happened to make the saints stand out from the rest of us. Since God wants everybody to be a saint, maybe they just listened better. Maybe when He called, they heard—or something like that.
If you really look at saints, they had a few things in common. For instance, they were always talking to God. That's called praying. And they always wanted to make God happy because they loved Him so much. They weren't just thinking about themselves all the time. They were thinking about what God wanted them to do.
Some of the saints were good thinkers, so those saints would write about religion or teach. Some saints were good workers, so they would lend a helping hand to the poor and elderly. Some were rich, so they would give away money and things to the needy.
I don't know, but I guess it's really hard to be a saint. I mean, I wouldn't like to give all my stuff away. And I'm always busy with things to do. I try to do what I should, but sometimes things happen and I make mistakes. I try, but I'm no saint—not yet, anyway.
I like hearing about the saints, though. We can learn a lot from their examples. They teach us how to be closer to God. And they show us how to stay on the right track. They help to correct some of the bad things that go on. That's why God gives them special powers. You know, they get to make miracles happen.
So, if we pray to them for things, they listen. Saints are definitely good listeners. They are like our special friends in heaven. They know what it's like down here, and they can help us get up there.
From Saints for Kids by Kids, by the Reverend Robert Charlebois, Mary Sue Holden and Marilyn Diggs Mange, Liguori Publications, 1984.
This little book was written by children—saints' stories were told, then children in schoolrooms and Sunday classes retold the stories in their own words. Their responses were edited and compiled to make the book with stories of eight saints. More than 300 children participated in the creation of Saints for Kids by Kids.