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Ask A Franciscan: ‘They Seem Too Ordinary’

As I read your “Saint of the Day” daily web feature, I sometimes wonder why some of these people are considered saints. They seem too ordinary to be put forward as models of holiness!

heroic than others (Maximilian Kolbe, Teresa Benedicta of the Cross/Edith Stein, Damien of Molokai, and Elizabeth Seton, for example).

Saints show us what lives fully open to God’s grace look like. Heroism is not always external. Blessed Teresa of Kolkata, who will be canonized later this year, frequently spoke of doing small things with great love.

When Jesus praised people who were saved because they clothed the naked, fed the hungry, etc. (Mt 25:31-46), those actions probably seemed too ordinary to the people who chose to avoid them. Were they waiting for something that looked more heroic and would be widely recognized?

Changes in Marriage Tribunal Practice: In light of the changes made by Pope Francis last September (and described in the November “Ask” column), the Tribunal link at has several updated questions and responses.