Four points leading to sainthood

Four points leading to sainthood

By Fr. Rifat Bader

It is a new decisive step undertaken by Pope Francis which has to do with the question, "Who can become a saint?"

The Pope made a three-point historic answer, namely the free and voluntary offering of one’s life and the heroic acceptance, on account of charity, of certain and near death”.

The Pope also added a fourth point, namely the faithful who “have voluntarily and freely offered their lives for others and have persevered until death in this intention are worthy of special esteem and honor.''

The title of the apostolic letter, Maiorem hac dilectionem (Greater Love than This), is a reference to Christ’s words in St. John’s Gospel (15:13) “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." This letter indicates the Church's inclination to honor those who lose their lives in heroic acts of love, amid conditions that threaten death, whether by rampant disease or by helping people in war.

Therefore, love is the title summing up this new view that lead to sainthood. It comes at a time when charity and love for displaced brothers and refugees have been growing, and amidst new waves of persecution being perpetrated against Christians in certain parts of the world. Sainthood is reverberated in the Song of Songs which says: "Love is strong as death; jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord."

Sainthood lies in fraternal love.

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