In 2018, Pope Francis shared a letter about saints. He explained that saints needn’t be mystical people from the past who cured lepers and floated above the floor. In fact all of us, as ordinary folk, can be what the pope labels as ‘saints next door.’
The “saints next door” are normal people who do special things which merit recognition. For example a sister who looks after her little brothers. A father who works hard every day but still finds time to coach his children’s sport teams. A busy mum or aunty, who volunteers their time sorting items at the local Vinnies. They may do this for many reasons but in the end it is because they believe in a loving God who wants to reach out to those in need.
Pope Francis says such people are not perfect. They have their problems, like all of us. But they do not spend their time criticising or blaming others; they are often full of fun and a quiet joy. They may not be the cleverest, the fastest or the most gifted, but they use the talents they have to make a better world for us.
The pope invites all of us to be saints, to become like these hidden people.
Think about the people who are important to you. We should celebrate what it is that makes them special. Capture their story on film so that we can all know about the good people around us.
You can access Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and be glad) here.