Four hundred and ninety children can’t be wrong. They know something that we may have forgotten. They put on the mantle a favorite saint and proudly walk in a parade surrounded by a community of hopeful peers who all share the same goal. They remind themselves, each other and all of us that the call to sainthood is very real and an urgent appeal to strive daily for Heaven.
Our world today needs heroes. We need role models who exemplify Catholic values, who display Christian qualities we can admire, who help us see the best ways to overcome challenges. We need examples in our lives of how to stand up for what’s right in God’s eyes. Heroes help to create a better world for all of us. What better examples of heroism than our saints?
On Oct. 29, the Friday before Halloween, the children at St. John the Baptist Catholic School dressed up in costumes, participated in a “best of ” contest, celebrated their grandparents by hosting them on campus for lunch and then marched in a parade of heroic virtue. All the costumes venerated the saints and the awards recognized inspirational costumes and the children’s knowledge about great examples of our faith. The parade was an earthly reminder of the Communion of Saints that we all hope to belong to one day.
In today’s world, our best examples of virtuous living are the saints, and they are especially important to us as we face the challenges of the world we live in. They nurture hope in us and help to cultivate fortitude in these unusual times. The saints remind us to be empathetic, courageous and compassionate to one another. They help us to focus on the virtues that should guide our daily actions and remind us of the image and likeness of God that we are all called to emulate.
Our children can teach us so much about the path to heaven. Jesus told us “to be like them” and so there is wisdom in our children as they demonstrate their love of their God, a love that we should all nurture in ourselves as we nourish our own inner hero and strive to bring heaven a little closer to earth.