My Nana was what some people refer to as Saint Anonymous. Someone that might not be on the same pedestal or as widely known as Saint Theresa or Saint Francis, but goes about their daily life living the same holy virtues unnoticed. On the day of my Nana’s funeral, the Vatican was canonizing three saints. During the eulogy, the priest talked about how we have our own saints living among us. They might not be receiving their canonization or “Saint of the Day,” spot on a calendar, but yet we know people that lived saintly lives. One thing my Nana and many other saintly people had in common: you could tell they were a Christian.

If you were in a work meeting, out at the bar having a beer with your buddies, or coaching little league, could someone look at you and tell that you are a Christian? As Christian men, we should be the last ones in the world with a look of gloom and doom on our faces. Sure, we all have our bad days but we can’t forget that Christians should be the most joyful people around and that our joy should be contagious.

Many people nowadays walk around looking miserable and fearful. And if they aren’t looking miserable, they are too distracted by looking at their smart phones. As Christian men, we are called to be the light that shines in the world. There are many instances where Jesus relates Christians to joyous people of light and to be that light: “Let your light shine before others.” (Matthew 5:16) “Though you have not seen him, you loved him. And even though you do not see him, now you believe and are filled with glorious joy (1 Peter 1 8:9) “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12). Jesus does not want us to walk around miserable, he wants us to be joyous and unafraid. In the Bible, the phrase “Be not afraid,” or “do not fear,” is written 365 times. That’s one time for each day of the year. Whether that was by coincidence or on purpose is up for debate, but it shows that the Lord did not want Christians to be people of fear but people of joy.

Lent is almost over. The great victory of our faith is at hand. No other day should bring Christians more joy and less fear than Easter. The reason for our joy is that someone loved us so much that they were willing to die for us and so that our transgressions would be forgiven. That someone is Jesus. No matter what problems we have in our lives or see in the world, Jesus promised us he has overcome the world and will be with us till the end of time. If we truly believe that, let’s make sure we carry that joy in us throughout the year. Let’s be that man where someone looks at us and says “He’s a Christian.”

  • Phil Alcoceli

    God bless your Nana and all Anonymous Saints!! I had the undeserved privilege of having had an Anonymous Saint as my spiritual mother, a neighbor lady. Later I rebelled but, even after her passing, her holy influence brought me back from long years in the demented circus of false spirituality, false religions and radical atheism. It’s good to remember here that the process of canonization in our Church does not “make” anyone a Saint (there’s no “saint factory” at the Vatican), they just recognize them officially as such, done very imperfectly sometimes, as when some old saints were found to not have existed and when today some “saints” are there more for socialism than for Jesus-ism. John Paul II, a saint himself, made the big mistake of eliminating the Promoter of the Faith (Devil’s Advocate) and now we have saints-by-the-dozen (saints do make mistakes, even big ones, sainthood is not absolute divine perfection).

    Sainthood comes only from God Himself directly and not from an increasingly wobbly recognition process (all-get-a-trophy canonization). It is my belief that True Catholic Saints are like a Holy Iceberg where the officially recognized 10,000 saints are truly many more. Like an iceberg, the number of Anonymous Saints could be 90% bigger or more. That would be 100,000 True Saints or many more. In Truth, one single Saint in all of history would have given Total Glory to God given our hard heads and hard hearts. We have immensely many more than that and we all can be Saints in God’s Grace.

    As stated by many great Catholic Spiritual Masters, being a Saint is right there in our constant, daily determination to become one-with-God and his Holy Will in His Holy Church, with ups and downs, stuck-then-progress, warts and bad smells, falls-and-get-ups included. A True Saint refuses to ask: “Are we there yet?’. He/she is busy bringing God’s Higher Reality to our common, day-to-day, hard reality. Sainthood is not a hyper mystical, always happy, always clean, formal and pretty process or an always sucessful parade. It is not delusional, drug-like New Age, etc. where sin enjoys total inclusiveness and tolerance. The greatest of lives is to live and die a True Catholic Saint and it is VERY much within our reach with God’s Almighty Grace!! Like with my spiritual mother, a Saint’s influence and love lasts forever and always, always triumphs!! Glory be to God!!!