Radical. The word makes us, well, itchy. We think of people whose political beliefs are at one end of the spectrum or the other, people who won’t compromise or collaborate, maybe even people who foster revolutions that upset entire nations.
How in the world could a group of women, ranging in age from nine to 93 at their deaths, women formally canonized by the Catholic Church for heroic virtues and associated miracles, be considered radical? Because being a Christian is radical. The word radical comes from the Latin radicalis, meaning “of or relating to a root.”
The quotes from these 21 female saints show a radical faith in God. They can inspire our own.
“The important thing is to do charity, not to talk about charity. We must understand the work with very poor people as a God’s chosen mission.” Irmã Dulce Lopes Pontes
“Take heart! First of all it is God who sends things forward and not me. And then from paradise I can do more than I do in this world. When I will no longer be, believe also that it will be better than it is done now.” (Her deathbed words) Giuseppina Vannini
“Our Lady…told us she would come and take Francisco to heaven, and she asked me if I still wanted to convert more sinners. I said I did.” Jacinta Marto
“Receive every trial, every annoyance, every lack of courtesy in the light that springs from the Cross; that is how we please God, how we advance in the ways of love.” Elizabeth of the Trinity
“He needed bold, brave, inflamed women in the love of God, who could assimilate his life to that of the poor inhabitants of the jungle, to raise them to God.” Laura Montoya Upegui
“How easy it is to die with Jesus on the cross—if one has lived with Jesus on the cross!” Anna Schäffer
“Let us make best use of the fleeting moments. They will not return.” Marianne Cope
“Whatever troubles may be before you, accept them cheerfully, remembering whom you are trying to follow. Do not be afraid.” Mary MacKillop
“I am prepared to suffer more. I know the Lord is with me. He has some plan for me. How can I requite his kindness?” Alphonsa Muttathupadathu
“Our earthly and eternal happiness depend on following our vocation without faltering.” Gianna Beretta Molla
“Jesus died on the cross because that is what it took for him to do good to us, to save us from our selfishness and sin. He gave up everything to do the Father’s will, to show us that we, too, must be willing to give up everything to do God’s will, to love one another as he loves each one of us.” Teresa of Calcutta
“Oh my God, let my happiness be found in sacrificing my desires for you!” Léonie Aviat
“If we wish to serve God and love our neighbor well, we must manifest our joy in the service we render to Him and them. Let us open wide our hearts. It is joy which invites us. Press forward and fear nothing.” Katharine Drexel