Learning Sanctity in the City of Saints, June 6, 2014

Fr. Roger J. Landry
Meditation on the Saints and Sanctity
Rome Experience for Seminarians, CIAM Center, Urbanium University
June 6, 2014

To listen to an audio recording of this meditation, please click below: 


The outline for this talk was as follows: 

Today is always my favorite day leading pilgrims in Rome. I love guiding people to the great Basilicas, to the Scavi, but what I love most is an opportunity to focus on what Rome really is in an incredibly powerful way. It’s the world’s greatest city of saints. So many saints have lived here. So many have died here. Some of them were born here. Most died here. But then many others were brought here. Regardless of their provenance, it’s really is a city of saints. Today we’re going to have a chance to visit the tombs of so many of the greatest heroes who have ever lived.

But this is not just meant to be a “been there, done that,” type of experience. It’s supposed to impact us. The saints are given to us as models. We’re never going to be able to imitate them in everything, but we can learn to imitate them in some things and be inspired by them to follow them in their openness to God’s grace and plans and our commitment to responding to his help by giving all.

God hasn’t just called us to be Christians and, God-willing, priests. He’s called us to be holy Christians and holy priests. This is what the world needs most. Every crisis is a crisis of saints. Insofar as there are many crises today, there will graces for us for us to become truly the saints of this time.

One of the saints whose tomb we will visit today is St. Ignatius. The great moment in his life was when he was convalescing in his castle reading lives of the saints. He was led to ask, “Why can’t I do what Dominic and Francis have done?” He had a certain self-confidence, but he also had a realism. He knew he could. As we approach these friends today, we need to keep that in mind.

We can learn a lot from the saints we will visit to today.

St. Philip Neri

  • Joy
  • New Evangelization
  • Confession

St. Andrew

  • Bringing others to the Lord
  • Humility in not being chosen among the three
  • Fidelity to the end.

Dodici Apostoli

  • Approachability for Philip. Greeks. Boy with loves.
  • Piety for James.

St. Catherine of Siena

  • Eucharistic Life
  • Ability to make fraternal correction and take it from God’s people

St. Monica

  • Prayer for wandering loved one’s
  • Perseverance

St. Matthew

  • Call as sinner.
  • Pope Francis’ vocations story

St. Ignatius of Loyola

  • Ordered prayer
  • Discernment
  • Spiritual Discipline

St. Francis Xavier

  • Missionary Zeal
  • Total availability

St. Aloysius Gonzaga

  • Purity
  • Love for parents

St. John Berchmans

  • Following a vocation against parental opposition.

St. Robert Bellarmine

  • Study
  • Reform