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Pope Francis rides in the popemobile after his weekly general audience at the Vatican yesterday (CNS/Lola Gomez)

The saints are not unreachable “exceptions of humanity” but ordinary people who worked diligently to grow in virtue, Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: CNS.

It is wrong to think of the saints as “a kind of small circle of champions who live beyond the limits of our species”, the Pope wrote in the catechesis for his general audience yesterday in St. Peter’s Square. Instead, they are “those who fully become themselves, who realise the vocation of every person.”

“How happy would be a world in which justice, respect, mutual respect, the breadth of the spirit (and) hope were the shared norm and not a rare anomaly,” he wrote.

Just like at his general audience on March 6, Pope Francis told visitors in the square that due to a mild cold an aide, Msgr Pierluigi Giroli, would read his speech. 

Continuing his series of catechesis on virtues and vices, the Pope wrote that a virtuous person is not one who allows themself to become distorted but “is faithful to his or her own vocation and fully realises his or herself.”

Reflecting on the nature of virtue, which has been discussed and analysed since ancient times, the Pope said that virtue is not an “improvised” and “casual” good exercised from time to time. Even criminals, he noted, have performed good acts in certain moments. Virtue is rather a “good that is born from a person’s slow maturation until it becomes his or her inner characteristic,” he wrote.

He encouraged people not to forget the lesson taught by ancient thinkers, “that virtue grows and can be cultivated,” and wrote that for Christians developing virtue depends primarily on the grace of God.


Saints are not ‘exceptions,’ but examples of humanity’s virtue, Pope says (By Justin McLellan, CNS)