Ask Jesus to make you a Saint. After all, only he can do that.St. Dominic Savio
Saints of All Ages
We often see icons of adults and old men and women, but we know that the Saints come from all walks of life and all ages. There are so many young Saints with steadfast faith who are deeply in love with the Lord. Being still on the young side myself, their stories inspire me to live radically for Jesus now. These 15 Saints show us that we can never be too young to be holy.
1 St. Agnes, age 13
St. Agnes was born to a wealthy family in 4th century Rome. She made a vow of chastity, and when a suitor tried to ask for her hand, she would say “Jesus is my only spouse.” Eventually, she was condemned to death for refusing to marry. When the guards led her to be burned at the stake, she was as happy as a bride walking down the isle to her groom. The flames wouldn’t burn her when she was tied to a stake, so she was beheaded.
2 St. Tarcisius, age ~12
In 3rd century Rome, Pagan rulers often threw Christians in dark and dirty prisons where they would wait to be martyred. A bishop wanted to make sure that the prisoners could receive the Eucharist, and the young St. Tarcisius volunteered to bring the Blessed Sacrament to them. He claimed that the guards would think he’s only a messenger boy, so his bishop allowed him to go. He carried the Eucharist under his tunic, close to his heart. One day, the guards found out that St. Tarcisius was a Christian and carrying “Christian mystery,” so they beat him to death. He’s known as the “boy martyr of the Eucharist.”
3 St. Maria Goretti, age 12
As a young girl living in poverty in Italy, St. Maria Goretti’s faith was remarkably strong and she always trusted in God. In the early 1900s, her neighbor, Alessandro Serenelli tried to rape her. St. Maria Goretti fought back, saying it was against God’s will, so Alessandro stabbed her fourteen times. As she was dying, St. Maria Goretti forgave Alessandro, and he later converted and even attended her canonization.
4 St. Gabriel, the Child Martyr of Poland, age 6
Born in a Polish village in 1684, St. Gabriel was an innocent and holy little boy. He often spent his time praying and contemplating Divine Province instead of playing. When he was only 6 years old, St. Gabriel was tragically kidnapped from his family. After 9 days of torture, he died from bleeding out of his pierced side.
5 St. Philomena, age ~13
Centuries after her death in 3rd century Rome, St. Philomena appeared to Sister Maria Luisa di Gesù in 1833. She explained that she was a Greek princess who took a vow of chastity at age 11. When she refused to marry a Roman emperor, St. Philomena was imprisoned for forty days. She survived scourging, drowning, and being shot with arrows before she was finally beheaded. According to St. John Vianney, “To St. Philomena, God refuses nothing,” which makes her a powerful intercessor.
6 Ven. Carlo Acutis, age 15
Born in 1991, to Italian parents, Ven. Carlo Acutis is probably the most tech-savvy of all the Saints. He was devoted to the Eucharist, and wanted to share the beauty and truth of the True Presence. Ven. Carlo Acutis did this by building a website which documented Eucharistic Miracles that occured all around the world. Moreover, he used his time on the Internet in holy ways, and limited his screen time so that he was free to pray and receive the Sacraments. He died of leukemia at age 15 and offered his suffering up for the Church.
7 St. Dymphna, age ~13
When her Christian mother died at a young age, St. Dymphna’s pagan father experienced mental health issues. This, paired with poor advisement, caused him to view St. Dymphna as his late wife and want to marry her. To escape his advances, St. Dymphna fled Ireland for Belgium with a priest, two servants, and a jester. While there, she built a hospital and cared for the poor and sick. Eventually, her father found her and killed her as she defended her vow of chastity.
8 St. Dominic Savio, age 15
Even as a child, St. Dominic’s faith was his at the forefront of his life. In love with the lord, he prayed often, and received the Sacraments regularly. After he received his first Holy Communion, he wrote in a journal four promises, which were, “I will go to Confession often, and as frequently to Holy Communion as my confessor allows. I wish to sanctify the Sundays and festivals in a special manner. My friends shall be Jesus and Mary. Death rather than sin.” When he became sick, he could tell that he was dying, so he requested that a parish priest visit him for Anointing of the Sick and he prayed the Exercise of a Happy Death.
9 St. Thérèse of Lisieux, age 24
This list wouldn’t be complete without the Little Flower. St. Thérèse entered a Carmelite convent in 1888 when she was 15. She discovered that the Lord delights when we depend on him like little children and have a spirit of childlike love. Because of this, she became known for her “little way” as she did small things with great love. Before she died of tuberculosis at age 24, she promised to send down a shower of roses from Heaven.
10 Bl. José Luis Sánchez del Río, age 15
During the Mexican Christero War, Bl. José Luis Sánchez del Río fought against anti-Catholic laws. He was taken as a prisoner of war and brutally tortured before his execution. Guards cut the bottoms of Bl. José’s feet and led him along a rocky path to a cemetery. Along the whole way there and until he was shot to death, he exclaimed “Viva Cristo Rey!”
11 St. Kateri Tekawitha, age 24
The first canonized Native American Saint survived smallpox as a child, but scarred her face and left her an orphan as it took the lives of her parents. When she was 19, she became a Christian and was baptized by Fr. Jacques de Lamberville, a Jesuit missionary. She took a vow of chastity and traveled by herself to Montreal, where she lived with a community of Christian Indigenous Americans until she died of an illness when she was 24. As a nod to her indigenous tribe, she’s known as “the Lily of the Mohawks.”
12. St. Joan of Arc, age 19
From a young age, St. Joan of Arc heard the voices of St. Michael, St. Catherine of Alexandria, and St. Margaret. They inspired her to help the French army fight against the English and to bring the Dauphin to Reims for his coronation. Dressed as a male solider, she traveled with the French army and led them to victory at Orléans, which allowed Charles VII to become king. After being accused of heresy on account of her visions and dressing like a man, she was burnt at the stake.
13, 14, and 15 Sts. Jacinta and Francisco and Bl. Lucia
Our Lady of Fatima appeared to these three shepherd children when they were and 7, 9, and 10, respectively. Our Blessed Mother visited them six times over the course of six months, showing them visions and telling them important secrets. The children were encouraged to pray the rosary every day to “end the war,” and they learned what became known as the Fatima prayer which was added to the rosary to pray for the salvation of souls. The three children faced harassments and threats because of their visits with Our Lady of Fatima, but nothing could keep them from their Heavenly Mother or stop them from spreading the devotion to her Immaculate Heart. Although Sts. Jacinta and Francisco became ill and died a year or so after the series of Marian apparitions, Bl. Lucia became a religious sister and passed away at age 97. I have her listed here not only because she was a child when Mary appeared to her, but also because she lived the rest of her life with childlike dependence on our her Mother.
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Are you “too young” to be a Saint?
When I look at the lives of the Saints, I’m always inspired and encouraged to live like them. They make me want to actively pursue the Lord more and to keep choosing to live a holy life for him. When I look at the lives of young Saints, I’m reminded of the urgency of the Gospel. I remember that God doesn’t guarantee any of us a long life, so we should constantly say yes to him and live according to his will. What’s stopping us from living our faith heroically right now? These 15 young Saints lived very different lives, but none of them let anything separate them from Jesus. We might not be called to take a vow of chastity or wear the crown of martyrdom, but like these Saints, we can follow Jesus as closely as we can for as much time as we have in this life.
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