The Saints
  • Register
Please update your Flash Player to view content.

The Saints











Saints and Mystics


Whenever  one hears the word, mystic, a lot of people get nervous. It conjures up all kinds of suspicions. What’s next? magic trances? seeing visions? hearing voices? levitations? Mysticism, however, is as old as the human race. Every major religion has its own history of mystics, of those who tend to see more clearly the Holy One, those who are grasped by the "Holy".  They are the ones who share their insights with others on the path to holiness.  Every member of the Christian church is called to holiness, for God has told us: Be Holy for I am Holy (Lev. 11:45; 1 Peter 1:15-1).  Mystics are ones who are caught up in the experience of Mystery.  Karl Rahner, a Catholic theologian of the 20th century, often spoke of the centrality of the mystical life and that the "devout Christian of the future will either be a 'mystic,' one who has experienced 'something' or he will cease to be anything at all" (1). Experiencing the mystical life simply means experiencing in an intimate powerful way the Almighty One and being open to grace.  Mysticism doesn’t necessarily have to mean seeing visions or being transported to some rapturous state.  Mysticism occurs in the ordinary life of believers and seekers of God.

Father Egan.two


Father Harvey Egan, S.J., professor emeritus of Systematic and Mystical Theology at Boston College, has studied the mystics for his whole adult career and has written several texts and articles about what they can teach us. At MV, he has shared with us a brief essay on mysticism in ordinary life.


It can be found at:



 At MV, there is a link to the hagiographies (stories, prayers, insights) of the saints at:

Each month at MV, we will highlight one particular saint and try to explore some of his or her insights and how he or she may teach us something of value on our journey. We will begin with St. Athanasius, a third and fourth century bishop and doctor of the Church.  I chose St. Athanasius for three reasons.  First, he introduces us to St. Antony,  a desert  hermit and one of the first we know who struggled with self as he sought union with God in a solitary fashion.  Second, Athanasius loved the Psalms.  He writes a letter to Marcellinus about their proper interpretation.  And third, he wrote some of the most beautiful tracts on the Mystery of the Incarnation.  He is a good place to start.  Next up is St. Benedict, a fifth century man who gathered men together to pray and formulated a rule by which to live.  His rule became the foundation for all religious orders that were to follow.  And there will be many more.  The hagiographies in the link contain hundreds of saints' lives, so if you don't see one you want to know more about from the columns at MV, please go to the link.  At this link, there will always be The Catholic Encyclopaedia version of the saint’s lives, but our Episcopal brother, James Kiefe, also writes beautifully about the saints. I highly recommend we start with his words of wisdom as well.  One can always compare notes, too.  Many people have been or are writing about the saints today.  James Martin, SJ, is another one, who write My Life with the Saints, in which he weaves his own personal stories with theirs and explains why Catholics regard the saints as their big brothers and sisters in the Lord.  If one wants to know something of the process of how people become saints in the Catholic church, Kenneth Woodward's text, Making Saints, can explain the process with its many complications and details.  Today, too, numerous texts are emerging about particular saints.  What follows is a mere introdution to some of our "brothers and sisters in the Lord".

Link: St.Athanasius

The end of The Apostles’ Creed reads: “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen”.  What is this “communion of saints”?  Young people often think this has something to do with the saints going to communion, but if they do, they are uninformed about the beauty of this teaching. It refers to not only the present members of the church, but to all those who have gone before us and have fought the good fight and are enjoying God’s presence in heaven. The CCC tells us that:

947    Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others…. We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of goods in the church. But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head…. Therefore, the riches of Christ are communicated to all the members through the sacraments.

948    The term, “communion of saints” therefore has two closely linked meanings: communion in holy things (sancta) and among holy persons (sancti).

Sancta, sanctis! (“God’s holy gifts for God’s holy people”) is proclaimed by the celebrant in most Eastern liturgies during the elevation of the holy Gifts before the distribution of communion.

Every time we gather for worship, we do so with all the angels and saints. They continue to worship the one true God.  They are also our role models in the faith. Their lives and their prayers can show us the path to God and their intercession to God on our behalf can help us on our journey. Catholics have a rich history of paying attention to the saints and especially what they have taught us.  Every generation helps the next one to deeper understanding if we but pay attention and listen. Praise God!

Call to Prayer

Endow Groups

Endow pic

Endow Groups 



St. Veronica Guiliana


st veronica 3

The amazing story of St. Veronica 

St. Veronica Guiliani



Pope Francis

Mysticism, according to its historical and psychological definitions, it that direct intuition or experience of God; a mystic is a person who has, to a greater or less degree, such a direct experience – one whose religion and life are centered not merely on accepted belief or practice, but on that which the person regards as first hand personal knowledge.                    

Evelyn Underhill