Saints are example for how to evangelize, Cardinal Amato says

By Matthew A. Rarey

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The head of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints declared saints the “indispensable protagonists” of the New Evangelization, which is the focus of the ongoing synod in Rome.

“The saints evangelize by their virtuous lives,” said Cardinal Angelo Amato during the Oct. 15 afternoon session of the synod of bishops on the New Evangelization. “They incarnate the evangelical beatitudes. They are the mirror to fidelity to Christ.”

His comments come just days before Pope Benedict XVI canonizes seven new saints at Oct. 21 Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

Cardinal Amato, an Italian, noted that the theme of sanctity in the Church, “in her being and in the acting of her children,” permeates the working document of the synod.

This is because “in the saints the Church offers an edifying display of the Gospel lived out, witnessed to, and proclaimed sine glossa (without gloss).”

This witness is universally attractive to people in all times and places, he noted.

“Every culture is capable of being evangelized, and charity is its greatest instrument to evangelize people,” the archbishop said.

“The history of the Church…records saints of every age, country, race, language and culture, so that the grace of God the Trinity might be like the morning dew. … It is the same with sanctity which, though being unique as a Divine gift, lightly penetrates and transforms the hearts of children of the Church all around the world.”

To show the universal reach of the Gospel message, he concluded his remarks by giving the example of Devesahayam Pillai, an 18th-century Hindu convert to Catholicism whom Pope Benedict XVI declared venerable in June 2012.

“His father was a Brahman. His mother was from a warrior caste,” Cardinal Armato noted. Rather than renounce his new-found faith, Pillai suffered martyrdom and is at the second stage in the Church’s four-step canonization process.

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