There are many great saints ranging from the year 100 to today in 2022 - saints that can offer help, guidance, and support for living a holy life today. Introducing modern saints to children can be a useful way to illustrate that holiness isn’t something relegated to a particular time period, age or geographical area.
Specifically, introducing modern YOUNG saints to children can be particularly helpful. Children are often intrigued to learn about other holy children. These young saints offer them hope, a desire to follow Christ, and the knowledge that it is worthwhile! Often children can feel personally connected to them via similar hobbies, way of being, situational circumstances, etc.
Not sure where to begin? While there are many young saints in the history of the Church, in 2018 Pope Francis drew special attention to a number of holy children. (This was done during the Synod of Youth with the theme of Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment.)
He recognized these holy young people:
Thérèse Deshade Kapangala
Chiara Maria Bruno
Chiara Corbella Petrillo
Their ages range from 15 to 25 with varying stories of devotion to the Eucharist to living holiness within dating. They can serve as an excellent example of ordinary young faithful. For instance, Montse Grases was known for her cheerfulness and friendship with others, as well as her piousness and her compassionate nature towards the poor and the ill. She lived to be only 17. Another great example can be found in Blessed Carlo Acutis. While he only lived to 15, he is remembered for his cheerfulness, computer skills, and deep devotion to the Eucharist.
How to Introduce Modern Saints and Holy People to Children:
The benefit of focusing on more modern saints is that there are first hand accounts, images, videos and more of these people. Try a few of these ways to introduce these modern holy children to your own children.
Watch YouTube videos about the person, or even recorded by the person.
Read a book about the person’s life.
Look at pictures of the person and talk about his/her life.
Read the various websites about these people and their holy lives.
Follow social media accounts that focus on these holy children and others.
Read the writings, letters, tweets, of these people.