For a Christian, the way to reach perfection is to strive for holiness. What is true perfection? Christ's words are clear, sublime and disconcerting: "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." To have God as our model is a dizzying thought! Yet the Church reminds us that, "All the faithful, whatever their condition or state in life, are called by the Lord to that perfect holiness."
The Church teaches us that holiness is not the concern of a privileged few, nor does it only pertain to Christians of the past. Holiness is always a call to every Christian of every age, a challenge for anyone who wants to follow in the footsteps of Christ.
Pope Benedict XVI says: "Holiness never goes out of fashion; on the contrary, with the passage of time it shines out ever more brightly, expressing man's perennial effort to reach God." Mother Teresa of Calcutta wrote: "Holiness is not something for the extraordinary; it is not a luxury of the few. Holiness is the simple duty for each one of us."
The saints are our models and teachers in the ways of holiness. They show us that holiness is possible for us, since they experienced the same difficulties and weaknesses we do, yet persevered in achieving sanctity. The world of saints is a world of wonders, and in this book Pope Benedict XVI helps us to enter into that world.
This inspiring volume presents the Pope's numerous reflections on many saints arranged according to the calendar year. He shows how the life of each saint has something unique to teach us about virtue, faith, courage and love of Christ. Dozens of saints are covered in this wonderful spiritual book. The Pope exhorts us through their lives, "Be holy! Be saints!"
Pope Benedict XVI - Joseph Ratzinger
Pope Benedict XVI (Latin: Benedictus PP. XVI; Italian: Benedetto XVI; German: Benedikt XVI.; born Joseph Alois Ratzinger on 16 April 1927) is the 265th and reigning Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the head of the Roman Catholic Church and, as such, Sovereign of the Vatican City State. He was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005. Pope Benedict XVI has both German and Vatican citizenship. He succeeded Pope John Paul II. Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, was for over two decades The Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope John Paul II. He is the author of Spirit of the Liturgy, Salt of the Earth, Introduction to Christianity, God and the World, Milestones, Called to Communion, God Is Near Us.