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Saints come in groups

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Have you ever noticed that saints seem to come in groups? The classic example of this is St. Augustine, who was moved to conversion by St. Anselm’s kindness and preaching. But can you imagine five saints in the same city at the same time? I recently learned that Sts. Turibius, Rose of Lima, Martin de Porres, John Macías and Francis Solano all lived in Lima, Peru, in the early 1600s.

I wondered what that would be like — a pair of saints who know each other or a whole string of saints who serve God in the same place at the same time.

I got to experience a small taste of what holy friendships can do during my time in graduate school in Ohio. Next door to where I worked and took classes was the campus Newman Center, where I became friends with people who were alive with the Catholic faith and on fire for Jesus, a new concept to me at the time.

When I graduated from college, I knew a lot about the faith. I had learned a lot of facts about God and truth. But on some level, I was just going through the motions. I had a lot of “head knowledge,” but it had not made its way down to my heart. The first thing I noticed about these new acquaintances was that they talked about Jesus a lot. A lot. After getting to know them, the thought flickered in my mind that these people really loved Jesus, maybe even more than I did, and that’s why they kept talking about him. The things people say are reflective of what’s going on in their head.

This realization made me take a good look at myself and my spiritual life. I knew that I wanted what they had, which was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But how to start? Thanks to their influence, I began the practice of adoration. I would go to the little chapel attached to the Newman Center after work and just talk to God about my day for a few minutes. That is how you build relationships after all. Thus began a new stage in my spiritual life, where God began to draw my attention from my abstract idea of him toward the reality of who he really is.

God placed these people in my life and used holy friendships to draw me closer to him. We are not meant to be alone; we are all part of the mystical body of Christ and we need each other, as we need to be connected to Christ.

Are there holy people around you he is asking you to learn from? Is there someone he is asking you to bring closer to him?

Meyerhofer, who is from Our Lady of Hope Church in Potomac Falls, is in his second year of pre-theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021