Humble Sinners

Pope John XXIII was canonized a saint on April 27th. A few days earlier, in an article titled “John XXIII: The Accidental Saint” and published in NCR, Bill Huebsch wrote:

In 1907, he gave a lecture at the seminary in his home diocese of Bergamo in northern Italy. In it, he gave a prophetic description of what it means to be a saint. We tend, he said in that speech, to make saints larger than life, more like figures in a movie or novel than like your neighbors down the street. Saintliness actually results, he said, from learning the art of self-giving love. It flows from dying to self, from laughing at one’s own foibles and humbly enduring the foibles of others. Saints aren’t so much superstars of holiness as humble sinners, ready to allow God to love them just as they are.

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