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Wednesday 19 June |
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Try this activity popular with popes, saints, and apostles

Benoit XVI


Le pape Benoît XVI, le 31 juillet 2008, dans le jardin de sa résidence de vacances à Bressanone.

Cerith Gardiner - published on 04/07/23

Along with an active prayer life, these holy men and women spent time doing something that we can all benefit from.

Throughout the history of the Church, one thing that numerous saints, popes and certain Apostles have had in common is putting their pen to paper — or perhaps quill to parchment!

And when we look at the various diaries, letters, and books that these men and women have written, it’s possible to see not only their devout faith, but also their humor, their struggles, and a glimpse of their daily lives.

While Benedict XVI is known for being a prolific writer, bringing both theological understanding and common sense to those who read his wise words, saints such as Zélie Martin — the mother of St. Thérèse de Lisieux — would write numerous letters detailing some of her frustrations with her young not-always-saintly daughters.

Not only do these writings, which have often survived centuries, give us insight into these men and women’s spiritual reflections, they also allow us to get to know them on a more personal level. And this enables us to see the very humane side of these incredibly religious individuals, and realize that sainthood is accessible to all.

Of course, the great news is that we can all pick up our pens to emulate these holy men and women. While we don’t have to write deep religious musings, we can write down things which are meaningful to us.

This can take the form of prayers we’ve written and we like to recite, lists of things we are grateful for, our worries, accounts of things we’ve done, or even favorite family recipes.

Writing is an incredible way to process our thoughts, to deepen our understanding, and to keep a record of how we personally develop over the years. Our written records are certainly something we can keep and pass on from generation to generation.

To get you started, we recommend picking out a lovely book to write in, and note down how your family is spending Easter this year — you can always add some photos to illustrate your celebrations. From there you can note the ways in which you wish to grow in your faith, and see how you’re doing one year from now!

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