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On October 6, 2022, Pope Francis will meet with attendees of the “Holiness Today” conference. / Vatican Media

Newsroom in Rome, October 6, 2022, 5:07 a.m. (CNA).

What does being a Catholic saint look like today? This week, a Vatican meeting in Rome has been discussing just this topic.

In his Oct. 6 address to the “Holiness Today” conference, Pope Francis emphasized that saints are not removed from the reality of daily life, but instead authentically carry out the Gospel within the communities in which they reside.

Pope Francis stated in the Apostolic Palace, “Saints do not emerge from a ‘parallel universe’ but are believers who belong to God’s faithful people and are firmly rooted in a daily living comprised of family ties, studies, and labor, as well as social, economic, and political activity.”

The Pope and attendees of the “Holiness Today” summit on October 6, 2022. Vatican Media

“In all of these contexts, the saints strive ceaselessly, without fear or reluctance, to fulfill God’s will.”

Blessed Carlo Acutis, who died as a high school student in 2006, was cited by Pope Francis as “a paradigm of Christian joy for adolescents and young adults.”

The pope stated that holiness “is not essentially an issue of struggle and sacrifice.” First and foremost, it is the knowledge that God loves us and that we receive his love and mercy freely.

St. Francis of Assisi, a less modern example, was also provided by the pope. He underlined that the canonized saints’ testimonies are ageless and never lose their relevance.

“The saints are priceless gems… They offer a fascinating interpretation of the Gospel. “Their lives are an illustrative catechism of the Good News that Jesus brought to humanity,” he stated.

The pope emphasized the centrality of the universal call to holiness to the Second Vatican Council.

“Today, too, it is important to appreciate the sanctity present in God’s holy people: in parents who raise their children with love, in men and women who perform their daily work with devotion, in those who patiently endure sickness and infirmity, and in the elderly who continue to smile and share their wisdom,” he said.

“The everyday demonstration of a good Christian life by so many of the Lord’s disciples is an inspiration for each of us to respond to our own call to be saints,”

The pope audience ended the Holiness Today conference, which was held by the Vatican from October 3 to 6 to debate what “heroic virtue” means in the twenty-first century and how devotion to candidates for sainthood has grown through social media.

Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, addressed “the fame of holiness in the digital age” at the opening of the meeting.

A firm and widespread renown sanctitatis, or reputation for holiness, has always been a prerequisite for launching a cause for beatification and canonization, according to the cardinal, but “the internet age brings new and pressing obstacles”

In his remarks to the conference attendees, Pope Francis addressed a number of these issues. On the one hand, he stated that the media could assist more people learn about the Christian lives of beatification or canonization candidates.

“However, there is a risk of exaggeration or misrepresentation in the use of digital media, and social networks in particular,” he continued.

“Therefore, all those who investigate the dimensions of holiness’s reputation must exercise discernment,”

In recent decades, according to Semeraro, this condition for initiating a case for beatification has “taken a back seat.” In response, the Vatican’s office for saints sent a letter to all of the world’s bishops last year, urging that they examine the constancy and veracity of a candidate’s reputation for holiness.

On October 6, 2022, Cardinal Semeraro will address Pope Francis and participants at the “Holiness Today” summit. Vatican Media

When speaking about the “heroic virtue” required for canonization today, Semeraro cited St. John Henry Newman: “If you ask me what you are to do to be perfect, I say, first — Do not lie in bed past the proper hour of rising; give your first thoughts to God; make a good visit to the Blessed Sacrament; say the Angelus devoutly; eat and drink to God’s glory; say the Rosary well; be recollected;

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