QUEZON City, April 29, 2014—Using as examples new saints John XXIII and John Paul II to back his case, Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle on Sunday, April 27, assured the faithful that they too can attain holiness.
“For those of us who say it’s hard to be holy, the canonization of people whom we know, people who are part of our generation, is a declaration [that] holiness is real. It is given to all. You can be holy,” said he.
The prelate made this statement during a mass he celebrated in honor of late pontiffs, now official Catholic saints, John XXIII and John Paul II, whose double canonization at the Vatican was witnessed via live streaming by thousands of Filipinos gathered at the SMART Araneta Coliseum in Cubao specifically for the historic occasion.
“Don’t feel bad if you’re not enrolled [among the saints of the Catholic Church]… Holiness is a gift of God to all of us, to ordinary men and women, as ordinary as John XXIII and Karol Wojtyla [John Paul II]. You and me, we are ordinary citizens of the world, ordinary baptized people, but all of us have been given the grace of holiness and we are called to live by holiness,” Tagle explained.
“[From] where I am standing right now, I look at you… there are many different faces… These are faces of people who can be holy… called by God,” he stated.
The cardinal blasted those who insist that holiness is beyond their reach.
He told them, “Do not say that sanctity is far-off. Do not say that holiness is just for a few. Do not say that holiness is not relevant to our time. Do not say that. The celebration today is a loud declaration to the world: holiness is real, following Jesus is valuable. And if you follow Jesus, you can change the world. That is what we are declaring today.” (Raymond A. Sebastián)