Saints have inspired Catholics throughout the generations. Their stories are at the heart of many of our member charities. After you’ve read what inspires our members, tell us which saint inspires you – and consider what legacy you could leave.
When we think of the saints, we think of people whose stories have inspired faith through the generations. What will your legacy be? Leaving a gift in your Will is a way to ensure your values are passed on. Your legacy gift can inspire faith and hope in future Catholics, and change the lives of people all around the world.
At the Apostleship of the Sea, we’re inspired by St Peter Claver, the patron saint of seafarers. This remarkable man spent 44 years caring for African slaves who crossed the Atlantic Ocean in horrific conditions. He met every slave ship as it arrived in Central America, and brought medicine, food and clothing. Most of all, Peter brought the slaves to Christ – showing them that God loved them more than men abused them.
Today, Peter’s legacy lives on the in the work of our port chaplains and ship visitors, who reach out in friendship to share the love and hope of God.
Blessed Oscar Romero, a Central American Archbishop assassinated in 1980, is the person who inspires us here at CAFOD. He dedicated his life to speaking out on behalf of the poorest and most disadvantaged people, and broadcast radio sermons which brought hope to thousands of people. Today, his legacy inspires us as we stand beside people in poverty and campaign for global justice, so everyone can reach their full potential.
The saint who inspires us is St Bernadette. She was a weak, poorly 14-year-old peasant girl when Our Lady appeared to her. Bernadette became a nun and a nurse, and spent her life praying and caring for the sick until her death aged 35. The spot where she saw Our Lady is now, of course, the shrine at Lourdes – where 70 miracle healings have been recognised by the Catholic Church.
Today, we take around 1,000 disabled children to Lourdes, every Easter, on life-changing pilgrimage holidays. Bernadette continues to inspire not only us, but around five million Catholics who visit Lourdes each year.
Growing up in France during the late 1800s, the young Thérèse longed to become an overseas missionary. But she became sick, too ill to travel. So she accepted that God had a different plan and became a nun. Thérèse died aged 24 but never stopped praying for missionary work.
St Thérèse of Lisieux taught us that God calls us to be missionaries of love, no matter where we are. We’re part of the work around the world through our prayers and gifts. Thérèse’s example, and her service to God through small, loving acts of kindness, inspires us all at Missio.
Here at the Cardinal Hume Centre in London, where we help families and young people overcome poverty and homelessness, we’re inspired by St Benedict of Nursia. We were founded by a member of the Benedictine Order, and everything we do is based on the Benedictine ethos of hospitality, community, and love for Christ and each other. As such, we offer a non-judgemental welcome, and a stable, safe environment for all people in need to seek help and support.
St Thérèse of Lisieux, known as The Little Flower, has inspired so many of us with her simple, practical faith. Unable to become a missionary due to her ill health, she spent nine years as a Carmelite nun, and was encouraged to write down her thoughts. ‘Everything is grace!’ she wrote, as she described a loving, merciful God at a time when religion focused on sin and punishment.
Today, our charity is inspired by Thérèse’s idea that small actions can lead to great things. We support Carmelite friars and sisters working in over 50 countries, among some of the poorest communities.