The Saints: Effective Models for the New Evangelization

The Feast of All Saints and the Synod of Bishops

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By Anita Bourdin

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 31, 2012 (Zenit.org).- In Proposition 23 of the recent Synod of Bishops, the Synod Fathers assert that the Saints are "effective models" for the New Evangelization.

"Holiness is a significant part of every evangelizing commitment for the one who evangelizes and for the good of those evangelized," it states. It is a message that is in perfect harmony with the feast of All Saints, which the Church celebrates tomorrow, November 1.

The Synod Fathers dedicate the entire proposition to the sanctity of the new evangelizers. "The universal call to holiness is constitutive of the New Evangelization that sees the Saints as effective models of the variety and forms in which this vocation can be realized," write the Synod Fathers.

"What is common in the varied stories of holiness is the following of Christ expressed in a life of faith active in charity which is a privileged proclamation of the Gospel."

 The Synod identifies in the Virgin Mary the model of all Saints. "We recognize Mary as the model of holiness that is manifest in acts of love including the supreme gift of self." 

Proposition 22 calls for "conversion" and the "renewal in holiness" necessary in the new evangelizers. "The drama and intensity of the age old clash between good and evil, between faith and fear should be presented as the essential background, a constituent element of the call to conversion in Christ." This struggle continues at a natural and supernatural level. 'For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few' (Mt 7: 14)"

Many bishops spoke of the need for a renewal of holiness in their own life, if they really want to be effective agents of the New Evangelization.

The Synod Fathers insist on the need for "personal and communal conversion," as well as the need for a "pastoral" conversion.

[Translation by ZENIT]