Heroic Virtue: The Essence of Holiness and a fruit of God’s Grace

 Crucifixion of St. Peter

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Excerpts from the recent remarks of Archbishop Angelo Amato about heroic virtue and the holiness of the Saints:

The original source of the holiness of the Church (and holiness in the Church) is the Triune God.

Heroic virtue is recognizable, first of all, by its frequency, its promptness, the joyful character of virtuous activity; and secondly, by the fact that amidst complicated obstacles, formed by external or internal circumstances, these are overcome in such a way that the virtuous hero can be considered capable of great sacrifices for the Gospel in the total abnegation of self.

In heroic virtue, Christ becomes visible again in our midst and the saint becomes the mirror of Christ. The saints, moreover, are true operators of the enculturation of the Gospel, not through theories elaborated at a desk, but rather by living and manifesting the sequela Christi (the following of Christ) in their own culture.

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Additional details:

Holiness is something we have in Christ. Without Jesus Christ, it would be impossible for anyone to be holy, to do anything meritorious (in the eyes of God) or to attain Heaven.

The purpose of every Catholic Sacrament, each of the seven instituted personally by Jesus Christ, is to freely and abundantly dispense the supernatural grace that has the divine power to transform, and to make us holy.

The Catholic Church, also personally instituted by Jesus Christ, remains the universal sacrament of salvation in the world, not because of anything we do, but according to what God has already done for us. In perfect union with God, the Catholic Church is inseparable from Jesus, who is “The Way, the Truth, and the Life”.

Receiving the sacraments while refusing to do the work which they (in Christ) empower (and inspire) is being no different than the wicked, lazy, and foolish servant who buried his talent in the ground, reaping nothing but wrath and perdition, for his reward.

Hence, the true path to holiness in Christ can always be found through our constant, faithful and charitable participation in all of the authentic work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church.

There is no other way.